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October 6, 2015
Songdo IBD, Incheon City, Korea
Q. Just start with some opening thoughts about being here in Korea at The Presidents Cup, your thoughts of the golf course, just overall thoughts on the week?
BUBBA WATSON: I think the golf course is beautiful. It's amazing what they have done to it. It's in perfect shape. Looking forward to it. The greens are very tricky. It will be very difficult making putts and trying to get the ball in the right positions, but beautiful place. We're treated with nothing but respect. So I can't wait to compete. Looking forward to the week.
Q. I heard that this golf course gives advantages to those who are good at the long shots. What do you think of that?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, obviously every golf course is an advantage if we hit the ball long and straight. It's about hitting fairways. It's about hitting your driver well. So you know, it's all about hitting the driver well. So a shorter hitter hitting their tee shots well and making putts, they are just as good. We are all great players playing this event.
Q. Maybe some comments on some of the short par 4s out there, there's drivable possibilities on the 14th. Did you take a go at that one today?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, 14, they talked about moving the tee up. So we moved the tee up -- we didn't move it up, but we teed up yesterday from closer and tried to drive it. But it's so difficult, it's going to be rare, only a few guys are really going to try it because with the water right by the green, it's not really an advantage. It's more hurting possibility than helping.
Q. It what about the green and rough compared to other golf courses? Do you think it's more manageable or more difficult?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, every golf course has its good and bad. This one's very tricky greens with the way the hills are. You know, they are not as fast as some of the courses we play in the US, but with the hills, I don't think you can speed it up like that. So yes, it's going to be very difficult to put the ball in the right position to make a birdie or to make a par.
Q. There's going to be fewer matches this year than last time around. How do you think that's going to affect things?
BUBBA WATSON: It's not going to affect anything. Just means a couple guys are going to sit out. The Ryder Cup has been that way for years. It won't affect. We are all great players and we can all sit out and rest and get ready for the next match or whatever we need to do.
Q. How is it playing the game on the 14th hole? We heard that there's been some adjustments to the number of shots.
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, moved the tee up. I just answered that question for him, but moving that tee up with the water right by the green, I don't see that many people are going to go for it. Just depends on how far up they move it. If they move it up one tee, still not going to be that many people firing at it.
Depends on which day it is, too, if it's going to be when you're playing alternate-shot, best-ball or individuals. It all depends on the day and the weather and the situation at that moment.
Q. How do you think tournaments like this and The Ryder Cup help bring nations together?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, obviously it makes you pull for -- we pull for the US every time, but the other countries and other places are obviously pulling for different countries and stuff. But it grows the game. I mean, this is where everybody from different cultures get to watch their team. If it's U.S. or if it's the other countries, they get to pull for their team and their people and try to squeak out a win or lift that trophy. I think young kids get to see that and realize that we are just playing a game, but a fun game, at that.
Q. Is there an advantage to left-handers?
BUBBA WATSON: There's no advantage left or right. We're all pretty good -- if you qualified for this event, you're pretty good at the game of golf.
Q. This is your second Presidents Cup. If there is a player that you would like to play and team up with, who would that be?
BUBBA WATSON: Jason Day. He's pretty good. Anybody on my team. Like I said, we're all highly-ranked in the world and we're all pretty good at golf. There's anybody on my team I would love to pair with. It doesn't matter who.
Q. How is your mind-set different?
BUBBA WATSON: You know, I know what to expect. I know how to play. Hopefully I'm a better player now. And I know how difficult it is, so I know how to just kind of relax and enjoy the moment and have fun. So hopefully it's just all about -- I understand the pressure and what the shots mean and don't mean.
Q. A lot of the players say that Phil is a great leader in the team room. If so, what aspect is he a good leader?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, if he wins all his points, he's a real good leader. No, it's like having another assistant. I think one day, he might be asked to be a captain. So he understands what it takes, kind of like the question I just got asked. He understands what it takes. He's had the experience. He's had the bad and the good. When he speaks, everybody listens. He's earned that respect because of the game of golf and his history, what he's done for the game of golf. So it's like having another captain there but he's obviously got the most experience in The Presidents Cup since he's played in all of them. So obviously we listen to him and respect him and love him for all his confidence.
Q. Does he bring humor to the team room?
BUBBA WATSON: He brings it all. And if it's not that funny, you just laugh because you feel bad for him (laughter).
Q. How is the course? What do you think of the course?
BUBBA WATSON: I think it's very good. I mean, to me, it's like most Jack Nicklaus courses, pretty wide fairways, pretty forgiving fairways. The greens are very difficult. You know, there's a lot of shelves, undulations on the greens where you're trying to hit the ball in the right spot and if you don't, could be a very difficult 2-putt. You know, right now, the fairways are pretty soft, so the ball is even -- even for a guy like me, it's easier to hit the fairways right now because it's playing so soft.
But the greens are a nice pace, and they are not too soft. But like I said, it's just tricky getting the ball in the right spots and that's how Nicklaus has always been. It's getting the ball in the right spot with an iron.
Q. Any holes really good match-play holes?
BUBBA WATSON: 1 through 18. It is, with the way the course is set up right now, with the soft fairways, wide open fairways, there's going to be a lot of fairways hit, which means people are going to attack a lot. So that means there's going to be -- there's a great chance of a lot of birdies and not that many bogeys because of the fact that you can't hit a lot of greens. You can hit a lot of fairways. So I think it's going to be more of a birdie-fest than a sloppy bogey to win or anything.
