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April 27, 2018

Bubba Watson

Matt Kuchar

Avondale, Louisiana

Q. One better today in this format. Matt, that's pretty good golfing.
MATT KUCHAR: Yeah, kind of hard to believe and kind of a bit of a sad display on yesterday's form. 4-under par in best ball is not at all what we were looking for, but awfully nice to come out today with a proper round of golf. We played some awfully nice golf today.

Q. Bubba, help me out here. Hat off, a little love tap to the face. I need to know the genesis of the celebration you guys have had this week?
BUBBA WATSON: Well when you think about it, we want you to be inspired to make some more birdies. So we basically slap each other in the face and say, Come on, do another one, get another one.

That's what we're trying to do. Trying to cheer us on and get us excited about the 1st hole.

Q. How do we get more birdies out of it tomorrow? Do we go backside slap tomorrow?
MATT KUCHAR: You know what? What was sad about yesterday was we missed putts, and so I was hoping to have a bruise at the end on my face, you know, but we missed so many putts.

So today we made putts and hit some quality shots, so hopefully we'll have a bruise tomorrow when we get done.

Q. The walk-up song tomorrow, Matt, everybody will be looking forward to you guys striding to the tee tomorrow. Talk about the decision and how you got to where you are.

MATT KUCHAR: You guys just enjoy tomorrow. I can't wait. I really thought they were going to start Thursday/Friday and we had silence.

But we are very excited about tomorrow. I think it's a fun idea. I think it's something the tournament is doing that's going to be good fun.

Q. Gentlemen, that was fun to watch out there. Was it as much fun to play?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, we made a double bogey on a hole.

Q. I was there.
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah. That was definitely Matt's fault. (Laughter.)

No, you know what? It was funny. Our format, when you think about this, the way we play golf, both of us play golf, we thought that this format was better for us.

Obviously we can make birdies and yesterday sucked, but we thought that this was going to be our best format just because we can -- we thought we could keep it under control and keep the ball in play.

Q. You guys are two guys that when you play your normal game you don't ever worry about a cut. At times today you guys needed to worry about the cut.
MATT KUCHAR: Yeah. That would've been awfully disappointing. I was excited when Bubba called me over Christmas to join him and play in this. Figured it was going to be a really good team. Figured we would be tough to beat.

Then after yesterday's 4-under, that was pretty disappointing. We had a lot of ground to make up. I felt like our odd and even decision as to who tee'd off which hole was just really good fits for all the holes for us.

We were able to play some really solid, quality golf today.

Q. I was thinking that as I saw you play out there, that this is a foursome I might see again in September. There was a lot of camaraderie between the two groups today. Don't know if that would necessarily be the case then.
BUBBA WATSON: Well, you know, last time we played overseas, gosh, Gleneagle?

MATT KUCHAR: We had our same matchup.

BUBBA WATSON: It was us against Henrik and Rose and they beat us. We were 9-under through 15 and we lost.

So, you know, after yesterday we felt that same thing. No, it's obvious we gel good together. It's fun playing with Matt. Yeah, hopefully we can make the team. I would love to be arguing to partner with him.

Q. What's going on with the slaps? Who wants to answer this? Whose idea was this?
MATT KUCHAR: Everybody has got something, some sort of handshake, some sort of fist bump, some sort of tap on the hiney. I figured this was a good opportunity for me to slap Bubba in the face. Everybody wants to do that, and I talked him into it.

BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, for sure. And at the end of the day I want a bruise. That means we're doing well good.

Q. What are the mental challenges of playing in a format like this?
BUBBA WATSON: Alternate shot?

Q. Yeah.
MATT KUCHAR: Having a partner is definitely some more pressure. At some point you can get on a really good side of things, but I had a drive -- I was laughing with Justin rose -- a tough drive I think on the -- was it the 6th hole maybe? Water down the left.

I hit the drive and we're walking off going, It's a hard drive, but felt even harder with your partner standing out kind of waiting on you to hit a good one.

If it's just you and you're playing by yourself you understand the battle and can dig it out yourself. You really don't want to let a partner down.

At the time, Bubba was playing some really good golf, putting me a lot of good positions, so I felt like I owed him some good tee shots. Standing on that tee, I was going, I don't want let him down here.

There is some added pressure for sure.

Q. This obviously doesn't apply to you guys, but if you came in here with poor form, how terrifying would this format be?
BUBBA WATSON: It's one of those where I think that because of the friendship -- you know, hopefully you're playing with somebody you want to play with.

So because of the friendship, it loosens you up. Again, there is no world rankings points. Obviously there is money, FedExCup points, Ryder Cup points, all those things?

At the same time, you're out here freewheeling it playing with your buddy. Now obviously day like today, alternate shot, it's a different mindset, but hopefully it would inspire you.

If you're in good form, you're happy. If you're not, you can play with a buddy and kind of shoot the breeze. I think you can look at it both ways. That's how I would look at it. I don't know about a guy with mental problems. He might look at it a lot different, right?

MATT KUCHAR: There are a lot of tough holes out here where if a guy is not on form you can go the wrong direction pretty quickly. You can see some big numbers.

Couple of the holes where you've got water on one side and difficult chipping conditions on the other where even a bail-out safe shot is no guarantee for even a bogey.

So you could see some guys, if they're not on form, this course could be awfully tough. And when you're only hitting every other shot you can go a while without hitting a good shot, and that can be frustrating.

BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, because this format, just because he picks the evens and I pick the odds doesn't mean you like every hole. Just means most of the holes set up good for you.

That's the challenge of this format no matter what course you're at.

Q. Are you hoping the face slap thing takes off to other sports like tennis doubles or NBA?
BUBBA WATSON: Oh, for sure. Yeah. Punch him in the face. If we ever make an eagle it's a double slap, but we haven't made an eagle yet, so...

Q. Who is slapping harder?
BUBBA WATSON: Definitely Matt. I'm trying to be nice because I want him to play good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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