Tiger Woods was in contention for much of the final round Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando. A pair of back-to-back bogeys at 16 and 17 and Rory McIlroy’s birdie blast down the stretch dashed any hope Woods had for victory.
Woods spoke after his round of 69 Sunday. He finished T5 at 10-under, 8 shots behind winner McIlroy.
Here are some of Woods’ post-round remarks:
On his mentality when he stood at 16?
“I was caught. I didn’t decide what I was going to do. If I hit driver I got to fit it, I got to cut it in there. And I was, in the back of my mind, I said, why don’t you just bomb it over the top. And it was like a 315, 320 carry. And I bailed out and hit a bad shot and that’s on me for not commiting.”
On where he stands in the “process” of his comeback:
“I felt pretty good out there. I hit the ball probably a little bit better than I did last week. This golf course affords the opportunity to go ahead and stretch it out a little bit. The greens were really smooth but really fast. I thought I really putted well this week. The entire week I hit a lot of good putts.”
On his Sunday charge :
“I just knew I needed to keep making birdies. Those guys had so many holes behind me where I just birdied the same holes and so if they made birdie on those holes, I would have to keep going. I got to 16, I figure I got to play the last three holes in 3-under to have a chance and probably force a playoff. And maybe that wouldn’t have been good enough the way Rory is playing back there.
On his overall progress:
“If you would of asked me at the beginning of the year that I would have had a chance to win two golf tournaments, that’s, I would have taken that in a heart beat. Very. Extremely (pleased.).”
On his expectations:
“If I can play with no pain and I can feel like I can make golf swings I’ll figure it out. I’m starting to piece it together tournament by tournament and each tournament’s gotten a little crisper and a little bit better.”
On heading into the Masters:
“Well, if you would have given me this opportunity in December and January I would have taken it in a heartbeat. Everything was an unknown. I didn’t know what I was going to feel like, what I was going to do, what swing I was going to make. Especially Torrey Pines, was the rough going to be the same pain I was going to feel like I felt last year. I don’t know. But coming through that I’ve gotten a little better, a little bit sharper and I worked my way up there into the leaderboard back-to-back weeks and had a chance, which is nice.”
On his preparation for the Masters:
“I’m looking forward to it. I haven’t really thought that much about it, especially this week. I’ve been grinding and focusing on this week, trying to win this thing and now the tournament’s over, I’ll start to make some changes for Augusta, what kind of equipment setup I’m going to go with, some things I want to do with my swing. As crazy as this may sound I haven’t putted on bent grass in two years.”
On visiting Augusta:
“I need to go take a look at it. As I said, I haven’t putted on bent grass in two years. So this is going to be new to me. Playing on rye like that overseeded rye, different spins that we’re going to encounter there, and I was talking with Joey about that early in the week I’ll figure out what wedge system I want to use for that week, what bounce system, get used to those bunkers, sand’s very heavy, thick. So just have to do a little bit of work.”
(Courtesy of ASAP Sports)