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February 18, 2014

Bubba Watson


LAURA NEAL:テつ We'd like to welcome Bubba Watson to the interview room.テつ Bubba, maybe just start with some comments coming into this week fresh off your win last week.
BUBBA WATSON:テつ Yeah, I'm hitting the ball well the last couple of weeks, last couple of events.テつ It's a tough one; this event is really tough because you can go out and shoot 5‑under and lose or you can go out and shoot 3‑over and win.テつ So you never know what's going to happen that day.テつ So you've got to take one day at a time and hopefully move on.

Q.テつ 64‑64 was pretty stout playing in the last two rounds.テつ How do you keep that going coming into here?テつ Or do you feel like you even have to worry about that?
BUBBA WATSON:テつ No, I've never, I don't say worry about it.テつ It's one of those things like I was saying, I can shoot 64 tomorrow and my playing partner shoots 63.テつ So I played great, but I'm still a loser.テつ So when you look at it that way‑‑ so there's nothing to change, there's nothing to do, I'm going to go out there and keep the same things going.テつ I'm really focused on what I'm doing right now, committed to each shot.テつ I'm making some putts.テつ So I'm confident, you know.テつ But, again, like I said, you play the best round of your life and still lose.

Q.テつ When these matches come down the stretch, those last couple of holes, is there a hole you feel more comfortable than others?
BUBBA WATSON:テつ No, I mean when a match is coming down, no matter what a player says, they're nervous.テつ So we're all nervous, we all have the same shots.
Let's just look at 16.テつ 16 is a par‑3.テつ It's a tough hole.テつ It depends on where they put the tee.テつ I think they use three different tee boxes there or they can.テつ So it's a tough one, especially when they put the pin behind the bunker.テつ Everybody is nervous.テつ Everybody is trying to play a position game.
Then on 17, you've got the long bunker down the right.テつ Tough green.テつ Depending on where they put the pin that green is tough.
Then 18 is the same.テつ Try to hit it in the fairway to a tricky green, depending on where they put the pin, how tricky it really is.
Both players are going to be nervous.テつ There's no hole that favors anybody unless the wind is in the right direction or somebody, then somebody can fly over the bunker on 17 and fly over the bunkers on 18.

Q.テつ What do you remember about your match last year with Furyk and those 22 holes?テつ Seemed like everybody was pulling for him.テつ Was that one of the more fun matches?
BUBBA WATSON:テつ No, I'd rather win it early.
You know, we were talking about that.テつ I walked around the course yesterday, took my putter and my wedge around the front nine.テつ We were talking about that where I hit it on the par‑3, got it up and down.テつ And the next hole, No. 4, where we ended it.テつ So, yeah, we were talking about that how it went that far.テつ It's rare to see a match go pretty far like that.テつ But obviously it went in my favor, so I liked it.テつ It's pretty neat when you can do that.
Obviously I'd rather not see other people going that far in their match instead of me, but it was ‑‑ me and Webb were talking about that yesterday when we were walking around the front nine.

Q.テつ Because the format is so different, can you talk about playing against a guy you know very well versus maybe a guy you don't?テつ Does it make it any more comfortable, any more anxious?テつ Talk about that.
BUBBA WATSON:テつ Well, obviously if it's a good friend‑‑ when I did the quick math, which I'm not very good at, I thought it might be Rickie Fowler I was playing against after I won.テつ If I was playing against a buddy like that, somebody that hangs out with you, somebody that stays at your house during tournaments and stuff, then obviously it's a little different there.テつ It's a tough one, because you want to win but at the same time you want your friend to play good.
When it's a guy you don't know as well or something, you don't think about it as much.テつ You just want to beat him.テつ You don't really care how he feels.
But you can't really‑‑ you're not really looking at who it is you're playing against.テつ You're looking at his golf ball.テつ You're looking at what he's making.テつ If he hits it in the desert and you know it's trouble, you might take something else off the tee.テつ You're never really looking at who the person is.テつ You're not mad at the person.テつ You're not trying to kill the person.テつ You're trying to kill their score is what you're really trying to do, just make sure you stay one up on them.
So, yeah, obviously playing against a friend, a good friend, would be a lot tougher than somebody you really don't know that well.

