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July 20, 2014

Tom Watson


Q. Nice playing?
TOM WATSON: Yeah, that was a good day. I enjoyed that, that was good. Very good.

Q. Stenson said near the end he was trying to catch you and beat you.
TOM WATSON: Well, I wasn't worried about Stenson. I was trying to get back to even par. The last putt on the last hole, I had a long putt, obviously, on the last hole. It would have been nice to shoot a 67 and end even par. But I played a really solid round of golf today. It was a very good day from tee to green. It wasn't a particularly good day of putting, I had a lot of 20-footers, 15, 20, 25-footers that really didn't make a very good -- not very many good attempts. It didn't look like they were going to go in. I made some birdies today. I made five birdies and bogeyed the first hole with a bad chip. But that was about it. It was a fun day today. I put the ball in play off the tee. I think, if I'm not mistaken -- did I miss a fairway today? Let me see -- yeah, I missed 11. The first day I missed six fairways. It was a good day. Good comeback.

Q. You're encouraged about this coming weekend?
TOM WATSON: It does give me encouragement for the Senior Open. I don't know anything about the golf course, but it's fun to finish with a birdie and finish the way I did, and get ready to go to the next tournament. You feel lighter. You don't feel heavy. You don't feel like you have a burden that you're taking with you. Keep it running, keep the engine running, if you can. Wake up every morning not in too much pain and go from there.

Q. Tom, if you shoot 7 or 8 strokes better today than someone you're looking at as a captain's pick, is that worrisome to you?
TOM WATSON: It's just one day. It's a snapshot. It's not a big deal.

Q. Looking on the board there are some Americans on there that haven't really had really the best year so far, but now they're playing well. Does that encourage you to see the guys come over here and play well?
TOM WATSON: Yes, it does. I'm looking at players -- I'm looking at all the players that have a chance to make the Ryder Cup team. And today, double points, we'll see what happens. Rickie Fowler is certainly a point man today. If he does well, he's on the team. I like Rickie. I like his attitude. I like what he's doing. He's playing well. He's about ready to run the table. Working with Butch Harmon I think has given him a good lift, taken some of the pressure off. Made life a little lighter. When you're playing well, life is good. Rickie is at that stage right now.

Q. Tom, with Tiger is it in a wait-and-see mode?
TOM WATSON: Yeah, if he's playing well and in good health, I'll pick him. But the caveat to that is if he does make the FedExCup team, what do I do then? That's not here yet.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TOM WATSON: That's the key. Looks like he's playing without pain. But, again, he's not in the mix. He needed to get in the mix to get some points to get some money and get in the FedExCup. That's what I was hoping he was doing this week. Is he shooting under par?

Q. As a captain, is it a lighter or heavier burden knowing that Phil and Tiger both have not played their way on to the team yet?
TOM WATSON: It's not a burden at all. Obviously it's going to be what it is, when it gets to that point. It's not gotten to that point yet. Ask me that question September 1st or September 2nd, when I make the three picks. If Phil and Tiger don't make it in the mix there, I've got some real thinking to do. Everybody is thinking that I'm going to pick them automatically. I can assure you that I'm not going to pick them automatically. I said about Tiger that I'll pick him if he's playing well and he's in good health. And Phil is the same way. If he's playing well, again, how can you not pick those two?

Q. You mentioned that you were going to try to talk to Tiger this week, did you get that opportunity?
TOM WATSON: I just said hello. We're going to talk on the phone. Again, it's a little bit early with Tiger to even talk to as far as where he is. Where it needs to be is higher up on the list.

Q. If he doesn't make the FedExCup, could he go play elsewhere, Europe?
TOM WATSON: That's up to him. It's not a mandatory thing. It would make it tougher for me to pick him if he's not playing.

Q. Just to understand the situation, if it was today and you had to make your selection, would you pick him?
TOM WATSON: Today? You always ask the tough questions. You know, I'm not going to answer that, because it's not fair to the process. The process needs to be at the right time.

Q. If you pick him today --
TOM WATSON: Yeah, pick the guy that's 68th.

Q. What do you see (inaudible.)
TOM WATSON: I think the golf course is there for the taking. 16 and 18 are playing slightly downwind, left to right. So they're going to be probably pretty easy birdie holes. As far as the leader is concerned -- whenever you play a golf course, there's land mines out there. You have to avoid the land mines. The luxury that Rory has is that he's got a six-shot lead. He can have exposure and still be ahead, be in the mix, still be ahead. When I had the lead playing -- I was trying to stay out of the bunkers, I was playing smart golf, and I'm sure Rory will be playing it, too, the same type of golf. You expect him to win, but you just can't say, yeah, he's going to win.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TOM WATSON: Well, we'll have to see. Again, winning three different major championships before he's 25. His dad is going to be very happy. He's gone through a struggle with his golf game over a period of time. And now it seems like he's got it back. And you learn a lot from your failures. And he'll come back stronger if you fail. I know it was a burden on him. The frustration was there with him. All golfers feel the same frustration. You've gone through the low spells. You've gone through the times where you couldn't break egg, and yet we still try. We try our hardest to make it happen. We practice as hard as we possibly can and nothing happens, that's the frustration. That's what the game does to you. And then finally all of a sudden the light switch will turn on, something will make a change in your golf swing, and it gets easy. That's what happened to me many times in my career, and it seems like it's happened to Rory.
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