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October 13, 2014
JULIUS MASON: Talk about sneaky hilly out there.
RORY MCILROY: It was a little climb up the ninth. Was just what I needed after a long day.
JULIUS MASON: You don't remember looking the same, feeling the same.
RORY MCILROY: It was a bit of a just in and out job last time, so I can't really remember. It's nice I get to spend a little bit more time this week.
JULIUS MASON: Good deal. So, there was a little bit of a tropical storm that came through. How's the golf course.
RORY MCILROY: It's great. All the guys have done a great job with cleanup. It doesn't look like there's been anything. Obviously, there's a few limbs off trees and stuff on the side of the fairways, or in the rough, but golf course is in great shape. The guys have done an awesome job with all the clean up and everything. So yeah, looking forward to the next couple of days. But, hopefully no other storms coming through. It will be nice.
JULIUS MASON: Good deal. We'll go ahead and open it up for questions.
Q. You got in on Friday. Talk us through whether you've been hanging out, whether you've gone out and seen some stuff?
RORY MCILROY: The weather wasn't great Saturday, Sunday, so I seen a lot of the hotel, seen a lot of the gym, a lot of the spa. But, yeah, I haven't really got off property too much. We went down and had dinner in the water lot. Might try and get out of the hotel tonight and go for dinner somewhere else. Last night that it's probably -- I'm going to have the opportunity to do it. Probably heading to Hamilton and have something there.
Q. Did you go to Hamilton last time you were here with Darren?
RORY MCILROY: I didn't, no. I got in, I sort of did what Bubba did. I got in and had one night here and then that was it.
Q. I wanted to ask you a quick question about the Ryder Cup. I know it's been awhile. But I wanted to get your opinion on what you thought about the airing of the dirty laundry in public.
RORY MCILROY: I wasn't really -- we didn't know what was going on in the U.S. team room. Obviously, with the stories that have surfaced over the past couple weeks, we sort of know a little bit more about it. But during the week, it didn't seem like there was much of a problem, and it was unfortunate the way it all sort of happened in the end. It was a little bit messy. In a way, it's not a bad thing that -- the PGA of America might start looking at the Ryder Cup a little differently or trying to sort of come at it from a different angle. So, in the end, it might not have been a bad thing to shake things up a little. But, it was unfortunate how everything ended.
Q. Did it catch you by surprise a little bit?
RORY MCILROY: A little bit. It's not -- there's a time and a place to say these things, and it probably wasn't the perfect timing. But, it is what it is, and Phil is obviously, a very senior player of the group and voiced his opinion and that's fine.
Q. Quick question. Golf seems to be one of the only sports where they switch the captain whether you win or lose, and if you were looking for consistency or a wining position, do you think there's an argument for keeping a captain?
RORY MCILROY: I don't think so, because I think being a Ryder Cup Captain is an honor bestowed on you for what you've done during your career. I don't think it's something -- I don't think there should be a captain -- I know Bernard Gallacher captained the European team three times in a row and that was quite successful. But it's something that -- it's a one time thing, I feel. I feel it's a one time thing. It's an honor to say that you've been able to captain your continent or your country and then you pass it along to the next candidate. I think that's the way it should be.
Q. This foursome and this PGA Grand Slam of Golf, they know each other pretty well. You've seen and played with each other quite a bit. How would you describe you and Martin with Jim and Bubba in that atmosphere, because you know each other and you've been in different competitions, you know each other's game pretty well.
RORY MCILROY: I played a lot with all three of those guys. I played a lot with Martin this year. Played a little bit with Bubba. Not so much with Jim. But played a lot with those guys in the past and know all their games pretty well. Martin is very solid, very -- drives the ball great. Just has a real solid all-around game. Bubba is probably the most impressive player to watch. Like on TOUR, in terms of how he shapes the ball and just how far he hits it, and probably how unique his style of game is compared to everyone else is. He definitely plays the game his own way. And Jim is the ultimate professional. Gets the most out of his game. For someone who doesn't hit it as long as some of the other guys on TOUR, he seems to -- he's up there week in, week out, regardless if it's a short course or long course. He just really gets the most out of his game, and I really respect guys like that on TOUR that might hit it that long, because it's such a different game to the one that I would play. It's such a different style. I think mentally you have to be so strong to play like that and be successful.
Q. Follow-up. What kind of player, of your foursome, has a game that will fit this wind conditions on this golf course, three of you guys that have known this golf course.
