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March 25, 2018
NICK PARKER: We'd like to welcome Bubba Watson into the media center, 2018 World Golf Championship-Dell Technologies Match Play champion. Talk about what it means to join the list of guys that have won multiple World Golf Championships and multiple majors. That list is Rory, Phil, Tiger and Ernie.
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, it's absolutely amazing. You know, you don't think about lists or anything, you just think about trophies and trying to win. And having two majors, and now having two World Golf Championships are the closest things to majors. You're talking about the top in the world were here this week.
So what an honor and a privilege, overwhelming sensation to know that I have another trophy at the house.
BUBBA WATSON: No. Justin Thomas making every putt and me losing, him looking at me and going I'm No. 1? Truly, he's playing so good.
And then obviously we got past that match, Kisner, his battle, obviously it showed that his battle took a lot out of him. Such a great player. I really don't think it was pressure to him. I think it was just energy. I don't think I scared him on the first tee. I think it was just his energy was gone after a couple of holes. And he was fighting, but just didn't have the fight that he really wanted and needed.
So, yeah, I mean there's stories all different directions that it didn't go the way I saw it. It worked out in my favor. I'm glad I didn't see it.
Q. You talked about Kisner having no energy. I got the sense yesterday in the afternoon that Kiradech might have been in the same situation after a tough match. Does it speak to the strange nature of this tournament maybe a little bit that along with playing well, it doesn't hurt to have a little luck?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, every golf tournament you need luck, every time you play golf. I don't know if you've ever played before, but it's a very difficult game. But, yeah, it's just one of those things, you battle so hard. We all ended on No. 12, the game would be easy. We battle so hard and you get tired. You show emotion, if you don'ts show emotion. There's so many things.
What are you battling mentally? I can't speak for everybody, but for me personally you're battling the emotions and trying to focus on what you're doing. And this weekend it went in my favor, the luck went in my favor.
Q. You mentioned about electrolytes, and I think you found a salt sponsor, as well. What do you do to keep your fitness given the strenuous activity of a match play and the heat?
BUBBA WATSON: The key is just about hydration. You've got to mix it in, you can't just have straight water. You have to change it in. We all have different powders we put in and try to get salt intake. Then the foods you eat and stuff like that. You want to eat foods that give you energy. At night you shouldn't eat too many cheeseburgers when you have to wake up early. You have to watch everything you're doing.
Then save your energy. I could have came out and hit balls after my round on Friday or whatever, but you don't because you know if you're going to keep going through, you're going to have to get some energy from somewhere.
Q. Overall, what did you think of your performance this week?
BUBBA WATSON: I thought it was good. When I sit back and think about it and look at it, look at it real fast, my putting was good. My putting was good in LA, it's getting better. Like I said, I said out there, it's two putters made into one. They've welded it together a couple things. And I let the Ping engineers -- the putting engineers take over my putting, and I just stick with it. I just listen to them and see what they say. And it's been good so far.
And then confidence. Being healthy and strong, confidence coming back. I saw that this week. Saw some good shots, and my focus is where I needed it to be. There was about four or five shots that came off my hinges a little bit and didn't give a hundred percent to it, my focus was out somewhere else. So it's not bad over a hundred plus holes.
Q. You mentioned Paris a couple of times already today. First, why is that so important?
BUBBA WATSON: I'm trying to get Jim Furyk to notice me. That's really all I'm trying to do. Vice-captain or playing, I want to be there. Go ahead, ask your question.
Q. Second, your emotion when you win is really genuine and really awesome, why do you think it hits you so hard? Because it seems to hit you on the green right after you win, why do you think it hits you so hard?
BUBBA WATSON: That hit me so hard this year, because that was my goal. My first goal was to make the Tour. And I'm going to bore you with a story, they used to hand you a card on -- back then it was the Nationwide Tour, but they hand you a card and I was the last man to get a card. And she tried to interview me and I didn't get a word out, I was crying the whole time. That was my whole goal.
And then when I made it to the Tour, I wanted to win. And then I won when my dad was battling cancer. And then my goal was to win ten. That was very emotional to me because that was my goal.
This one was emotional when my mom gave me a hug because she said, You're really good at this game.
I said, Without you, I'm not.
Without her dedication to her son, to her family, who knows what I'd be doing. I'd probably be working at the candy shop and not owning it. I definitely wouldn't have trophies.
Q. I read that you actually were contemplating retiring last year?
BUBBA WATSON: Yes.
Q. How close did you get and now is that even a possibility?
BUBBA WATSON: It's always a possibility. If my money man would do better, I'd quit (laughter), right? We all have the same issue. We all are trying to get him to agree to it.
Yes, last year was the lowest point, I would have to say, gosh, one of my lowest points in my life. It just mentally -- being an athlete is not easy. Being an athlete, everybody wants to take time. You can't get time back. You can't get -- I mean, time is really the key, right? You can't get it back. It's done with. If anybody wants a piece of your time, you run out of time for yourself, run out of time for your wife, for your kids, your friends, your family, your extended family.