Q.テつ You speak frequently about your nervousness.テつ Can you tell us a little bit about how you've manage to handle that over the years, how you've grown in that area?
BUBBA WATSON:テつ I haven't grown at all.テつ It's just‑‑ anybody that tells you they're not nervous, they're lying.テつ Every golfer that's sat on this podium has lied if they said they're not nervous.
It's one of those things where you practice.テつ I've started golf at six years old.テつ I'm 35 now, so however many years that is, I've gotten better, you know.テつ When you trust yourself, trust your swing, trust your thoughts, trust the numbers of your caddie, trust your putting stroke, all that stuff comes together.テつ It might look like you're not nervous, but you're nervous.テつ You have to look over and know that the other people are just as nervous.テつ So that's really how you do it.テつ I've won five times now, so obviously I didn't fight my nerves off very well the other 400 times or so I've lost.

Q.テつ Are you pleased to see Boo back in the loop?テつ Do you have a special bond with him at all?
BUBBA WATSON:テつ It's funny, Boo Weekley and Heath Slocum, they're five years older.テつ Boo might be five and a half years older.テつ Those are the guys I looked up to in high school.
Boo, I haven't seen him around.テつ A lot of things going on, a lot of injuries and different things he's battling.テつ So, yeah, it's nice.テつ I saw him today.テつ He said congratulations.テつ It's good.テつ That's the guys I looked up to, Heath Slocum and Boo Weekley.テつ Those are my idols.テつ I was in middle school.テつ They were in high school.テつ They got out of high school when I got into high school.テつ Played a lot of junior golf with him.テつ I used to play with them when the high school team was practicing.テつ Those are the two guys I always watched and watched them make it to the PGA Tour, and knew I wanted to make it here.テつ Watched them win before me, so I knew I wanted to win.テつ Yeah, it's good to see Boo back out.テつ Hopefully he's playing good.

Q.テつ What are the main reasons for your elevated play in LA and Phoenix?
BUBBA WATSON:テつ I think it's a combination of everything, getting used to the surroundings.テつ If you look at my career‑‑ when I say my career, junior golf, too, I have to get comfortable with a situation.テつ I'm learning this myself.テつ It's me and my wife and my caddie.テつ We're trying to battle all these things together.テつ When the camera gets around you, from a small town, so first time on the Nationwide Tour when there was a camera, a little nerve‑wracking, a little different.テつ When people want to interview me, a guy from Bagdad, Florida.テつ It's a weird feeling.テつ Not a big fan of big crowds.テつ So when you make it to the PGA Tour, it's a little different.テつ The more success you have, the bigger the crowds get.テつ No matter if they love you or hate you, they're still bigger crowds.テつ It's just a stepping‑stone, each thing in my life, each thing that happens, I have to get used to the situation.
The Masters and a child at the same time, that's a lot of stepping stones to hurdle.テつ And so I just got comfortable with it.
And then last year I was playing the best golf, kind of like this year.テつ Hitting the ball the best I could hit it, but I had the flu a couple of times, strep throat the first two months of last year, starting in January.テつ I lost some weight, lost some energy.テつ I was always fighting back.テつ I was thinking it was me, it was me, but it was a lot of tough things going on.テつ So now I think I'm healthy and back to where I want to be and I'm obviously thinking a little bit better.

Q.テつ What about your game particularly, anything that's gone up that is behind the first and the second place finishes?
BUBBA WATSON:テつ No, it's the same thing.テつ This time I made putts.テつ Tomorrow I might not make putts.テつ It's golf.テつ I double bogeyed two of my first three holes last week, and somehow I still won the tournament.テつ I didn't make any bogeys on the weekend, which is unheard of around there.
There's nothing I'm doing anything different.テつ The only thing I could say I was doing different is more focus.テつ Like I said, this year, 2014, we always try to set goals, and this year is about rejoicing.テつ I want to just rejoice, no matter if I miss cuts, make cuts, win tournaments, don't win tournaments, think about how blessed I am playing on the PGA Tour.テつ It's my ninth year on the PGA Tour.テつ I have a beautiful baby boy who obviously likes his dad, cheered a little bit last week.テつ Then I have a beautiful wife who supports me through everything, my ups and downs.テつ And that's what I'm trying to do.テつ Right now it's working.テつ At some point I'm a golfer, I'll get mad and pout sometime.

Q.テつ What do you hold and carry in your pocket when you're playing golf, is there a special ball marker or good luck charm?
BUBBA WATSON:テつ In my left pocket I always have three tees, three tees with my name on them.テつ And my ball marker is some coin I had made, I had 10,000 of them made.テつ These little ‑‑ look like tokens and they say "Bubba" on both sides.テつ I always have that in my left pocket.
In my right pocket, I always have chapstick.テつ I don't know why, I always have to have chapstick everywhere I go.
LAURA NEAL:テつ Thanks and good luck this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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