June 27, 2003
TOM WATSON: (Inaudible). I left myself with a lot of 40-footers, and on these greens 40-footers you are just trying to get the ball up and down.
Q. During the course of the event are you aware of where you were, where the opposition was; were you paying any attention?
TOM WATSON: Yes, I was looking at my competition out there. Bruce Lietzke started off well. Gino played a fine round again and the golf course was playing easier today. We had a little bit different wind but the conditions were softer. The greens were softer. It was easier to get the ball close to the hole and I didn't do that. It took me a while to figure that out that you could throw the ball at the hole today.
Q. You had more putts today than yesterday; was that a case of not getting close to the hole?
TOM WATSON: Yes, I 3-putted twice. I 3-putted -- actually I putted for 16 birdies today, and I missed two greens; I had to chip up on the 15th and 18th. But I putted for 16 birdies today, and I 3-putted twice, and I had a couple of good opportunities that I missed. Most of my opportunities were from the 30- to 50-foot range and you don't do very well at Inverness when you are putting from 30 to 50 feet.
Q. Looking ahead then how do you feel Tom?
TOM WATSON: I thought I played a pretty smart round today. I didn't hit my irons as well, that's what I have to improve on tomorrow. I have to hit my irons better tomorrow. I felt like I drove the ball well and I actually -- I played a pretty solid round today but it just wasn't like yesterday but you don't have many days when you make four putts or five shots over 20 feet. You don't have days like that. And today was one of those days that I just didn't get the ball close enough to the holes. You can repeat that three or four times but that's the real problem.
Q. For the most part you were hitting an iron off the tee; how many times did you take the driver out?
TOM WATSON: Well, I hit driver a few more times yesterday but I figure that my 2-iron today was on and I was hitting it far enough when I was giving myself fair opportunities to get to the greens. I didn't hit the 2-iron as solid at 17, Roger Maltbie asked me if I left myself a long way away. I didn't hit that have solid there. If I would have hit it solid I would have been hitting a 6-iron into that green. When you take all of the trouble out of play, 2-irons and 6-irons, I can deal with that. In fact, I hit a 5-iron to the green, so it wasn't that tough a shot.
Q. What's your mindset going into the weekend?
TOM WATSON: Well, my mindset is that I'm in a position to win a Senior Open and I hope that I can keep it together to do it. I mean who knows what's going to happen? I play it one hole at a time, the old cliche; that's the way I play the game and we will have to see on Sunday what happens.
Q. Tom, how much do you feel the crowd is with you; how aware of that are you?
TOM WATSON: I'm very aware that they are cheering for Bruce and that makes me feel good that they understand that Bruce is having a problem and I hope that, you know -- I hope that translates into some financial help for ALS. The crowd was fun today. They had a good time out there today.
Q. Sizable, too?
TOM WATSON: Yes, nice big crowds here. The Mudhens aren't in town so they are out watching golf. I would have liked to see the Mudhens. I'm staying right over -- I'm looking right over the stadium. I still don't know how they mow the stadium like that.
Q. You are at the Radison looking down?
TOM WATSON: Yes, I'm looking right down on it. It's a beautiful stadium.
Q. It seems like the scores are hard to get up and can easily come down it seems; a lot of double bogeys?
TOM WATSON: Yes, this golf course is a treacherous golf course. You can make a double bogey on any hole out there. You can make it very quick. It's typical of this golf course. The golf course, in a lot of senses is difficult to judge and to play because the greens have so many different contours and you're hitting elevated shots. From elevated shots with wind. It's an awkward golf course. It really tests the golfer. Not only just your yardage control but your judgment. You test your judgment here a lot because have uphill shots to No. 7, downhill hook shots to No. 8. You go from the top of the hill up there you've got all sorts of different shots that you have to play on this golf course. It's just a darn hard golf course to figure out.
End of FastScripts....