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July 14, 2001

Tom Watson


TOM WATSON: It was a tough day. The wind didn't blow this morning. You saw a lot of good scores this morning. A lot of good scores, 66, 67, 68. A lot of scores under par. But the wind kicked up this afternoon and made the golf course -- made it a test. Without question, it was a test today out there. The fairways are running fast and double-bogeys were made everywhere by Watson on the front nine and a few eagles -- birdies and an eagle on the back nine got him back to all square. Second hole, I hit 3-wood off the tee and I pushed it underneath the pine trees over there. I took a 4-iron to kind of run it out and I chugged it and hit it about six feet and took a wedge and punched it out in the fairway. I hit a 6-iron. Hit a beautiful shot right at the hole. Had about a 15-footer, but that was a heck of a shot, to get it that close. So a double-bogey, you know, no big deal. Take the double-bogey. Birdied the next hole. Hit it stiff at 4. Hit a beautiful shot at 4. Missed the putt. Didn't hit a very good putt. Then 5, I hit a terrible drive way off to the right and into the hazard. I hit it over the green in three and had no shot. Had to chip it away from the hole and tried to make a 30-footer to save bogey and I missed that, so I made double-bogey there. Very next hole, I hit a 5-iron off the tee and I had 70 yards to the flag -- 70 yards to carry the water and I carried it about 65 yards. I hit a good shot, but I just didn't hit it hard enough and I ended up making double-bogey there. Three double-bogeys the first six holes, and a birdie. I'm on the map. I'm on the floor. So I tried to pick up the pieces. I hit a terrible drive at 7. Got it close. Missed the putt for birdie. Then 8, I hit a beautiful shot at 8. Hit a lousy put there. But then 9, I hit a good drive and a 7-iron, about 12 feet and made the putt for birdie. Better than 41. See what I can do on the back side and see if I can just inch back. Parred 11 and 12. Hit a good shot at 10, 11 and 12. 13, I didn't hit a good 3-iron for my second shot, but I hit a good pitch up there for a gimmee birdie. 14 is probably the key shot of the round. I hit a drive that went through the fairway in a bad lie and now I've got a huge -- inaudible -- my caddy, Bruce says there's no way I can get it over. I've got 156 yards and end up in the hay. And I said, the hell with it, give me a 7-iron. I took the 7-iron and I hit it about as hard as I could and I caught it flush and got it in the right bunker. And I got it up-and-down out of the bunker. About an 8-footer, 10-foot putt to save par there. That really turned my -- that was better than any birdie or eagle I made today. Next hole, the wind got -- the wind fooled me. I hit a 6-iron to the back edge of the green and 2-putted about six feet up and over a ridge. Then 16 and 17, I would go birdie, eagle. I hit a pitching wedge about 12 feet at 16. 17, I hit a beautiful drive with a 5-iron about, oh, about 12 feet there, too, and made that putt for eagle. I had a good shot at birdie on the last hole and I yanked the putt. Just put me back in the tournament, and obviously, I'm grateful for that. It puts me in a good frame of mind for tomorrow, because I made adjustments with my swing that made sense. And I'm looking forward to tomorrow now.

Q. (Inaudible)?

TOM WATSON: Yeah, I made an adjustment to my swing, trying to get a little bit different position so I didn't leave it so far right. It worked.

Q. Can you talk about 9 when the other two partners were way ahead of you and you stopped, took about four half-swings, full swings --

TOM WATSON: Yeah, I was trying to make that adjustment, yeah. I shadowbox all the time. That's my MO. I've always done it in my career, and it's nothing new. If you've seen it for the first time, then you haven't been around me very much. I used shadowboxing when I'm swinging well.

Q. In some ways is it almost more satisfying to come back from something like you had today and get a decent score than it is to just go shoot a low score?

TOM WATSON: Satisfaction about persevering, yes. But there's also the satisfaction of feeling that my swing is back into the groove that I lost for -- I lost for the first four or five holes today with the driver. You know, I don't know what you could call it, a lapse of concentration, I don't know. But certainly, it put me on the map and I was -- I was struggling. I made an adjustment and it worked. I said, well, let's keep on with this adjustment and let's go with it. I got my just rewards, because I stuck with it. I thought I made a couple good par saves on the back nine at 14 and 15 and opened the door for a birdie-eagle-par finish that got me back in the tournament. Closer than shouting distance.

Q. Did you have any sense before the round warming up that your swing was out of kilter at all?

TOM WATSON: No. Actually I felt pretty good with it. I had made a slight adjustment with my iron swing to hit the ball a little bit higher, and it didn't work with the driver. Did not work with the driver. I found that out a little bit too late today. Just an adjustment to keep the club a little bit more square at impact. The club was opening at impact too easily. When I hit bad shots, usually they go right, and they went pretty far right today.

Q. Table set for tomorrow?

TOM WATSON: The table is going to be set in about half an hour. I'm starved. Yeah, this golf tournament could be won by a lot of different players. As I said earlier on in the week, I felt if you shoot in double-digits under par, I think you win the golf tournament. I was wrong as far as 9- or 10-under par winning the golf tournament. It will be lower than that. With the wind that came up today, if we had this wind all day, the scores would have been high for everybody. That said, the guys in the morning round had an advantage. They had no wind at all. They are basically at the tournament, but Jim Ahern could hoot say 66 to get back into it, and Gary McCord, shooting a 67. If the golf course lays down early, it could get tough late. Yeah, you have to use some imagination to get that ball on the ground sometimes and not on the green. The chip out from under the trees at the second hole, the second chip, my stance -- it was almost a slap (ph). Do you know what a slap (ph) is? You're not allowed to do that, but one of the shortest swings I've ever made because it was underneath limbs and I had to go like that. (Indicating). If you want to talk about an old-style swing, that's the way they used to swing at it.

End of FastScripts....

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