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August 15, 2010

Bubba Watson


KELLY ELBIN: Bubba Watson, ladies and gentlemen, the runner-up in the 92nd PGA Championship here at Whistling Straits.
Bubba, your best finish ever in a major. I'm sure you would have liked to have it a little bit better, but comments on what transpired today at Whistling Straits, please.
BUBBA WATSON: It was a weird day today, obviously, with the finish that you saw. You know, I wasn't on anybody's radar. Nobody in this media center thought I had a chance this morning. Nobody talked about me probably this morning.
The weather gave me an opportunity to do it, kind of like Travelers, nobody expected me to win that, either. You know, I just played solid, just put my head down and tried to play as good of golf as I could and try to grind out a good finish, if not a win. And then when it worked out that I made some birdies and made some good pars, and I got a chance to go in a playoff.
It's very heartbreaking to hear about Dustin Johnson, that's upsetting. The guy's played great golf and he just made a mistake. I feel for him. That's very disheartening, and that's why this situation today was just weird. We sat in the locker room and didn't know what was going on, so the playoff was just weird, going into the playoff without him, it didn't seem right.
But I made The Ryder Cup, so that's all I care about.
KELLY ELBIN: That is correct. You and Martin were tied going into the third playoff hole, could you talk just a second about the distance that you had there and your second shot in on 18?
BUBBA WATSON: I had 206 to the front of the green right of the pin, 210 maybe. And so I was hoping I would catch a flyer with a 6-iron. I hit it as good as I could, just came out dead, it was into the wind, too. Went in the water. And before you ask, if I had it to do over again, I would hit it every day. I play to win a golf tournament. I don't play to lay up and hopefully make a par and tie or win. And I went for the win, and I'd do it over again, just like I did earlier in the day, I went for the win on 17 and 18 and just hit bad shots.
So I hit a good shot. It just didn't come out like I wanted it to, and then I still had a chance to make bogey. The chip shot came out quick. And then the bunker shot, almost went in. The bunker shot was an impossible bunker shot, if I had to get up-and-down, but it hit the pin. If it would have went in, we'd still be out there playing.

Q. We heard you say on the radio interview following your round that finishing second didn't matter because you made The Ryder Cup; looks like you finish third in Ryder Cup points. Why does that mean so much?
BUBBA WATSON: You're playing for your country. You're playing for the USA. Until 2016, we don't have an Olympics. That's my Olympics. I've wanted to play The Ryder Cup my whole life. I've made many a putts when I was eight and ten years old to win The Ryder Cup. So why would you not want to play for your country? Win or lose, when we get to The Ryder Cup, we all want to win, but at the same time you represent your country and we want to represent our country well.
KELLY ELBIN: This will be Bubba's first appearance in The Ryder Cup when it's held at Celtic Manor.

Q. Dustin also made the team, and we could not have known that when we were talking to him about all of the other things going on. Can you speak to the fact, a consolation prize of some sort for him?
BUBBA WATSON: For him, yes, it's a consolation prize for him. It's a sad, sad situation. It's not going to be the consolation prize that I wanted. I'm happy as heck to be on The Ryder Cup team. He is too. But it's going to be at least a week, two days before he gets over it. I mean, he got over the U.S. Open, but this one is different. It wasn't because of the golf, it's because of the rules, and rules are rules, but it's a sad situation.

Q. Could you share with us what you said when you were passing on 18 to the playoff, what you said to Kaymer? It looked like you had said something after your chip shot.
BUBBA WATSON: After it hit the pin? My bunker shot?

Q. Yes.
BUBBA WATSON: His caddie looked at me and took a deep breath, "Can't believe that almost went in." He just said, "Great shot." He shook his head. Think about it, he just went from -- if that goes in, he goes from, now I've got to make. So that's how close it was, where his heart starts pounding, you know, for him to just 2-putt was a lot easier. He just said, "Great shot" and, "Wow." I said, "Thanks, man." It was a difficult shot and the only way to stop the ball was hit the pin and I hit the pin but it didn't drop, obviously.

Q. What's your guess as to how many players actually read that rule in the locker room? How many players knew that rule going out there today?
BUBBA WATSON: I know of at least one that didn't. I don't know. I knew it.
Yeah, I have no idea. I guess, a lot, I don't know. I'm not worried about the other guys. I'm worried about me. So I read the rule. But that's just how it goes, I guess. Because I hit wild shots, so I'm used to going off-track, so I need to know those rules (chuckling).

Q. How cognizant were you --

Q. How aware were you --
BUBBA WATSON: That was a big word.

Q. -- concentrating on being the first of the contenders to get in and maybe post something, and then watch everybody try to shoot for it, how much of an advantage did you think that might be for you?
BUBBA WATSON: I just tried not to throw up on myself. I get nervous. The game is fun, but I want to win every week. I'm like Tiger; I come to a golf tournament to win. I just don't win as much as he does.
But, yeah, I just tried to do as good as I could, and then when we got to the last three holes, I knew if I could hit a good tee shot and make birdie on the par 5, 17 and 18 are going to be hard, so if I could somehow go par, par on those, I would be looking good.
And so, yeah, you start thinking about it, and then when I hit the terrible shot on 17, I was like, here we go, this is where it gets fun. So, yeah, I knew if I posted something, I thought 12 I had to post and obviously that's what it was. But 11 had a chance.

