June 15, 2003
OLYMPIA FIELDS, ILLINOIS
TOM WATSON: Thanks for helping me out here.
Q. Tom, what are you going to remember about this Open?
TOM WATSON: There are a lot of memories about the Open. I think first and foremost are the feelings and emotions that we had on the first day when I shot 65, we meaning Bruce and I, the magical moments of leading the U.S. Open, which caused really an outpouring of emotion from not only each other but from people around us, the players, the galleries, people from TV, you people. It's been heartwarming. I hope it translates into some action. That's what I hope it does.
Q. Walking up 18 what were you thinking? What were you saying to Bruce?
TOM WATSON: I was repeating what he said to me. He said, well, we'll be back. I said I'm going to have to win the Senior Open in Toledo at Inverness. We'll be back next year at Shinnecock.
Q. Will he come to Britain with you?
TOM WATSON: He's not coming to Britain with me, no. Part of the problem is his hands, when they get cold they cramp up on him.
Q. It could be cold there.
TOM WATSON: Yeah, it could be cold.
TOM WATSON: Maybe. It makes for a good story, doesn't it?
Q. Tom, in light of the message you're getting out this week, do you look at one of your most important performances on the golf course, having this showing this week?
TOM WATSON: Because of the emotion I'd have to put it right up there, what it meant to help get the message out about ALS, yes. There's more important things than playing golf for a living. When you have your life on the line, when you have friends' lives on the line, people who are not your friends -- strangers who have lives on the line with this terrible disease, and I think we did make a -- we did bring some awareness to people who hadn't heard about ALS and understand -- I think we made them understand that this is something that needs peoples' support.
Q. What are your plans going into the Senior Open?
TOM WATSON: We have a tournament this week, Children's Mercy Golf Classic, I've got Daly coming. We're going to raise money for Children's Mercy Hospital, and then I'm going to try and get my golf swing back in shape. My golf swing seems a little scratchy right now. I didn't feel very comfortable with swinging it the last two and a half rounds. They didn't work very well. Those are my plans, to get ready for the Senior Open, do some practice.
Q. Last year's Senior Open, do you feel like they owe you one?
TOM WATSON: I never look at it that way, Jerry, never look at it that way. I've won more than my share.
Q. Tom, you were at the Open in '73 and '74. The conditions were a lot tougher in '74. Do you think there might be a repeat from this year to next year kind of like that?
TOM WATSON: Your guess is as good as mine. I think the only negative about the golf course this week is the greens were too soft. Everything else was perfect. The greens were firmer. This golf course would not have yielded the course it yielded. I've said that right from the beginning.
Q. The you play the Children's Mercy right after the Open. Back in Kansas City that's all anybody is talking about is your round. How much are you looking forward to being at home after this?
TOM WATSON: I always look forward to going home, going home to my farm and the Royals. Tomorrow Nick is coming in, we're going to show him a good time tomorrow afternoon and have a few steaks for dinner tomorrow night and just relax a little bit and get ready for the big event on Tuesday.
Q. Did Thursday's round prove anything to yourself, how much you might have left?
TOM WATSON: It may have proved it to other people, but I've always felt that I still have the ability to play the type of golf I did on Thursday. That belief has been there for quite a long time. My body doesn't react very well anymore as far as the stiffness in my hips and my back. It's good when things go well like they did on Thursday, but it's hard to keep flexible.
Q. Talk about Inverness.
TOM WATSON: I played pretty well at Inverness a couple times or one time in particular, finished fifth. It's a good golf course. It takes -- again, it requires a lot of good shot-making to win there, good driving of the golf ball. It's a very good Open golf course. It'll be interesting to see how far they're going to make us play back because they've added a lot of length to that golf course, 490-yard par 4s. We'll see quite a few of those. We won't see those in the Senior Open. Maybe I won't see them but the kids will see them next time they play there.
Q. This is a big summer as far as you have the Senior Open coming up and then you're going back to Turnberry.
TOM WATSON: The Ford Senior Players Championship and back to Turnberry and then to play the British Open. I've got some work to do on my golf swing. My golf swing is not very good right now as far as keeping the ball in play. I need to do that because I've got all these majors coming up and I have to feel a little bit more confident in what I'm doing. I had one good confident round this week, but that left me.
Q. Do you have any ideas why Tiger has not been able to duplicate in recent majors the things he did a few years ago?
TOM WATSON: A few years ago?
Q. Two years ago.
TOM WATSON: When was the last major Tiger won?
Q. Well, it'll be a year ago.
TOM WATSON: A year ago. I wouldn't worry too much about Tiger Woods not winning a major for a year. How many years did Jack Nicklaus go without winning a major?
Q. A couple of three-year gaps?
TOM WATSON: I wouldn't worry too much about Tiger not winning a major for a year.
Q. Will your caddie be okay traveling over to the Open?
TOM WATSON: He's not going to the British Open. He's not planning on doing that.
Q. The next time he's back with you then, when is that?
TOM WATSON: Well, the Senior Open at Toledo, the Ford Senior Players Championship, and then the Tradition out in Oregon.
Q. Looking back over four days you said you had one really confident day. What did you do the best that day, and you talked about working on your swing, but what are you most going to work on in the next two weeks?
TOM WATSON: I put the ball in the fairway better that day than I did any of the other three days. I mean, it was pretty much a struggle all week with the last three rounds because the swing was -- there were a few squeaky wheels in that swing the last three days.
TOM WATSON: Yeah, if John comes over, I don't know when he's driving in. We haven't figured out when he's driving in, but he's driving in sometime on Monday, I think. We'll have a little jam session.
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