Tiger Woods spoke Tuesday at Royal Portrush ahead of the British Open.
The 148th Open Championship begins for Matt Wallace, Patrick Reed and Woods at 10:10 a.m. ET (3:10 p.m. local time) Thursday. It will be the first time Woods has played a competitive round of golf in more than a month. His last tournament was the U.S. Open, in which he finished T-21 at Pebble Beach on June 16.
Woods, who was Champion Golfer of the Year in 2000, ’05 and ’06, has played parts of three practice rounds at Royal Portrush since arriving in Northern Ireland.
SPORTS FANS: Here are some of the best credit cards available
Here are some highlights of his pre-Open press conference.
On last year’s Open and how he’ll try to win it this time:
“Whether I was going to win or lose the tournament, came down to the 9th hole coming out of that bunker there, and I pulled it off. And eventually screwed up the next two holes. There went my Open Championship.”
“It was my first time there in contention with the chance to win a major championship in a very long time. And I learned a lot. I applied what I learned at Bellerive. Didn’t make that many mistakes, shot a great final round just wasn’t good enough to chase down Brooksie. And then at Augusta just kind of put it all together and was just very patient.”
On this course vs. others in the Open rota:
“The ball seems to repel around the greens a lot. You’re going to have a lot of either bump-and-run chips, chips, or quite a bit of slow putts coming up the hills. But it’s an unbelievable golf course.”
On the effects of colder weather:
“Dealing with the procedures I’ve had, and being a little bit older. It just doesn’t move quite as fast when it’s a little bit cooler . . . The golf course is fast enough, even if you’re — you don’t have the speed to carry the ball 20 yards anymore, you can still run the ball quite a bit out there. You just have to navigate the bunkers and navigate around the golf course”
On being satisfied with this year’s schedule:
“Last year, I played too much; I played 17 events. And a lot of it was trying to qualify for certain events, trying to get into the playoffs . . . This year I made a conscious effort to cut back on my schedule to make sure that I don’t play too much. I want to play here as long as I possibly can. And you have to understand, if I play a lot, I won’t be out here that long.”
On where is his game right now:
“It’s not quite as sharp as I’d like to have it right now. My touch around the greens is right where I need to have it. I still need to get the ball — the shape of the golf ball a little bit better than I am right now, especially with the weather coming in and the winds are going to be changing. I’m going to have to be able to cut the ball, draw the ball, hit at different heights and move it all around.”
On if the Masters took a lot out of him:
“Getting myself into position to win the Masters was — it took a lot out of me. That golf course puts so much stress on the system.”
On his thoughts for the 2019-20 PGA Tour schedule
“Some of the guys have decided to play quite a bit in the fall and get their number up so they don’t have to play as much in the spring and the summer, and save themselves for the playoffs. Other players have taken a different approach. I’m probably more in line on a Steve Stricker approach.”
On getting advice about playing Royal Portrush:
“Tell you a funny story. I texted Brooksie, (whose caddie Ricky Elliott grew up at Royal Portrush) congratulations on another great finish. What he’s done in the last four major championships has been just unbelievable. To be so consistent, so solid. He’s been in contention to win each and every Major Championship. And I said, Hey, dude, do you mind if I tag along and play a practice round? I’ve heard nothing.”
On having a sip of the local Guinness:
“This week? No, not this week. In the past…um.”