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October 26, 2001

Tom Watson


DAVE SENKO: Tom, thanks for joining us. Maybe talk a little bit about your day.

TOM WATSON: The game of golf is determined by wind and today we had none. Very little. And as a result the scores were very, very low and that's to be expected. The greens were -- they weren't real fast, but still had to hit quality shots to get it close. I just think with the wind not (inaudible) -- Lietzke, that's awfully good. That was very good.

Q. Not a surprise?

TOM WATSON: I am not surprised. Bruce is a real good player and hits the ball long and high. He can -- and as the greens get a little firmer he has got a real good advantage because he can hit the ball very softly coming into the greens. I suspect the greens will probably get a little firmer the last two days. But the conditions were ripe for scoring.

DAVE SENKO: Go through your card.

TOM WATSON: I birdied the first hole with a driver and pitching wedge. Knocked it in about 15 feet, made the putt. I went through, birdied the 4th hole, actually 3-putted the 3rd hole, I made 8 yesterday. I 3-putted that from the back fringe for par. Knocked a 4-wood just over the green there, hit a good shot, but hit a lousy first putt. Then I hit 5-iron the next hole -- no, 4-iron, I didn't hit it particularly solid but it went up there about ten feet behind the hole and I made the putt for birdie. Bogeyed the 5th hole. Knocked it just over -- hit the ball in the rough off the tee and hit a 9-iron, flier, caught it -- pitched it about ten feet from the hole, missed it. 6, par 5, I hit maybe my best 3-wood all year. I hit a good drive out there and the green is at an angle you really have to fit the ball in with a hook. I hit a 3-wood that hooked right onto the green. Had a good eagle putt. Didn't make it. I yanked it left, but that 3-wood was the best shot I have hit in two days. Really a good shot. Eagle putt was about 25 feet. I knocked it by about three, four feet, coming back. No. 7 I hit a good drive out there, hit an 8-iron to 35 feet, made that putt. Swung about three feet, left-to-right, knocked it right in the hole. That's one of four real long putts I have made in two days. I have been making some long putts out there. 8 I parred. 9 hit, 8-iron about six feet, made that putt for birdie. 11, I hit a sand wedge in about six feet, made for birdie. 13, par 3 hit it 5-iron about, I guess, about six feet again, made that. Hit a good shot there. Next hole, the par 5, I hit driver left bunker by the green, long bunker shot, good bunker shot there, probably from about 100 feet, three feet from the hole, made that putt for birdie. 16 I hooked (inaudible) left rough, bad lie, chipped it out with a 4-wood and chopped it on the green and ran my first putt about four feet by, made a 4-footer for bogey. Lietzke on the next tee he said, good bogey. I said, you are damn right, it was a good one, looked like a real hacker on that hole. 17 I made a par there from the fairway bunker. Didn't know exactly what I should have hit off the tee. Hit 3-wood, wrong club, 18 I hit a good shot off the tee, drove it down there where I had 213 to the front edge and hit 4-wood. I kind of chunked it in a little bit, got it up in the air, came up short, then I hit a pitch shot that Hershey over here would have understood, almost knocked it over the green, knocked it about 25 feet by the hole. And so I ended up 2-putting that for par. 66. Under ideal conditions I am sure there will be other scores like that too.

Q. How did you make your 8 yesterday?

TOM WATSON: I talked about it at the junior clinic on Tuesday .One of the things I have always tried to pride myself in nobody hit a bad shot after a bad shot and that's exactly what I did. I hit a bad shot after bad shot. In fact I hit a shank after I hit a bad shot. That runs your score up pretty fast. I ended up in the right fairway bunker off the tee. I hit 3-iron decent lie. I pull-hooked it way up left and they found the ball -- it was in the hazard. I could drop it right there by the cart path. It went in. Hazard lie is right along the cart path going in. I could drop it on a little piece of strip of grass that -- I had a branch in my backswing, so I was going like this, like this, and I rushed, it went like this, that thing was way right, Fernandez had to jump, it was going right at him. It went into the hazard. It had some grass on it. (Inaudible) I hit that out. I have to go over the wall like that. I made sure I got it up, left it short. Hit it real high but short. Then I hit a lousy chip shot, left that short about ten feet 2-putt for 8.

Q. That was a good round aside from that?

TOM WATSON: Yeah, I had four birdies after that and I really didn't struggle too much. I did make two long putts at 9 and a made a long putt at 13. Par 3s have good to me this week, a lot of twos.

Q. Do you like to see it blow more?

TOM WATSON: I would -- I think we're going to get some wind Sunday. I think they predict some strong winds from the south on Sunday and we'll see a different golf course than we did yesterday and today. We're going to see the golf course play with all kind of different winds here in Oklahoma. Today was the day to shoot your low score. Just to keep even field, you have to shoot a pretty low score today.

Q. How hard is it to right the ship after a hole like that yesterday and obviously it's real important that you are in the hunt now because you are able to get it going again, but is it any harder to do that now than it was 15 or 20 years ago?

TOM WATSON: No, not at all. I pride myself; I still pride myself in shooting the best score I can. Not to throw in the towel. Not to put the second team in and let them play. I hit a good shot on the par 3 after I made 8 into the wind and 2-putted for par there. Then I hit a good drive and 7-iron to about four feet from the hole on the next hole. Get right back on track. I got back on track and I said let's just chip away, chip, chip, chip, chip. I made four birdies, no bogeys. With that wind is a pretty decent score (inaudible).

Q. Is your elbow 100% now?

TOM WATSON: My elbow is fine. It is.

Q. It was nagging?

TOM WATSON: I had a problem with it for about 4, five months. I didn't have a chance to practice very much and that hurt me. But it's in good shape now.

Q. Is Bruce proud of your preparation for this tournament by not playing for a month?

TOM WATSON: He called me and said are you hitting balls. I said yeah, I played some, I played some golf with some friends. We played a little competition, shot 65, 66 last week, so I got it going.

Q. You played with friends; not tournaments?

TOM WATSON: I have always found that just practicing hitting balls doesn't get -- you have to go out and play. You have to get a feel for golf -- but I have a lot of other things to do and it has been a good break from the SENIOR TOUR as far as that's concerned because I have got a lot of things done. I got a golf course going on that I visit a couple of times in Orlando and I have a lot to do around my house, and it is looking the way it's should. I did a lot of work.

Q. (Inaudible)

TOM WATSON: Orlando (inaudible) actually adjacent properly of celebration. (Inaudible) it's called the Reunion. We got a piece of property that goes up-and-down it's unique for Orlando. It's really neat. It has 40-foot elevation. That's pretty good. 6 foot elevation is huge in Orlando.

End of FastScripts....

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