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October 7, 2007

Tom Watson


DAVE SENKO: Tom, thanks for joining us. 7-under, I guess Loren pretty much ran away with it with that start of it.
TOM WATSON: He just closed the door so early in the round and he went 4-under the first five and then really locked the door on No. 9 when he made that tap-in birdie with a great second shot at 9 to go to 15-under par, and that was it.
DAVE SENKO: Looking back, you and Loren are the only two players in the field that finished under par each day. Maybe just talk about how you played this week.
TOM WATSON: Well, I thought the golf course was a tough golf course. It's a difficult golf course because it's a judgment involved, judging all the uphill shots. You have seven uphill shots, approach shot to the greens and also we had some severe uphill tee shots, too.
So playing into the wind today at 16 and 3, it's a little bit different; where do you hit the ball off the tee going uphill on the second shot at 9, 1. Again, you have to get a feel for the golf course by playing it a number of times. And I certainly am not there yesterday. I'm still questioning what to do.
I made a mistake at 10 today, and it's stupid, and it's like the 4-putt I had at 16. I hit it past the hole, buried in the left bunker on the left-hand side of the green when the pin is in the back left. Now, how dead are you there? And I was lucky to get away with a bogey. And I was muttering to myself, "How stupid is this, thinking 9-iron in there, keep under the hole; no, I'm going to fit an 8-iron in there, make sure I get it back there." Well, that's the ego involved. This is a game of ego. How do you deal with your ego; do you hit a 9-iron and you look at a 30-footer up the hill versus trying to hit a three-quarter 8-iron that may skip up there and get up there close. I don't know why I still do things like that, but I do.
I'll go through my round quick. Trying to think of the first four holes, I struggled there -- no, actually I had a good birdie putt at 1 and 2. I 3-putted 4. I'm even par after four holes, but if I make all my putts, then I'm 3-under.
Then I made about a 30-footer at 5 for a three. That kind of got me going a little bit.
Both 8 and 9, I hit poor iron shots, leaving myself 40 feet downhill at 8 and 9 off the green front right. I had to make a good 2-putt from about 45 feet there, so they weren't very good.
And 10 is where I did the stupid thing. I hit driver off the tee, perfect shot, 131 yards to the hole and fiddled it away with the wind; and should have hit 9; hit 8, and I pull-hook it in the left bunker and buried it, a buried shot out to the front right of the green. And then I had an 80-footer; I hit a good putt, hit it about four feet from the hole and made the putt for bogey.
Then my next hole, I hit it in the right bunker, dead. And again, I was dead there in the bunker. Pin is in the front right downslope and just trickled it out and ran it about five feet from the hole and made a good left-to-right putt for par there.
And next hole, I made birdie. I hit a good shot in at No. 12 with a sand wedge, made it from about eight feet.
Then 13, put it in the left bunker area on the upslope, short of the green, pitched up on the front edge of the green in the hole from about 35 feet for par. And that really was -- you know, the shot at 11 and the shot at 14, I don't finish second unless I do that.
And then I make a birdie putt at 14 from about 12 feet, and then 16, 17 and 18 call kind of routine pars. Missed a good birdie putt at 16, but that was it.

Q. After five holes, you're 1-under, you barely missed a 50-footer on 3; you had a great putt on 5, yet you've lost three strokes. At that point do you realize you're playing for second or was it even earlier in the round? At what point do you just realize, man, this guy is not going to be stopped?
TOM WATSON: Well, it was pretty apparent when he locked the door at No. 9. No. 9, when he knocked it stiff at 9, you know, right then he had an eight-shot lead over me right there. I said, well, that's about it. I'd better see -- he's not going to screw up too much, and he didn't. He played a very solid round of golf. I played with him the first two rounds, and he played very well then, as well.
This is a good golf course. It plays, as I said, the uphill shots play difficult because they test your judgment skills. We played with a couple different winds. We played with hot conditions and we played with the easiest conditions we can play.
Next year it's going to be the second week in October and it could be 40 degrees cooler here, too, and that would make this course very tough. It's very enjoyable course to play, a lot of variety. There's not a weak hole on the golf course. And I think without question, most of the players really welcome the change to come here and play the Senior Players Championship here.

Q. Loren is known as such a great putter, but he almost won with his iron play.
TOM WATSON: You could tell today he was on with his irons. The ball was in the middle of the clubface, it was right in the middle of the clubface, every shot. Driver, irons; I could see the handwriting on the wall early in the round there obviously when he was making birdies, but he wasn't -- there no flukes. It was just solid shot after solid shot, and of course his putting is right on, too.
Sometimes you know when a guy has hit some clunky shots: He wipes it and he has a little nervous twitch or something like that with a putt; you know you may get him that round. Loren was not in that mode today at all.

Q. Was there a hole that was the toughest hole of the four rounds, that you had to make adjustments on?
TOM WATSON: 18 is a tough drive and it's probably the toughest hole on the golf course. Holes like 9, a hole like 13; I think 13, 9 and 18 are the real tough holes. 7, you have to putt 7, the par 3, in there, too. Those are the four holes you've got to play.
What are you doing wearing shorts? You know it's illegal to wear shorts out here.

Q. Yes, but I'm a caddie. Loren Roberts had a good career on the PGA TOUR but not a Hall of Fame career like you had, but yet a guy like this comes in, he plays superb golf, and not just here, other places. What happens to a guy making that transition from the regular tour, as you guys say, to this tour?
TOM WATSON: Well, this tour I think there is more premium on putting in this tour because the courses we play are a little shorter. You're going to hit more greens on this tour than you're going to hit on the other tour, because of the length. Loren was never known as a long hitter. You know, he made up with it with his short game. If he had some length, he would have been really formidable out there. I think his length held him back somewhat.
DAVE SENKO: Thank you, Tom.

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