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July 9, 2006

Tom Watson


TOM WATSON: Well, just general comments? It got off to a bad start today with two 3 putts on two and three and that put me in the defensive type of mood, it seemed like. And I just didn't get the offense working today. I felt like I was playing defense all day. And as a result, I shot the score I did.

I've had problems with the short putts, with the stroke not going straight whack back and straight through and it was my Achilles heel today. It caused a couple actually, I think four very makeable short putts that I missed and that's obviously, that puts me right there in the tournament to win the golf tournament.

So give credit to Allen Doyle. Allen played a good solid back nine. He got a good break at 11 when his tee ball, where he got a drop and relief from the really heavy rough and ended up making four, and I make five there. And that was a big turn around right there. That was kind of a then I was really struggling. I was fighting an uphill battle after that. And that I made a good putt at 14 for birdie and then hit the ball in the rough at 16, then missed a putt that my caddie read for me right and I didn't read right and on 16 for bogey.

And then 17 I tried to go for the green in two, didn't hit a very good shot off the fairway. Then I hit a really I hit a really good wedge from the rough up there to at least put some what I thought some pressure on him but he didn't blink. He made that 12 footer right downhill with about an 18, 20 inch break to it, and basically closed the door on me.

Q. Loren seemed to object a little bit to that recalling on 11. Did you have any objection to it?

TOM WATSON: That's the rule of the game. That's definitely the rules of the game. It happened three other times with players I played with this week. Where just right in the edge there, there are burrowing animals and that's that gives you relief if you're standing on it or your ball is in a mound out there. Then, as you well know, we got those burrowing animals around here in the sand.

Q. Does he remind you Allen Doyle, does he remind you of anybody or is he just a unique player?

TOM WATSON: Well, you know, he reminds me a little bit of Doug Sanders in the sense of the way he swings the golf club, real short. It's just real short like that.

That's what he reminds me of.

Q. Did you have any inkling before the round that your putting might be a problem today or did it just come up today?

TOM WATSON: Not really, it was just that I fight it all the time. It's just the long putting stroke is okay, the short stroke is just I just have a hard time getting the ball to go the stroke to go straight back and straight through. But I'll just live with it.

Q. Physically how did you feel today?

TOM WATSON: Physically I was fine.

Q. It look like maybe you were struggling a little bit.

TOM WATSON: No, I was fine. The pulled muscle or whatever, tweaked muscle, yesterday, I didn't even feel it today. No, it was not an issue.

Q. How disappointing is this not to win it here?

TOM WATSON: It's very disappointing.

Q. Could you rank it among

TOM WATSON: Oh, I don't rank. I just you know, you set the scene. I'm playing in front of my home crowd at a great golf course, Prairie Dunes, in my home state, and most important championship in our TOUR here, and I didn't win.

Q. How much did that mean to you, all the adulation that you got this week, every where you went, I mean, out here on the course, everybody seemed to be single minded toward Tom Watson.

TOM WATSON: Well, that's kind of unfair to the other players the way I look at it, but I have been in other places where they have their favorites from their hometown, too. Look at J.J. Henry at Hartford last week when he won. And it was he won in front of his home crowd. I just wish I could have duplicated that here this week.

Q. A win here obviously would have put a big charge in your majors coming up this month. How much do you think do you think this will take anything out of you mentally by not getting it done today?

TOM WATSON: On the contrary, I think it will help me. I don't like to do what I did today.

Q. On the good side, the last round at the Senior PGA, you took some time off, do you feel that a lot of things were working right this week? Is that good in terms of going into the Majors?

TOM WATSON: It is. As I said, my game was somewhat sketchy this week. I didn't have as great a control over my shot making skills as I had earlier in the year. And that may be because of the long layoff. But, again, this is two out of five right here. Maybe this next week could at the Ford, I'm already thinking about that.

I learned a long time ago you don't live in the past, you live in the present. And you look forward to the future. You can't do anything about the past or the future, you can only do it, do something about it right now. So I'm going to take some of the positive thoughts that I had, as far as making the last putt here to making a great shot at 17, to a couple of the shots that I hit yesterday that really I felt were really superb shots and build on those for this next week and the week, upcoming weeks and try to get that working consistently. It just wasn't consistent enough with my golf swing this week.

Q. How long was that pitch on 17, the third shot?

TOM WATSON: Oh, boy, what is it? 50 yards, maybe. 50 yards right uphill. I'll remember that one.

Q. The putting was not what you wanted today, but you did putt quite well a couple of the rounds this week and hit the ball well, too. You have to feel pretty good if it does come together and all of it fits into one spot.

TOM WATSON: Well, that's what that's my goal. That's my plan. Let's see if the plan will come to fruition maybe next week. That's the way I look at it.

Q. Just a general comment about Prairie Dunes and how it held up against these guys overall.

TOM WATSON: Well, Prairie Dunes is a great golf course. It held up it didn't hold up, it just represented itself superbly. It's a we had the wind, the wind was a factor, it wasn't a lot of wind, but it was a factor. As I said earlier in the week, when the wind changes it's going to be a new golf course for the players.

It seemed that the players struggled early on because they hadn't played the course with the wind, but then the more they played the golf course, the better the more comfortable they got with it. And yesterday was a prime example with the pins a little bit easier position that they shot some really low numbers. But today with the pins mostly on the front of the greens. The toughest pin position by the way is when you have a pin on the front of the greens, especially when every green is uphill. That's the toughest pin position. That really was. That tested our skills today and I came up short a lot today.

I hit some pretty decent shots I thought. I picked clubs that I thought would just get to the front and get to the pin and I came up short three times in particular hitting good shots. And that only one of them cost me a bogey, but still, I hit good shots. If I it fooled me. Basically, the course fooled me today.

Q. What happened on 3 when you had an opportunity there?

TOM WATSON: 3, I 3 putted. I knocked it by and then I yanked it. I pushed the one at 2 with the left to right break, and this is another left to right break. I kind of overcorrected for it. I yanked it.

Q. On 6, your bogey on 6?

TOM WATSON: Yeah, that bogey on 6 was I played a I hit a bad tee ball but I drew a good lie, and I didn't play a very good second shot. I hit it I actually hit it the way I wanted to. I just didn't judge it very well. I played the shot to where I wanted to play it, or hit it the way I wanted to hit it, but it came up it came up about eight it came up about five, eight yards short of where I was trying to hit it.

I only had 110 yards with a pitching wedge and I hit it I hit it about 90 yards in the air, 95 yards in the air, and I was trying to hit it a hundred yards in the air. I should be able to hit it a pitching wedge a hundred yards in the air.

Q. Did you use your driver twice on 17?

TOM WATSON: I did. I hit it off the fairway. I thought that if I really if I hit it was probably about a two out of ten chance of hitting the driver and knocking the ball on the green as far as hitting the ball where I had to. But I thought it was I thought that being behind two shots that I might it might be the play.

Ended up making birdie anyway, but, yeah, I'm grateful for the lie too. With the ball it ended up in a light from which I could play. If I hit it about 10 yards farther it's in that ryegrass that Stan George is going to cut tomorrow.

Q. You certainly have gotten help, I think, along the way, but in many ways you're a self reliant golfer. Do you see any of yourself in Allen Doyle in that he's been a guy who has done it his way all his life?

TOM WATSON: Yeah. Allen plays his own game. He is a very staunch he's very tough competitor. He knows what he can do with a golf ball and he has a game that just doesn't have too many faults to it. It looks unorthodox, but that ball goes where it should be going.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TOM WATSON: It is. Like I said, it should make me do better things in the future.

End of FastScripts.

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