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September 9, 2014

Bubba Watson


THE MODERATOR:¬† We'll get started.¬† I want to welcome Bubba Watson here to the interview room at the TOUR Championship by Coca‑Cola.¬† Enters the tournament No.3 in the FedExCup Standings.¬† Two‑time winner this year, including a victory just down the road at the Masters.
Bubba, just some opening thoughts on kind of coming to the season finale here, where you rank in the FedExCup Standings.
BUBBA WATSON:  This is my best ranking ever coming into this tournament.  I'm looking forward to it.  I wasn't here last year.  Last time I played here I think I finished fifth, which was pretty good for me around this track.
And so looking forward to it.  Looking forward to the challenge and trying to improve on the ranking there.

Q.  How do you like this course?
BUBBA WATSON:  It's always in great shape.  Beautiful course.  It's always in perfect shape.  The greens are always running good.
The grass, the Bermuda, tighter fairways, for me it's not good.  And then I catch a lot of flyers.  Ball doesn't stop out of this grass for me.  So it's very difficult golf course for me.  But I love it.
Again, we're trying to challenge ourselves, and this is what we have to play, this is what we have to do if we want to improve on the FedExCup or win a golf tournament.  We have to play well.
Last time I played here, I figured out something.  It was two years ago, I think I finished fifth.  Pretty sure I finished fifth two years ago.  Looking forward to the challenges and trying to improve on that ranking.

Q.  Does it simplify things for you that you control your own destiny, you don't have to worry about all the advanced math involved?
BUBBA WATSON:  Well, truthfully, I don't know about the other guys, but I don't look at FedExCup, I'm looking at a golf tournament.  We're trying to win.
Obviously I'm in the situation now where if I win it takes care of itself.¬† Come in second, there's a lot of‑‑ few other things that have to happen.¬† Coming in third, I don't even know if I have a chance if I come in third.¬† But I think second I have a chance if everybody finishes a lot worse.
So the key is here we're just at a golf tournament and let the other stuff play out on Sunday afternoon, Sunday night, Monday if we have a rain‑out.

Q.  A lot of players have talked about being tired with the four weeks in a row from the FedEx Playoffs and then six of the last seven.  How do you feel, and what are your thoughts on that?
BUBBA WATSON:¬† I feel great.¬† This is what we do for a living.¬† I've got a great therapist‑‑ not a mental therapist.¬† I've got a physical therapist‑‑ that stretches me and gives me massage and therapy after the rounds.¬† As good as I can be.¬† I'm getting older, but I feel fine.
We all get energized when we get to this tournament.  We all get energized trying to take home $9million.  Kind of energizes you.  I don't know if you've ever had that chance.
So I think I'd be energized if I win it.  But it is a tough stretch, but at the same time we're all athletes here, aren't we?  We're all golfers.

Q.  What are you going to do next week?
BUBBA WATSON:  Next week?  What is next week?  Do we have a tournament next week?  More playoffs?  I'm going to move from my house at the Greenbrier down to Orlando and then practice a little bit and get ready for this thing called the Ryder Cup I'm going to try to compete at and hopefully win this time.

Q.¬† What I'm trying to say‑‑ I didn't mean to go over your head‑‑ how do you prepare for a Ryder Cup differently than you would, say, for a major if you have the week off before?
BUBBA WATSON:¬† The only difference I see in the Ryder Cup preparation is packing my suitcase, because all my clothes are going to be over there.¬† So I don't have to‑‑ all I got to pack is my underwear, I guess, my underwear and my socks.¬† That's all I've got to pack.
That's my only different preparation.  It's still a golf tournament.  Still golf.  So you still practice at your house, you still work on your short game, you still work on your irons, sometimes your driver.
So only difference is I just pack differently.

Q.  How many underwear?
BUBBA WATSON:  I'll be there seven days.  I'll pack five and flip two of them around.

Q.  Will we see the same kind of noise and color from you in the first tee at the Ryder Cup this time, or not because you're away from home?
BUBBA WATSON:  No, I will not be doing that.  Just because it was on our home soil.  That was my little way of trying to grow the game of golf.
I loved it when Poulter did it.  He talked about it and I talked about how nervous it is after you do that.
It was just the one‑time thing.¬† I think it was fun.¬† No, I would never do that‑‑ I would not do that especially on foreign soil where they might be against that.
And so I wasn't thinking about doing that, but you never know.  When I get over there, I might get excited and do it anyway.

