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July 17, 2011

Tom Watson


Q. Even before today's round you've done enough to warrant your invitation back, haven't you?
TOM WATSON: Well, I played pretty well today. I can't complain too much. 72 on this golf course is not a bad score, and it just wasn't good enough to get close to the leaders this week, and just maybe not the best times, either, with the winds and rains yesterday. But it's a tough golf course. This is a golf course -- when you go around even par on this golf course, you've played a really good round of golf. 2-over is not too bad.

Q. That being said, Phil just went around the front in 30. Can you comment on that.
TOM WATSON: I'll tell you what, to me it was very tough putting today, getting the -- the wind was buffeting, and you're just getting knocked around by the wind all the time. Very few people could putt well today, but obviously Phil is putting. He's a magician, though. That's what I call him; he's a magician. He can do wonderful things with his hands, and of course his putting is part of it.

Q. How about your overall experience this year, the hole-in-one, everything?
TOM WATSON: Yeah, it was a wonderful experience. I didn't have a lot of expectations coming in here, but today I kind of found a little bit of something with my golf swing, hit the ball more solidly. I drove the ball better today and hit some real quality iron shots today. It was a good experience today, and after -- it's a struggle. This golf course with the wind conditions, it makes you struggle, and I was -- I'm happy about the way I managed the golf course. I didn't make a double bogey the entire week, and it was -- I had a hole-in-one. I mean, come on. It could get better than that, but holes-in-one are certainly things to remember, and I'll remember that for a long time.

Q. Before the tournament you went over to ?
TOM WATSON: I did. I visited the British military grave site at Ranville first and then I went on to Sword Beach, which was the eastern flank, and then we overnighted in Cannes, and then the next day we went to the U.S. cemetery and Pointe du Hoc and Omaha Beach. It was very emotional.

Q. You've been here, seen it, done it. There must be few things that can move you, but that must have been --
TOM WATSON: Oh, there are a lot of things that can move me. There are a lot of things. That certainly is -- you know, that particular turning point in World War II certainly was a -- it was a feat extraordinaire.

Q. Describe your emotions around a place like that. I've never been. Can you just describe --
TOM WATSON: Well, the visuals there are -- I wanted to see, first of all, Pointe du Hoc. It was man against man and gun against gun. Talk about a disadvantage. It was like me playing Phil Mickelson on this golf course. The Rangers, the Second Battalion Rangers, had to go up 115 feet in the air, straight up, and the Germans were up there shooting at them. And they managed to do it.
Omaha Beach was a disaster in a lot of different ways. The weather forecast was not exactly right, and the seas were really, really big, and they lost a lot of men before they even got to shore. They couldn't get to shore.
To see the cemetery there and the 9,000-plus marble crosses is a striking reminder of what the human condition can do. I was very emotional, very emotional seeing that.

Q. When you see things like that and head to a tournament, do you get upset --
TOM WATSON: It wasn't with that in mind, but it certainly has that effect on you. It sure does. Exactly.

Q. What was the second most memorable shot you hit this week?
TOM WATSON: My second? I think my 6-iron to 14 today. I hit just an absolutely crisp 6-iron from about 135 yards straight into the teeth of the wind about 30 feet and made the putt. That was my -- that was a nice way to -- that was one of the good iron shots I hit today. I hit the ball on the club face today better than I had all week.

Q. Are you up for next week?
TOM WATSON: Lytham St Annes? Yes, if everything is okay with me, then I'll be back. I sure will.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TOM WATSON: Yeah, they're putting me with the babies, aren't they? They were pairing me with the babies, and that's fine. I enjoy watching the passion and the awe and the excitement of the young people when they first play in their Open Championship. I remember mine, and it gives me vicarious pleasure to see them do it because I can remember what they're going through.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TOM WATSON: I did, yes, I did. I congratulated him on a good year. He's destined to do good things. He's got a wonderful golf swing and a great temperament and a great short game. He's going to be there.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TOM WATSON: I will, I certainly will, Tommy Lewis and Rory and Ryo Ishikawa. Of course these young people are just what I was. I came on the Tour at age 22. I was 22 when I qualified for the Tour. I wasn't 18 or I wasn't 17 or 19 like Seve, but it's close enough. We're mere babes with passion and dreams that maybe someday we can be a Jack Nicklaus, and that's what I had.

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