RORY MCILROY: Jim hits quite a flat ball flight, so that's going to work pretty well. Bubba can shape the ball both ways. So he can shape it into the wind. Which is going to be good. Martin has no chance in the wind, so. (Laughter.) (Martin Kaymer in the interview room.) Everyone's, obviously, used to playing in the wind, so it's not like that we can't.
Q. The best wind player though?
RORY MCILROY: Best wind player? You got to take the two Europeans.
MARTIN KAYMER: That's my boy. (Laughter.)
JULIUS MASON: Very good. Thank you, Rory. Welcome back to Bermuda, Martin. How did it go out there for you?
MARTIN KAYMER: It was surprising that I couldn't remember many holes. It has been too long. I think I had to come back a little bit faster than four years. It took me four years to come back here. But it's, honestly, it's -- I don't know how to describe it, but it's, it shows that our job is really, really nice when you come to a place like this, and you have the privilege to come here, it's quite special. I think you should sit back and really realize that this is what you get when you work hard and then win a major, that you can come to Bermuda and enjoy the people, as well. There was one guy, he said to me earlier, don't be a stranger out here. We all welcome you very much. And we hope you come back. It's not normal. The people here are really different. They're very warm and very welcoming. So it's a very, very nice and relaxing atmosphere.
JULIUS MASON: It's nice to have you back. Questions?
Q. Obviously, you said it's nice and relaxed and being here, but the season is already started again, so do you get a chance to really relax or is your mind on something else?
MARTIN KAYMER: My season is still ongoing. Even though the PGA TOUR season is over, this is one chapter that's closed, but there's still a lot of tournaments we play for on the European TOUR. So, my season doesn't go with the PGA TOUR schedule. My season goes with the other, like a yearly schedule. My season is January until December. Because I play on both tours. So, I don't really pay much attention on the PGA TOUR events now, because I have to play on the European TOUR where I look forward to going to China, Turkey and Dubai and then my season is over. So, with you -- but I can make, well I can assure you that I have a very positive summary on 2014. So far already.
Q. Just talk about, talk to us about the course and where you think the difficulties lie out there.
MARTIN KAYMER: There are a couple very difficult holes where you can really screw up, where you can make big numbers. When you take 16, for example. But I think when you play on that grass, that Bermuda grass, it's very important to hit good tee shots. It's very difficult to judge distances from the first cut, from the rough, so I think the key is really to hit as many fairways as possible. The greens today, it's very tough to say, I'm sure they're going to be a lot better tomorrow. They couldn't do much with this, what happened yesterday. The golf course today was already in very good shape and I mean, it's a shame that it was a storm coming in. I can imagine the golf course was in brilliant conditions before. But again, tee shots and then give yourself as many chances as possible. The wind, we all know, is going to be a factor. Playing on an island, it's not a big surprise. We all have done that in the past, we all know how that works. But I think it will be a very good week. We have four or at least, three very nice guys. I can't talk about myself, but it's a good group.
Q. When you were talking about the wind being a factor, is that one of the things -- when you were coming up 9, your approach shot fell a little shot and then you were going up to the green, so I was wondering if that kind of called you out a little bit?
MARTIN KAYMER: 9?
Q. You're coming up the hill. You were over by the right bunker?
MARTIN KAYMER: I forgot it all right. 9? That was a poor shot. That was not the wind, that was me. I mean I have to be honest with you.
Q. The year you had, it's been a magical year, obviously, a U.S. Open, PLAYERS Championship, and just to be able to play as well with your teammates at the Ryder Cup, would you say that this has been easily your most consistent year as a professional?
MARTIN KAYMER: That's the thing. A lot of guys say that I think it was one of my at least consistent years. I was not consistent at all. I had two big wins, but that's it. I didn't do much else. I played a couple good tournaments here and there, but the players was good, the U.S. Open was good, but the rest was not very consistent. I think that the season that I had in 2010, for example, or 2008, 2009, 2010 they were brilliant seasons. I was very consistent, I barely missed a cut, I had a lot of chances to win golf tournaments, and this year realistically, I have only three or four chances to win tournaments. So I wouldn't say it was the best, consistent-wise, it was the best year I ever had. I just had two huge wins and that makes it a great year. But again I would rather have two big wins and play the rest okay than have no wins and play consistent. So at the end of the day, I think that the career gets defined by how many wins you have.
