Tiger Woods British Open Press Conference Transcript
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think overall I'm very pleased by the way I played today. It was very crisp, very clean, and hit a lot of beautiful putts that just grazed the edge and lipped out. I had six or seven lip-outs for birdie today. If those go in, it would have been a pretty good round.
Q. You seemed a little ticked off at points. Was this round frustrating just in terms of opportunities missed?
TIGER WOODS: It was frustrating in the sense that I was hitting beautiful putts and they were lipping out. But it is one thing that you are hitting a couple putts and have them not going in, but I was hitting the putts well and they were just lipping out. When you have good speed on the high side generally they fall in. Today they were lipping out on the high side with good pace, which is obviously frustrating when you roll the ball at that speed and it lips out on the high speed.
Q. (Question about pace)
TIGER WOODS: I think pace of the greens are a problem for everybody, because these are slower than we normally play week after week. But then again, they have to do that because if the wind ever blows here, they can lose control of the greens, even 18, even the greens are slow, but downgrain, downwind from where I was chipping from, vice versa if you go uphill into the green, you have to rip it.
Q. Were you in discomfort with your back at times?
TIGER WOODS: No.
Q. You seemed to be bending over gingerly at times.
TIGER WOODS: You don't know what I said out there.
Q. Not exactly.
TIGER WOODS: I just told them a lot of times that a lot of back injuries occur when bending down picking the ball up out of the hole. If you bend down too quickly and a lot of trainers told me to bend down slowly and over the long haul, 20, 30, 40 years of playing golf, you never really put yourself in danger of doing damage. Even David's back is feeling good, but he still does it.
Q. Do you have any concern about maybe not taking full advantage of a calm day and also can you talk about the distraction on the 1st hole?
TIGER WOODS: Well, it was frustrating, as I said, hitting good putts and not going in the hole. What are you going to do, I was committed to my lines; I felt comfortable over the putts and I hit good putts and they just didn't go in today. And that's okay. The 1st hole, a camerman was out of line. He took the picture at an inappropriate time and I backed off the shot and it really wasn't as committed to my line the second time around as I should have been, and consequently, I hit a poor tee shot and somehow hacked it out of the fairway. I don't know how I did that. Hit a good iron shot, a good sandwedge and about an eight foot for par.
Q. Were you distracted on the second shot?
TIGER WOODS: They were still trying to get their shot and they were taking them at inappropriate times, it's fine taking a picture, it's their job. But these guys are professionals; they know when to do it. And they -- that one might have had a heavy finger.
Q. They say, red numbers in a major are also good; is that the positive?
TIGER WOODS: Yes. Today anything under par is going to be a good score today. Actually if you shoot four solid rounds under par, more likely you're going to have a chance to win the tournament. And you can only shoot yourself out of the tournament the first day, and I certainly didn't do that. Got myself where I needed to be, especially if the weather is the way it's supposed to be the next two days.
Q. Why do you think no one has shot lower (inaudible)?
TIGER WOODS: A lot of pins are tucked on knobs, they're not only hard to get to, they're hard to read. A lot of the guys are going to have to play consecutive off the tees and leave themselves quite a ways back, and it's hard to fire at a lot of these pins with these credits, if you fly too far, it's out of here.
TIGER WOODS: If you hit it like that all day you're going to be doing all right.
Q. Tiger, getting back to 1 with distractions, how important was it to par that and not go into a plus number early on?
TIGER WOODS: I knew I had some easy holes ahead of myself but I kept telling myself, the way I was walking up and I saw my lie, if I could not make double, I was doing well. It was like stealing a couple of there by making four. Even if I made 5, it was okay, because the way -- the lie I had on the second shot, as I said, a double was probably going to be the score I was going to make, but somehow it came out all right and made four.
Q. Later on, after the first two birdies, you followed those immediately with bogeys. Is that a disappointment, you got it going and, boom, it turns around?
TIGER WOODS: Especially over on 8 -- or over on 6 when I blipped it. It was an easy putt up the hill and I tried to hit it uphill into the grain and I did tried to make sure I got it there; I did. The second putt, again, I hit it too hard, I hit it on the line but wrong pace, and it lipped out again. It's frustrating when you follow-up birdies with bogeys; that's not what you want to have happen. It's always good the other way around.
Q. What do you think about your grouping; did you enjoy it?
TIGER WOODS: I did. I've enjoyed playing with Justin and Maruyama, and he is a great kid. I thoroughly enjoyed it. They both played really well, so it was nice to go out there and all of us play well at the same time.
