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May 23, 2014

Tom Watson


KELLY ELBIN:テつ Two‑time Senior PGA champion, Tom Watson in with a 4‑under par 68 in the second round of the 75th Senior PGA Championship Presented By KitchenAid.テつ Tom, a lot of good golf out there among the three of you, all finished at 4‑under par, I'm sure you made the crowd happy and yourselves pleased.
TOM WATSON:テつ Well, we all three of us played well.テつ I played a lot better today from tee to green than I did yesterday.
I hit ‑‑ I was putting for 17, actually 16 birdies and an eagle today.
I had one hiccup at No. 12, where I messed up around the green and took four to get down from the front and made double bogey there.
But all in all I had a lot of opportunities for birdies today and actually some close ones that I missed, but all in all, I was very happy with the round.テつ The golf course played a little easier today, they had the tees up on several holes, so it was a kinder, friendlier Harbor Shores Golf Course today.
KELLY ELBIN:テつ You hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation.テつ So obviously striking the ball into the holes quite well.
TOM WATSON:テつ Yeah, it was a good day from a ball striking standpoint.テつ It was a good competitive day out there.テつ Bernhard played well, Colin played well, and I rounded it out by playing well, so it was a good time out there today.

Q.テつ If you don't mind just briefly go through the birdies, starting right on No. 1.
TOM WATSON:テつ Yeah, I hit an 8‑iron on to the green about 20 feet and holed it.テつ That was kind of a nice way to start.
Then number 4, I hit a 5‑iron, hit a beautiful shot right at the hole and landed two steps on the green and ran probably at least 60 feet up by the hole.テつ That's a hard green to hold.テつ We had it downwind, a little bit right‑to‑left, and you had to hit it on the front edge of the green to hold the green.テつ Of course you've got the hazard right there, too, so I challenged it, hit a good shot and I ended up making about a 6‑footer for birdie.
Then 9 I made it from about, after a poor third shot, I hit it a little bit heavy, I left it about 25 feet from the hole and I made the putt for birdie there.
Then got to 12, I pulled my tee ball into the bunker and left it just short of the green and there's just a, just it's a real wall there and the pin was just over it.テつ I stubbed my chip and it came back and then I three jacked it from there.テつ That's the way to make you throw up.
But I came back and I hit a good shot on the next par‑3.
And then hit a not a very good drive at 14.テつ The best shot of the day was out of the rough at 14.テつ I pulled it just left and I was on down slope and I took a 5‑iron and kind of played a links, I played a links shot.テつ I had to carry it over the short bunker, land it short of the green and I ran it up about, I ran it up about six feet from the hole and then I missed the putt.テつ Pushed it.テつ Didn't convert it.
But next hole, the tees were up, the par‑5, and I hit it to the very back edge of the green with a 5‑iron and 2‑putted from about 70 feet.
Then I hit a really good shot at 16.テつ I hit a 6‑iron down in the hole and made that putt from about six feet for birdie.
So that was my round today.テつ It was pretty good ball striking round, I can't complain, I didn't mishit too many shots and that's, I'm kind of carrying on what I did last week.テつ I hit the ball pretty well last week and finished with a good round on Sunday and it's kind of carrying on right now.テつ So we'll see what happens the next two days.
KELLY ELBIN:テつ Open it up for questions.

Q.テつ Colin was in here talking about what a competitor you still are.テつ I know that you thrive on competition.テつ Can you just talk about how much competition still means to you, being able to compete.
TOM WATSON:テつ It's part of my makeup.テつ I'm a competitor.テつ I don't like to lose and I like to get everything out of every shot.
When I don't do well I get angry with myself still.テつ Like Trevino said, when I stop getting angry with myself, then I know it's time to quit.テつ And I haven't reached that point yet.テつ I get frustrated at times, but I still have some fire.
Of course, when you're playing well, it's easy to say that.テつ When you're playing badly, do you still have the fire to make it happen, to get it up‑and‑down, to get the best score.テつ I still have that fire.

Q.テつ If the conditions stay the same, it was a little breezy out there today, but it wasn't bad at all.

Q.テつ If the conditions stay the same, which it looks like it might, what do you think it's going to take the next two rounds to win?
TOM WATSON:テつ Well, Roger really played some spectacular golf two years ago here, so these greens play very small, because of all of the humps and bumps.テつ Your iron game has to be on.テつ And that's what Roger, I remember watching him come in, he just kept hitting the ball stiff, stiff, stiff.テつ Every shot.
Of course, he ran away with it.テつ But that's how you win this golf tournament on this golf course.テつ So getting the ball close to the hole with your irons is the key here.テつ Actually, it's the key on any golf course, but here it's more important, because you got a lot of things to think about when you go into these greens.テつ As Colin said, these greens are complicated.

Q.テつ Well you heard a little bit what Colin mentioned about the Ryder Cup, just your thoughts on what the challenge is for you, given that it's been a tough go for the American team for quite awhile.
TOM WATSON:テつ Well, the challenge is for the players.テつ They haven't won but two in the last nine Ryder Cups.テつ They have had their butts handed to them.テつ I hope they have the attitude they're going to go in there and take no prisoners, get the job done, no matter what it takes.テつ No matter how, where you are on the golf course.
One of the things I said about the Ryder Cup, you see more spectacular shots, more hole outs in the Ryder Cup than you do in any tournament.テつ You see some spectacular play.
Only eight guys are playing, or you got four teams playing a day, each match and eight guys are playing and, God, you still see just so much wonderful shots.
That type of competition, the match play, mano‑a‑mano competition brings it out and it's different than playing out here.

Q.テつ People understand what a baseball manager brings and what a football coach brings, what does a Ryder Cup captain bring?
TOM WATSON: テつWell, I hope I create the environment for winning.テつ To do that, keep it loose, keep it happy, keep it comical, just do what I can to alleviate the pressure, that's what the Ryder Cup is all about.テつ There's a lot of pressure in the Ryder Cup.テつ Some people deal with it better than others.テつ I've been there before, I know what the pressure's like, and if I can help those people who are having difficult times with the pressure, that's my job.

Q.テつ Colin mentioned a little bit earlier about how your partners play leaks into your play.テつ How is that, when the guys around you are playing well in terms of affecting your game?
TOM WATSON:テつ Well, you use everything to your advantage as far as ‑‑ you observe.テつ You observe what Bernhard does and what Colin does.テつ You watch the shots, how the ball lands on the greens, what does it do in the fairways, where does it end up?テつ You use every bit of information.
You watch your opponents, you watch where, how they hit the ball, where their ball goes, so it helps you eliminate any doubt.テつ Eliminate some of the risk.テつ The doubt or the uncertainty.テつ You don't want to play with any uncertainty.テつ When you're swinging at that golf ball, you want to be certain about the shot you're trying to play.
When the wind is blowing, that's when it becomes uncertain.テつ That's where it really takes ‑‑ when you play a really good round in the wind, when you hit the ball well, when you have a lot of opportunities for birdies, that gives you more satisfaction than any time else playing golf.テつ Under tough conditions.テつ I relish the challenge.テつ I just wish I could hit the ball about 40 yards farther.
KELLY ELBIN:テつ Tom Watson, 68, in the hunt at the Senior PGA Championship.テつ Thank you.
TOM WATSON:テつ Thank you.

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