home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 30, 2005

Tom Watson


DAVE SENKO: Tom, first off, congratulations. You won this event for the third time, and in the process, won the Charles Schwab Cup again. Maybe get us started. Talk about your day, 8 under 64, which was the lowest finish by a winner in this tournament.

TOM WATSON: Well, first of all, I didn't expect to win the tournament today. I felt that Jay was going to basically I told Meg, my daughter, that he's probably going to run away with it, with a 6 shot lead like he had.

The old saying goes, it's hard to play with that big of a lead. You look at Norman and Faldo at the Masters, it's hard to play with a large lead unless you're really tough mentally to just forget about the lead and just keep on playing the way you've been playing. It's awfully hard to do that.

My game today was I felt, actually, my best round of golf was the first round of golf I played here on Thursday. From tee to green, I really, really played well. Didn't make very many putts, but I felt good about playing the golf course. The middle two rounds I hit some sloppy shots, and today I went out I didn't warm up particularly well on the practice range today, but I got off to a good start with a good putt on 2 for a birdie, after an indifferent sand wedge in there. And made a good birdie at 3.

Then I really striped it on 4, 5, and 6. I said, Well, wait a minute. Today it's starting to feel pretty good. Then a hack at 7 for a bogey, and interspersed with a couple of hacks on 13 and 15, with a bunch of good shots.

The day was kind of a day that I didn't really expect it. I didn't expect to make 10 birdies today like I did. But I felt like I could make a bunch of birdies out here starting the week. Starting with the Pro Am, I felt like I could make some birdies. But 10 birdies is a little bit out of expectations.

DAVE SENKO: Go through your birdies and bogeys real quick.

TOM WATSON: Yes. No. 2, par 5, driver, 4 wood, sand wedge, to about 15 feet and made a curler, left to right curler, a very good putt.

Next hole, hit a driver and 8 iron, and made it from about 10 feet.

No. 6, I hit pitching wedge to about three feet for a birdie.

No. 7, I flared I hacked a 3 iron out right, chipped to eight feet and missed it for bogey.

No. 8 8 and 9 really were probably the turn around holes for my round today. I got off to a real good start as far as, I got my swing and a groove. I hacked it at 7.

8, I didn't hit a very good third shot in there, left myself about 30 feet, and I holed the putt. I said, Well, things are good. Things are real good.

Then 9, I hit a toe hook driver into the bunker. I actually had a pretty good yardage, the club for the yardage. I had 115 yards, and I hit pitching wedge right at the hole and apparently hit the flag, I guess. It just flopped there. I asked whether it hit the flag or not, but I don't know. And it ended up a couple of inches away for birdie.

Now, I take a look at the board and I say, Well, Jay is not doing anything, so if I put a little bit make a few more birdies, I might do something.

10 actually, every hole was a big hole, obviously, out there, but 10 was a big hole. 3 wood off the tee and pulled a 7 iron to the back edge of the green, ran my first putt by 12 feet and holed it coming back for a par.

The very next hole, 9 iron stiff to three feet for birdie.

Then two real good shots on No. 12 with a driver, 6 iron, and made it from about 15 feet there for birdie.

Then 13, as I said, I really hacked it. I hit not a bad drive, but it was in the right rough, had a good lie, caught the 4 wood in the bottom neck, ended up in the fairway bunker, a terrible shot, and I chunked it out of there. I chunked my fourth shot with a sand wedge, it ran up there about 10 feet short, and then holed it.

Art knows what that's called. It's called a Watson par. (Laughter).

Then the very next hole I hit a flush 3 iron right at the hole, a beautiful shot with a 3 iron about 5 feet from the hole and made the putt for birdie.

15, trying to cut the tee shot, I double crossed and pull hooked it in the right rough. I hit it a pretty good shot from the right rough. I took a 4 wood out and hacked it up there by the green. A pretty good chip, but it goes left. I'm thinking the chip is going to go right, but it goes left about eight feet, and I missed that putt for bogey.

I played the last three holes very solidly. I hit driver, 4 wood onto the green at 16, 2 putted from about 60 feet. I made my second putt from about 5 feet.

17, I missed about a 10 foot birdie putt at 17. I hit 9 iron in about 10 feet and just pulled the putt just a tad.

18, I hit 3 wood off the tee, and hit a 7 iron right at the hole, came up about 20 feet short. And my thought on that putt was, I think it's going to go a little bit left. I saw Kite's putt break a little left, but I said, I don't want to get it out of the hole. I started it right at the hole and it just didn't break. It just stayed there on the left edge and went in.

Again, it's unexpected. I didn't think Jay was going to shoot the score he did today, but that does happen. I'm very grateful to be the champion.

As far as the yearlong Charles Schwab event was concerned. I didn't know my position I knew I was fifth coming into today, but I didn't really think I had a chance with Dana right in there, with the point system, even though we were triple points today. I'm glad I was wrong.

Q. Given that you didn't expect to win, what were your emotions when the putt went in?

TOM WATSON: When that putt went in, a lot of emotions. The first emotion was that that's what I'm out here to do, is compete and win. It was really kind of a nerve racking day, because I really wanted to do well my last round of the year. You don't want to go out on a low, you want to go out on a high. I've done that a couple of times on the Champions Tour now. It makes the winter months a whole lot better when you win the last tournament. I can tell you that. It's like birdieing the last hole, it makes dinner taste a lot better.

