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May 4, 2011

Bubba Watson


MARK STEVENS: We'd like to welcome Bubba Watson fresh off your win at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans last week and moving to No. 1 in the FedExCup standings. You just got done playing the pro-am. Talk about the course and your thoughts coming into the week.
BUBBA WATSON: The course is in great shape. The course is always in great shape here. Look forward to this event. I love the way that they set up the golf course. Tough test, fast greens, it's always in great condition. So looking forward to it.
You know, I'm staying at my house about an hour and 15 minutes away so I'm driving back and forth, so staying in my own bed, getting to hang out with my friends and play some golf in the middle of all that.

Q. You live High Point, Lexington?
BUBBA WATSON: I live in Lexington, yeah, about five, six months out of the year.

Q. You've won three times now in less than a year. What happened? What turned it around for you?
BUBBA WATSON: I don't know. Just one of those things, you know? Bounces go my way, make some putts, the other guys don't make the putts. I don't know, it's just one of those things. It's not like I'm a better player, maybe better mentally. I feel -- I felt terrible losing all the time, so I'm ready to change that. I don't know, it's just one of those things. If I knew, I'd do it all the time. I wouldn't just win three, I'd win a lot more.

Q. Is getting the first one -- they talk about how hard it is to get over that hurdle. You had a good break, hit the cart path and spit it down there and a nice thing happened for you and you were able to get over that hump. Does that lead to number two and number three and hopefully on down the line? Does winning one lead to winning two and winning three? What kind of mental kick in the butt does that give you?
BUBBA WATSON: None. I'm just as nervous -- I was just as nervous -- that three-footer -- I think it was about three feet, I'm guessing, about three feet to win the tournament on Sunday, all I remember is the putter going back. I never remember following through, don't remember getting the ball out of the hole, I just remember turning to Webb and telling my good friend that his time is coming, he's playing great. That's all I remember. And then my mom. But it's almost like I blacked out for that.
Just the routine, I've been working on those putts for so long, I somehow made it, and I don't know how I made it. I don't remember it at all.

Q. On Sunday on the back nine, you've talked pretty openly about how you think you've got ADD issues sometimes and are easily distracted. There's also the hyper-focus portion of the ADD affliction that allows guys like Payne Stewart to really micromanage the task at hand at certain times. Do you notice any difference, or are you still fighting the fidgets?
BUBBA WATSON: You used a lot of big words there, and I'm not sure. I went to Georgia, though. Go Dawgs.
I don't know. I was --

Q. Are you in a different place mentally --
BUBBA WATSON: I was on the golf course hopefully. Man, I don't know. I just hit some bad shots, hit some good shots, and somehow I won. It's just one of those things; I just played golf, and somehow he had a misfortune with a penalty shot -- the thing about it, if the penalty shot didn't happen, I lose by one. It's just one of those things. I don't know what happened. I was playing the same golf. Gust of wind got me on No. 9, went in the water, made a quick double, but played great golf other than that hole all week. A couple three-putts, but that was it.

Q. You're one of the guys out here that's sort of embraced social media and Twitter and so forth. Can you talk about that as a way to connect with your fans and kind of grow your brain and grow the TOUR, grow the sport?
BUBBA WATSON: You know, it's hard to -- you can't just sit and talk to fans. I guess you could, but it would be time-consuming. You wouldn't be able to get your job done. Whatever you're doing, whatever your job is, a lawyer, whatever, a doctor, you can't have fans just sit there and talk to you because you've got to do your job.
So it's just hard to interact with them at a golf tournament. So social media, it's easier. They send you questions, you can say a quick one-word answer, whatever. That's what I do, I just say thanks or tell them one-word answers or whatever, and just interact with them as much as you can. It's still hard; the more and more popular you get, I've got over 122,000, I think, fans on there, and it's hard to answer all of them, but you can interact some or see what they're saying to you, say some stuff. So yeah, it's a way to just interact. It's an easier way to interact instead of on the golf course when you're trying to do your job.

Q. So much attention is paid to the power you have, but you're so creative, also. What do you get a bigger charge out of, the creativity of a shot or hitting it a long way?
BUBBA WATSON: Winning. The creativity is the most fun. Teddy always -- my caddie always says when we hit it in the woods or whatever, he goes, if it was just me and you out here, what would you do. I said, I'd probably make birdie. So he always tries to get me to act like nobody is out here, no cameras are out here, let's hit the shot that you hit. He goes, you wouldn't let me beat you, so just hit those same shots.
That's what's fun is the creativity. The driver, hitting it long, it's fun, don't get me wrong, but the creativity out of shots, the shots that people can't hit.

Q. You finished second here a couple years ago. Any memories from that?
BUBBA WATSON: Yes, that was the first time I beat Tiger Woods, and you can tell him that. (Laughter.)
That was the first time ever -- what was it, two years ago? That was the first time -- so how many years? That was my fourth year on TOUR, yeah, so the fourth year on TOUR was the first time I ever beat Tiger Woods. I finished second, he finished fourth, so I let him know. When he came off, because he was right behind me and he missed a birdie putt from like 12 feet, I think, somewhere in that area, 15, 12 feet, and when he came off and he saw me standing right there and I was smiling, he said, I know, and he knew that I beat him for the first time.

