Wednesday, Jul. 29
Tara Slate Donaldson
Tiger Woods arrived (publicly, at least) in Gainesville on Tuesday to practice for this weekend's Quicken Loans National tournament at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club.
The last time the golf star played here was in 2005 during the President's Cup.
“It's a lot bigger golf course than I remember from '05,” he said on Tuesday.
Since that tournament, Woods said he's been back to scope out the course but hasn't played here. Today, he said, “the greens are running really quick.”
“I think it's going to play a little bit on the difficult side,” he said. “It's so hot, the ball is flying forever.”
Woods has been having trouble with his game lately and fielded a number of questions about his losing streak. While acknowledging that it's frustrating not to play at his best, he said he's been working through two major issues: recovering from back surgery and changing his swing.
“Is it frustrating? Yeah, it's frustrating not to be able to win golf tournaments,” he said, but added that he's coming so close, he knows he'll be back on track soon.
“People don't really realize how close it is between a person who is winning and a person who is missing the cut,” he said. “There's a razor's edge between somebody who's finishing 70th and somebody who's finishing first.”
The Quicken National will feature fewer master's-level players than many of Woods' typical venues and he was asked whether that makes him feel better about his chances of winning.
“You're still playing the golf course whether you're playing a lead field or a field less diluted,” he responded. “I've still got to play all 18 holes, just like any other time.”
The heat, he said, will be one of the biggest opponents.
“It's going to be a heck of a test this week,” he said. “We're going to have some high temperatures and guys are going to be sweating a bit.”
If you go
The Quicken Loans National golf tournament starts Wednesday, July 29, at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club.
Daily tickets start at $35 and full-event ticket packages are also available. Up to two children 12 and under can enter for free with each paid adult.
All parking will be at Jiffy Lube Live, 7800 Cellar Door Dr. in Bristow, and shuttles will take spectators to the golf club.
Tournament officials have cautioned that there is no walk-up entrance at the club -- entry will only be granted to those who arrive on the shuttle buses.
The parking lot opens at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday and at 7 a.m. Thursday through Sunday. Shuttle passes are $10 in advance or $15 on site.
The tournament begins on Wednesday with the Quicken Loans National Pro-Am. The Lockheed Martin Military Hole Opening Shot at the 15th tee is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. and the kickoff event at the 19th hole runs from 1:30 to 2 p.m.
Tournament play runs from 7:20 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday; from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; and from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
Live music will be performed at the main entrance from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and the awards ceremony starts at 6:30 p.m. Sunday on the 18th green.
Gates open at 7 a.m. each day.
Backpacks and large purses, coolers, bag chairs, picnic baskets, radios, signs, video cameras and firearms are prohibited. Cell phones, smartphones and tablets can only be used in designated areas.
For more information or to buy tickets online, visit http://www.tigerwoodsfoundation.org
and click on “Events” and then “Quicken Loans National.”