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January 23, 2010

Tom Watson


TOM WATSON: Didn't play -- didn't putt very well there on the front nine there, did I.

Q. How do you shake that off?
TOM WATSON: Make them.

Q. Make them.
TOM WATSON: Make them and don't have any of the three-footers. Just make them, make them all. That's what I did on the back nine. Yeah.
It -- like I said, it's like a horse race. And the quarter horse is a sprint, and I darn near fell off on the front nine. Three-putting three times and missing a short one at 1, missing a short one at 8, and missing about a four-footer at 9, and none of them are any good.
And Freddie has (indiscernible) confidence with the putter. But I still was hitting the ball okay. And so I made I think my first birdie at 10, and I say, well, let's just see how many birdies we can make in the back nine. And if I'm knocking it pretty close and -- and I made several putts in the eight- to ten-foot range and, lo and behold, that was the turnaround I needed.

Q. Yeah. Absolutely. Can you just run through, starting at 2, your birdies, about how long the putts were?
TOM WATSON: At 2 I hit it in about -- I think about eight feet at 2 with a gap wedge. And 6 I hit it a foot.

Q. With a wedge?
TOM WATSON: With a pitching wedge, right.
And 7 I got it up-and-down. Actually hit the pin and I almost holed it. My bunker shot, I had a bunker shot, I was laying two just in front of the green, par 5, and hit a good bunker shot, hit the middle of the pin. And I snuck that little putt in. You know, wasn't a very good stroke there.
And then I three-putted 8. Hit a good shot in at 8. And then 9 I three-putted from off the fringe there, left myself about a four-footer and missed that one. But then I hit a good drive on a 4-iron and two-putt birdie.
11 it was an 8-iron, about eight feet. 12, pitching wedge to 15 feet right behind the hole. 13 was a pitching wedge to about 12 feet. And 14 I had a good drive, a 3-wood just over the green. I chipped it up just six inches for birdie.
15 I hit a really good shot in there my second shot. I left myself about a ten-footer and missed that putt.
16 I made a birdie with a bad drive, my only real bad drive of the day, and left it in the right rough. But I played the flyer just right.
This is the -- you know, you got these -- you know, it changes. Life changes out here. You hit flyers out there. I hit it into the wind and 8-iron flyer; it went like it used to. And it got it up there about -- I think I hit about probably 12, 14 feet, something like that, and I made the putt.
And I had it about, oh, 16, 18 feet in the next hole, two-putted, and about 20 feet on the last hole, two-putt.

Q. You played with a youngster today and --
TOM WATSON: A youngster. That's right.

Q. And you'll play one tomorrow. So is that kind of fun?
TOM WATSON: Um-hmm. Like I said on TV, you know, Freddie and Tom gives our tour some street cred.

Q. It really does.
TOM WATSON: You know, we -- you know, they -- people say, hey, this Couples, he's playing the Champions Tour, let's go watch him. That's what -- and that happens every year out here. That's the beauty of our tour. Our tour is every year they've got names coming out people recognize. You know, some a little more famous than others. Freddie would have to be right in there. And every year. And that's because our tour, it's a stature.

Q. Do you remember the last time you played with Freddie? He thinks it's the Masters, but --
TOM WATSON: I don't know. Don't ask the 60-year-old guy that. (Laughter.) No chance of knowing that answer.

Q. Was there something you did to identify with the three short putts, were you doing something wrong?
TOM WATSON: No, it just -- I have a tendency to be -- to yank it way inside and shut the face. And I just can't get away from it. It's a quirk in my stroke. And I've fought it for a long time and haven't resolved it yet.

Q. Anything kind of (indiscernible)?
TOM WATSON: Yeah, a longer stroke is okay. But a stroke where I have to, you know, just take it back that far, if it doesn't go back straight, it just goes inside. So I've fought it for a long time.

Q. So you knew what you have to do.
TOM WATSON: Yeah. And I actually hit a couple of good strokes yesterday with the short putts. One went inside yesterday, today three went inside pretty bad. Sometimes I make them. But, yes, it's 50/50.

Q. (Indiscernible) pedal to the metal and go for it?
TOM WATSON: Yeah. And, again, I hope I don't -- I hope my horse doesn't trip and, you know, it's -- I'm letting loose. I'm not holding back on the reins.

Q. You seemed confident on the back nine, though. I mean, it seemed like you --
TOM WATSON: Well, I've hit well. You know, I made the -- I made a couple birdies there. I made your normal birdie at 10 downwind. You're supposed to be making a birdie there. And then hit a good shot at 11, made a good putt. And that putt was a good putt. It was a solid putt. So that gave me some confidence. So it wasn't a long stroke, but it was -- you know, it was a good short -- you know, a shorter stroke, but not a three-foot stroke.
And then 12 made it from -- I just -- right from the back edge of the green. And I said, well, looky here, 3-under-par and, you know, I'm -- you know, I played this -- I played enough times on the course to know that there's some birdies, they're going to have a play of the course.
And I hit a good shot at 13, but then the -- I hit a beautiful 3-wood at 14. It kind of went up against the crosswind there and I just went over the green. I knew I probably couldn't keep it on the green, but it was right where I wanted to be. Delicate little chip shot, but I had a good lie, so it wasn't that tough a shot.

Q. Almost (indiscernible).
TOM WATSON: Yeah, pretty close. Yeah.
And then a beautiful 5-iron at 15. And I didn't make the putt, but then I made the putt at 16.

Q. How long (indiscernible)?
TOM WATSON: This was last year.

Q. You won this event. The Hawaii taxman is going to love you, especially from last week too.
TOM WATSON: That's right. Yeah. That's all right. I'm more than willing to pay my fair share of taxes.

Q. Did you have a feeling coming in that you were going to hit the ball as well as you have been? It seemed to be balls (indiscernible)?
TOM WATSON: Played well. I played well at the Skins game (indiscernible) the Skins game. And I had a pretty good feeling about it. Yeah.
MODERATOR: Okay. All right. Thank you.

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