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April 9, 2010

Michael Watson

Tom Watson


Q. Tom, to play this golf course with your son on the bag for the first time ever, what is that like for you?
TOM WATSON: Well, I wanted him to carry the bag here to see what it was like to be in a major championship inside the ropes. He's been to a few of them outside the ropes but never inside the ropes. It's a little bit different, isn't it?

Q. Realistically when you asked him to carry the bag, did you expect that you'd be in red numbers on the leaderboard still in contention?
TOM WATSON: Well, what I expected was I was going to do everything I could to play well for him, and he needs to help me a little bit better than the putt on 17. We both read it to break just about that much to the right, and it broke about that much to the right. So four eyes didn't work very well there.

Q. Michael, what's it like for you caddying on your dad's bag, not just in a golf tournament but here at Augusta National?
MICHAEL WATSON: It's really special. It's a great venue and have a lot of history here, and it's been a great week so far. Looking forward to two more days.

Q. Tom, over the years you've had a lot of great shots and some spectacular moments on 13, but Michael, I understand you had a special moment on 13 last Sunday?
MICHAEL WATSON: I did. I popped the question to my now fiancé, girlfriend of four and a half years, and now it's history.

Q. What's in store for the weekend in terms of competitive level and whether you can stay in contention?
TOM WATSON: Well, I made some mistakes today. That hurt. Three-putting -- my chipping was not very good today. It was really good yesterday, but today it was really poor. I hit a couple of bad iron shots again today, as I did yesterday, and that's not the 90 percent that I need to play well here and score under par, and as a result I shot 74 today. But yesterday was a great day, wonderful day here in Augusta.

Q. Last question. As a boss we all have to make difficult choices sometimes. How did you break it to your other caddie that he was out this week and you were using a new guy?
TOM WATSON: Actually he took himself out of the lineup. He's got a bad back but recovering well.

Q. Were you happy with how you finished?
TOM WATSON: Well, it was a struggle today. I didn't chip the ball well and hit a couple of poor iron shots, and that was the difference between yesterday and today. Yesterday I chipped the ball beautifully, got the ball right up by the hole. Today the touch wasn't there, and that's what killed me today.

Q. Were you disappointed or --
TOM WATSON: Yes, I am disappointed. Yeah, I'm disappointed that I didn't do as well as I could have today. Yesterday I got about as much out of the round as I could. That was one of those rounds that I got more out of the round basically than I should have gotten. Today I got less out of the round than I should have gotten. It kind of evened out the last two days.

Q. What does it say about you that you would be disappointed making the cut at 60, still be on the leaderboard?
TOM WATSON: Well, I'm happy that I'm still there, but 3-under rather than 5-under -- you know, 5-under is a better position going into the weekend than 3-under. I've got to do some 100 percent playing the last two rounds to have a chance, and that's what I'm here to do.

Q. People might see a drop to 3-under, a 60-year-old guy, he's going away now. I wonder what you might say to that going into the third round.
TOM WATSON: Well, I don't have any thoughts of that at all. I have thoughts of playing my butt off and not making the same mistakes as I did today, the same attitude today I had 37 years ago when I first played here.

Q. What is it about this course or this place that it's so difficult to come back day by day and be consistent here?
TOM WATSON: Well, today you knew the scores were going to be higher today because, first of all, the wind. We had the toughest wind today. And secondly, they set up the course with more difficult flag positions today, without a question. You knew you were going to have a tough day today. You know you're going to have a tough day tomorrow. Sunday may not be as tough as today and tomorrow. I think that's kind of the way they're going to do it.

Q. How did you feel physically today?
TOM WATSON: I was doing just fine out there. My hip was just a little bit sore. You know, these hills are a little bit up and down and sideways and cattywampus, but I did okay.

Q. Crowds were loud and proud of you today.
TOM WATSON: Yeah, it was special walking through the crowds at Augusta today, very special for me, because I related to a lot of people I saw in the crowd. They're all my age. (Laughs.)

Q. Do you think some golfers lose a little bit of that competitiveness as they get into higher numbers on the calendar?
TOM WATSON: Well, one of the things that I said yesterday, if you play the Champions Tour you're still competitive. You can still compete. You know, if you're still competing, then it doesn't matter whether you're trying to hit that shot to win a Champions Tour tournament or the Masters. You know what the feeling is like to play in the Masters and the British Open and things like that. Yeah, the pressure is a little bit higher, but still, it's the same inside.

Q. You were disappointed after the British obviously.
TOM WATSON: I was, yeah.

Q. And most of us were sitting here marveling at what you had done. Does that say something about Tom Watson?
TOM WATSON: Well, I really felt like I could win the tournament going into it. I had -- that course fit me, and I knew how to play that golf course. It worked out that -- it almost worked out. This course is another story. I mean, this course is pretty big. 18, I'm hitting a fairway -- I'm hitting my hybrid 2-iron for my second shot here, and I've got to hit it right on the money. I hit it three feet too far to the right and in the bunker and almost made double bogey because of it. It was a really good shot. It was right on-line. That's what happens here at Augusta.
As I said yesterday, there's a tragedy that can occur on any hole out here. It doesn't matter what hole it is, but it can happen on any hole here.

Q. Talk about your nerves through this experience. Being in that situation at the British, how do you think that helped you?
TOM WATSON: It probably helped me a little bit I would say. I haven't been here in this position at The Masters for a lot of years. British Open, you know, I've had some runs a little bit later in my years at the British Open, but here I haven't. So it did help me.

Q. I know you studied Snead and admired the way he played as he got older. Are you trying to channel him in any way?
TOM WATSON: No, nobody can fit in his shoes. He was maybe the best golfer/athlete/natural athlete as ever walked down the pike.

Q. What are the toughest holes for you?
TOM WATSON: Well, 18 is one of the toughest holes in this wind, not a question. I found No. 1 one of the toughest holes. It's a very tough hole, No. 1. 4 played tough today, although I hit one of my best irons there and made birdie at 4 today.

Q. What did you hit there?
TOM WATSON: I had a 5-iron.

Q. Was that a skin?
TOM WATSON: It may be a skin, that's right.

Q. How far did you hit that fairway wood on No. 2?
TOM WATSON: 2, I hit a driver off the deck, and I drove it right --

Q. Do you know how far you were?
TOM WATSON: Yeah, I was 261 to the front edge. I hit driver and knocked it right on the green. Then I tried to hit driver off the fairway at 8 and I hit about a foot behind it. I didn't birdie 8. I birdied 2, though. I birdied 2.

Q. I know you talked about this yesterday, but your son, is this about the best gift you can probably give your son, this experience this weekend?
TOM WATSON: I don't know if it's the best gift, but it's pretty cool. Pretty cool to have him on my bag. And inside the ropes is something special. You guys get a chance to -- and gals get a chance to be inside the ropes, and you're up close and personal with the action. That's pretty neat. For 18 holes, 36 holes and 72 holes that's got to be pretty neat for Michael to see what it's like with the old man in the heat of the battle.

Q. Has he offered any good words for you?
TOM WATSON: Yeah, he's very supportive. We did misread that putt at 17 magnificently. Geez, it was a bad read.

Q. Does he get a nice tip at the end of the tournament?
TOM WATSON: Yeah, he'll get a pretty good tip. I'll slap some -- I'll hit the leather for him.

Q. Will you be disappointed if you don't win this thing?
TOM WATSON: Well, right now I'll be -- I'd like to have a chance to win, let's put it that way. I put myself in the first round with a chance to win and didn't put myself out of the tournament. Right here I'm getting a little further away from that chance to win, but I still have a chance to win. And that's the key; do I have a chance to win at age 60 to win the Masters.

Q. That's pretty cool.
TOM WATSON: That's what I'd like to have.

Q. Do you think it means anything to people with my color hair out here?
TOM WATSON: It certainly meant a lot to people after the British Open. A lot of people made reference to the fact that I gave up on golf or I gave up on certain things in life, and Watson, I'm not giving up now. If you can do it, I can do it. I had a lot of people saying the same thing, that very same thing.

Q. Will it be putting the next two days that determines --
TOM WATSON: No, it's going to be everything. I'm driving the ball pretty well, but my iron game is not very good. I hit some decent irons today, but overall I didn't -- I was less than 90 percent with my irons again today. Yesterday was the same way, but nice chipping got me back into the game yesterday. I got it up-and-down five holes in a row yesterday, and today I didn't get it up-and-down once.

Q. You have contemporaries here shooting 86, 83, wondering if they should even come anymore. Does it come down simply to the Senior Tour, or is it something within you that's making this happen?
TOM WATSON: Well, one of the things is I still love to compete. I can still get it. On certain courses I can get it.

Q. Are you angry with yourself right now?
TOM WATSON: I'm disappointed about the way I finished, but there's several shots today I was disappointed in, the shot at 7, the shot at -- the chip shot at 1, the second shot at 3. I knocked it over the green and made bogey there. And then my chip shot at 3. There were six or eight shots today that I was disappointed in.
You know, I usually go -- you're going to miss five or six or seven shots in a row on an average day. Yesterday I missed a few shots, but I made up for it yesterday. Today I didn't make up for it at all.
If I can keep those missed shots to about two or three, that's what I want. That's what I'm trying to do. And if I can do that, I can score.

End of FastScripts

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