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July 26, 2012

Tom Watson


STEVE TODD:テつ Tom, a 69 today on a beautiful day at Turnberry.
TOM WATSON:テつ Beautiful day at Turnberry.
STEVE TODD:テつ It's a great start.
TOM WATSON:テつ It's a good start.テつ The golf course is there for the taking; if you played some good shots, I played a good front nine.テつ Back nine, I got sloppy but the front nine I played pretty well and I was happy with the way I started.
But the course is there for the taking.テつ 64 at Turnberry, if you played decently, you're going to have some putts for birdies, and 64 is not out of the question for other players to shoot I think today but again, that's a wonderful score.
I suspect in the afternoon we will probably see a few more scores in the middle 60s; that's what I suspect, but you know, we don't know what's going to happen yet.テつ But that's what I think the course is giving up today.テつ The winds are obviously down and Turnberry is somewhat defenseless today.テつ But the winds will kick up, they will get there and it will show its teeth.

Q.テつ You expressed some concern about the state of your game over the last month or so.テつ Do you feel today it's starting to come back?
TOM WATSON:テつ Well, the front nine I made some good swings and played some quality shots.テつ The back nine, again, just sloppy.テつ Swing was sloppy; it's loose, long, not very powerful.テつ And so my caddie just informed me that I think in the 12 rounds that I've played or the 13 rounds that I've played, I've only shot a better score on the back nine once in those 13 rounds.

Q.テつ Do you feel this week being back to the Holy Grail, did you sense that there would be any kind of added inspiration walking out there in the competitive sense?
TOM WATSON:テつ Well, I love playing at Turnberry.テつ But again, I'm out there to compete and play the course.テつ You use past experiences of how you played the course, past shots and things like that when you play the course.テつ But I don't go around thinking about what's happened here in the past when I'm trying to compete and shoot a score.テつ That's reserved for golf competition, when I'm on the course, and when you bring it up.テつ

Q.テつ Do you hope the wind does come in because it might give you more of an edge?
TOM WATSON:テつ There are several players that have played this course more than once compared to 2009.テつ I'm just concerned about the way I'm playing; if I'm not hitting the very solidly and putting the ball on the clubface, and you don't get the right distances.テつ If you don't get the right distances, you're always going to be struggling trying to make pars.テつ The three things that don't last:テつ Dogs chasing cars, pros playing for pars, and caddies that think they are stars.テつ And pros playing for pars is part of that thing.テつ That's an old Trevinoism.
You play out here, you're putting for pars a lot when you're not hitting the ball very solidly.テつ My forte in the past is that I've always hit the ball, not on the clubface but hit it solid and have a pretty good idea how far it's going to go.
I've struggled the last five weeks hitting the ball on the clubface.テつ May have something to do with my hand.テつ But give it some time and see if I can get a little bit stronger and get the swing‑‑ putting the ball on the clubface.テつ You as a golfer know when you hit a shot‑‑ but you know what it's like, if you don't hit the shot on the clubface and don't get the right distance, you don't have a chance.テつ The wind only exacerbates that.テつ A day like today, you kind of get away with some wayward shots, but when the wind comes up, you'd better be playing solid golf; solidly hitting the ball on the clubface.

Q.テつ Bernhard Langer was in earlier saying that even with a 64, the course is extremely long for a Champions Tour events, not only in yardage but playing long, perhaps too long for a Champions Tour event.テつ What's your impression of that?
TOM WATSON:テつ Well, I'm probably a little bit‑‑ I'm the wrong person to ask, because we basically played the course with the exception of two or three tees from where we played it in 2009.テつ He may be right from the standpoint that it may be a little bit too long.テつ Again, I give that some credence.

Q.テつ Could you just talk about Bernhard, just the sort of consistency he has, and do you go into the first round expecting Bernhard to always be there?
TOM WATSON:テつ Well, when I first started on the Champions Tour, Senior Tour out here, I always knew that Hale Irwin was going to be there, and now it's the same thing with Bernhard.テつ Bernhard is always going to be there.テつ He's that good of a player and he's in good form.テつ He manages the course beautifully.テつ He really takes very precise measurements of the course.
He and Terry, his caddie, really work out how the course should be played.テつ Probably more so than anybody out here.テつ That's why he's successful.テつ And you have to putt his talent right there, too, because he's got a great talent.
STEVE TODD:テつ Thanks for joining us.

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