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July 15, 2014

Bubba Watson


LYNN WALLACE: We're joined by two-time Masters champion, Bubba Watson. Thank you for joining us. Can you tell us about your preparations this week so far and your thoughts on the course.

BUBBA WATSON: I got here Sunday morning. I went and played a course down the street with some friends of mine that are here with me. And we played yesterday, played the course yesterday. I love it. It's in great shape. Perfect weather right now. Rumor is that there's rain coming in tomorrow. But looking forward to it. You always look forward to this event. You always look forward to coming over and playing what golf is all about, the imagination, the different shots you can play, except the flop shot, if it's hard into the wind. I've been practicing a bit. I've been hitting a lot of irons off the tees, and looking forward for the week to get started.

Q. Given your imagination, how do you think that fits with The Open challenge and playing these different courses?
BUBBA WATSON: I think it fits. Again, it's like any golf tournament, you can hit a lot of great shots, but you've got to make putts. You've got to learn had how to make putts around here. For me it's always about trying to control the ball the right distance. I like to hit low shots. Maybe I need to start trying to hit high shots around here, because I haven't had that many low finishes at the Open. But yeah, I think it fits good. I love the creativity this kind of golf provides. I haven't been successful at it yet, but hopefully over the next few years I can get better at it.

Q. You mentioned enjoying the challenge and the imagination, is there any particular shot or hole from past Opens that you can recall as being -- I know you say you haven't scored terribly well, but that you have really enjoyed and thought, this is what it's all about?
BUBBA WATSON: Anytime you play St. Andrews, if it's just with buddies or in a tournament, St. Andrews, the history behind it, that's the home of golf to me. When I think of golf, I think of St. Andrews. So going over there and playing. I played with my manager and my caddie and my wife. We putted from like 100 -- no, we putted from like 85 yards on No. 18 on St. Andrews, all the way up there to the green. It's just stuff you can't do in the States. It's pretty neat being able to do that and seeing things. Then you think about the history. You think about a couple of people hitting the ball out of bounds from No.1 tee, across the 18th tee. You think about shots like that. There's a lot of history behind that golf course. It's fun getting back there. Next year it will be a treat. No matter how you play, it's still a treat to play St. Andrews.

Q. How comfortable do you feel with your 2-iron?
BUBBA WATSON: I feel pretty good. I've played the last couple days with it. I've hit it pretty decent. Now on the pressure of the golf tournament, it might not feel the same. But it feels good right now. It's been good. I haven't used it all year until this week. I always build one just for this week.

Q. Where do you keep it the rest of the year, in a closet, in the garage?
BUBBA WATSON: In my house. I call it the golf room. I actually have lockers, so I have it in one of my golf lockers, I guess you'd call it.

Q. Do you feel you have to adapt your game more for this tournament and this course or these courses than usual?
BUBBA WATSON: Yes, for sure. You're coming over here, it's a different style of golf than what we've played all year, for me, playing in the States. So when you come over here, the wind is harder, the wind is stronger. The grass is obviously different. The style of golf is different. So yeah, you have to adapt your game a lot. The sad thing is, for me, is that it's one week out of the year. So I'm coming over here trying to learn the game real fast or learn the style of golf real fast. So far it hasn't worked out well for me.

Q. You say there's a learning curve you have to go through, was it inspiring to see what Phil Mickelson, in the past nobody would say he had much of a chance here, but he won last year?
BUBBA WATSON: It's inspiring to see the greats of the game just to play, and the history of these golf tournaments. It was inspiring to see Tom Watson a few years ago have that chance. And watching Phil win for the first time, it's really neat seeing that. And seeing Rickie Fowler play pretty good the last couple of years. It's always inspiring when you see some friends of yours play well. But, yeah, it comes down to me hitting the shots. Because I'm inspired doesn't mean I'm going to hit good shots.

Q. Does it make you believe that an exponent of classic American style of play can come over here and win in the classic British style of course?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, yeah, obviously history has proven that Americans can come over and win. If I'm ever going to win, who knows. But I'm going to give it my best shot. I love coming over here and facing the challenge. Sometimes you're going to play good, sometimes you're not. Hopefully I play more good than bad.

LYNN WALLACE: Thanks, Bubba.
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