So it was a very low point in my golf career. My family life has been beautiful because I realized what time means. And so it was a low point in my golf, low point in my physical abilities, low point in my health. It was a scary time. And if I was going to sit back and look at it, do you want to be a family man? Do you want to be a great dad? Or do you want to be battling trying to make the cuts on the PGA Tour? So that was the argument, what do you want to do? And realizing some of these things and getting better physically and mentally, here we are two trophies this year and a lot more weight.
Q. Of the four previous guys that have won the multiple majors and WGCs, two are in the Hall of Fame, the other two I suspect will be there at some point. I was wondering if you ever take time to kind of step back and reflect on what you've accomplished in your career, if you ever take time maybe with your family, whatever?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, I mean when I sit back, I mean I've said it multiple times, especially this year, because I'm understanding who I am as a person and what drives me as a person. Like my mom said on the green when we were talking, when I was hugging her and crying, she probably wasn't crying, she's a lot tougher than I am. When you look back at it, Bubba, Bagdad, Florida, born in Pensacola.
The trophies are amazing. I never could -- I can dream about it. I can draw up cartoon characters all day long that I'm a Masters champion and all these things as a kid. But it happened. It's overwhelming. I can't make that into a real story. I should write a book, it would be a phenomenal book.
But it's one of those things, like the hospital, I don't know if you saw that profile that came out, but me donating money to the Children's Hospital, that's the biggest trophy I've ever been a part of. When I'm no longer here, there's going to be people being helped, kids being helped, families being helped. The Ronald McDonald house that's attached to the hospital, we've been a part of that, seen some amazing stuff happen there.
So it's just, when I look back at my career, it's the stuff outside of golf. This check this week will help me do a lot of good throughout different communities, many places around the world, as well. We're involved in a lot of stuff that we don't talk about. But this size check will help out quite a lot.
Q. You've won two majors, won two WGCs, what's the thought now of maybe a third Augusta green jacket?
BUBBA WATSON: I'll take any tournament, it doesn't matter. Obviously I want a green jacket. I never felt a coat feel so good. But, yeah, let's be honest, I'll take anything. We'll all do it. You talk to anybody. We all want to win a tournament. And the Green Jacket is -- that's the greatest golf tournament that's ever been played. A third time, I mean I don't know if I can get lucky three times.
Q. Would you consider changing the idea of having a holiday and leaving on Sunday?
BUBBA WATSON: No, I don't mind. I don't mind calling the resort and telling them, hey, I'm going to be a little late. Maybe they'll give me a free cake when I get there or something.
Q. When your opponent is struggling like Kevin was this afternoon, does that change your strategy in match play for play more conservatively?
BUBBA WATSON: No. Just keep doing the same thing. There are some holes you are playing conservative, just because it's a difficult hole. Like No. 8. I know I hit my driver well this week on No. 8. If you make a par, you feel like you have a chance to win that hole. And so you're going to play kind of somewhat safe on that hole, anyway.
But, no, you're trying to win a match. So you don't change your strategy. Now, if somebody hits it in the water a couple of times, yeah. Like this morning, Justin Thomas hit it in the water on 12, and I really wanted to go for it. But I looked over at my caddie and he was like, uh-huh. So I laid up. I chipped with a wedge down there. Luckily I missed my putt and he missed his putt to tie the hole. I changed my strategy there just because it was a different situation.
Q. Winning twice this year and having won twice at the Masters, does it really make you one of the favorites or do you think Tiger is the clear favorite?
BUBBA WATSON: Anybody in the field. Favorites, you can't pick favorites. And no, I'm not a favorite, I'm going to definitely say that. I'm not a favorite. I don't want anybody to talk to me that week, let me just focus on what I've got to do. I'm not going to play well that week, so nobody talk to me.
I want you to bug everybody else. A favorite, it's -- you eat the wrong food, you just wake up in the wrong way, whatever it is. So a favorite, that's for stuff that we don't care about. We want to try to go out and do our jobs. And if we do our job well, we think we're good enough to beat the other guys.
Q. Do you think Tiger is the favorite?
BUBBA WATSON: Well if Tiger was sitting next to me, if he says, if I do my job, I'm good enough to be beat Bubba. And I'm sitting here and Tiger was right there, if I do my job I'm good enough to beat Tiger.
All golfers are going to say the same thing. Maybe to the media they might sugar coat it. We all think we're good at our sport. Or lucky one of the two. I was lucky this week.
Q. You talked about how important for you to impact other people's lives, through golf. What is the message you can to the golfing community?
BUBBA WATSON: I don't know what kind of message I could send. The PGA Tour is, what -- we've helped raise two billion, somewhere in there. The golfing community is doing a great job. Every event we play, and like this week, there's a lot of charities being involved and getting help.
What Tiger's done with his foundation is pretty impressive. The impact he's had.
Golfers are already doing it all around the world. There are charity golf tournaments left and right in communities. I think the golf community already has it, they're doing a great job of it. So I think everything is good.