Q. Back to The Ryder Cup. We probably know what your strengths are as a player and so forth, but maybe you can enumerate what you bring to Corey's team?
BUBBA WATSON: What I bring to Corey's team? Not much. Just a self-taught guy from Bagdad, Florida, named Bubba.
I just want to play on the team and I'm going to do everything possible to help the team play, play good, whatever. And if he asks me to play every day, I'm going to play every day. If he tells me to sit out, I'm going to go cheer on the team and clap for everybody, be at every group. I'm going to do everything possible to spur the team on and play well. You know, what I bring to the table is I want to be there and I have a passion to play there. I might play terrible when I get there, but the one thing is I'm never going to pout for being there, I'm never going to put my head down, because you are representing your country.

Q. You mentioned how the game is fun for you and you spoke about that earlier this week, I'm wondering if in the throes of contention and in the playoff, are you trying to remind yourself of that, to keep the game fun, or is the pressure of the moment, does that sometimes overtake you at all?
BUBBA WATSON: That's what my caddie is paid to do. He's supposed to keep me on track. He's supposed to give me -- I don't know, he's supposed to give me something, talk to me about other stuff, tell me dumb sayings that he normally says, and that's what he did today.
You know, it's easy to get off-track and start thinking about all of the stuff that could happen, if you win, what could happen; if you come in top two or top three, make The Ryder Cup; you know, there's a lot of things that could creep in your head. But if you have a great caddie, he's going to tell you -- he's going to tell you other things to get your mind off of those. He's going to make you drink water, make you eat, make you do everything else except think about the normal stuff.

Q. I'm sure you're feeling a mix of emotions, but --
BUBBA WATSON: No. I'm happy as can be.

Q. That's what I'm going to ask, what's the dominant one?
BUBBA WATSON: I'm happy. I get to go home and see my dad tomorrow and -- (tearing up).
Man. You guys are terrible. It's easier when it's just me in the room, you know. I get to say I made The Ryder Cup.
KELLY ELBIN: If you would, briefly, go through your card today, lots of birdies, an eagle in there and some bogeys and then the birdie in the playoff, please, starting on No. 2 in the fourth round.
BUBBA WATSON: 2, I hit -- do you want me to just tell you what I hit?
KELLY ELBIN: And the length of the putt, please.
BUBBA WATSON: I hit driver -- oh, man, how far did we have, 249, 248 hole. I hit a 4-iron to about 20 feet. Almost made it, 2-putted.
Made a bogey on 4. Man, 4 has killed me all week. I hit the fairway for the first time on 4 and then I hit a fat 7-iron into the bunker, duffed it out of the bunker, chipped it up to about five feet and then made that putt.
What hole did I eagle -- oh, 5. So 5 is into the wind so it's playing super long. I hit driver down the middle, had 250 hole and hit a fat 3-iron, and I was begging for it to get up and it barely flew on the fringe and rolled to eight feet.
Then I made it for eagle, easy three.
And then missed putts all the way in, and then went to 13. I hit 3-iron off the tee. Hit a low 9-iron from 160 and then made about a 45-footer for birdie.
Then on the next hole, 14, I hit driver, trying to hit it just to the front edge of the green, put it just in the rough, chipped to about three feet and then made it for birdie.
16, I hit driver, had -- I don't even know what I had, 230-something. I hit 6-iron to the center of the green, 2-putted, came close to making that, 2-putted and made birdie.
Then 17, I hit fat 6-iron, hit it below the railroad ties down there. Luckily chipped it across the green and 2-putted for bogey.
KELLY ELBIN: And then the playoff on No. 1.
BUBBA WATSON: Oh, the playoff.
BUBBA WATSON: I tried to hit driver as hard as I could to see if I could get to the green, but aim it at the right edge of the green; so if I push it, it can still go on the green. So I hit it dead straight, chipped it to about three feet, two feet maybe, made the putt.
Then hit the same club I hit earlier today. I hit 6-iron on 17 to the center of the green and just made a good 2-putt to make a good par there. You'll take par there all the time.
18, I tried to just cut the driver off that -- basically off the big crowd there, back to the fairway. I did it earlier in the day, but I obviously didn't do it in the playoff. And then I hit 6-iron out of the rough right at the pin trying to make -- trying to win a golf tournament, trying to make a good score. Came up short. And then obviously, dropped it, penalty, hit it across the bunker, hit the pin and made a six.
KELLY ELBIN: Bubba has played the par 5s in 9-under par.

Q. In view of what you said about your own 6-iron at the 18th there, trying to win a golf tournament, what did you feel or think when Martin laid up?
BUBBA WATSON: Thought it was the smartest play in the world. If it would have been the other way around, the only thing I would have done different probably -- I don't know his lie. I never saw his lie, so I can't really comment I guess on his lie. It's the same thing I might have done, laid up in two to the other side if I could, because it's just a shorter side. But he laid up to a number he liked and it obviously worked out. Yeah, if he hit it in the water, I'm definitely laying up, unless my lie is really good, and obviously his lie was pretty bad.
KELLY ELBIN: Bubba Watson, the runner-up in the 92nd PGA Championship.

End of FastScripts

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