Q.  You mentioned you feel pretty good.  Do you think that the schedule does get congested here from British Open on through to the Ryder Cup with having so many big events, one on top of the other, and is there a way to try to loosen that up some?
BUBBA WATSON:  Yeah, it does get congested with these big events, the playoffs.  This is a weird year.  We're four in a row.  Normally there's a week off somewhere.  And so this is a tough year.  It's one of those one out of ten years, maybe one out of five years that you have to do it this way.
It's just something we have to deal with.  Think about it.  The money they're putting up for us, the money we're playing for, the retirement dollars, you make it work.  You'll figure out a way to show up on the tee.
But, no, it's just a fluke thing.  Just this one year.  Hopefully it's not every year.  If they change it.
So, yeah, I don't know how to fix it.¬† I wouldn't know how to fix it.¬† But I think it's just a one‑time thing.¬† We've been used to this schedule.¬† We usually have one extra week off, and this time we just didn't.

Q.  You seem to take care to stress the difference between the physiotherapist and a mind therapist.  Just wonder, have you ever been tempted or gone down that route where you've seen a mind coach?
BUBBA WATSON:  No, I would never do that.

Q.  Never been tempted?
BUBBA WATSON:  No, I'm nuts.  They'd quit their job.  You know, truthfully, I have a great team around me.  I have my caddie.  I have my wife.  I have my physical therapist.  I have my manager.
And so I have people around me that have been around the game enough.  They know when I'm mental or not.
Enough press has told me I'm mental so I've got to fix it.  And I read the Bible.  So the Bible is the best coach I think for outside life.  So I think I won't ever need a mental coach.  If I do, like I'd set up a swing coach, I'd quit the game before I do that.

Q.  You played in the last match on your events at Celtic Manor.  Were there things in terms of handling the atmosphere that you can use to your advantage this time, and also could you assess the state of the two teams, how you see it from your point of view?
BUBBA WATSON:  Last time it was a weird situation for all of us because of all the rain.  Hopefully we don't get that again.
But the crowd was so nice.¬† Was so kind to us.¬† Maybe because we lost.¬† They were really nice to us.¬† But it was‑‑ the fans over there love the game of golf.¬† So they applaud a good shot from us, good shots from their team.
So what I take from that is you're not going to go over there and be beat over the head with bad cheering, cheering when we get bad shots.
So it was so respectful going over there.  So we're looking forward to the same thing.  But obviously this time we want to win.  Our chances, I think we have a chance to win.
It's all about putting, whoever putts the best.  But it might be tough if the weather gets nasty.  It will be tough for both sides.
Then it's just who can manage and have the mental toughness to get through the bad weather or tough weather.

Q.  Pretty basic question.  Do you enjoy when you're the center of attention, or does it become a pain, or a little bit of a mixture of both?
BUBBA WATSON:  Do I enjoy the center of attention?

Q.  Being in the center of attention, do you like it?
BUBBA WATSON:  If it's good press, I love it.  But if it's bad press, I don't love it.  Tough question.  But I don't set out my life trying to be a center of attention.  I just try to play golf and do my thing and take care of my family.
So if I'm center of attention because of good golf, it's always good, I guess.  But if it's bad golf, then I don't want to be the center of attention for bad golf with shanks or real bad attitude.  But I've never had a bad attitude, so I'm good.  It's all good.

Q.¬† When Webb was chosen as a captain's pick, a lot of people just assumed it was because Tom wants to pair you guys together and you're the calm center‑‑ or he's the calm center to your storm, I suppose.¬† What do you make of that, and how do you explain why you and Webb get along so well?
BUBBA WATSON:¬† I think y'all have it backwards.¬† I'm obviously the calm one.¬† We played‑‑ I gotta tell you this story.¬† You all got time for this?¬† Me and Webb played at Presidents Cup.¬† Webb was playing really well, won two tournaments in like three weeks.¬† So we go over to the Presidents Cup over in Australia. ¬†And we're down‑‑ I think we're down to Ernie Els and Ryo Ishikawa ‑‑ we're the first match out, we're down like 2 down through 4.
So I pulled Webb aside, and I said, "Webb, look, man, you're eighth in the world."  And I said, "You're the eighth best player in the world."  I said, "So let's look at it from that perspective.  Half of those people are from Europe.  So they're not on the Presidents Cup team.  So now you're fourth or fifth in the world."  And I said, "Tiger's on our team, Phil's on our team, so now you're third."  I said, "So you're the third best player in the world at this event."  I said, "So play like it.  Make some putts."  And I think he birdied like the next couple of holes.
Maybe I should be a mental coach.
But I see my role when we go to a team event like this, I see my role as calming people, not make people so nervous.  Let me be goofy, goofy Bubba, and the golf will just get in the way.  So I calmed him down a little bit.
But we have a blast.  We believe in the same things off the course.
So Pauly is a great man and great caddie, and he has a calming effect on Webb.  We have a blast together.
Hopefully‑‑ I haven't heard anything, and the captain hasn't talked to me, but I'd love to be paired with Webb again just so I can help him.¬† He needs somebody to put his arm around him and help him.

