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May 25, 2014
BENTON HARBOR, MICHIGAN
KELLY ELBIN:Â Tom Watson in with 6‑under par 65 in the final round of the 75th Senior PGA Championship Presented By KitchenAid.Â Tom, four twos.
TOM WATSON:Â How about that?Â Four twos.Â That was good.
KELLY ELBIN:Â It looks like you're going to be runner‑up.Â Looks like you gave it a great shot to win your third Senior PGA Championship.
TOM WATSON:Â I was really happy about those four twos.Â But I'm really up upset that I didn't make the last putt, because I would have shot my age.
It was really, it was one of the best rounds from tee to green that I played in years.Â It was really, really good.Â The putter felt like a snake in my hands.Â I missed a lot of short putts today.Â It could have been a much better round of golf, scoring round of golf.Â But I missed three or four really short putts that could have gone in for birdies.
KELLY ELBIN:Â You hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation.
TOM WATSON:Â And damn it, I missed that 17th green by three inches like that (Indicating).Â I don't think I ever hit 18 greens in regulation out here.Â And when that thing kicked off that slope I said slow down, stay on the green.Â When I walked up I was like, well, every time I looked up today the ball was going at the hole with the irons, and it was solid and it was just a fun day to play golf from tee to green.Â When I got on the greens it was a different story, but 65 is a darn good score on this golf course, it wasn't good enough to beat Colin though, it looks like, because he's kind of running away with it now.
KELLY ELBIN:Â You said at the beginning of the week that it was the kind of golf course that Colin you felt like it met his eye, the type of shots that he hits.
TOM WATSON:Â He hits the ball very straight, but he's very precise with his iron shots.Â He can hit the ball high and soft with the irons and you have to do that to fit it in to these small locations on these greens.Â Obviously he did it very well today.
KELLY ELBIN:Â Open it up for questions.
Q.Â If you were going to have any chance whatsoever, did you need to make better than five at 15?
TOM WATSON:Â Yeah, that was the roadblock right there.Â I needed to make four there to keep the pressure on.
Q.Â What club did you have in there?Â What yardage?
TOM WATSON:Â I hit a 4‑iron, I had 197 yards to carry the water.Â That was basically the only thing I was trying to do was just carry the water there.Â And then I missed the short putt.
KELLY ELBIN:Â You mentioned all the good iron play.Â Would you go through the length of putts on the birdies starting on No. 2, please.
TOM WATSON:Â Well, yeah, 2, I hit it about eight feet.Â With a 6‑iron.
4, I hit it three feet with a 4‑iron.
10, I hit it two feet with a sand wedge from about 60 yards.
11, I hit it about four feet with an 8‑iron.
13, I made a long putt there, I hit a 6‑iron and made it from about 12 feet there.
14, I hit it to about 10 feet from the hole with a 6‑iron there.Â About 10 feet from the hole.
KELLY ELBIN:Â Thank you.Â Questions?
Q.Â Why does around like this happen?Â Why does something all fall into place and something happen like this?
TOM WATSON:Â Well it was beginning to happen last week.Â I knew that the way I was striking the ball I was hitting the ball solid. Â I hadn't been hitting the ball solid all year.Â I made an adjustment in my swing and I started really catching the ball very solidly and good divots and it was right off the club face and it was just spot on.
That started last week.Â I made that change last week and I hit some good shots and I played a good last round last week.Â I shot 67 in the last round last week at Shoal Creek.
So, the round, it just grew and now I'm excited to play right now, except for the putter, I mean ‑‑ I'll go left‑handed, maybe that's what I'll do.
Q.Â You've never even gone left hand low.
TOM WATSON:Â Well, I should try that.Â I got to try something, geez.
Q.Â On the front were there any particular short putts you missed for birdie?
TOM WATSON:Â Yeah, 1, I hit it about five feet, missed that.
5, I missed it from about 12 feet.
6, I had about a 15‑footer.
7, I had about a 20‑footer.
8, I hit it about 12 feet at 8.
9, I hit it about 20 feet there.
Q.Â What particularly did you tweak in your swing last week?
TOM WATSON:Â Basically I just tried to keep the club face a little more square away from the ball and square into the ball.Â And it's a feel thing.Â It wasn't so much rotation, a little bit less rotation in my swing.
Q.Â Yourself and Colin apparently he's going to win, he has a bit of an old style golf swing, can you talk about how he swings and how he plays?
TOM WATSON:Â Yeah, he can drive it straight as a string.Â He really has kind of a cut swing, he goes back and he kind of takes it back kind of shut, upright and then he drops it and opens it up going through.Â So he can really just keep that club face square and square and square.Â There's not a lot of rotation at this end of the impact area.
It's great for iron play.Â That's the way you have to hit your irons.Â Man, that's kind of the way I was hitting my irons starting last week.Â It started working then.
So, he has the type of game that if you play Major championships only firm greens, tight pin positions, he's got the type of swing to do that and make it work.Â He never had any luck when he was playing the Regular Tour, but he certainly came close a bunch of times.
Q.Â I know you've been asked a bunch of times how can you relate to the Ryder Cup players with the age difference or whatever, but if you were potential U.S. player for Ryder Cup team and you saw a 64 year old captain do what you did today, what would you think?
TOM WATSON:Â Who is that guy?
(Laughter.)Â He's not supposed to be doing that.Â That's what they said in 2009 at the British Open.Â They said, who is this guy?Â Who does he think he is?Â I scared them.Â I scared them.
Q.Â I know you never come to play for second place, but with the amount of tournament golf you've been playing and Ryder Cup responsibilities, how good is a second place finish out here in this tournament?
TOM WATSON:Â Well, I came here with pretty good expectations in my golf swing and my ability to score and it came to fruition.Â I played really solid golf.Â Yesterday's back nine wasn't real good, I hit all nine greens on the front nine and the back nine I think I hit three.Â But today I hit basically I hit all 18 greens today.Â I missed 17 by three inches, damn it.
But, no, I can just ‑‑ suffice to say I'm ‑‑ I have mixed emotions about it, but it's always nice to be able to put the ball where you want it and have a lot of looks at birdies.Â You can probably figure something else, maybe I'll go close my eyes or look at the hole or look at my hands or something like that, maybe I can figure something out right there.Â But you need to make the putts to win and I didn't do it today, but I certainly had the opportunities today.Â It could have been a real low round today and so I come away with a really good feeling inside about the way I played.Â Dinner is going to taste really nice tonight.
Q.Â Couple things.Â One, when you won your first Senior PGA it was obviously a senior Major, but it was a PGA Major, finally, for you.Â For Colin it's his first Major ever.Â Senior, non‑senior, never has had one.Â How much different was it in your mind winning on the Regular Tour a Major versus winning a senior Major?
TOM WATSON:Â Well, it's different.Â It's different.Â You're not playing against the best.Â But you're playing against the best of your age.Â You're playing in the first flight.Â But you still won the Major.Â You won the most important tournament.
Q.Â The second thing is, even though it's a little premature, Jason Dufner is in likely a playoff with Adam Scott at Colonial.Â Dufner's kind of had a struggle this year playing well, now all of a sudden he's in a playoff?
TOM WATSON:Â He did that last year didn't he or two years ago?Â He ran the tables at the end of the year, didn't he.
Q.Â Yeah.Â So the question is, is how important is it to see someone that obviously you must have anticipated being on the team at the beginning of the year, now actually starting to come to fruition and playing better and getting himself into a playoff at Colonial?
TOM WATSON:Â Well, like I said, it's very fluid right now.Â The team looks like there are six players that are going to make the team but it's fluid.Â There's so many points out there, the Colonial's just worth whatever the points, but then you got the three Majors worth double.Â So a lot of things can happen there.Â I mean a lot of points can be had.
It's great to see Jason do it.Â He's a great ball‑striker.Â He can hit it close.Â I'm looking forward to him maybe being on the team.Â He played well both the Presidents Cup and the Ryder Cup.
Q.Â When you were struggling with the yips and struggling with your golf swing in the late '80s, early '90s could you ever have imagined at age 64 you could still produce this kind of golf?
TOM WATSON:Â Well, I wasn't struggling with the yips, but I was struggling with my golf swing.
As I said, in 1994 I made a change to my golf swing and it made the golf swing easy.Â It made my swing easy.Â I learned how to play for the first time in my life.
Then things after that, it was easy.Â Tee to green was easy.Â The putting wasn't very good, but I stuck a couple victories in there late in my career.Â 46 years old at the Memorial and 48 at the Colonial.Â And I won a few times out here, won three Senior British Opens, two Senior PGAs, those are pretty special.
Q.Â After all these years you get the biggest roar from the crowds every where you go, how much does that play into things and how much do you notice that going through?
TOM WATSON:Â It was great to have that.Â I'm won of the oldest guys in the field, so they know me.
It's fun to play in front of crowds.Â Some events out here we don't get as many people as we have here and it was fun to be playing in front of a lot of people.Â It kind of stokes you up and it gets you going.Â I like that.
KELLY ELBIN:Â Closing round 65, 9‑under par, Tom Watson, thank you very much.
TOM WATSON:Â Thanks.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports