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April 25, 2008
DAVE SENKO: Tom and Andy, congratulations, 59, which ties a record for the best first round score in this tournament. I believe it's also the lowest score ever.
Tom, maybe you could just get us started and just talk about your day. It looks like the front nine, 8 of 9 birdies and five more on the back.
TOM WATSON: That's the way to do it, isn't it? We birdied the first 7 holes. That sort of got us started, I have to say. Good start. I birdied the first hole. Andy made a nice putt on the second hole.
I birdied the 3rd and 4th hole and Andy birdied the 5th and 6th and I birdied the 7th and 9th. We ham and egged it pretty darn good.
ANDY NORTH: And then I had 11 and 12 --
TOM WATSON: 11 and 12, I made the birdies on 11 and 12 and 14 and 16 and 17. I had a great supporting act, my partner over here, on the back nine.
ANDY NORTH: Basically Tom played a beautiful round of golf. He controlled it well off the tee and hit a lot of really good iron shots. Really -- made maybe two putts over ten feet long. A nice one at 3 and a nice one at 12. Other than that those are the kind of putts you expect to make. It was fun watching. You just want to make sure you stay out of his way. If you need something to eat, something to drink, I'm running. It was beautiful to watch. It was a terrific round of golf Tom played.
Q. Tom, how much strategy is involved with things?
TOM WATSON: When you're this age you don't have any strategy. You just try to hit it in the fairway and make your putts. I guess the only strategy is if Andy hit first I hit second. And that's the only strategy we really had.
We both help each other on our putts, on the lining up of our putts. It makes my life a little bit easier. I don't read the line very well anymore, and it's good to have a good fair of eyes to help me. Every now and then I can get it right, but I don't get it as right as I used to.
Every now and then -- we know what the other guy should hit. Just say hit the 8-iron.
TOM WATSON: That 8-iron is still the right club on the par-3. We know each others' game and we played so much golf together that it's -- that's the fun thing with the tournament here that we're pals and we're playing a tournament together which means something. You don't get a chance to do that very often. We play individually all the time. Andy doesn't play much anymore out here. It's fun to have him out playing. We don't have too many more years left. It's a good time out there when you shoot 59 with one of your best friends. We'll see what happens on Sunday, see if we can get it in on Sunday.
ANDY NORTH: You've heard us for the last three years standing on our soap box about how important this was to get a team event -- this to be a team event again. We're pleased everyone got behind that and created this event now as it is. If you look at the field it's the best field we've had all year long, unbelievable field. It says an awful lot about this type of tournament and the fact that the players are really supporting it.
Q. From the Raphael Division to go into the Legends Division, did you guys feel that we've got something to prove, now we're going to play with everybody else, was there any thought of that coming in at all?
TOM WATSON: Yeah. We played in the Raphael Division, because we thought the tournament should be a team event. And as Andy said this became a team event this year. Yeah, there's something to prove. You have to make a lot of birdies to win this thing. We made a lot of birdies today. It's not going to be easy to win this thing unless you shoot 62 about every round. There's some great teams.
ANDY NORTH: There's some unbelievable teams of players that not only are playing well now, but guys that have unbelievable records in their careers. You look at the major championships that are playing this week, and leading money winners and Ryder Cup captains and Players-of-the-Year, it's amazing. It's one of the most amazing fields of the year. It's going to be interesting watching this weekend. We've got more names playing here than the tournament behind us on television, which is pretty cool.
Q. 59 is kind of a magic number in golf, at least in individual play, is it the same in team play?
TOM WATSON: You bet. Yeah, sure it is. It's very magical. Anytime you get it under 60. If you're making more birdies than you are pars as a team, then you're playing pretty good golf.
Q. At what point today did you get the sense that 59, 58 was in?
TOM WATSON: After we started off shooting 28 the front side, I said let's get this under 60 today. And we did.
ANDY NORTH: We made birdies, we figured why not make them all? Just keep making birdies. We messed up a couple of times and Tom held us together on the back nine with some great playing.