Q. What do you think of 14?
BUBBA WATSON: What's 14? No, it's a great hole. I've been asked a couple times; if you only move it up one tee, where it's like 290 roughly to the front edge, with that water, there's not going to be that many people going for it. Now they might go to the other side. There's two fairways, they might go to the left side and have a shorter chip shot in there or something. But I don't really see the advantage, depending on what day it is. If it's the best-ball day, have one guy lay up and maybe one guy go for it. Hopefully I'm the guy going for it and not laying up, if I do play that day.
Again, I would hit driver just to be safe because if I pull it, it would go to the deep side of the green or the biggest carry. And it depends on which way the wind is going, too.
Q. Do you think there's a big difference between Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, especially the attitude from the Team USA?
BUBBA WATSON: No. I mean, history makes The Ryder Cup more known because it's been there longer. But we are still trying to win the same trophy. We are trying to win the trophy. That's what we want. It's not about prize money. It's about winning this little trophy.
So no, the US team, we get excited every year. Our whole goal every year is to make a team, if it's Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup. So we don't want to lose. Just like the International Team, just like The European Team, they don't want to lose, so we are fighting for the same trophy.
Q. They say after the Team USA lose to The Ryder Cup, they are the best in The Presidents Cup.
BUBBA WATSON: Well, I think the big advantage that we have in The Presidents Cup is that there's more culture difference, more language barriers. So the international Presidents Cup team, it might be harder to communicate, to understand each other's culture. So I think that just gives us a little bit more advantage on The Presidents Cup.
Q. Considering that Jay was an assistant under Fred, it seems like it's a pretty seamless transition?
BUBBA WATSON: And with Davis around, all three of those guys, they go together. Yeah, for sure. Now it's Jay, Jay calling the shots. But even when I was on their team before, you know, it's the same thing. They are all working together and they are all asking each other questions.
Q. Being the top guy in driving distance, do you think that plays a part --
BUBBA WATSON: Well, again, driving's not everything. There's a couple guys high in the World Ranking, No. 1 and No. 2, that putt pretty well. So I think I'd rather take the putting well than driving.
So when you look at it from that aspect, again, if we hit our driver bad or miss it a little bit, then it goes farther off-line. It's all about hitting the driver well, but again, we know the name of the game is all putting. The 3-footer, if you don't make your 3-footers, it don't matter. You can hit it 400 head yards all day long, but if you don't make a 3-footer, you're not that good.
Q. No intimidation factor, you and J.B.?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, I'm not intimidated by a short hitter, put it that way. You have to ask somebody else. I've never asked anybody, do I intimidate you. They would probably go no, because you're goofy.
Q. Can you tell when you're intimidating others?
BUBBA WATSON: No, because I never try to intimidate anybody. I'm just trying to play golf. I just play golf to score. I know if I make more birdies than the other guy or shoot lower than the other guy, then I should win.
Q. Compared to Augusta and this course, which one you like better?
BUBBA WATSON: That's a tough question (laughter). I've never won a green jacket at this course. Put it this way, I'd like it a lot better if I hold the trophy at the end of the week.
Q. When you come into a tournament -- what's the biggest challenge for you guys outside of trying to think about, we're just going to keep doing the same thing?
BUBBA WATSON: You never get complacent. You know, you're always focused on trying to win. So it doesn't -- we are not looking at -- we never even talk about what happened two years ago. You know, we're talking about now, how are we going to get the best out of us this week. We're not worried about two years ago. Two years ago doesn't help us win a trophy.
So all we're trying to do is focus on what's happening right now, and again, like I said, we're trying to figure out a way to make putts or make a lower score than the other guys.
Q. So you don't think there's a carry-over?
BUBBA WATSON: No, there's no carry-over effect. Put it this way, I've never got a trophy because I won it years ago. So you're always having to play golf at a high level.
Q. Talk about Jim Furyk's presence. Just a week ago, he was contemplating, should he come, can he not play, could he play, could he not play. But he's here. Can you talk about that?
BUBBA WATSON: I think that's the one thing that people don't realize, and I don't look at media and I'm over here, so I haven't really looked at media at all. But we've always -- people have always said, like a veteran like Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, do they really want to play these team events.
For Jim Furyk to show up over here, that shows a lot of respect, honor for the game, honor for these events. I think a guy like Jim Furyk should be praised for what he's doing. To come over here hurt, knowing that he wants to be putting, he wants to be hitting tee shots, knowing that he can't; so that just shows how much he really wants to be a part of these teams and how much all these veteran guys want to be a part of these teams.
For him to come all the way over here and not play, not hit a shot, you give nothing but the utmost respect and love for him because it proves that veterans want to be here. Like Phil Mickelson, he's nothing but honored to be part of this team for however many years in a row it's been.
Q. You're famous for long shots. So is there particular holes you think that you have more advantage? Is it going to be easy in general for players to put the ball on the green?
BUBBA WATSON: The longer holes, obviously the par 5s, the par 5s are pretty long. So a guy like me has a chance to get to these par 5s in two, so that would be the advantage or a better opportunity for me is the par 5s to have a chance to go for them in two.
Q. Would you like to play against Jason Day?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, yeah, I don't care who I play against. You've got to win. You've got to play good golf. So the joke was it's just Jason Day is playing so good, so why not play with him. But no, anybody on my team is good. We are all pretty good players. We made it here so that means we're pretty good.
Q. Any holes you can drive --
BUBBA WATSON: There's no hole that we can drive without moving the tee up and the rumor is they were thinking about moving up 14, so that would be maybe one.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports