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Tiger Says He's Close to Putting it Together


Tiger Woods has struggled with his swing and, at times, maintaining his cool, in the 76th Masters. The four-time champion had high hopes entering the year's first major after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational two weeks ago at Bay Hill.

But Woods has only been able to card a pair of 72s and a 3-over 75. Particularly troublesome has been Woods' inability to get a handle on Augusta National's four par-5s, holes in previous years he would devour like Easter candy.

But through the first three rounds the 72-time PGA Tour winner had birdied only the eighth - in the first round (though in Sunday morning's final round he added another birdie on the par-5 second hole).

On Saturday afternoon Woods met with reporters and talked about what he was trying to overcome. Woods said he was "close to putting it together" in the third round, but will need a miracle Sunday - along with a major collapse by the dozens of players in front of him - to have any chance at a fifth green jacket.

He also offered a semi-apology for his club-kicking fit of anger on Friday, noting that "it didn't feel good on my toe either." Here's what he discussed with the media.

Q. You went to the range yesterday to work basically until nightfall. How did what happened there manifest today?

TIGER WOODS: I was so close to putting it together today. I unfortunately did not play the par 5s very well today, and it was I'm telling you it was so close to being a really good round of golf. I just didn't take care of the opportunities when I had them.

Q. What are you trying to find, as simply as you can state it, in all the work you are doing post rounds here?

TIGER WOODS: Just trying to get back to how I had it at Bay Hill and prior to Bay Hill. I got here and for some reason I kind of fell into my same old patterns again. I just can't do that. So just got to continue working at it. And it was better today. This round was a lot better. I felt a lot more comfortable over the shots, unfortunately was just a fraction off.

Q. You alluded to the par-5s. You have dominated them so often. What's been the struggle there, Tiger?

TIGER WOODS: I would like to say it was poor driving, but then I drive in the fairways and then miss into a bad spot or I would miss the drive and then compound the problem from there or hit it two really nice shots up there or three good shots up there in a position where I could make birdie and then I would miss. It was just one thing after another. So you have got to be patient, which I was today. I was very patient out there. I was grinding hard and it was a tough day. This wind is just strong enough to where it's changing directions. It's just not coming one way. It's all over the place. Charl and I had a couple of times when I had it in the wind and he had it downwind and vice versa. It's a little tricky out there.

Q. No one is running away. What is your thought on where you are?

TIGER WOODS: Obviously I need help from the guys this afternoon. Regardless of what they do, I need to play a great round of golf tomorrow, and hopefully I can do that.

Q. (Inaudible) they put so much into this week. Any chance that happened to you here?

TIGER WOODS: I have done the same practice routine. It's worked out four times for me. Unfortunately this week so far it just hasn't turned out that way.

Q. On a one to ten scale, where would you put the frustration level given how you were playing at Bay Hill coming into this week?

TIGER WOODS: It's so frustrating because I'm so close to doing it. I'm so close to turning it around. I would just hit a couple of good shots in a row and compound the problem with a bad shot in the wrong spot. I know where I need to miss it and I don't miss in that spot. Each pin you have to miss the golf ball in a certain spot and I have been missing the spots just by a little bit here and there. Unfortunately it just hasn't turned out.

Q. What emotions were you feeling out there?

TIGER WOODS: I was trying to get it going. It was exciting out there. Trying to get back in this ball game. I was 2 under through, what, 4 and had it rolling there for a little bit. Stuffed it there at 5, had an opportunity there and hit it through to the break and then 3 putt at 6 just off the green.

Q. Physically, are you okay?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I feel great.

Q. How much more work on the range now, Tiger?

TIGER WOODS: I'm going to take it off. I'm going to take it off. I'm a little tired. Last night took a little bit out of me and certainly trying to put everything I possibly had in this round to get it back. Going to go back and go lift, go work out, and get ready for tomorrow.

Q. You recently went (inaudible). Is there a 64 in your game right now?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know. I don't know what the score is going to be because it's going to be dependent obviously on what those guys do today. If somebody shoots 4 or 5 under par, it's going to be tough to go get them. Hey, anything can happen here. That's the thing. You can be 4, 5, 6 back on the back nine and still win the golf tournament. Anything can happen. I need to put myself there where I have a chance.

Q. (Inaudible)?

TIGER WOODS: No. Certainly I'm frustrated at times and I apologize if I offended anybody by that. But I've hit some bad shots and it's certainly frustrating at times not hitting the ball where you need to hit it.

Q. Did anybody say anything to you about some of the stuff you did yesterday?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I certainly heard that people didn't like me kicking the club, but I didn't like it either. I hit it right in the bunker and didn't feel good on my toe either.

The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.