What Tiger Woods said Thursday at The Players Championship

Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports

What Tiger Woods said Thursday at The Players Championship

PGA Tour

What Tiger Woods said Thursday at The Players Championship

Here’s some of what Tiger Woods said after shooting even-par 72 in Thursday’s first round of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass:

On his performance in Round 1:
“I felt like today the way I was hitting the golf ball, especially toward the back nine, that I felt like I should have shot something in the 60s, but didn’t do it. Boy, it was nice to turn the round completely around there at 9. I hit a nice drive down there, hit a 6-iron just over the back and made a putt there and it was a nice turnaround. I felt like I had two par-5s on the back nine, could have played those under par, and maybe got a couple other here and there and seemed like this golf course could have been had today. A lot of guys were under par, a bunch of guys in the 60s today, and it was playing a little bit on the softer side, and with this heat — even the wind picked up, with this heat the ball’s flying forever.”

On what aspect of his game needs to improve for Friday:
“Well I got to drive it a little bit better than I did today and obviously hit the ball closer. Starting to putt good again and get on greens that I know, and I just need to get the ball a little bit closer and a little bit faster than I did today.”

On getting more and more comfortable with his game:
“I feel like I have my playing feels back. Now it’s just a matter of just going out there and staying fine tuned, but I still have to — how can I put it? I still have to pace myself in how much I practice and how much I play. I know you’ve heard me say this a bunch of times, but this is all new. So, yeah, I have to watch out, I can’t practice as much as I would like, but I played enough early this year and especially more than I thought I would, and so I have got — I was able to get my playing feels back and so to be able to maintain them is a little bit easier now than I thought it would have been this time of year.”

On his bogey putt at 18:
“Well I didn’t want to shoot over par today. I feel like I was playing better than that. I was telling Sandsy, it wasn’t like I drew a bad lie on that tee box, that was just a bad golf shot. And to have 245 front and hit a 3-iron that went about 280, 285, somewhere in there, I just didn’t want to drop a shot, didn’t want to shoot an over-par round. I knew I was going to drop a shot but didn’t want to shoot over-par round. I was playing better than that. So it was nice to make that putt.”

On his eagle at 9:
“I was telling Joey it would be nice to make the turn at 1-over par or better. And I happened to make an eagle and get to even par, which was great. I feel like going to the back nine I could easily shoot something 4- or 5-under par with the pin locations the way they were, and as warm as it is right now, that’s not out of reach. I looked at most of the scores this morning, most of the guys who were playing well were doing it on the back nine. That’s where all the birdies were being made. So turning at even par, shooting 3 or 5 on the back nine was certainly doable.”

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