Q.  What's the most dejected you've ever been after a loss?  What loss hurts you more than any?
BUBBA WATSON:  To be honest, I've never really had a bad loss.  I guess the closest thing would be Phoenix this year because I missed that short putt.  Me and Teddy read the putt to fall to the right.  But the putt didn't fall to the right; it stayed left in Phoenix.  Took me about 15minutes to get over it.
That's one thing, I don't hold onto bad stuff, good stuff, I just let it go, move on to the next thing we're doing.  So I don't get down on losses.
I look atlike when we lose the Ryder Cup, I get down, I don't really get down because of the fact I'm in the Ryder Cup.  When I lose on the PGA TOUR, I don't get down because the ability to come in second place at a golf tournament, still provides for my family, provides for the charities I want to help.  So why would you get down on that?
As a kid, all you want to do is make the PGA TOUR and play PGA TOUR golf.  To be able to lose or win, what a thrill that is as a kid.  Why not as an adult as well, still have that same feeling.

Q.  What were your emotions like, if you take those 15minutes after Phoenix as an example, how do you compare with just how you felt at Medinah, after it was over?
BUBBA WATSON:  The team's down.  Obviously the team was down at Medinah, but I just joke around with everybody.  No matter if we win or lose.  I don't really see it as a bad thing.  I don't really get down.  I never get down.  I don't know, it's the weirdest thing, but you can ask my caddie.  He sees me when I have a bad round of golf.  And my wife says the same thing.  I get over it.
Once I sign my scorecard‑‑ or we don't sign scorecards at the Ryder Cup, but if we did, I'm done with it.¬† As soon as I sign my name, it's all right, let's get some Skittles and have some sugar and get out of here.¬† Every golf tournament seems like we have Skittles in the scoring tent.

Q.  Your Georgia Bulldogs are playing a big game against South Carolina.  Your thoughts on the first game they played and their prospects on Saturday?
BUBBA WATSON:  I was a little nervous.  The first game they played, the defense didn't really do as well as I wanted to the first half, but the second half they played unbelievable.  And obviously offense is always pretty good.
Looking forward to the South Carolina game.  South Carolina is going to come up strong because their first game they lost.  So I know that rivals like that are always going to play good against each other.
But I'm looking forward to it.¬† Hopefully Georgia can prove us all wrong and be right there maybe make the playoffs.¬† It's weird, but‑‑ playoffs, I guess.

Q.  You didn't seem to enjoy the conditions at PGA too much when it got nasty there.  Talk about Scotland where the weather there will hardly be tropical.
BUBBA WATSON:  If it's rainy, my clubhead speed and the way I like to move the ball, it gets tough.  The water gets on the club face.  So it makes my ball do a little different ball flight.  The guy that hits the ball dead straight with less curve, the water doesn't affect it as much.  So I'm hoping that it stays really dry.
But, you know, it's one of those things.  I've played good rounds in rain before.  And I've played bad rounds in rain.  So hopefully I can overcome it, or hopefully it doesn't rain at all.  Hopefully it's just as sunny as can be there.

Q.  Have you given any thought if you were to win this thing what you would do with 10 million?
BUBBA WATSON:  Well, my manager's going to take most of it, obviously.  Sorry.  No, I don't know what I would do.  First thing I would do is look for a charity I could help out.  Without even a question I'd give a million away for charity, to churches I go to, that I attend, without even thinking about it.  And then I would look at retirement so I can just hang with my boy and watch him.
And then retirement would happen a lot quicker if I win the FedExCup.

Q.  I'm sure you'd like to win here and at Gleneagles.  But if you were offered a choice of just one of them, which would you take?
BUBBA WATSON:  That would be a tough one.  I won golf tournaments before, but I've never won the Ryder Cup.  So I think the team atmosphere to win a Ryder Cup.
When I look at my career as of now, I've won a major, I've won a golf tournament.¬† I've won a team event, the Presidents Cup, but I've never won a Ryder Cup.¬† So at the end of it, I'd love to have‑‑ this might be my last chance at winning a Ryder Cup.¬† Or I might make another team, you never know.¬† You never know until that happens.
Right now I'd like to win the Ryder Cup.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

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