Woods Off to Good Start


All eyes are on Tiger Woods this week at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. The three-time winner this year on the PGA Tour, who with his last victory supplanted Jack Nicklaus in second place on the career win list - eight behind all-time leader Sam Snead, is seeking his 15th major title this week in the 141st Open Championship.

If Woods, now No. 4 in the World Golf Ranking, can take home the Claret Jug Sunday he will have 15 Grand Slam titles, only three behind Nicklaus's record of 18.

And Woods got off to a nice start, posting a four-birdie-one-bogey 67 to be only three shots behind leader Adam Scott heading into Friday's second round.

After signing his scorecard, Woods met with reporters and discussed his day. Here's what the 36-year-old, three-time British Open winner had to say to the media about his opening round.

TIGER WOODS: It was a good start. I was 4 under through 7. Got off to a quick start there. And I hit the ball well all day. I was just lacking a little bit of pace on the greens coming home. I was just every putt I hit was on line, except for the one I hit on 12. But every putt was right on my line, they were dying off the front of the lip. So I needed to hit the putts a little bit firmer.

Q. On 15 were you just trying to get it out there or did you just get greedy?

TIGER WOODS: No, I was just trying to hit the ball 80 yards in the front. There's a bunker right in front of me on the other side of the hill. That was 60 to carry that. I figured 80 in the air would have been good, and I left myself with a chance to get to the green. Unfortunately it didn't grab just the hosel, it grabbed the shaft and just turned it down.

Q. 13 and 14 fairways, today I think I you hit two drivers, does that sound right?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know.

Q. Is that sticking with your game plan? Was that the plan all along?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I'm playing the spots. So whatever the spots are. And some holes depends - we've had two different winds here that I played. I played practice rounds on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and they were completely different clubs based on the winds. And I was just playing to my little sections and I had my game plan to those sections.

Q. Did you hit driver on 7?

TIGER WOODS: I did.

Q. On 15?

TIGER WOODS: 15? No, I didn't.

Q. Just hit one driver?

TIGER WOODS: No, I hit one on 2. Might have been somewhere else, but I think that was it.

Q. Early on there was no wind. Is this as easy as you've seen this golf course?

TIGER WOODS: It was. It was pretty soft. The wind wasn't blowing, and we're backing golf balls up. That's something we just don't see. On the first hole is a perfect indication; I hit a 5 iron straight at it, and it rolled out eight feet. I can't remember the last time it does that on links golf course. So we knew that we needed at least to get off to a quick start on that front nine, and I figured a couple under would have been good. But I look up on the board and Scotty is going pretty low and so is everyone else. I felt I had to make a few more and I was able to.

Q. Your overall thoughts of your game today, your assessment?

TIGER WOODS: I felt like I played well today. I really hit it well. And as I said, I was very close on making a few more putts. Every ball was starting right on my line. I was very pleased with that. I've just got to hit the putts a little harder.

Q. Was there any chance of getting if you're in that deep rough?

TIGER WOODS: No, I was just I had the face open. As I said, I was just trying to hit it 80 in the air. I had the face open but it snagged it and just went left.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: You have to. It's 80 - I mean to carry it 80 yards, it's still - people don't realize how deep some spots are. Some spots are pretty benign. But then there are a few spots where it's pretty deep out there.

Q. That one was deep?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah.

Q. Other than that it didn't seem like you came close to missing a fairway. Obviously was it where you were looking or were you wanting to?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I felt like I had pretty good control. I was shaping the golf ball both ways. Sometimes I rode the wind, sometimes I held it against it. But as I said I was playing to my spots. I had certain sections I wanted to put the ball in, and I did that all day.

Q. Did the wind come up a little bit more in the afternoon?

TIGER WOODS: Not really. Not really. It's pretty benign out there. Maybe only about five more miles an hour. But it's - at the most it's a club wind. At the most. But that's only if it puffs up. But other than that it's usually less than that.

Q. You had 4 under so quickly, and as well as you hit the ball today, do you come away with this course thinking you should have had more?

TIGER WOODS: No, I'm very pleased with what I did today. As I said I only hit one putt that was off line. But every putt was right on my start lines. I just needed to hit the putts a little bit harder. These greens are not quick. With the amount of rain that they've had on these things, they're not very fast. So I've got to make that adjustment.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: I think that's the forecast. But the forecast hasn't been right all week. Nice job to have, huh?

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, we've got a long way to go. We've got three more rounds. And I got off to a positive start today. And as I said, we've got three more rounds. We've got a lot of golf to play.

Q. Would you look at the quality of the names that took advantage today? This is as good a starting field as you've seen, maybe?

TIGER WOODS: I only saw a couple of guys. I saw Scotty and Graeme and Ernie.

Q. Six major winners in the top eight.

TIGER WOODS: There you go.

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


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