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May 3, 2009

Bubba Watson


JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Bubba Watson into the interview room. A 2-under par-70 today. I know a range of emotions for you. Just comment on the day first.
BUBBA WATSON: It was probably the best day of my golfing career. Short, but it was a great day. I didn't get mad. I just took my bad shots with pride and came back fighting with some birdies, made some good putts, made some great putts that didn't go in. All in all it was a good day, a great week.

Q. Comment on the bogey there on 16 if you can.
BUBBA WATSON: 16, we've hit the drive a lot farther all week, and so today I hit a perfect drive, and we thought it was going to be farther down there, so it was obvious it was into the wind because I thought I hit it good. We had 151 into the breeze we were expecting. My 9-iron goes about 160 with no wind. So I tried to choke up on the 9-iron, hit it a bit easier and the wind didn't affect it, maybe the adrenaline, maybe I just hit it pure. Landed about 20 feet past the hole, I guess, and it releases -- if you know that green, it releases over the green. Then I putted up there to about seven feet and I thought I hit another good putt because I did exactly what Retief's putt did and mine broke off a little bit towards the end and made a quick bogey.

Q. Was it how you handled everything?
BUBBA WATSON: How I handled everything, my mind was in there, I didn't get mad when I made a bogey, I didn't get mad when my birdie putt didn't go in. My caddie calmed me down. We stayed focused, talked about a lot of random stuff so I could forget about my bogeys and forget about my putts that didn't go in.
As a team it was the best day that we've had in two and a half, almost three years now. It was a great day, a good learning experience, and looking forward to the rest of my career if I can act like this.

Q. Did you do a lot of scoreboard watching?
BUBBA WATSON: No, we knew when I -- what is that par-5, 5? 5 green, I looked up and saw I was tied for the lead, and then he told me not to look at it anymore, but on -- there's one hole you can't miss it. I mean, there's one hole out there, maybe 14 or something, you can't miss that scoreboard. So I saw that I was tied again.
And then when I made the bogey, then I had to look because I had to see what I had to do and try to fire at pins or whatever.

Q. One shot you'd like to have back or nothing in particular?
BUBBA WATSON: No, the only thing, there's no way in the world I would have hit a wedge on 16 into that wind, what we thought into the wind. I just hit it pure, a chip 9-iron, and I hit it pure and went over the green. But if I par that hole, who knows what could have happened. I didn't birdie 17 or 18, so it didn't change much. Well, now I guess I'm one back.

Q. What were the conditions like? Did the rain soften it up at all?
BUBBA WATSON: It didn't rain very much, did it?

Q. It rained a little last night.
BUBBA WATSON: Really? It didn't show. No, the course was -- it was the best test of golf we've played without being what they consider a major. It had the major atmosphere, had the major feel. The course conditions were unbelievable. We have short rough, and 11-under is going to win. So it's obvious that rough is -- it's about the firmness of the golf course, it's not about the rough. If you have short rough and firm greens, you can't stop it no matter what.

Q. What do you take forward from this? Reassurance that you're headed in the right direction?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, I took the right step. This week -- I've missed the cut by I think one -- I missed a bunch of cuts by one this year because I get down and I get mad and don't focus on the next hole or the next shot or whatever, and I just lose interest. My caddie has been yelling at me.
This week we said, no matter what happens, let's just try to do this. It's a tough week, almost like a major, so let's just play it as a tough week. If you make a bogey, everyone is going to make a bogey, so just try to make a birdie on the next hole. This week was a great steppingstone. We went up a little bit. We matured a little bit this week, so now we're at like 2 percent maturity instead of 1.

Q. Seriously, the first time you've beat Tiger?
BUBBA WATSON: Yes, the first time. I'll text him here in a little bit.

Q. What are you going to tell him?
BUBBA WATSON: That I beat him. Then he'll just tell me how many wins he has, but I'll tell you what, I'm in the right direction, I got him one time, so now we're moving up.

End of FastScripts

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