Q. A couple of things, when you spoke earlier a couple of times about Angie's tongue lashing, for lack of a better word?
BUBBA WATSON: You know I'm the boss the of the house, right?
Q. Sure didn't sound like it.
BUBBA WATSON: She's not here.
Q. What did you want to do at that stage, when you were kind of down? Were you leaning more toward your own thing or -- who are you looking at?
BUBBA WATSON: I was moving my feet. I didn't want to kick the table.
Q. Stay right there, focus.
BUBBA WATSON: Right. Squirrel (laughter).
I know what you're going to say. Yeah, that's great. I have a AA baseball team. I have a car dealership, Milton Chevy, if anybody wants to know. I have a candy shop, Bubba's Sweet Spot. The Blue Wahoos is the AA baseball team. 256 apartment complex just went up, office building up. A lot of things happening in Pensacola. And there's a lot of time I could be wasting -- not wasting, but improving those businesses.
Q. You enjoy that?
BUBBA WATSON: Or I could be struggling to make cuts on the PGA Tour. So that was my options, which one? And then my team, Teddy, 12 years with Teddy on the bag, his family -- like I said, John Solheim is like a granddad, is like a dad to me. I talk to him. Him giving me advice. My manager, Pro Sport Management, all the people there. Talking to all these people.
And then with my wife being a professional athlete and me sitting at home going, gosh, I want to be creative. I want to let my mind run wild on the golf course. Even though if I wasn't playing, I was playing at home, trying to beat you out of 50 cents. So that's what I want to do. And that was my passion. And the other things are my passion, but right now I still feel like I have the ability to play golf.
Q. Did you remind yourself that that was your passion, were you starting to wonder?
BUBBA WATSON: I get so down because -- I can't answer for everybody else, but I get so down that you try to run to other things. Physically, mentally. Like I told you all, I was down. And I couldn't hit the shots that I wanted to hit because I lost all the weight. And getting healthy again, sitting at home. And I announced I wasn't going to play again. But sitting at home, I was like, Man, this sucks, I want to play golf. So I got off my couch and started playing golf. Quit eating chips and here we are.
So it was me and my team around me pushing me and asking me really what I want to do. And going to an office every day didn't feel like it would be fun.
Q. And then to the Masters, if I could reword this a different way, are you anymore excited about it this year than you might have been last year?
BUBBA WATSON: I'm always excited about the Masters. It's the Masters. I mean everybody -- that's a golf fan. Anybody that has any interest in sports. Anybody that just sponsored the event is interested in the Masters. It's the greatest sporting event I've ever been associated with. It's the greatest sporting event in the golf history. So every person, no matter how old or how young gets excited when they hit Magnolia Lane and the champions locker room.
Q. There's two places we've never been, so we're not as excited as you. Do you like your chances more this year than you might have a year ago?
BUBBA WATSON: Chances, I just want to focus on what I can do. And I can't focus on what the other guys can do. I'm going to try to keep my head down. Look like a zombie or whatever you want to call it, try to focus on me, try to focus on my shots, and be committed to every shot, like I was this week. There's a handful of times that I didn't commitment a hundred percent because I was focused on something else or focused on something negative.
It's an improvement, with all the holes we played. Normally we only play 72 holes. For all those holes, it wasn't that bad.
Q. What could you do this year at the Masters that you couldn't do last year?
BUBBA WATSON: I'm the past champion, I can pretty much do everything there.
Q. Can you give an example? You said you blocked out or blanked out on maybe four or five holes out of 109, by the way, which is really good. Give me an example of a shot where you didn't feel committed and what happened.
BUBBA WATSON: Oh, gosh, No. 13 -- what hole is it, 130, the little short one, where we did the trophy presentation.
Q. Was it the guardrail one where you hit the --
BUBBA WATSON: Let me tell the story (laughter). You know what, just do what you normally do, just write some stuff. Nice shirt, by the way. Every day, I was watching you today walking in front of me. Do you just buy flowered shirts all the time? Is that all you have at the house? Trying to stand out. We don't have flowered shirts.
In the Bubba line that's coming out, I'm not supposed to mention that, but we have a Bubba line coming out, it's not going to have flowers in it, but it will have pink in it.
Back to your question, the commitment, the vision that I saw was -- it was 273 one day, it was 268 one day to the red stake, which was just right to the front of the green. And so in my head, in my imagination, I kept seeing a slice driver catching the slopes and then just trickling on the green or right next to the green.
And so every day, even though that number is not even scary when it comes to me hitting a driver, I just, in my head, I just panicked and I wasn't committed. Teddy was like if you're not going to commitment, we're laying up. And then I birdied it today laying up with Thomas. Not today. Yesterday. Whatever day it was. It was a lot of golf. I said, I guess you want me to layup again.
And he said, Yes, I want you to layup again.
It was because I wasn't committed to the shot.
Anybody else got a question?
Q. Did you find it easier to focus in in match play versus stroke play?
BUBBA WATSON: No, match play is not my favorite. I had to put PC on that. I love it today, though (laughter).
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports