Woods, who has undergone four back surgeries since 2014, dealt with personal issues, and admitted himself he didn’t know if he’d ever compete again, has now finished in the top 6 in back-to-back major championships.
“Not for awhile, no. I was pretty ticked at the British Open” Woods said after his round when asked if he’s ever felt this good after a tournament he didn’t win. “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.”
“These fans were so positive all week. I can’t thank them enough for what they were saying out there and what it meant to me as a player, just coming back and trying to win a major championship again," said Woods. – TGRhttps://t.co/LNUsuBdNJo
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) August 13, 2018
Woods, who entered the week ranked 51st in the world, has an incredible seven top-12 finishes this year. Back in January, he didn’t even know how many events he’d be able to play.
“I didn’t know what my schedule would be,” Woods said. “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.”
Almost everyone lauded the St. Louis crowd for their positive energy this week, and Woods was pleased he was able to give them a reason to cheer.
“Oh, you could hear them. They were engaged since our practice round on Wednesday,” Woods said. “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.
“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.”
As far as goals moving forward, Woods is still just glad to be back competing and contending.
“As I said, this has been a process on building,” Woods said. “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.”
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