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October 27, 2002

Tom Watson


Q. Tom, we researched it and I guess after that bogey on the 2nd hole of Round 2 you played the next 52 in 17 under, and don't make another bogey. That's pretty strong medicine in this kind of weather. Congratulations?

TOM WATSON: Thank you. The people asked me about the first round. My first round was actually not a bad round of golf. I made a double bogey and a bogey and one birdie, but I had a lot of opportunities for birdies that round which I didn't make.

The second round I had a lot more opportunities for birdies that I didn't make, and still shot 67. I really left a good round on the table there. I felt good. Even though I shot 74, I still felt I was hitting the ball well, and if I just started making a few of the putts, that I'd get back into the golf tournament. The 67 got me closer. 66 obviously was the next step, and then today a bogey-free round today. I didn't make the mistakes that Gil did, and Gil, as a result finished second.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TOM WATSON: Well, a couple of times I didn't have a chance to win the golf tournament right there at the end, but there were a couple of tournaments I did. And it probably had to do -- again, I blame some of my putting, my second place finishes on my putting woes. And I hope this, too, shall pass some day. It may not, I may always have problems with my putting, I don't know. But it sure is fun to hit the ball well. And hit the ball where you're aiming most of the time. To struggle with the short putts and the putting -- but I made my share of putts this weekend. And a couple of putts early in this round I pulled, I hit it left of my target and I misread the putt and the ball went right in the hole. I started off making a couple of putts today that I shouldn't have made. And I said well, maybe today is going to be my day, and it sure as heck was.

Q. How long was your putt on 13?

TOM WATSON: 13 was about a 20-footer.

Q. Did you read that well?

TOM WATSON: I read that well. That was the best putt of the day right there. I hit that putt where I was aiming.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TOM WATSON: Oh, sure, yeah, it was Gil versus Watson today. And Gil started off birdying the first two holes. I birdied the second hole just to kind of stay with him. And 8 I drew even with him. And it was -- we didn't make any mistakes really early. I made -- I guess the first mistake at 7, I put my ball in the bunker. But I made a beautiful bunker shot, about 8 inches from the hole at 7. And so that was the first mistake that I made up to that. And he made a couple of mistakes that made up for it. And the critical mistake was the mistake at 16, when he putts his drive to the right in the heavy stuff and ended up making bogey. And that gave me a two shot lead.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TOM WATSON: A little bit, sure. As I say, I've been there before. I've been in Kansas City, where Dana Quigley beat me in Kansas City. He made the putt at the 18th hole, there had to be three or four thousand people around the 18th hole, and the cheer was about the way you heard out there today. It was like nothing (clapping). I've been on the other end, too.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TOM WATSON: I wouldn't say hostile. This is a gentleman's game. You can't call it hostile. But the weather is maybe to some of the players is hostile. But to me it certainly wasn't. I was very comfortable playing golf today. It was not a difficult day at all to play golf. The main thing is keep your hands warm. And that's what I keep on saying, keep your hands warm from getting cold and you'll be okay. But the crowd was fine. They were good Oklahoma fans. They were pulling for Gil to win, and unfortunately he didn't.

Q. Would you run through your birdies if you could?

TOM WATSON: I birdied the 2nd hole. I hit a driver and a pitching wedge in about I'd say 15 feet and made that putt.

No. 4 I hit a 5-iron to about 20 feet behind the hole, made that putt.

No. 8 I hit -- I didn't hit a very good drive, but hit an 8-iron close to the hole, about 10 feet and made that putt.

No. 13 I hit a 6-iron to about 20 feet, out in the fringe and made that putt.

And No. 17 I hit an 8-iron to about six feet and made that putt.

And the one real good up-and-down today again was on No. 7. I hit a drive in the right short rough, I hit a terrible shot out and it ended up in the front, right bunker, off the real hard, hard sand. I hit a great bunker shot out of that about a foot. The bunker shot was about 70 feet.

But I guess that and the putt at No. 12 were the two difficult -- I put myself in some awkward positions. 12, I had a 7-iron, it was too much club, but I didn't think it was going to go as far as it did, but on the back fringe of the green, and I had about 40 feet, but right down the hill. And it had a lot of break right at the beginning of the putt, and I knocked it down about two or three feet from the hole, and made that putt to save par. Those were the two times I had -- two times I was shaky.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TOM WATSON: I really -- I think I made 13 events last year, and 14 this year. What I tried to do this year is play different events than I had the first two years. I think I played five or six different events than I played the first two years. And that is kind of what I'm going to try to do. I still intend to play a little bit on the other Tour.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TOM WATSON: About a half dozen. Three or four, this year I'll play five. I'm going to play in The Masters card Masters down in Melbourne the first week of December.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TOM WATSON: Well, yeah. It's not fun finishing second. It never has been, never will be. And that tournament, the third round I had a lot of opportunities the third round to put some distance between me and the rest of the field and I didn't do a very good job of it. I guess it's just averaging out now. I'm missing more than the average now, and I made more than the average in my heyday. That particular tournament, it was disappointing, but again I don't really look back and -- about the disappointment. What I do is to look at it and see how I can improve and what I did wrong. It's true in life, Bobby Jones said, that you don't learn by your victories, you learn in your failures. You learn through your failures. What did I not do right. That's another way of putting it. Rather than what didn't I do wrong, but what did I do right. And then go ahead and find out and pursue that avenue.

End of FastScripts....

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