Here is what Tiger Woods said Sunday after his closing 6-under par 64 — his lowest final round ever in a major championship — left him one shot behind in its closet chance to win a major since he started his comeback.
Q. How good did it feel to do that fist pump at the 18th?
TIGER WOODS: Well, making that putt at least gave me a chance. At the time I think Scotty was 14, playing 17 and at least I needed to at least tie Scotty. Just in case he posted 14 right behind me. And Brooksy, what he’s doing back there is, it’s tough to beat when the guy hits is 340 down the middle, that’s tough. What he did at Shinnecock, just bombing it, and then he’s doing same thing here. I played with him in a practice round and he was literally hitting it 340, 350 in the air. And when a guy’s doing that and hitting it straight and as good a putter as he is, it’s tough to beat.
Q. Have you ever felt this good after a tournament that you didn’t win?
TIGER WOODS: Not for awhile, no. I was pretty ticked at the British Open. I had the lead there. This one I never quite got to the lead. I was always trailing. It was a golf course in which I couldn’t sit still and make pars and be okay with it. I had to keep making birdies. The golf course was soft, it was gettable, and there were a bunch of guys, when I went to the range to start warming up, there were a bunch of guys at 3-under par through 6, 3-under par through 7. And so, yeah, that was, you could see guys shooting 5-, 6-under par today and with a bunch of guys around 8-under or better starting the day, I had to go get it and I tried.
Q. To cap the round you shot a 64 today, best final round I believe ever. To be able to cap it with that birdie, just sitting over here and hearing the thunderous crowds, how, talk about the experience?
TIGER WOODS: Oh, the people here were so positive, the energy was incredible, but the positiveness of it all. Everyone was willing every shot that everyone hit. There was no negative comments, no one was jeering, no one was making snide remarks, everyone was just very positive. They’re excited, yeah. They sometimes pick sides, yes. But they were respectful. And that’s, I wish we could play in front of crowds like this every single week because this is a true pleasure.
Q. (No Microphone.)
TIGER WOODS: Oh, God I didn’t even know if I was going to play golf again, so yeah.
Q. If someone had told you earlier in the winter that you would have legitimate chances on Sunday to win two majors what would you have said or thought?
TIGER WOODS: When?
Q. Back in January or the winter?
TIGER WOODS: I didn’t know what my schedule would be. I didn’t know how many tournaments I would play this year or if I would even play. So each tournament brought about its own challenges. I didn’t know what the number was going to be this year. I didn’t know how I was going to play. And so at the beginning of the year, if you would say, yeah, I would have a legit chance to win the last two major championships, I, with what swing? I didn’t have a swing at the time. I had no speed. I didn’t have a golf swing. I didn’t have — my short game wasn’t quite there yet. My putting was okay. But God, I hadn’t played in two years. So it’s been a hell of a process for sure.
Q. You put yourself in position a couple of times on Sunday on the back nine, you lost momentum. How were you able to keep that momentum going today on the back nine compared to the other two times, couple times this year?
TIGER WOODS: The only other time was the British and I made two mistakes there, two, lost three shots in two holes and that’s the way it goes. But this is an, as I said, a golf course you couldn’t sit still. Can’t make pars and expect to win this tournament, I had to make birdies. The guys were, everyone’s going to shoot low numbers today and they pretty much did. There were a bunch of rounds under par. You don’t normally see that in major championships, but this is playing a little bit different.
Q. Was 9 about the best hole you played all week, No. 9 today, and also can you talk about what happened on 17.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, 9, I drew an — I was on a cart path and drew a drop there. And I had 176 hole and just tried to hit a sweeping 9-iron up there. Honestly, I was just trying to get it past the hole so putting down on the same level. It happened to hit on the hill and kill it and I had the most easy, basic, inside right putt that you could possibly have and I made it.
The drive on 17 — I didn’t drive it good all day. I was struggling with my golf swing. I warmed up hitting it left, I was hitting it right with every single club, even my sand wedge I wasn’t doing very good. So I knew this was going to be a struggle to try and piece together around and I did.
Q. How much were you feeding off the crowd and how much did you know how engaged they were?
TIGER WOODS: Oh, you could hear them. They were engaged since our practice round on Wednesday. They were loud and they stayed around and it’s been, as I said it’s been incredible with the positiveness that everyone was saying and they wanted to see some good golf and we produced some good golf I think as a whole.
Q. Given what you just said a minute ago about not having your swing for a lot of the day how satisfying is 64 and can you feel good about that, knowing that you really needed Brooks to kind of back up for you today a little bit.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I posted 14? He would have had to have shot something in the 60s. He couldn’t make a bunch of pars and win the golf tournament. He didn’t do it. He went out there and made a bunch of birdies. As I said, he’s a tough guy to beat when he’s hitting it 340 in the air. 320 in the air’s like a chip shot. And so that’s the new game. Dustin’s done it, now Rory’s doing it, Brooksy does it, and you get on a golf course like this, this soft, and you can just bomb it away. Those guys, if they’re driving it well, they have such a huge advantage because of the carry. And there’s no run out here. So he put it all together, he didn’t just have the driving, he had the iron game, he had the putting and made some key up-and-downs the last couple rounds I saw to keep himself in the tournament and then end up winning the tournament.
Q. What are your kids saying about how you did this week?
TIGER WOODS: I have no idea. We haven’t talked about golf at all and talked about school and that’s about it.
Q. You said you wanted to really show them what this is like and how does that feel?
TIGER WOODS: I do. I do. But I don’t want to talk to them about it this week. They’re not really interested in it. Because they’re interested in starting school and they’re nervous about starting school. So that takes far more precedence than me playing a major.
Q. Now that you are back what are your goals for next season?
TIGER WOODS: As I said, this has been a process on building. I didn’t know when I was going to start this year and how many tournaments I was going to play, how well I was going to play. I didn’t know what swing I was going to use either. I’m in uncharted territory. Because no one’s ever had a fused spine hitting it like I’m hitting it. So I had to kind of figure this out on my own and it’s been really hard, it’s a lot harder than people think. And I’m just very pleased at what I’ve done so far and now to be part of the Ryder Cup conversation, going from where I’ve come from to now in the last year, it’s been pretty cool.
Q. How are you feeling physically?
TIGER WOODS: Tired and hungry.