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April 17, 2015

Tom Watson


Q. テつWhat a wonderful birdie on the last to make the cut and go into the weekend.テつ What does that mean to you?
TOM WATSON:テつ I like that birdie on the last hole because I knew I had to birdie to have a chance to make the cut.テつ It's nice to play against the kids.テつ I found something in my golf swing that made me hit the ball a little bit farther, although the one at 17 didn't go anywhere.テつ I don't know.テつ Sometimes it goes and sometimes it doesn't.
But I creamed the drive at 18 and I hit a great 8‑iron, and I snuck the putt in.テつ I'm not putting very well, but I snuck it in.テつ And it looks like I'm going to be here during the weekend, which is pretty good for an old guy like me.

Q.テつ We love your perspective considering you're an eight‑time major champion, and you've slipped on two Green Jackets.テつ The guy who of course is getting a lot of attention this week, and that of course is Jordan Spieth, who shot 62 today.テつ 21 years of age and you captained him at the Ryder Cup.テつ What do you see from him that makes him so special, in your opinion?
TOM WATSON:テつ What I see in him is the fire.テつ He has a real fire to get it done.テつ And I like when he gets angry on the course.テつ He gets angry and he gets on himself and yells at himself for hitting bad shots.テつ That's what you're supposed to do.テつ And he's had a wonderful run this year.テつ He's been close to the lead almost in every tournament he played.テつ Won a tournament early before the Masters, and then goes wire to wire at Augusta.
He starts off this tournament with a 74 and everyone can understand why.テつ He was up in New York doing 25 different interviews.テつ And he gets down here and he's probably worn out, finally coming down from that adrenaline high.テつ And then he goes out and gets on with the business of shooting 62 today.テつ That shows me a lot about the character of the young man.

Q.テつ What does it say about the state of golf in the fact that we've got Rory McIlroy, who is 25 years of age, No.1 in the world; Jordan who is 21 and No. 2 in the world?テつ Is it in good hands, in your opinion?
TOM WATSON:テつ Rory has certainly established himself by winning the major championships he's won.テつ Jordan has won his first.テつ And as Jack said a long time ago about Tiger, about whether Tiger was going to really make it out here, was he going to be the best player.テつ He said the three things about life that will change your attitude when you're playing the Tour is family, injury and desire.テつ And right now things are going Jordan's way and Rory's way.
Rory came in with a 66 at Augusta, and it was kind of an easy 66, too.テつ So I'm sure he's champing at the bit for next year's Masters.テつ He'll win the Masters.テつ And Jordan is a player that's going to probably have a lot of competitions with Rory McIlroy in the Ryder Cup in future years.テつ It's going to be a great show.

Q.テつ You had to birdie 18.テつ I think you knew what you had to do to play on the weekend.テつ Take us through the hole.テつ You stuck it tight with that second shot.
TOM WATSON:テつ First of all, I hit the best drive I've hit all week.テつ I knew in the old days I couldn't hit driver there if it was a little bit downwind.テつ As short as I was hitting it, I could turn it loose.テつ And I hit the best drive all day.テつ Put it just short of the water, and then I had 156 yards to the hole, and I hit a solid 8‑iron that did exactly what I wanted it to do.テつ You've got to get it up close enough where I could kind of gag it in the hole.テつ Didn't hit the greatest putt but the ball went in the hole, and made 3 to make the cut.

Q.テつ Two‑time winner here, you've been coming here for over 40 years.テつ What is it about this place, this golf course that's special to you?
TOM WATSON:テつ I love the narrowness of it.テつ The greens are very narrow.テつ They're the smallest greens we play on Tour, when I was playing the Tour.テつ And from the standpoint of left to right, you really have to be accurate with your iron play.テつ And when they get really firm, it's really a great test of golf.テつ And right now with no wind today, you saw a lot of low scores, but that's to be expected with the soft conditions.テつ We had rain a couple of days ago.テつ Yesterday we had wind and you had a lot of high scores yesterday.
So this course is a great course to play because it does give up‑‑ if you play well, it gives it up.テつ Boy, it will certainly punish you when the weather gets bad.

Q.テつ How tough is it to play a week after you won a major championship?テつ We saw Jordan come out today and shoot 62.テつ Your thoughts on him and just the mindset you have to have to play well?
TOM WATSON:テつ Well, I hope everybody realizes that he went to New York and he spent all day, 25 interviews.テつ That's going to wear you out.テつ And he gets here to the tournament and he's just‑‑ he's worn out.テつ The adrenaline high of winning the Masters has come down a little bit and the body is just saying, hey, let me have a rest here.テつ And that's what happened probably yesterday.
And to show what type of character he had, he went out and shot 62 today.テつ He was upset with himself for shooting a bad score yesterday.テつ And look what he did today.テつ A great tribute to a great young champion.

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