What Tiger Woods said after shooting 73 at the Masters Thursday

Tiger Woods waits to putt on the first hole during the first round at the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 5, 2018, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) AP Photo/David J. Phillip

What Tiger Woods said after shooting 73 at the Masters Thursday

PGA Tour

What Tiger Woods said after shooting 73 at the Masters Thursday

Tiger Woods spoke after his round of 73 at the Masters Thursday in Augusta, Ga., It was his first time playing the tournament since 2015.

How do you assess the day?

Tiger Woods:  It felt great to be back out there again.  I only came up here the last couple of years just to have food.  It’s nice that I came out to play and know that I had the golf course in front of me.  It was a day when the wind was puffing up, changing different directions.  I didn’t play the par‑5s very well today, I played them at even par.

The shot on 11, how good of a shot was that?

Tiger Woods:  It was a great shot there.  Unfortunately people ran out and it clipped them.  Otherwise it’s just short right of the green, an easy up and down from there, where I was trying to leave it.

How important was the bogey save on 12?

Tiger WoodsIt was very important.  I just didn’t want to drop it to 4.  I figured I had two par‑5s ahead of me.  We were anticipating getting it back to even par, just fighting our way back to even par.  And I made that putt.  And I didn’t ‑‑ I didn’t play either par 5 well.  But I got two of them back coming in.  I could have easily let the round slip away from me, but I got it back.  And I’m right back in this Tournament.

Anything you can put the par‑5s down to?

Tiger Woods:  I had a 6‑iron and 2‑iron into each par 5 respectively.  And I missed from both.

And I miss it in the correct spot, I thought on both par‑5s, and didn’t get them up and down.  I have to hit better shots and hit better chips, too.

Did you take anything in differently on the first tee?

Tiger Woods:  Hit a little fade up the left side.  It didn’t fade (laughter.)

The crowds have been incredible.  It’s been awesome this entire comeback.  I got a standing ovation on the range.  Coming up to the first tee, the people come out of the clubhouse and the putting green, they’re really into it.

But as I said, I kept reminding myself to hit a low peeler out there.  And my job is to hit it on the fairway and move on from there.

Is 73 fine?

Tiger Woods:  73 is fine.  By the end of the week this will be a pretty packed leaderboard the way the golf course is set up.  They have it right where they want it.  It’s really hard to run away from it, but it’s also really easy to lose it out there.  By the end of the week there will be a bunch of guys with a chance to win this Tournament.

What was the medication you took at the turn?

Tiger Woods:  It’s called ibuprofen.  My surgeon says to take it all day.

When you walked off 18 was there a sigh of relief?

Tiger Woods:  Yes.  I played in a major championship again, but also the fact that I was ‑‑ I got myself back in this Tournament, and I could have easily let it slip away.  And I fought hard to get it back in there, and I’m back in this championship.  There’s a lot of holes to be played.

There are a lot of guys right around 2‑over par, and that will be close to four or five at the end of the day.  It’s going to be packed, we knew that.  The weather is going to change.  It will be fun the next 54 holes.

Were there more nerves today?

Tiger WoodsNo, I actually felt pretty good.  My practice sessions have been really, really good.  And my play coming into this event has been pretty solid.  So the nerves really were just normal.  I wasn’t flying high.  I wasn’t jittery, I wasn’t any of that stuff.  I was very confident in what I was doing.  And I hit some good shots early, unfortunately they just didn’t continue.

Do you have to do anything different with your back, as far as therapy, here?

Tiger Woods:  No, everything has been just status quo.  We do the same exact routine.  Nothing really changes, just because it’s hilly out there.  I think all the strength training and all the work I’ve done leading up to this point have really helped, and I think my play the last couple of tournaments is kind of indicative of that.

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