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August 3, 2014

Bubba Watson


Q.  And you were like walking yards ahead, and meanwhile Tiger is barely able to get the ball out‑‑ the tee out of the ground.  Did you have any indication before then that he was really in distress?
BUBBA WATSON:  No, I didn't.  I focused on my game.
Obviously, like I said, I didn't see the shot on No.2.  I saw the shot, but I didn't see his reaction and as he fell in the bunker or jumped in the bunker.
I know that he's in the rough on 6.  He hit it fat on 5 off the tee, which is going to, again, strain your back, put some stress on it.
I've never had back problems, so I'm guessing it's pretty painful.  Again, he hit some shots that we're not used to seeing Tiger hit, even when he's coming back from an injury like this.  We don't see shots like that.
So obviously, something was bothering him, and so you could kind of tell something was going on, and then when he hit the shot, hit the draw, he probably wasn't trying to play a draw on 9, and when he came over it like that, his back probably tightened up and caused the draw.
Again, like I told him when I shook his hand, I said, I'm praying for you.  Hope everything turns out good.  Hope to see you next week.

Q.  Did you see him in any pain or discomfort?
BUBBA WATSON:  Number 9 was it.  Again, we've seen this man play like a hurt leg, so he's going to try to be a champion, try to tough it out.  Obviously, it got too tough for him.
No, I didn't notice because, again, I'm trying to finish top 40.
I was trying to work him all game.

Q.  Bubba, you're one minute from teeing off, and they suspend play.  What was that like?
BUBBA WATSON:  That was strange too.  We walked up, and next thing you know, I see Tiger get stopped right in front of the tee by the rules official, and he said, We're putting everybody on hold.  Then it got tougher.
So 20 minutes went by, and they brought everybody in.  As soon as they brought everybody in, it quit raining.  So we waited another 40 minutes or so.
It was strange.  The whole day, the whole week started off strange.  And then Russell Henley, you know, I called over to him‑‑ I didn't know who withdrew.  I didn't know who he was playing with.  I called over to 4, and said, You don't have any friends?  You don't have to be playing a onesome.  Later, Hey, I got no friends either.  Let's join up on 10.

Q.  It's so unprecedented.  Did you even have to think to yourself, is this legal?  Are we able to do this?
BUBBA WATSON:  That's why I asked the rules official.  There was two rules officials.  One brought Tiger in, and the other was sitting there.  I said, Can we join up?  It's weird, but there's a onesome in front of me.  Can I join up with that onesome?
I don't think they have that very much, so they had to call and check the rules.  He said, yeah, they can do it as long as Russell can do it.  So Russell gave in and let me play with him.

Q.  When you talked with Tiger over the last three or four holes, can you give any indication to his mood leading up to the tee shot on 9?
BUBBA WATSON:  Obviously, he made a bogey and double bogey.  I started off with a solid birdie on 1.
No, we just talked about everything.  We talked about kids and family and the week coming up because I've never played the golf course.  So I was asking him about the golf course next week, just things like that.
Yeah, I didn't‑‑ I mean, the man won a tournament with a hurt leg.  I get a paper cut, and I'm going to withdraw.  He's a lot tougher than me, so no, he would never show it.
He was brought up a military man just like myself, and you try not to show it.  So, no, I didn't ask too many questions.  Again, I didn't see him hit the shot out of‑‑ what was it, No.6?  I don't know what it looked like in the rough, if the rough was thick or what.  I was trying to put my shots up.  I didn't see that one.
I know 5 ‑‑ 5 will hurt something when you hit a fat shot like that, especially with mud and the conditions we had.

Q.  In the conversations you had with him, he didn't seem like he was in pain?
BUBBA WATSON:  Right, no, I never knew he was in pain.  Again, I would have probably realized it if I would have seen his shot on 2‑‑ not the shot, but if I'd have seen what he did on 2, then I would definitely have seen pain.
Obviously, the shot where he hit fat, obviously, he was slow there.  I'm not sure if he was just mad at his swing or just‑‑ any time you jar‑‑ you hit one fat like that, it's going to jam your wrist, and your whole body's going to be jammed.  So obviously, you're going to feel it there.  No matter if you have a hurt back or not, you're going to feel it.
Even if I'd have hit one fat, I'd have felt it.  So obviously that one jarred the body a little bit.

Q.  Would you be surprised to see him in Valhalla?
BUBBA WATSON:  No.  I didn't get to play with Jack Nicklaus, but he's our greatest champion.  Why would he not be there?
Again, like I said, he's won a tournament ‑‑ when I was in the field, I missed a cut, he won the tournament with a hurt leg, and I was as healthy as can be.  Obviously, he can muster up some courage and play some golf.
What I'm guessing is‑‑ he's like, you know what, do I want to go nine more holes or get ready for next week?  Try to get some more rest, therapy, whatever it takes to get him ready for next week.
He's got four days or whatever until Thursday.  No pro‑am, so that's good.  But he's got a long drive.  It's a long drive there.  Might try that.

Q.  That's what Joe said.  He's never going to show you if he's in distress.
BUBBA WATSON:  No.  Think about it.  He showed us at the U.S. Open, what, at Torrey Pines, when he had the hurt leg, obviously, he showed us there, but he showed us too how great of a champion he is.  He fought through it, and he won.
Again, I missed the cut there, and he was healthy.  So obviously, he's pretty good.

Q.  What was his message about Valhalla?
BUBBA WATSON:  I asked him during the rain delay the most questions, and he told me that they've changed it a little bit.  I guess he won in‑‑

Q.  2000?
BUBBA WATSON:  ‑‑ 2000, and he didn't play‑‑ '08 was the Ryder Cup, and I guess he didn't play in that.
So he said it's changed.  All the greens have changed.  But he said, yeah, it's a good test.  What I've heard so far is that you can play it.  Long hitters can play a little bit, pretty forgiving.  Unless they set it up tough.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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