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July 6, 2006

Tom Watson


RAND JERRIS: Tom Watson, two birdies, two bogeys, even par.

TOM WATSON: All right. Two birdies, two bogeys. One of those U.S. Open, or USGA rounds of golf. Try to keep the ball in the fairway and look at that blimp over there. It looks like it's crash landing over there.

The golf course, everybody knows how to play the golf course. You got to put it in the short grass, and I did that pretty well today. I missed a few fairways, but I got away with a couple lies that I could deal with and didn't make too many mistakes.

Made a birdie on the second hole and made a putt that I probably shouldn't have made. I made it from about 15 or 20 feet just right of the hole, and the thing broke about eight feet. It went in the heart.

I said, whoa, this day's going to look up. And then I played I didn't get the irons very close to the hole most of the day. I hit the ball actually pretty well. I started on the starting on about No. 6 I made an adjustment in my golf swing. I was struggling up until that time, and I made an adjustment in the middle of the round and my swing started to flow a lot better, and so I was happy about the swing.

I made a couple adjustments with the putter as I always do when I'm playing. I wish I could say I putted the short putts well, but I didn't. I made them all, but I they looked ugly going in, I can tell you that.

But I am very grateful for a 70. 70's a good score on this golf course. It's what a USGA event's supposed to be. You shoot even par of a USGA event you've done pretty darn well. So for that, again, I say I'm grateful.

Q. I know you have one hole in particular on 7 where you got into the bunker and got pinned up there pretty good and were able to get out.

TOM WATSON: I was lucky at 7. I was actually lucky at 7 because I hit a 6 iron. I hit a great drive on the 7th par 5. I had only a 6 iron to the green, but I pulled it. I hit it left and I said, oh, no, it's going to go in the deep stuff. And it luckily it hit the bunker. Luckily I had some sort of stance.

It wasn't completely buried. It was partially buried. But it was on the up slope, so at least I could do something with it. But I was three feet from unplayable, where that ball ended up. And you can be that way on this golf course. I mean, like I said, it's like a mine field out there. You hit a couple wayward shots out there, you're going to be lost, or you're going to be unplayable and it's going to run up your score real fast.

Q. You said your putt or birdie on the second was a difficult putt. It seemed like the one on 14 seemed to be straight down hill and didn't seem to be an easy one either.

TOM WATSON: 14, I had a good read on it and I hit the ball where I was looking. I made a good putt at the next hole, the 15th hole, the par hit a good shot into there to have it heck, I only had about 15 feet. That's a tough hole to get the ball close to the hole.

Playing it down wind, pin on the front, either you're going to leave it short of the green, going to knock it to the back edge of the green, and I hit it just short of pin high. I made a good putt there but didn't read it right. And, again, I made some actually some pretty good strokes on my long putts today. I was pretty happy with that.

So tomorrow is I'm going to try to build on the adjustment I made in my swing and see if I can get some more birdies out there. Two birdies is not enough, but two bogeys is okay.

Q. With the wind conditions out there today being relatively calm, did you think a couple a little better scoring chances might come up than you had?

TOM WATSON: Well, this golf course even without the wind is a very difficult golf course, because the greens play very small. The pin positions are such where you put the pin on a part of the green, and if you don't hit it within that five foot area there, the ball's going to rebound and go 30 feet from the hole or come back off the green or hit it down slope and go 20 feet by the hole.

These greens play very small. With all the contour, it's a great test of golf. The more I play Prairie Dunes, the more I like it.

Q. I know you've been asked this a lot, but what was it like to be able to come to Kansas and play in a Major, and how was the crowd today?

TOM WATSON: Well, the crowd is wonderful out there. They cheered me on. I was a homer. That was nice. I was out there and I was very grateful for that, too. Just playing here in my home state, as I said earlier this week, it's fun playing in front of your home crowd. I just hope to do well, and as I said, make a few more birdies than I did today.

Q. Go over 5 and 13.

TOM WATSON: 5? I made bogey at 5. It was hit the ball in the rough off the tee. And then I hit the ball in the rough on my second shot. Trying to get cute with it. I told my caddie I hit the wrong shot. I should have hit a wedge out there or just hit it from the lie I had in the rough. My ego got in my way again and I said, well, I can get it up there close to the green. And of course I put it short of the green where now I don't have a shot. Pretty stupid. But we all are idiots at times out here.

And on 13 I hit a good drive and I just did not hit a 7 iron I hit a 7 iron for my second shot and I didn't make a good swing. But I know what I did wrong. I just moved ahead of it and left the fairways open, and that's all right. With the adjustment I made in my swing, I can feel that happening, and it won't happen again.

Q. You had a lot of people talking earlier about club selection. A lot of clubs that they were using in their practice rounds stayed in the bag this time?

TOM WATSON: That's right. Sure. Sure. As I said yesterday in the press conference, we're going to play a different golf course today. We did. We played with the southeast wind, and we hadn't played it from there. We had played with a north and northeast wind on Tuesday and Wednesday. And if you didn't play Monday with this wind, this is the same wind as Monday. If you didn't play Monday, then you saw a new golf course today.

Q. How far was the birdie putt on 14?

TOM WATSON: At 14? That was about 25 feet.

Q. And the one you almost made here on 18. How far was that?

TOM WATSON: That was about 30 feet.

Q. Do you think there's a lot of difference playing in the morning, or might be tomorrow, or do you have to sort of see what the wind's like tomorrow?

TOM WATSON: Well, it just it all depend on the wind. The greens are soft enough to hold the shots, but you have to be careful. Playing downwind to these greens you've got to be very careful. There's not a lot of back stop on the logical areas to hit the ball on these greens. You got to play smart. That's what I like about this golf course.

There's a lot of there's just it's a link style golf course a hundred percent. You really have to think your way around, and you have to think about the bounce of the ball. It really plays very, very tough. Every green's elevated. It just seems like every green is an elevated green. So the ball's always going to fall off the green if you don't hit it straight onto the green.

Then you add all the contours to deal with these greens, where you have to each green is complicated. It's a complicated set of greens. It's not it's wonderful to play, because it's never boring. You always have an issue, or two issues to deal with. But it's a very fair golf course. It tells you what to do. But you got to know it.

End of FastScripts.

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