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August 19, 2014

Bubba Watson


KELLY BARNES:  Pleases welcome Bubba Watson to the interview room.  You're ranked third in the FedExCup heading into the Playoffs.  How much confidence does that give you this week.
BUBBA WATSON:  It's good.  It shows that I played halfway decent throughout the year.  You know, really the tournament that means the most is the last one but to get up there in the top five, try to stay in the top five going into the last week is where you're going to have a chance to shine in the Playoffs.  That last week is the big one but leading up to it if you're just outside or if you're barely inside right now, a top three or a win this week moves you way up for the rest of the year.

Q.  What have you seen from this course so far?
BUBBA WATSON:  I went out there today.  Played 18 holes this morning.  It's very, very tough.  It's a great golf course.  If you're hitting in the fairways, you're going to make some birdies and you're going to play the golf course very well.
If you miss the fairways, it's very tough.  This is U.S. Open‑type rough.  Very beautiful golf course.  I don't think we've seen a course in this perfect of shape in a long time.  The greens were perfect.  Everything was great except the rough was really, really high.  This is a U.S. Open‑type rough.
So it's going to be very good; if you miss the fairways, it's going to be very tough.

Q.  I know it's been 23 months since Medinah but can you use that as a rallying cry even though that much time has passed when you get to Gleneagles, and have you often have you thought back to what happened that Sunday at Medinah?
BUBBA WATSON:  I'll answer the last part.  I have not thought about it because I just let stuff go.
You know, as a kid growing up, as a kid growing up, your whole dream was to be ton the PGA TOUR and then make The Ryder Cup Team.  I think sometimes as a player, or myself, we get so excited about making the team, and now not having a victory, not tasting a victory, that drives me to try to win one, to try to win a Ryder Cup.  Not just make the team, not just be a guy that's made seven teams or three teams; I want to have a guy that has a W by one of those at least.
So that's what drives me is just try to win one.

Q.  You had a very adventurous PGA Championship from Tuesday right to the very end and you kind of had your own little arc.  First tournament back, two weeks later, any thoughts on everything that happened there and the response to it, and any response to the response?
BUBBA WATSON:  I think it was all‑‑ for me it was all positive stuff that happened there.  You've got to learn from your mistakes.  You learn from being selfish instead of looking at the bigger picture in life.  Obviously I've made some mistakes and I'm going to make more mistakes as the years go on and hopefully if that's my worst mistake then I'm doing all right.
You've got to learn from it.  So the guys that wrote articles and my friends that called me out, friends that sent me different quotes, obviously I look up to them and say thank you, because that's how I'm going to get better.  That's how I'm going to get better as a man, getter as a husband, better as a dad and least‑‑ last but not least, better as a golfer. 
       Yeah, obviously it was a tough situation, but obviously hopefully I can learn from it and move on.
And then the golf side of it, yeah, it was very up‑and‑down.  My putting wasn't where I wanted it to be but I made the cut.  It was the first major I made the cut in since the Masters, so it was good.  It was a good, positive note by making cut there.  Obviously look forward to the rest of the year and challenges for the rest of the year.

Q.  What was the mistake, do you think?
BUBBA WATSON:  Well, if you look at the bigger picture, not competing in the Long Drive was the first mistake.  When you look at just me as an individual, that was the selfish part, because I didn't agree with it but there's a lot of things that I don't agree with that I do.
Then you look at it from my attitude on the golf course; because I want something so bad, that's not the reason to do that.  You still just bite your tongue and compete at a high level, don't show emotion, and I take it over board because I want something so bad.  I want to be considered a great player.  I want to win golf tournaments and I've got to learn on that.
And then my language was not good.  That's a different topic, and childish again.  It's all childish stuff and trying to mature and become a better man.  Obviously I take it ‑‑ I take it on the chin.  It was my fault.  Everything's my fault and I should be bigger and stronger and better than that.

Q.  Did you do anything right that week?
BUBBA WATSON:  Not much.  (Laughter) I did.  I made the cut.  And I beat somebody I think after making the cut.  Manager took all my money but I made the cut.  (Laughter).  I birdied the last hole.
You know, what there's one thing we didn't talk about.  I've got to get a new umbrella this week. Because it started raining right when we putted out,  and so the guy‑‑ I was walking across the bridge, and a guy goes, "Bubba, can I have your umbrella?"
And I was like, you know what, that's a good question.  So I just gave it to him.  I was like, I'm done.  You need it more than I do.  You've got to go follow the leaders around instead of us (laughing).  So I gave my umbrella away.

