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June 29, 2002

Tom Watson


MARTY PARKES: It's my pleasure to welcome Tom Watson. Tom had a 69 today, 2-under par. Tom, the usual drill for you, take us through the round.

TOM WATSON: It was a great start, I birdied the first three holes. I made a good breaking putt on the first hole from about 20 feet.

No. 2, I hit it about six or eight feet short of the hole and made the putt.

I knocked it in about 2 feet on the third hole with a sand wedge. Second hole was with a sand wedge, as well. I got off to a good start.

I went along and got it up-and-down after a poor 7-iron on No. 9 from just right of the hole.

I made a good birdie putt at 11, after a 9-iron shot, left me about a 6-footer.

3-putted 12 for bogey from about 40 feet. Missed about a 4-footer for my second putt.

Got it up-and-down from the back of 14. I hit it over the green with a sand wedge, and knocked it -- pretty good shot from a bad lie from the back there, knocked it about 6, 8 feet by and then made it.

And 15, I missed from about 8 feet.

16, I missed it from about 3 feet. 17, I 3-putted from 20 feet.

18, I missed from about 12 feet. It wasn't a very good finish with the putter.

Q. On the 17th, you hit two phenomenal shots on a hole that's not a birdie hole. Did it epitomize your day walking off with a bogey?

TOM WATSON: Epitomizes is probably the right term. It mirrored what happened to me today. I played very well from tee-to-green, and didn't -- I didn't come up with very much on the greens. It was disappointing, gut-wrenching when you hit a lot of good shots like that and you can't convert the putts. I've been there before, and I'll be there again. But maybe something will happen between now and tomorrow that will change that. I intend it to somehow.

Q. There's been three different leaders so far, yet you've hung around. Can you assess your chances tomorrow?

TOM WATSON: Well, if Don Pooley shoots a 63, my chances aren't very good (laughter.) But I'm still -- I'm still in the golf tournament and I have a competitor that's three shots ahead and obviously, playing well and putting well and that's my goal. My goal is to go out there and do what Tiger Woods did, hit all the fairways, if you can, hit all the greens, if you can, and not make any mistakes. That's my goal tomorrow. And I've been driving the ball well and I've been hitting some good quality iron shots, it's just the putter is a little bit shaky.

Q. Seeing three different guys go out and shoot 63, 64 and 65, it's not something we're accustomed to seeing in Open tournaments. Does that change your mentality heading into the last round of an Open, saying, "This is possible, I can go out and do this," rather than other years maybe go out and shoot a 67 or 68?

TOM WATSON: Obviously, it depends on what Don does tomorrow from the beginning. And obviously there are other players who are in our neighborhood who can shoot that type of score. So, I'll be watching the leaderboard tomorrow and as I said, I'm going to try to hit every fairway, every green, try to get myself in position as I did today and make those darn putts, at least make half of them that I missed today. That would put me about four shots better.

Q. What do you remember about Don on the regular Tour? Pretty good putter is what he just said, obviously. What distinguishes his game, what do you remember about him?

TOM WATSON: Well, Don has a long, extended swing. He hits the ball -- I think very straight. He doesn't curve the ball left or right, right-to-left. He's a straight ball hitter. And that type of swing really reflects his putting stroke, as well, it's a long, fluid arm stroke. As I said out there to Mark, I hope I can feed off some of that long, fluid stroke, some of those strokes that he makes for myself.

Q. Are you playing with him tomorrow?

TOM WATSON: I am playing with him tomorrow.

Q. Do you think today's putting problems are more physical technique related or is it a mental problem or is it some combination in between?

TOM WATSON: I think it's basically I wasn't thinking too much of the line of speed, I was just thinking about the stroke. What happens when you do that is you lose your feel. And it's pretty obvious that I lost my feel on a couple of putts today. So after I'm through here, finished here, I'm going to go and work on that feel.

Q. You've put yourself in position to win this event as someone who's won the U.S. Open and many other majors. What would winning the Senior Open mean to you?

TOM WATSON: Ask me tomorrow, if I win. I think it's the most -- I think, again, it's one of two most important Senior Tour tournaments, PGA and this one, and it means a heck of a lot winning your national Open.

End of FastScripts....

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