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September 23, 2014

Bubba Watson


PAUL SYMES: Many thanks for joining us. You are renowned as one of the American Team's cheerleaders. Do you have anything special lined up for us this week.

BUBBA WATSON: No, I'm just here to play golf, make some putts. When you're at home, you can do other things and be golfy, but when you're away, you don't want to do anything like that, even though we had some fun a couple years ago with getting the crowd revved up. But you know, Ryder Cup brings out a different audience sometimes and people that might not play golf. So for us it was about how you're going to try to grow the game of golf. So I thought that making it fun instead of a six-hour round would be my way of doing it. And so we tried to make it fun a couple years ago. It was pretty fun doing that.

PAUL SYMES: Bubba Golf, is that perfect for match play and, therefore, The Ryder Cup?

BUBBA WATSON: I'll tell you in a couple days. I've won a few matches, lost a few matches, and still haven't won a Ryder Cup, so obviously it hasn't propelled our team to win one yet. It's a fun way to play. I can hit the driver hard sometimes and maybe attack a hole, or if you're playing your own ball, you might play it a little safer. But if you have a partner down the middle, it does give you a little freedom to swing away.

Q. At Medinah, you were very much trying to whip the crowd up and make as much noise as possible. Do you see your role this time as trying to silence the crowds going out on the weekend?
BUBBA WATSON: No. You never try to silence the crowd. They are going to applaud good shots. They are going to applaud their team obviously. The few that came over from the U.S. are going to cheer for us. But for me, it was my little way of growing the game. The people that don't play golf that are here because of sponsorships, because of whatever, maybe their first time seeing an event like this. That was my little chance to grow the game. Our game gets slow play a lot, so why not make it fun. People see it as slow, but why not show them how fun it can be. That was my little attempt of trying to grow the game, one person I guess.

Q. Tom Watson said if he had to pick a counter to the Europe team's Ian or Rory, it would be you, that you're his big gun. Your thoughts?
BUBBA WATSON: He's making that up. He's making attention come to me when it's the other guys. No, we're out here just having fun and enjoying the game and trying to grow our game. Poulter has grown the game by great play. Obviously McIlroy is pretty good; he's No. 1. But Poulter, what he's done in The Ryder Cup, obviously has grown the game. There's been some kids out there that want to do the same thing he's done, the way he's come up, his background. I mean, what a story that is and what a great talent that is. He's grown the game in different ways, his compassion, his energy and his great play and his great putting. I might not be the talent of the golf, but there's other ways that I've helped grow the game. Maybe that's what he's saying a little bit.

Q. You talked about being aggressive on certain holes playing fourball. Can you talk about some holes where you plan to let it loose in fourball competition, any holes that stick out that you'll be aggressive?
BUBBA WATSON: It's basic golf. Par 5s, if your partner is down the middle, you might swing a little harder, maybe attack on the second shot. No matter how far the second shot is, if the second shot is 260, or 270, or the second shot is 215, you might try to attack the pin a little bit. I don't know situations, because in the fourball, you have to hit the fairway. So the first thing I've got to do is hit the fairway if my partner is in the fairway, then I can attack from there. So it's just -- it's golf. So it's one of those situations where if your partner drove it in the rough and you might play to the fat of the green in two or try to attack if he's up there, looks like he's going to make birdie, as well, you might try to attack or make an eagle or something.

Q. Personality-wise, as partners, what works with you and Webb?
BUBBA WATSON: You know, in the past, what has worked for us is just we believe in the same things off the golf course. We are trying to do the same things off the golf course. For us, it's our friendship. I think what y'all were asking about Furyk, it's tough. It's very tough for a captain to pick, if it's because of the golf, the way they play, or just the way their personalities mesh pretty good. That's what happened with me and Webb, our personalities off the golf course, we try to do the same thing. We just try to have fun on the golf course. Webb gets a little nervous, so I put my arm around him, try to loosen him up a little bit.

Q. Do you think your success with him as partners had anything to do with him being a captain's pick?
BUBBA WATSON: No, I think he's a good player. He's won the U.S. Open. I don't know if you knew that, but he did. That's pretty good. I'd like to have him on my team, any Major Champion, pretty good, they can handle some pressure.

Q. Could I get your thoughts on the golf course?
BUBBA WATSON: It's good. You've got some tight holes. You've got some deep rough, but it's a solid golf course. It's in great shape. Greens are running nicely. You know, I think that the rumour is the wind, rumour is there's going to be some heavy winds coming up, so the golf course will be a lot tougher then. With the tight fairways and stuff, it obviously is going to be -- ball-striking off the tee is going to have to be pretty good.

Q. Tom Watson said yesterday that this Ryder Cup was about redemption for what happened at Medinah as far as the U.S. were concerned. As someone who was part of that team two years ago, how much does the events of that motivate you?
BUBBA WATSON: It's golf. That motivates me. I'm not worried about two years ago. I've lost many a golf tournament in my day. I've only won a few in my life. Every time I get to the golf course, I want to beat whoever it is I'm playing, if it's my buddies at home or if it's the members or if it's at a professional golf tournament. That's really what it is about me, just trying to win that little trophy, that's our goal. I'm not worried about what happened a few years ago. If I did that, I'd be a terrible golfer because I lost a lot.

Q. Following up on you and Webb, you said you are like partners that believe in the same things off the course; is that religious faith?
BUBBA WATSON: No, I didn't say I like partners that believe the same thing I do off the course. I just said that's how me and him have partnered up well because of our personalities. I can play with anybody on the team. Maybe they don't want to play with me, but yeah, me and Webb have just gelled so well. But yes, we go to Bible study together and believe in the Bible together and we can talk about different things and things we believe in. Yeah, that's one of the good reasons why me and Webb are -- and we are about the same, we both hit it long off the tee, and straight (chuckling).

Q. In fourball and foursomes, do you feel less pressure because you have a partner or more pressure?
BUBBA WATSON: It's a golf tournament. So there's always pressure. But obviously when you have a partner, and you have a partner that can putt really well, that's always a really good thing for me. Obviously when you have two guys trying to make a par, trying to make a birdie, you have a better chance. When it's one shot, then another shot, it's hard. It's hard to get into a rhythm. It takes a lot of patience and calming the nerves to compete at that and to stay focused because you're on a shot, off a shot, on a shot, so it makes it a lot tougher.

PAUL SYMES: Thanks very much, Bubba. Have a great week.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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