Q. Go back to 2003 when 16 and 17 were (Inaudible)?

TOM WATSON: Actually, it didn't. That's past history.

Q. As a guy who's done so much, and Jay even said your name was painted on the leaderboard, great career, winning majors, you get out here and something like this, is it just like 1975?

TOM WATSON: Yes, it's fun to win.

Q. You never lose the competitive edge or the desire I'm not saying you go out to hack it around, but are you thinking the same way you did 30 years ago?

TOM WATSON: No, I'm not thinking the same way, but my emotions are the same. 30 years ago when I was playing, I was more acutely aware of what was going on. I try to keep it simple now. I can't remember half the stuff anymore, so what's the yardage, let me try to think this through. 30 years ago I knew every hazard and place to be and not to be around the greens. I don't look at the game that way anymore.

Q. Also, you blew leads in the U.S. Open in '74 and '75, so you know both sides, coming from behind and then being ahead. Why is it so tough to hold the big lead?

TOM WATSON: Well, it's tough because you're mentally you mentally let down. You change your game plan. It's like a prevent defense. How many times have you seen a prevent defense fail in football? That's the best analogy I can give you. Rushing three people and putting eight people back in defense, you don't put any pressure on the quarterback, and all of a sudden that quarterback has a free run. It's like the guys coming from behind you in a golf tournament, they start making birdies. There's no pressure, they start making birdies and birdies. And all of a sudden you're sitting there, Wait a minute, this is not supposed to happen.

Q. Did you play any more aggressively today than you have?

TOM WATSON: No, I really didn't. The golf course, because of it's softness, played I have to say it played fairly easy. When I played here two years ago, the greens were a lot firmer. Because the rain we had the half inch rain and the wet conditions earlier in the week, it made it play easier. Any time you play a wet golf course, it's easier.

These greens were faster. Thursday they were as fast as Augusta National, no question. They were 12. I talked to Matt in the practice round. He said he's got them up to 12. They never tell you that at Augusta National. They keep it secret. But I can tell you from experience, these were as fast as Augusta's.

Q. Jay, of course, is still playing the TOUR, and Loren and still playing the TOUR. Jay was saying you could still play the PGA Tour. Could you? And what is the real difference? Is it length? Is it the mental edge where maybe 30 years, 20, 15 years younger, you were mentally sharper and you get a little bored. Why do you go out there? You play the Masters, and et cetera et cetera. I'm wondering, a guy of your skill

TOM WATSON: There is a length factor. When I was in my prime, I was one of the longest hitters out here and I had an advantage. One thing, my Achilles heel right now is my putting. I'm not nearly a good enough putter to compete with the kids out there.

I can hit a lot of quality shots, but the length is a big factor, and the quality of my putting is a big factor.

Q. Ten years ago, that was a real problem, your putting. It looks like you overcame it.

TOM WATSON: Today was a great day on the greens. But it wasn't comfortable. Let's put it this way, it was uncomfortable. A lot of putts went in. I had a lot of short putts. I made a long putt at 8. And I made a real tricky putt at 2. And I made that 20 footer at 18. There you go. Those were the three putts that won me the golf tournament right there. Normally I wouldn't make those putts.

When I was in my prime, a kid, I was making those putts for bogey. Watson bogey, a Watson par. Now I hit the ball a lot straighter, but I don't hit it as far. I hit a lot more greens now than I used to, but my putting isn't as good. I can't get the ball in the air as easily to compete on the tough golf courses. There are certain golf courses I can play out there against the kids, but the majority I couldn't.

Q. You obviously have had more success and experience in those situations than just about anybody. How much does your history of being in contention on the 72nd hole, how much does that help you, whether it be nerves?

TOM WATSON: On that putt, it was very simple. I went back to what my dad said as a kid. Under pressure, you keep your head still and hit it solid. That's all I did, try to keep it simple. It worked.

Q. Do you think when your name is on the leaderboard like it was out there today. People notice that you're there? (Inaudible)?

TOM WATSON: I don't know, but I hope so, whatever advantage it gives me. I don't know whether it gives me any advantage or not. I do know that I remember Jack said this. It was just really kind of tongue in cheek when we played the Ryder Cup. When we were paired in the '81 Ryder Cup together, he said, "Well, that gives us a 2 up lead starting off the first hole." I thought, Wait a minute. He's not supposed to say that.

In a way, when Jack's name is on there, people woke up. It's like Tiger. When Tiger's name is on that board, people wake up. The presence is known. The presence is there. And I don't know whether my presence has anything to do with what happened today.

Q. How young were you when your dad said that?

TOM WATSON: Well, when I was growing up he started me at 6. He started me with the fundamentals, the right grip and how to hook it, slice it, and let me play. I just kind of developed my own putting style. I liked to putt against the older guys for nickels and dimes because I could win some money against the older guys. And that was pretty cool. That's what got my competitive spirit going.

And then competing against my older brother who's three years older, he beat me a couple of times and then I started beating him.

Q. When did your dad give you that advice?

TOM WATSON: He gave me that advice as a young man. I don't know when it was. When I started playing in competition.

Q. What's your dad's name?

TOM WATSON: Raymond. Unfortunately, he's no longer with us.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297