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July 25, 2019

Tom Watson

Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire, United Kingdom

Q. Not one of your best days, but still, Open golf, links golf, what does it mean to you?
TOM WATSON: Well, I had trouble on holes with a 7 on them. I made a 7 on 7 and 17 I looked like I was going for 7; I made 5. Sometimes you get into some awkward, really awkward and bad lies, and I got one at No. 7, and I paid the penalty for hitting two bad shots in a row, actually, is what happened. That's what happens in links golf. It penalises you more usually.

But I got some good breaks, too. I got a good break at 16. I hit a poor shot there. Didn't go in that little nasty pot bunker to the left. I'm pretty happy with some of the shots I played and other shots I definitely could have improved upon.

Q. Another round tomorrow to improve on that. What will you do if anything to kind of turn things around for tomorrow?
TOM WATSON: Well, I don't think there's a lot -- I'm pretty close I think with my golf swing. I hit some quality shots. My misses are going to the right some, but I'm making some good contact with the ball for the most part. That's the good -- that's the encouraging thing. When you hit the ball solidly as you well know, things start to come around, and I hope that's the case.

I changed my putting style to kind of the way I used to putt, get the ball a little closer to my toes, a little higher. Didn't particularly work today, but I'm going to stick with that tomorrow and see if I can start to run the tables like I used to.

Q. Not the best start, but what were the challenges?
TOM WATSON: The holes ending in 7. I made a 7 at 7, and 17 I made a hard bogey there. I have to rectify that.

Q. Going into tomorrow, given your round today does that change your strategy or aggressiveness on how you have to attack this golf course?
TOM WATSON: Not really. I drove the ball pretty well today and my iron play, for the most part, I'm hitting some solid irons, which I haven't been doing in recent tournaments. I'm catching it on the clubface at least. It's going a little bit right but I'm happy about the way I'm swinging with the irons. I love the sound of the turf, that thump when you hit that shot, boom. This turf has kind of brought me back to swinging a little bit differently, and it's a good thing.

Q. You're leading me to my next question; you've played in this championship and The Open so many times, played links golf, when you get closer to like here at Royal Lytham and St. Annes, does your enthusiasm ramp up?
TOM WATSON: Well, I didn't like links golf at first. I really had a distaste for it. I didn't like the luck of the bounce. I didn't like the hardness, the firmness of the greens where you couldn't stop the ball on the greens because I played the ball way up through the air. You know, a lot of times I couldn't stop the ball on the green, and I'd say hey, wait a minute, I don't like this.

I found I embraced it and fell in love with it, and it's a different type of golf. You know, people would haven't played on links golf courses, it's a different type of golf. The ball rolls forever. It bounces funny bounces. You have to judge your distance differently on links golf. It's different than the soft conditions we normally have in America.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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