Q. Did you both say to each other, hey, let's get this under 60?
TOM WATSON: No, you don't need to vocalize it, but we're both thinking of it.
ANDY NORTH: This is the kind of event if you made 3 pars in a row, all of a sudden 8 teams have gone by you. You have to keep grinding away and making as many birdies as you can, and an eagle once in a while. It's a very good field on a really good golf course that's fun to play. There's rough that if you don't drive the ball well you'll struggle. The scores are all over the range.
Q. You said if we get 59 we're not going to change it, we're not going to set it up to be harder. Do you like where it is?
TOM WATSON: I thought it was perfect today, didn't you? Yeah, it was just perfect, let's keep it the same.
Q. How was your ball-striking today left over from Outback?
TOM WATSON: I struck the ball very well at Outback. I missed very few greens there. I played the last two rounds, I putted for 33 birdies on 36 holes the last two rounds on a really tough golf course. So I'm doing a lot of things well right now.
Q. Was there one shot today that really stood out? I heard Andy made a chip in that was special?
TOM WATSON: That was it. That chip in was perfect.
ANDY NORTH: I really thought that. He can have his opinion, I'll have mine, which is not unusual with us. Tom made about a 25-footer for birdie on the third hole, which is a really hard par-3. Today it was 222 or something. Tom laced a 3-iron in there and made it. That was all right, we're doing okay. Because this is an event if you get off to a good start and get some momentum going you can really make a lot of birdies. The other side if you get to have three or four pars, you start trying too hard and you never make anything. I chipped in from the back of the 6th green. Tom hit a really good shot in there, probably had 10 or 12-footer. I hit a shoot, it just went through the green. I slapped it up and it went in.
Q. How far was that?
ANDY NORTH: 35, 40 feet.
Q. I saw your birdie.
ANDY NORTH: It was right there. When you hole from off the green, that saves strokes.
TOM WATSON: Competing in the Western Amateur. We started with kid stuff, and then once we got on Tour we had these two caddies that came out of literally high school together from Hartford.
ANDY NORTH: One was lucky enough to get Tom and one was unlucky enough to get me. Shoot, the four of us spent hundreds and hundreds of rounds together.
TOM WATSON: And hundreds and thousands of hours on the practice range.
ANDY NORTH: A lot of time on the range. It was Bruce and another guy, Gary Crandall.
Q. It looks like your putting stroke has -- going back six years or so, you had a stretch there where you weren't putting very well. Today you were back to the old Tom, very confident. What have you done to kind of get that confidence back?
TOM WATSON: I changed putters and changed -- and kind of changed my -- I did change my attack with the stroke and tried to make it a little bit more like I used to putt. I've had trouble with my putting stroke, especially my short putting. And I still have trouble with that, but I just live with it. My long putting is pretty good, for the most part.
TOM WATSON: No. 1, it was a 3-footer. I hit it in with a sand wedge.
No. 2, Andy, you were about 35 feet?
ANDY NORTH: 30.
TOM WATSON: What did you hit in there, 8-iron?
ANDY NORTH: 8-iron.
TOM WATSON: No. 3 was about 30 feet, after a 3-iron.
No. 4 was about six feet out of a front bunker, a par-5, I hit the front bunker in two and got it up-and-down.
5, you knocked it in about five feet. What did you hit in there?
ANDY NORTH: 9-iron.
TOM WATSON: He birdied it.
6, he chipped it in from 35 or 40 feet.
7, I made it from about 8 feet, after -- with a gap wedge.
And 9, he had it in about five or six feet and I made it from about 15 feet to 16 feet after a pitching wedge.
11, it was a long two-putt, I 2-putted from about 60 feet for a birdie after a 3-irong.
12, I made it about 25 feet after a 4-iron.
14, I made it from about three or four feet after a gap wedge.
16, I made it from about six feet after a 9-iron.
17, I made it from about eight feet after a 6-iron.
ANDY NORTH: There wasn't too much craziness, a lot of good shots.
Q. Just one other note. This string of consecutive holes without a bogey is now 126 for you gentlemen.
TOM WATSON: Is it? All right.
End of FastScripts