Tiger Woods Tiger Woods talks about his putting problems

Perhaps only Tiger Woods could shoot 1-under and describe the round as "pathetic." But that is the word he used yesterday to describe his opening effort in the WGC-CA Championship at the Doral Resort & Spa in Miami, Fla.

Woods is on a quest for his 13th WGC title, but finds himself tied for 10th with Spaniard Sergio Garcia. On the surface, Tiger's first round card doesn't look so bad: He opened the session with a birdie on the par-5 first, and started his home stretch with birdies at the par-5 10th and par-4 11th.

But on a day where the wind lashed out across Doral's famed Blue Monster, scores suffered. The field of 73 recorded 234 bogeys, 35 double bogeys and three triples. Only 15 players broke par, including leaders Robert Allenby and Henrik Stenson (both at 5-under).

Woods hit 14 greens, but needed 32 puts--and recorded bogeys on the par-4 third and par-4 18th. Putting was the main problem. Here is what Woods had to say after his round.

Tiger Woods

Question: Go ahead, Tiger.
TIGER WOODS: Pathetic.

Q. What about everything else?

TIGER WOODS: I hit it great all day. Controlled it -- just was really striking the ball the way I needed to in these conditions. Tough to hit fairways, tough to hit greens, and if you do miss it, you'd better miss on the correct side so you're not coming dead downwind on your chip shots. So, I did that all day today.

Q. You're saying that I guess with the resurfacing, there's some difference in the undulations, the turf is obviously different, too, it's not overseeded --

TIGER WOODS: It's just weird out there in the sense that I putt a lot by memory and what I've done here over the years. A couple of the putts did the exact opposite than what they used to do. But that's just the grain has not got time to settle in yet over time. You just give it a couple more years or even a year, and this TifEagle, we'll start seeing a little bit more grain. It's just a little bit difficult for me to pick up. TifEagle generally, if you've got it down like this, it's a little more difficult than what we used to putt on in the past.

Q. The putt you did make on 11, did you feel this is going to be a good day?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, you know, I hit a good putt there and that's probably the only one I hit. Granted, I hit a great putt on 10 from about a foot and a half, so that's fantastic. Knocked those two putts in, and, you know, gradually went downhill from there.

Q. How do you correct, or since the greens are going to be the greens, how do you fix the problems?

TIGER WOODS: Hopefully I can start the ball online with the right speed each and every time, and if I misread it, so be it. It's just my fault for misreading it. It's hard enough when you're -- when these greens are new that you hit poor putts. You've got to hit great putts on each and every hole and if you misread it, so be it. But at least the only thing you can have responsibility over is rolling the ball perfect every time.

Q. Are you any more encouraged by the way you struck the ball in the wind?

TIGER WOODS: I am very encouraged. I hit the ball well all day. I hit a lot of little shots in there, and just flied the ball exactly the way I needed to, which was fun.

Q. Did the wind exacerbate the putting? When you're struggling with your putting, does it make it that much harder?

TIGER WOODS: A little bit, but it is what it is. Everyone's got to deal with it. It's not like we've never putted in wind like this before. You know what you need to do. I just wasn't able to start the ball online, and consequently, when you can't start the ball online it really is hard to get your reads right.

Q. From one day to the next, is it easier to fix a day of putting like this or ball-striking?

TIGER WOODS: Oh, putting, by far.

Q. Can you compare and contrast your last two years here, 24- and 20-under, where it looks like what this week is going to be, grind-grind?

TIGER WOODS: We didn't have wind like this, and with the rains kind of spitting at you a little bit today, it made for a very difficult day because, you know, like Robby was -- Robby got -- I hit two good putts that the wind just took up the hill. They were great putts. It looked like they were in, but the wind moved it up the hill. Just the way it is.

Q. How difficult was 18 playing?

TIGER WOODS: Oh, it's a tough, tough tee shot. You've got to get the ball in play, and then, you know, coming in the second shot, you've got to try and hold a little draw in there, and if you just tug it a little bit, it's wet. That front pin, there's no place to bail out. The worst place you could put that is the right bunker and then you're coming downhill. The pin is on the left-hand side, if you bail right, at least you've got some room to chip and get up-and-down, but not today.

Transcripts provided by ASAP Sports.

March 23, 2007

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