Q. If I remember in '81 at Marion, Jim was one of the leaders one day and George Burns another day. We were having a lot of fun with famous names. 20-something years later, how much better of a golfer is he, and we've talked so much about Tiger Woods and African-American golfers, etc., and you look at Jim and Jim Dent, who on your tour are basically full-time, did you play with them before and do you think they have improved considerably over the years?
TOM WATSON: I played with Jim Dent and I played with -- I played with Charlie Sifford, Jim Dent and Lee Elder. I played quite a bit of golf with those guys back in the 70s and the 80s.
Jim Thorpe right now, he's playing a lot and he's playing well. He's had a great year. He finished right up there and it's Top-5 just about every event. He's really -- he's played very, very good golf.
As far as his ability to play, I think it's getting better because he's played a lot, and being able to win, and get the feeling that he can win when the pressure is on. That's important. And when you're playing and you come down the stretch and you don't win, that eats on you and that makes you more nervous the next time you go out to play. You put yourself in that position, David Duval, myself, there's a lot of people in the history of the game that had to learn how to win. You put yourself in the position, you finally do it and then you finally understand how to deal with those feelings that you have. And Jim is doing the same thing right now.
Q. If I remember, the '75 Western Open --
TOM WATSON: '75 is the first one --
Q. You struggled in those two Opens --
TOM WATSON: That would be '75, '74 and '75.
Q. You withdrew and then won the British Open in '75 and things just all turned around.
TOM WATSON: Well, things sort of really turned around in '77 for me. But I had to learn how to win and I subscribed the same thing to Jim, or I ascribe it to Jim, he's had to learn how to win. Now it's easier for him. It's not a question.
Q. Setting aside the putting woes, are you doing everything from tee-to-green that you want to?
TOM WATSON: I've hit a lot of good shots. Of course the golf course is playing at it's easiest as far as no wind. When you don't have any wind on this golf course -- do you have some elevation changes on this golf course that if we had wind, without having to putt with -- with not having played it but just three times, it would be difficult to judge. I misjudged it on 17 today, I asked Bobby Watkins, did you hit 9? He hit 9 to the back end of the green, 140 yards, a little bit downhill but I thought the breeze was back in my face and stepped on a 9-iron and flew it to the back edge, another 55 yards. So that was a misjudge there. You add a 10 -, 15-, or 20-mile-an-hour wind, now you've got your work cut out for you on this golf course.
Q. Any advantages and disadvantages playing being paired with Jim Thorpe tomorrow?
TOM WATSON: I always like to play with the guys that I have to beat. It's like Sam Snead says: You can look at them and see how they are handling it. And tells you what you have to do.
1, I hit 3-wood and pitching wedge about 20 feet and holed the putt.
7, I hit a 6-iron to about ten feet and holed the putt.
11, I hit drier, sand wedge to about three feet and holed the putt.
End of FastScripts.