Q. Your ideal playing partner shot better than you. Are you surprised at all by Mark?
TIGER WOODS: Steve and I were talking about this, Mark was hitting the ball best I've seen it in practice rounds leading up to a tournament than I've seen in a couple of years, just shot after shot after shot, he had his shape again. You can see he was starting to get his length back, he is now in the right position to hit it. You can see the confidence building day after day, it was a matter of him getting off to a good start today and I think he did it and played all the way around.
Q. When he talked about going on TV you persuaded him that he still had time left on tour?
TIGER WOODS: He has too much talent to go in the booth. There's no way he should go in the booth, no way. He hasn't really played all that well the last couple of years to his standards, but you can see the talent is there, and it's just a matter of him trusting his game and which he's doing that now and he is hitting the ball -- he's in the right position.
Q. How many drivers did you hit today?
TIGER WOODS: I hit 3.
Q. Tiger, going back to Justin, are you surprised how well he handled the pressure of playing the sort of crowds you play with every day?
TIGER WOODS: I don't think the crowds were that big today compared to the last major we played in. Well, the fans were certainly out there cheering for Justin. Obviously they want him to play well, and he did that today, and I think he conducted himself beautifully today.
Q. Go into detail on the second shot, what was the lie like, what club did you hit, what was your thought?
TIGER WOODS: I was just trying to advance it forward. I thought I couldn't get to the fairway. I was hoping to get a good lie on the second shot.
Q. What club did you use?
TIGER WOODS: 60, hard as I could. I could have hit it a foot or I could have gone as far as it went, but it came out great. I don't know how it did it, but it did.
Q. The way Justin played today, do you think he has a chance at winning?
TIGER WOODS: Yes, he certainly has the talent. If he executes golf shots the way he has been doing he'll be fine.
Q. (Questions about playing conditions in a major)?
TIGER WOODS: I've always enjoyed playing in tougher conditions, because if you play well and shoot a good solid round you're going to move up, and a lot of times on tour now, if you go out there and shoot 67 (inaudible) it's nice to go out there and shoot under par round, you get rewarded by moving up the board.
Junior golfer's amazing run: ace, albatross, birdie
While most of the golf world had its attention focused on Scotland and The Open Championship at Carnoustie on Thursday, the REALLY remarkable performance of the day was taking place in Halifax, Mass.
There, in an American Junior Golf Association tournament, a 16-year-old Thai player made a hole-in-one and an albatross on consecutive holes.
According to the AJGA, Conor Kelly holed a 5-iron shot on the 198-yard, par-3 eighth hole. It was his first hole-in-one. He then holed a 4-iron second shot from 220 yards on the 480-yard ninth holer for the albatross. (We're gonna go out on a limb and say it was his first albatross.)
Certainly a nice way to make the turn - but Kelly wasn't finished. He birdied the par-4 10th for a 1-2-3 sequence on his scorecard. For the day, he shot a 5-under 67 in the AJGA Junior Golf Hub Championship at the Country Club of Halifax.
McIlroy, Rahm betting co-favorites after Open Round 1
They're both three shots off the lead, but after starting The Open with rounds in the 60s Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are now betting co-favorites to lift the claret jug at Carnoustie.
McIlroy is four years removed from his Open triumph at Royal Liverpool, while Rahm remains in search of his first major title. Both carded rounds of 2-under 69 in Scotland to sit three shots off the lead of Kevin Kisner. While McIlroy started the tournament at 16/1 and Rahm at 20/1, they're now dead even at 10/1 in updated odds at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.
Kisner started the week at 200/1, but after an opening-round 66 he's quickly been trimmed to 25/1. Tony Finau sits one shot behind Kisner and is now listed behind only McIlroy and Rahm at 12/1 after starting the tournament at 60/1.
On the other side of the coin, consensus pre-tournament betting favorite Dustin Johnson fell from 12/1 to 100/1 following an opening 76 while Masters champ Patrick Reed shot a 4-over 75 to plummet from 30/1 to 200/1. Trailing by five shots following an opening-round 71, Tiger Woods' odds remained unchanged at 25/1 as he seeks a 15th career major title.
Here's a look at the revised betting odds heading into the second round at Carnoustie:
10/1: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm
12/1: Tony Finau
14/1: Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler
20/1: Francesco Molinari
25/1: Tiger Woods, Alex Noren, Henrik Stenson, Kevin Kisner
30/1: Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka
40/1: Ryan Moore, Jason Day
50/1: Erik Van Rooyen, Brandon Stone, Matt Kuchar
60/1: Danny Willett, Thomas Pieters, Marc Leishman, Thorbjorn Olesen, Russell Henley, Matthew Southgate
80/1: Webb Simpson, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Brendan Steele, Kevin Na
100/1: Dustin Johnson, Zander Lombard, Sung Kang, Paul Casey, Louis Oosthuizen, Xander Schauffele, Chris Wood, Pat Perez, Luke List, Charley Hoffman
Despite 78, Lincicome savors PGA Tour experience
Two bad holes derailed Brittany Lincicome in her historic start Thursday at the Barbasol Championship, but they couldn’t wipe the smile off her face afterward.
It might have been the most fun she ever had shooting a 78.
Lincicome joined Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie as the only women to tee it up in a PGA Tour event when she striped her opening tee shot down the middle Thursday at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.
A double bogey at her ninth hole and a triple at her 16th might have spoiled her chances at joining Zaharias as the only women to make a 36-hole cut in a PGA Tour event, but it didn’t spoil her experience.
“I did what I wanted to do, with having fun,” Lincicome said. “I think I nailed that part pretty well.
“I love playing with the guys. It's so much fun, being inside the ropes with them. Hopefully, I can get a good one tomorrow.”
Lincicome, 32, held her own for 16 holes, playing them in 1 over par, but those two big numbers left her tied for last place when she signed her scorecard, though other players remained on the course.
At 6 over, Lincicome is 13 shots behind the leader, probably seven or eight shots off the projected cut line, but she savored the experience. She arrived wanting to inspire young girls to dream big, and to bring some extra attention to a title sponsor who means so much to her. She represents Pure Silk, part of the Barbasol family.
Sam Ryder, who joined Conrad Shindler playing alongside Lincicome, was impressed with the way Lincicome carried herself.
“I would play with her every day if she wanted to,” said Ryder, who opened with a 68. “She's just a great person.
“Even though I know she's probably a little disappointed with her final score, she had a smile on her face all day.”
Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, made her first birdie at her 12th hole, dropping a 30-foot putt, but she wasn’t happy with her putter much of the day. She missed three other good birdie chances, a 4-footer at her eighth hole, an 8-footer at her 10th and a 12-footer at the last.
“Pretty happy with my game overall,” Lincicome said. “I had two bad holes, but I drove it well. I did all the things I said I needed to do, but my putter let me down today.”
After piping her first drive, Lincicome opened with three consecutive pars.
“I was actually calmer than I thought I was going to be,” she said. “I thought I was going to be a nervous wreck. After the first tee shot, I was pretty happy that I found the fairway.”
Lincicome said Ryder and Shindler made her feel welcome. So did the crowds.
“It was great,” she said. “I could feel the energy of the crowd support me. Every time I hit a good driver or good shot, they would cheer for me, which was great.
“Conrad and Sam were so nice. I couldn't have asked for a better pairing. They were very welcoming, and we were interacting, they were asking me questions, and it was great.”
On Tuesday, Lincicome said a key to her play would be hitting fairways. She did that, hitting 10 of 14, but she was taking in longer clubs than she does in LPGA events, with Keene Trace set up at 7,168 yards. That’s 600 yards longer than she played last week at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic, where she finished second. She hit just 8 greens in regulation in this PGA Tour start.
Lincicome is nicknamed “Bam Bam.” She is one of the LPGA’s longest drivers, but she was typically 30 to 40 yards behind Ryder and Shindler after hitting her driver. She averaged 259 yards per drive, Ryder 289 yards.
“She had a couple birdie putts that she could have made,” Ryder said. “If she made a couple of those, might've been a little bit different, just to get a little bit of momentum. Who knows?”
Lincicome’s biggest challenges were the par 3s.
At the 18th, playing 195 yards, she mis-hit her tee shot, knocking it in the water, short of the green. She took a penalty, moved up to a forward tee, dropped and hit into a right greenside bunker. She got up and down from there for a 5.
At the seventh, playing 198 yards, she missed wild right and deep. From a tough spot in the rough, she left her pitch short of the green. She chipped her third past the hole and to the fringe, where she took three putts from 20 feet.
Afterward, Lincicome wasn’t dwelling on the bad shots. She was focused on going to sign autographs for all the fans waiting for her, including all the little girls who came out to see her.
“I need to go back over there and sign,” she said. “Any time I can influence a child, especially a girl, obviously I want to get them involved with the LPGA, as much as possible.”
Her overall assessment of her day?
“It was a great experience,” she said.
Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage
NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:
Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)
Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.
1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.