Q.  To who?
BUBBA WATSON:  Somebody write a good story about that, at least, okay.  I gave my umbrella away.  I don't know who it was.  It was some fan.  Or maybe it was just a guy that needed an umbrella.  He could have been a writer, too, I guess (laughter).

Q.  I doubt it.
BUBBA WATSON:  No, he would have been inside.

Q.  Did he thank you?  Was he appreciative?
BUBBA WATSON:  Yeah, he was.  And other fans cheered, too.  They were like‑‑ hey that's a good question.  He didn't want me to sign it.  He just wanted an umbrella.

Q.  Your eye is kind of unique as far as looking at golf courses.  Does a classic course like this really fit it?  Do you feel comfortable on something like this?
BUBBA WATSON:  It does, and again it comes down to driver.  This rough is some of the highest we've seen all year.  This is going to be from just off the fairways, the rough is pretty thick.
But yeah, the shape of the holes, I love this golf course.  I love the look of it.  I love old, traditional golf courses, and that doesn't mean I'm going to play well but that just means a it's a beautiful golf course; and every time this is on the list, this is a good one to be at.  And not just because of the Playoffs, but also to play here.

Q.  Going back to The Ryder Cup, how do you think the team will react to being such prohibitive underdogs?
BUBBA WATSON:  I think we're all champions.  I think to make it on the team, we have to play well throughout the year or the last two years.  So I think we have a shot just like anybody.  We have a 50/50 shot of winning.  There's only two teams; so we're going top‑two at least.
I think that we are going to go in there and just try to play good golf.  Around these tournaments like this, match play, it's all about making putts.  When a guy makes you putt a 3‑footer, when a guy makes you putt a 5‑footer you're going to have to make them, and so I think that's what it's going to come down to.  We can all hit the golf ball.  It's coming down to under the pressure, making the putts.

Q.  What's your idea of consistency?  Give me a couple of examples?
BUBBA WATSON:  Can I use one of those examples.

Q.  Hunter has never missed a Playoff event since it started, Mickelson has made ten straight Ryder Cup teams.  Tiger made 142 cuts in a row‑‑
BUBBA WATSON:  Have I done anything like that?

Q.  Not anything close to that.

Q.  Giving some of those as examples, what do you consider could be one mark of consistency would you like to achieve?
BUBBA WATSON:  Making cuts.  You know, it's playing on the weekend, having a chance on the weekend.
For me, if you look at my career, my first year out, I think I missed half the cuts I played in roughly.  But it's gotten better over the years.  I think I'm pretty sure, my memory is not that good but I think I've only missed two cuts this year and they are both in the Majors.  It wasn't like I missed them by a bunch.  Wasn't like I was out of it.  I had a shot to make both of those.
So that's what I look at every year is how do I get better, how do I improve making cuts.  If you make cuts, that means you have a shot on the weekend and you have a chance on the weekend.  I barely made the cut in L.A. and I somehow scraped that victory out.
Making the cuts is the way you have a chance to win golf tournaments, and so that just shows that you're a consistent player, you're a more consistent player and you can always find a way, because some of those days, you're not going to feel your best.  Some of those days, your swing is going to feel loose.  So that's the key for me personally I think is making cuss.

Q.  What record do you think is less likely to be broken, Tiger's or Phil making Ryder Cup Team qualifying 20 years?
BUBBA WATSON:  Both very difficult.  But I mean, really, I don't see any of them getting beat.  I would have to say The Ryder Cup, that's pretty‑‑ I mean, to be that high level every year or every two years to make it is pretty remarkable.
Because then to me, it seems like Furyk is the same way.  He's making a lot of team events.  It's pretty neat to see that with Phil.  I never really put that in perspective.  I'm just glad I made a third team.

Q.  You're on your way?
BUBBA WATSON:  Exactly.  I'm on my way.  I'm right there.
KELLY BARNES:  Thank you.

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