Tiger Woods: “You just can’t fake it at a Major Championship.”

Tiger Woods added a 2-over par 72 Friday to his opening round 78 to miss the cut at the U.S. Open.

He spoke candidly about his struggles after his round. Here’s what he said in his press conference:

Southampton, New York

Q. (No microphone)?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I didn’t play the first and second hole very well. How about that? It was tough out there early. Wind was blowing. It was raining a little bit, and I was kind of hanging in there until, unfortunately, first and second hole kind of derailed it. And then birdied last couple.

Q. (No microphone)?
TIGER WOODS: I’m not very happy the way I played and the way I putted. I’m 10 over par. So I don’t know that you can be too happy and too excited about 10 over par.

Q. Is there any satisfaction in doing what you did on 8 and 9?
TIGER WOODS: I finally made a putt or two. It was — you know, I’ve given myself enough looks. I haven’t made anything the last couple days, and consequently I’ve put myself behind the 8-ball early in my rounds.

Today, I got off to a nice, positive start, but still I didn’t make anything.

Q. Tiger, you said yesterday that the way to get back in was to shoot a round in the 60s. Was that your mentality when you stepped up on the 1st tee?
TIGER WOODS: That was the idea. I wanted to shoot something around 68, 67. I thought that would have been a great score. What I did is — I looked at it as kind of progressively putting myself back into position. I couldn’t chase down the leaders right away. It’s going to take me probably 2 1/2 to 3 rounds to do it. Unfortunately, I went the other way.

Q. Tiger, at this stage in your career, do you feel like this is the most difficult Major?
TIGER WOODS: I think they’re all hard. They’re not easy. I mean, I’ve won a few of them over the course of my career, and they’re the hardest fields and usually the hardest setups. So they’re meant to be testers, and, you know, when — you don’t win Major Championships by kind of slapping all around the place and missing putts. You have to be on.

And, you know, I’ve won — as I said, I’ve won a few Majors in my career, and every single one, I’ve played well. And just goes to the setup. You just can’t fake it at a Major Championship.

Q. Tiger, I don’t know if this (no microphone). Does the make you appreciate what you did in those Majors even more?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I was consistent, and I did it, for the most part, year in and year out. I peaked at the right time and — you know, look at all those championships. I really played well at the right time. I may not have played well going in, but I played well that particular week.

And our whole careers are pretty much measured as if you can win four times a year. One year, I did it three times.

Q. Still convinced you can do it again?
TIGER WOODS: Absolutely.

Q. Why?
TIGER WOODS: Have you seen the way I’ve been swinging?

Q. (No microphone) with the way that Dustin’s playing, knowing he’s leading the tournament, knowing you were fighting just to play the weekend?
TIGER WOODS: Dustin was in complete control of what he’s doing. He’s hitting the ball so flush and so solid. I know it’s windy, it’s blustery, it was raining early, but he’s hitting right through it.

It was good to see because I watched a little bit of it last week and he was doing the same thing down there, but he’s brought it up here and is doing it under these conditions, and he’s got beautiful speed on the greens.

Every putt looked like it was going to go in. Even though it didn’t, just had that look and that pace.

Q. Tiger, what do you think of the whole setup in general over the first two days?
TIGER WOODS: I think they gave us plenty of room, and, you know, the only thing today we were laughing at is how long 2 was playing. You know, if they would have put us on a back tee, half the field would be hitting driver. That was probably the only thing.

But just because of the timing and when we played — it was raining, it was windy, and it was cold. Other than that, the golf course is certainly gettable. They give you plenty of room. These greens are soft. They’re poa, so a little bit bouncy, but they’re soft. They’re receptive. You can take on some of these flags if you want to.

Q. Tiger, do you chalk up the last two days to just this is golf? Do you look at it as a bit of a setback?
TIGER WOODS: Unfortunately, it’s just what I’ve done the last few events. I just haven’t putted well. You know, if I would have putted like I did the beginning of the year with this ball striking, that would be ideal. Unfortunately, I just haven’t done that.

Q. What’s your play going forward from here?
TIGER WOODS: I got a week off, and then I’ll play the National and then head over to the British.

Q. Anything you need to practice or concentrate on?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, obviously, I’d like to roll it better than I’ve been. I’m hitting it just fine. I just have not made any putts, and then, importantly, I haven’t made those key ones to keep the momentum going, or if I have any positive momentum, I miss a putt and derail it. I just haven’t made those key putts in the last few events.

Q. Thank you, Tiger.
TIGER WOODS: You got it, guys. Thank you.

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