Q. What do you consider main factors that lead to success in a tournament?
BUBBA WATSON: Success in a tournament? It always comes down to putting. If you're putting well, it's going to keep all the momentum going your way. Your mind is going to be in the right spot. Everything is going to be flowing good for you. To have a good week or have a good year, it's always about putting. Putting is the last thing you do, unless you chip in, but it's the last thing you do. Putting is the key. No matter how far you hit it, the three-footer means just as much as if you hit a 400-yard drive. Putting is the key.

Q. You just mentioned you like the creativity side of it but also you have the length. Do both of those assets really make you a threat to win this week pause of the length of this course and how creative you may have to be in certain spots if you spray it a little?
BUBBA WATSON: Hopefully it's because I'm a good golfer. Yeah, it can be. I mean, if I hit my driver well, then yeah, it's going to be easier for me. I have shorter irons into holes. But the creativity, with some of the mounds, some of the hills, some of the shots out of the trees if I start spraying my driver, then that's going to help me, too. Somebody that hits it far, not just me -- if you hit your driver well and putt halfway decent, you have a really good shot. So yeah, I mean, it can work to that advantage.
Like last week I hit my driver really well, so that means shorter irons -- my irons, it looked like I was hitting those really well, and then just made some putts. Yeah, if I play like I did last week, I have a good shot of making the cut and then having a chance to win on Sunday.

Q. Your 120,000-plus Twitter followers, in your mind why do you think you're so popular with the social media folks?
BUBBA WATSON: Because I'm good-looking, I think. It's simple. (Laughter.)
Besides that, I'm not smart. I do dumb videos, keep people entertained, I guess, and then I teamed up with Rickie for a bunch of dumb videos. What am I, ten years older than Rickie, but in our minds I'm probably younger than Rickie and a little immature. But we just had fun with it, me and Rickie, and then I've done some dumb videos on my own. I think that's why people are just wanting to see how dumb I can be, I guess.

Q. What were you trying to do when you took that little scooter out on the diving board?
BUBBA WATSON: I was going to do a trick.

Q. What were you going to do before it went sideways?
BUBBA WATSON: Listen, just me and you, nobody else is listening right now. Nobody is transcribing. She can't type that fast. I wasn't doing a trick at all. I'm not going to hurt myself. I'm going to act like I'm doing something, but I wasn't, so it was a fake fall I guess you'd say, but don't tell nobody else.

Q. So that was exactly what was desired?
BUBBA WATSON: Right. What trick was I going to do?

Q. I don't know.
BUBBA WATSON: Exactly. I play golf, that's all I do. I used to play baseball for 14 years and then I play golf now. That's all I do, and video games.

Q. Does Ted help you out at all with --
BUBBA WATSON: No, he's terrible, but he's really cheap, so I love him.

Q. You don't use a swing coach, you don't use a psychologist. You do have a workout guy, right?

Q. I see him out here all the time. In this day and age, you're practically naked as far as surrounding cast.
BUBBA WATSON: Thank you.

Q. Seriously.
BUBBA WATSON: I understand.

Q. It's a different way to go. Why have you taken that path when everybody else seems to have people out here to read their tea leaves for them before they go to work in the morning?
BUBBA WATSON: Do you like people telling you what to do?

Q. No, but I have editors, so --
BUBBA WATSON: But you don't like it, though, do you?

Q. Not usually.
BUBBA WATSON: So why do I want somebody to tell me what to do, tell me what I'm doing wrong? I want to be the boss. My dad taught me to be a leader or a follower, and he said follower ain't fun. So I want to be the leader of Bubba Watson. What I say goes. And it's not fun; as a kid, when we were kids growing up -- I still am a kid, but when we were kids growing up, you went out there and you dreamed about shots. We always talk about we had this putt to win from ten feet, let's make it. Then when you miss it, you're like, okay, no, wait, we're going to have this over, we're going to do this ten-footer again. So you're out there dreaming what you want to do in your life, what you want to achieve.
And so for me, I'm still a kid. I'm hitting shots that I want to hit. I'm doing the things that I want to do. I play it my way. People started coining the phrase "Bubba golf," whatever you want to call it, which I like that, let's use it, "Bubba golf." It's going to be fun. I mean, why do what everybody else does? That's boring.

Q. When you see all this news print and TV time dedicated to the coaching carousel, Sean O'Hair has left Sean Foley and whatever the latest flavor is, do you laugh? Is there too much stock put in that, or is it just not your particular way?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, I laugh, but it's just not my way. I'm good friends with Sean Foley, I'm good friends with Hank Haney, with Butch. I know them as people, I know them as friends, but not as -- I don't ask them for advice.
But it's just not the way I go about it. All of us are good at golf. Sometimes I think some of the great players, they get too wrapped up in the mental part.
You know, I think -- yeah, I'll just go ahead and say it. I think Tiger is going the wrong way. I think he's so mental right now with his swing. Just go out there and play golf. He used to hit shots, used to bomb it, used to do all that stuff. In 2000 and '97 I think he did pretty good. He won the Masters by 48 shots or whatever he won it by. But I think sometimes he gets carried away on that. And a lot of guys do. The mental part of it, I get carried away sometimes. I think I'm not very good. I complain to Teddy all the time how bad I am at golf. He's like, shut up.
But yeah, the mental game is where it needs to be. But yeah, when you start talking about other people trying to help you with your swing, look at this, look at that, I think they take a step back. So I'm hoping they all get coaches. (Laughter.) Come on, Rickie, get you a coach.
MARK STEVENS: Okay, Bubba, thanks for taking the time. Good luck this week.

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