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July 18, 2014

Tom Watson


Q. (Inaudible) That's a record you didn't think about.
TOM WATSON: Well, I tell you, I did a record this year that I was really happy. In competition I broke my age. I shot 63 at the Toshiba Classic at Newport Beach Country Club. And that's fun to shoot your age, when you're my age.

Q. So just tell us what you think of your round today?
TOM WATSON: My round today, it started off pretty good. And then I hit some lousy shots in the middle of the round, made some stupid errors. And then I'm standing on the 11th tee, and I better -- just after bogeying the 10th hole, the par 5, from the middle of the fairway, and scold my gap wedge over the green. So it was not very good there. And I was 3-over par. And I know that that's probably there or 2-over is the cut line. I said, I better play some golf, which I did. I made every fairway and green coming in, and made a birdie at 14 and it was a pleasure. It was a pleasure playing with a little bit of heat on me to make the cut and doing so well, especially coming down the stretch. I enjoyed that.

Q. What did you think of your second shot on the last?
TOM WATSON: I hit a 4-iron. I hit a 4-iron to put it in the fairway. And it was -- there was no sense at all to try to get it by the green. It didn't make any sense at all there. So I played old man's golf on the last hole and hit it to the right, hit it to the left and hit it on the green. Almost made the putt. I hit a good putt.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TOM WATSON: I think experience is a more important factor playing links golf, yes, I do. I think it's awfully hard to understand how to play the game at the beginning. Although I have to say that I did pretty well at the beginning, but I also didn't do very well my second year. I missed the 54-hole cut at Birkdale. But links golf, it's all about distance control. Can you get the ball the right distance? Can you play the chess game? Move your ball to this position to get to that position. It's not how far you drive the ball. It's certainly how far -- it's how straight you hit the ball.

Q. With that in mind, you've been around Jim Furyk a few days this week, can you talk about what you're seeing?
TOM WATSON: Jim played a good front nine today. Back nine he struggled a little bit. But he got the job done. He got the job done on the last nine, which when you're not hitting it all that well, I'm sure he's the first to admit that he hit some stray shots. He got the ball up and down a number of times and made some good putts. Again, go to the practice range now and work on the swing and get it back into gear, in the right gear, and that's important. That's important to stay -- keep yourself right into it, especially when you're in his position right there.

Q. Can you see him winning this tournament?
TOM WATSON: Sure, darn right.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TOM WATSON: They are subtle. They are. Just a little bit here, a little bit there. But they're very makeable. The greens, you can make a lot of putts I think on the greens. Again, you just have to -- you have to play that much break rather than that much break. It's a little bit easier to feel like you can sling it in the hole than just like this, unless you putt like I used to. Every putt was a straight putt. Just ran right by the hole three or four feet, it's straight.

Q. I noticed you looking in the stands a lot more. You're enjoying this?
TOM WATSON: I am enjoying it. I came over here with a purpose to play my best golf and play on the weekend. And let's see what happens on the weekend. See if the old guy can maybe get it rolling a little bit. Today on the practice range my swing turned around. I really started hitting the ball well on the practice range warming up today. It was the best warmup session I've had all year. And I felt very good going out to the golf course. And then I made some stupid swings and stupid errors kind of early, in the middle of the round. I made some -- I mis-hit a couple of longer shots and then mis-hit the -- but this is a game of misses, and my misses weren't very good today.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TOM WATSON: Well, that's pretty far back. It's pretty far back, 2 or 3-over, whatever makes the cut is going to be pretty far back. They're going to have to light it up obviously on the weekend. It depends on what the wind does. If the wind blows, and somebody lights it up when the wind blows, then they're going to make a big move. If the wind doesn't blow, it's hard to come back from two or three over par.

Q. Do you want the wind to blow?

Q. Rory (inaudible.)
TOM WATSON: Well, Rory, he's had a pretty good track record in some of the tournaments. But his second rounds haven't been very good either. And today his second round, he's put it together today. So that's -- I think that's kind of a relief for him and for you, too, as writers. I mean, we don't have to write about another bad score in the second round for Rory. He's such a good player. Yesterday he hit some just marvelous shots. Tiger did the same thing when he won here. He hit the ball straight at the flag. It was right at the flag with his irons. His iron game is so much better than anybody else's in the field when he won at 2006 here. I was watching him. It was impressive. That's what you have to do here.

Q. Do you think about age at all or do you think about playing golf?
TOM WATSON: There's no age when I'm out there. I'm doing the same thing as I did when I was 22 years old, although I can't hit the ball very hard anymore. My body is a little sore. I don't go to the practice range after and hit a bunch of balls, although yesterday I did. I went and practiced yesterday quite a bit with the driver and longer clubs yesterday, because I failed yesterday with those clubs. And really didn't get it done until the last ten swings. I finally figured it out on the last ten swings. And then this morning's session was great. The game goes that way. It's just a little adjustment here and there, and all of a sudden then you hit a shot, okay, yeah, that's the way I'm supposed to hit it. Then you confirm it. Then you confirm it again. Hit three confirmations. Boom. Yeah. Boom. Yeah. Boom. That's kind of all you did. There's a story about Ray Floyd at the Belfry after Saturday's round, Ray played 36 holes. And I'm walking past the range, and there is is Ray after playing 36 holes on the practice range. And I go up to him and said, "What are you doing? Come on." He said, "I'm just going to hit about ten shots, just to confirm." And that's what he was doing. And that's what you do. That's what you have to do.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TOM WATSON: I'm thinking about picking the captain (laughter). Not really. I'm looking at the players. I'm looking at all the players and how they're performing every week. One week doesn't necessarily make it. You've got to confirm. Just like your shots. One week, another week, and another week. Three weeks in a row, that's what I'm looking for. These players playing well for three weeks in a row. Boom.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TOM WATSON: I'm just thinking about me when I'm on the golf course, I'm not thinking about them. When I'm looking at the paper and looking at the scores, now I'll be looking at it, yeah. Let's see what happened here today with these top 15 or top 20 players and see how they did out there today. I do it every week. And make notes, make mental notes. The mental notes I forget, I've got to write them down.

Q. Do you still longhand?
TOM WATSON: I still longhand. I've got the yellow legal pads. Yeah, that's what I use. But I've come into the modern world a little bit. I've got lists on my iPad and computer and got lots of backup there, if it doesn't crash.
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