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June 27, 2015

Tom Watson


Q. Par save at 18?
TOM WATSON: Both 17 and 18. The putter worked there. I had a couple hiccups, late par in the front nine. I missed a short putt at 7 and three-putted 8. But made a good putt at 11 for birdie and just didn't hit too many good shots, but I kind of hung around there, drove the ball pretty well, except for the last hole. Made two really good par-saving putts on the last two holes, one from about 12 feet on 17 out of dead center. That was a really good putt. The last hole, I loved it. The last 5 feet, I said that looks good. A big old break to it, kind of in my bailiwick. I kind of like those putts.

Q. The putts on 7 and 8, it looked like your stroke got fast going back IN on 13, when you made the par putt, it looked slow. Was that conscious? Did you slow down your backswing with your putter?
TOM WATSON: No, I don't know what's happening out there. Don't ask me.

Q. That looked different.
TOM WATSON: Sometimes it's not perfect out there.

Q. I understand. The ball striking again today looked tremendous. Did you work on anything?
TOM WATSON: Off the tee was good. The iron play was pretty sketchy. I had a good -- hit some good shorter irons. But longer irons, I wasn't very good in the long irons. Almost fanned the one at No. 5, had a 6 iron and almost fanned it there. Short game was really good. Out of the rough around the greens, I've been very successful so far. The putter's been working well. So driving the ball, short game's good around the greens, putting well -- it's kept me in it. Let's put it that way, it's just kept me in it.

Q. Up and down on 3 was tremendous. That was one of the best we've seen.
TOM WATSON: I told Ox, that was my best pitch by far of the year. That was really, really, really good. The grass was in -- I was against the grain in that long grass. How hard do you hit it? How hard do you hit it? I hit it just -- I mean, I said I have to hit it harder than I want to. That's what happens when you're hitting into the grain, so I hit it a little bit harder. Came out perfect. Absolutely perfect.

Q. 1 was pretty good too, actually.
TOM WATSON: Yeah, I had a good shot there. The grass is drying out a little bit in certain spots. So it's not as wiry. So you can get some breaks there. But there are still some really mushy, mushed grass around the greens that you don't want to get to.

Q. A lot of ebbs and flows on the leaderboard. During the round today, you went from T1 to T11, back to T3. Are you going to be watching? At what point will you start watching tomorrow?
TOM WATSON: I'll be watching it the whole day. I want to know my position and what I have to do. I always do that. That's part of your planning. You've got to know what your competitors are doing so it tells you what you must do. So that's nothing new.

Q. Did you say this was a hanging in kind of day that, I guess, gives you a little bit of confidence because you're still right there?
TOM WATSON: Yeah, it was hanging in. That was what it was. Again, I don't have -- there are some tools missing from my toolbox, as I said yesterday, and the longer irons and things like that, I'm not hitting them very well. So it's a struggle there. The driver's been my friend so far. Hope it continues to do that, and that's the key for me. That's the key for me. If I keep driving the ball well and put the ball in the fairway every hole, I'll have a shot at it.

Q. That's all you can ask for, right?
TOM WATSON: Yes, that's all I can ask for.

Q. Tom, you were in the fairway there on the long one on the front, No. 3. You're in the fairway and you hit a long club --
TOM WATSON: I hit a 3 wood in the wrong place. That up and down there, we're talking about that up and down, that was -- I told Ox that was my best up and down of the year, by far.

Q. And your body language after you hit that 3 wood, it seemed like you dropped your shoulders for a minute.
TOM WATSON: Anywhere but left. I can hit it 50 yards right of the green there, and it's fine, but not left. That's stupid. You just don't hit it there.

Q. I mean, other than there and perhaps the layup on 18, which looked like it just went a little bit too far, you didn't really get out of position much?
TOM WATSON: Again, I didn't hit a lot of good long irons that hold the greens. I really didn't. Even the one at 16, I pulled it a little bit. I wanted to be a little left of the hole, not right of the hole there anyway because there's a little bit more depth of green to work with. So I got it on the green. It wasn't going to be close, but the control and the spin in the long irons is not very good.

Q. Tom, you couldn't possibly know exactly how it will setup tomorrow, if they'll water the greens a little bit or whatever?
TOM WATSON: I wouldn't think they'd set it up any different than they are today. The only thing they can do differently is set the pins in different places.

Q. Would you say that you need to get a couple birdies early, though, just to be able to maybe buttress yourself for what comes on the back nine?
TOM WATSON: I feel the front nine is where you can score. You can score on the front nine. You've got the two par 5s. You've got short 9th, and you've got the 6th. You've got some shorter holes there that you can score if you put the ball in the fairway. That's the bottom line.

Q. Any change in strategy for tomorrow? Will you free wheel it a little more or do you just plan on playing your same game?
TOM WATSON: It's like a horse race. Right now, I'm just a little bit -- I'm a length behind. I'm a length behind, and I've got the stretch coming up. We'll see what happens in the stretch and see how my position is going in, getting close to the wire. Again, I don't know what that will require me to do, but I hope that I'm within a body length of the leader if there's a leader out there. I hope I'm in the lead.

Q. The pitch shot you hit on the 3rd hole -- we were just talking about where you were.
TOM WATSON: That was my best shot all year, right there. That was. That was really, that was awesome. Had the grass laying against me, long grass laying against me, sitting in there. You have to hit that shot harder. But how much harder, you don't know. I just said, I'm just going to hit it a little harder. Boom. Came out soft because it was into the green, and just everything was perfect about the shot.

Q. My question is, please identify the wedge so I can go buy one.
TOM WATSON: It's not the arrow, it's the Indian.

Q. I do believe that.
TOM WATSON: It's a 56.

Q. That was just a 56?
TOM WATSON: Yeah. That's the only --

Q. That's the highest loft you have?

Q. You've played that way forever, right, no lob wedge?
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