After playing a leisurely 18 holes Wednesday in the Quail Hollow pro-am, Tiger Woods said his second golf tournament of the year feels more like normal than his return to golf at the Masters three weeks ago.
"This feels a heckuva lot more normal than the Masters did," Woods said at a news conference just after noon.
Woods' gallery grew as the morning unfolded. There were several hundred fans when he and his amateur partners teed off at 7:30 a.m. but thousands were following as they played the closing holes. There were no incidents of heckling from the gallery as Woods made occasional conversation with fans during the round.
Woods said he decided to make the Quail Hollow Championship his second event of the year because of his comfort level at the tournament.
"I'm trying to get back to normalcy," Woods said. "Charlotte has always been one of my favorite tour stops. It's always a treat to play a course like this. It's very similar to a major championship."
Asked about the reception he received from fans, Woods said, "The people here have always been very gracious. The fans really get into the event."
Woods played with Kurt Kimball and Jim Rathburn of the Compass Group. Woods' name was available when they landed the first pick in the Tuesday night draw party so they took the chance to play with him.
"I could hardly get the words out of my mouth," Rathburn said.
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