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June 18, 2010

Tom Watson


Q. What's better with your play today? Did I hear you say the course played easier?
TOM WATSON: The course did play easier today, not a question. It played a little softer. When you don't have wind at Pebble Beach you can start to get on these greens. When you have some wind, that's when it's hard to get on these greens. To get the right shot in there, to get the right distance.
Today the course is going to play as easy as it's going to play for four rounds, I can guarantee you that.

Q. It's hard not to be impressed with Ryo. What in particular strikes you about him?
TOM WATSON: Well, the first thing I like is his putting. I like -- he remind me of me when I was 18 years old. There was no fear, and everything was dead in the back of the hole, heart of the hole, and he runs it by five feet, he makes it coming back. That's what's very impressive about him.
Obviously he's got the golf swing to go with it, and he's got wonderful touch. And he has good imagination too. As No. 8 yesterday, when he hit it short, right, and then played it up the back stop and then drew it back.
But he had to hit the proper weighted shot to get it back up there to come back too. So there was touch involved with that shot.

Q. In terms of how he deals with everything around him too, is that pretty amazing?
TOM WATSON: I don't see how he does it. It would seem that it was, that it's a -- it's a constant, if you will.

Q. Judging by what you saw out there playing alongside him for two day, what do you think his chances are with how he plays Pebble Beach playing the weekend in contention?
TOM WATSON: Well, Pebble Beach has a tendency to come back and bite you if you make some mistakes. And to learn Pebble Beach, if this is his first time around, it's hard to learn Pebble Beach in just one time around. There's some things that -- there's some shots out there that the ball comes up 20 yards short, it goes way long, that you learn after playing Pebble Beach for so many years.
Course knowledge is -- course knowledge is a big, big thing here at Pebble Beach because the greens are so small.

Q. What do you think of the reception you got on 18 and?
TOM WATSON: Oh, it was very warm. Very -- it's a wonderful reception. It's very well, this very well could be my last U.S. Open. And I certainly appreciate the USGA's invitation. I'm very grateful for it. It was a very nice thing for them to do for an old guy like me.
I wish I had played a little bit better. As I said, I have too many unforced errors, too many bad shots. Just shots that just weren't Tom-Watson like. Just didn't play enough -- I had too many bad shots. And that concerned me this week.

Q. Were you thinking during the round today that this was going to be your last and in a good way, were you like soaking in, but also at the same time not letting it get to you?
TOM WATSON: No, not really. I just, I'm thinking that I would love to make the cut, after a bad first round, and I set my target on 2-under par today. And I didn't get there.
I was 2-under after 10. But then I gave it away with unforced errors at 11 and 13. I missed gap wedge, missed the green with a gap wedge and a 7-iron. So, you don't do that. It's just, you just don't do that.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TOM WATSON: Well, very motivated. I hate to miss the cut. I mean I do. I just -- it's just, it grates on me when I miss the cut. I hate it. I always have.
There's an outside chance that I might be able to get in, with the 10 shot rule, but there's still, there's no wind right now and this golf course is, the teeth, most of the teeth are, that we saw yesterday are pretty dull today. They're not very sharp, and the golf course is playing. It's going to give up some scores.

Q. What will you do this afternoon? Will you just hang around and watch and wait?
TOM WATSON: Well I'm going to, what I'm going to do, I'm going to go up and have lunch with my family, I got a big family here. We'll just have to wait it out. I've done it before. Having to wait it out. And we'll see what happens.

Q. What's different about the course today, there was some wind but not a lot?
TOM WATSON: No, there was wind yesterday. Yeah. There wasn't as much wind as there was in say Tuesday's practice round, but there was as much wind as there was Wednesday. There was enough to really make it challenging.

Q. When you sought pairing with those guys this week, or whenever they came out, did you chuckle and...
TOM WATSON: I did, I laughed. I said, let's see, my age, I'm 60, what's the combined age of them? 38 or 39? 39 I think it is. You know. They could be my grand kids.

Q. (Inaudible)
TOM WATSON: I did enjoy playing with them. I did. I'm sorry that Rory didn't play very well. He struggled. But I was sort of very impressed by Ryo. Ryo was, hit the ball very high and it's one of those things that you can hit the ball high when you play Pebble Beach because you have to hit the greens. You have to stop the ball on the greens when they're hard. And that height is a great advantage here.

Q. Did you give them any advice out there?
TOM WATSON: No, I didn't give them any advice, I just said I was -- I encouraged them. I talked a little bit about what's your schedule? Are you going to play? Both of them are you going to be playing much over here? And we were all pretty much in tune with trying to score. There's not a lot of conversation out there.

Q. (Inaudible)
TOM WATSON: Well, they both have a lot of talent. It's in the raw stages right now, you can see it. You can see they have a lot of talent. And they hit the ball long, they hit the ball, they can hit the ball up in the air, they can work the ball and they can flat putt. And they got great touch. Ryo's a great -- he's a wonderful putter.

Q. (Inaudible)
TOM WATSON: You have to hit that shot. That's the shot that I used to play there, when I could play it. I tried my moon shot there today with a 4-iron, and I thought the wind was behind me and I came up 20 yards short.

Q. (Inaudible)
TOM WATSON: Didn't have the second stage rocket in that one.

Q. Talk about Ryo and local knowledge. How can ignorance be bliss?
TOM WATSON: Well, I don't know. I don't know. Preparation is paramount when you play a tournament. And that's why the Ryder Cup -- I think the Europeans have done so well in the Ryder Cup because they play golf courses where they play a yearly event, and they know the golf courses. And the American golf courses where we play, we play maybe once every 10 years. And so we're not as familiar with those golf courses as the Europeans are on their golf courses. It makes a lot better sense to, if you want to win a Ryder Cup, to do that. And the same thing apply to playing in tournaments. You can prepare all you want, but if you don't get the wind conditions -- it's like Turnberry last year, those kids did not, they had not seen that golf course ever, a lot of them, never played it before.
I played it, That was my sixth championship. I had seen those conditions, I knew how to play the 11th hole, knew how much you had to hit it to the right at 16 and land it short at 15. I knew that.
A lot of these kids didn't know that. And that's what I'm talking about right there is preparation and being able to experience the winds when they change and come from different directions.

Q. What did you think about the conditions of the greens? Tiger had some harsh things to say about how they were rolling?
TOM WATSON: I didn't see what he had to say. The greens were -- any green is treacherous for me anymore.

Q. Is your most likely way back to the U.S. Open by winning the Senior Open?
TOM WATSON: Well, the best way is, you know, that would be it, yeah. That's my plan.

Q. In your focus today to score, were you able to push out any sentimental feelings?
TOM WATSON: Pretty much so. Yeah. I had my game fairways on today. It was, there was not a lot of thinking back today, it was just, how am I going to get my job done today. We'll think about the sentimental part of it later.

Q. Michael said that yesterday on the range for the first time in a while you just didn't have it?
TOM WATSON: I didn't, I didn't really. I don't know, I was just a little bit off right now. I don't know. He said I was taking it a little bit too much outside and my swing just didn't feel very good. It was just a little bit off. I made a good swing with the 4-iron, made a good, made some good -- made some good short irons but then I hit some awful shots, I mean just terrible shots.
A terrible 8-iron at 16 yesterday and I hit a terrible sand wedge to 3 today. I mean 7-iron that I hit at 15, I mean at 13 was terrible, I mean just awful. Just way off line.

Q. (Inaudible)
TOM WATSON: No, just not, you know, just, I don't hit bad shots that, like that very often, but I had too many of them. I mean just as I said, unforced errors. Unforced errors.

End of FastScripts

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