JULIUS MASON: Martin, thank you for popping in and we'll see you tomorrow.
MARTIN KAYMER: All right. Thank you.
JULIUS MASON: Bubba Watson, ladies and gentlemen. I think we want to hear the story of his adventure from Florida to Bermuda to the first tee. Can you lay that down for us, please.
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, for sure. So, Bubba's Bash was this week, and we were supposed to do four days. Supposed to end in Seattle on Sunday. When you win the Masters, the Grand Slam's first thing that pops in your head, so I had to cancel the fourth day in Seattle to get here.
JULIUS MASON: Good answer.
BUBBA WATSON: I wouldn't miss this. Put it that way. So for me, it was Thursday night in Orlando -- my church in Orlando's, Bubba's Bash, had a little concert. Brought in a couple hip hop artist, Christian hip hop artist. And we went to Teddy's church in Louisiana on Friday night. And then Saturday night was in Phoenix. The big one. So, a few more artists met us there. So Friday night we took a red eye basically to Phoenix. Got there early, early in the morning, slept for a little bit. Then my management team had a bunch of stuff -- I had fan mail and stuff I had to sign. So, about a little over a thousand flags I signed right there in the office. Then we had the concert, Saturday night, about a four hour concert. So, did that. Took off at 1 o'clock in the morning to get to Orlando. Whole way back to Orlando, they were saying, hey there's a storm, probably not going to be able to fly out tomorrow and all this stuff. But, my caddie picked up -- he went with me on all these trips, but he picked up his family, they got to Atlanta, they flew after halfway here on Sunday. And they turned around and flew all the way back to Atlanta. So, then my therapist, my trainer, the same thing. So, he got stuck in Atlanta. So I said, I said, hey, no flights are going into Bermuda right now on Sunday. So, why don't y'all fly with me, and then y'all can hop on the plane to fly here. So, we were at home all day yesterday and then we flew out at 7 this morning, landed here around 10:30 this morning. And the traffic, because of the debris, came about five minutes before my tee time, ate me a quick sandwich, changed my shoes and walked to the first tee. So I haven't played golf in five days. I played nice today. I got a new set of irons and three wedges. So my driver, my four wood, and my putter are all old stuff -- or not old, but I played with them before. So, no, it's fun. It's fun. Good trips. It was all for a good cause. It was all for a good cause.
JULIUS MASON: So, by the way you gripped that mic, I'm guessing that you are up on stage kicking it with your guests.
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, I love hip hop music. So, for me, it's about -- my foundation is about family, faith, families, children, and military. So, that's what I try to help. That's the things that really get to my heart. So, for me, I love hip hop music, so I was like, hey, instead of a golf tournament, let's do that. I'm on stage talking, we sit there for 30 minutes and I go over my life and story, talk about the bible and stuff, what it means to me. And then when they're singing -- I always make fun of it and call it tap dancing -- when they're singing and dancing, I go out there and throw out some T shirts and dance around with them. And so every stop I do that. I can't rap or dance, but my name's on the board, so I'm allowed to go up there, so. So it's fun for me.
JULIUS MASON: Welcome back to Bermuda. Questions, folks.
Q. What do you remember about this golf course when it came back to you after being here before?
BUBBA WATSON: I don't know if it's a curse or a blessing, but I can remember everything. So, for me, when I come back here, I knew what to expect. I know what the winds are going to be -- or should be -- and I know the layout of the golf course. So, hopefully, this year I can play a little bit better. I don't think I played too bad, I finished top four last time I was here. So maybe top four again. But, no, I know what to expect. I know some of the tough shots, the easier shots, the holes that are easier downwind into the wind and the tough ones. So, yeah, I know the whole golf course. As soon as I won, I knew what to expect, because I knew it was on the calendar right when I putted out at the Masters.
JULIUS MASON: Bubba Bash next year three concerts and one comedy night. That would be perfect.
BUBBA WATSON: Perfect. Easy crowd.
JULIUS MASON: Thanks for popping in and we'll see you tomorrow.
BUBBA WATSON: Thanks a lot.
JULIUS MASON: This show is called PGA Grand Slam of Golf trivia. And first question goes to you: In the 32 year history of this event -- Bob Denney can correct me -- but there have been only two people participating in this event that have won on two different islands. Name those two people.
JIM FURYK: I'm cheating, but it was myself and Ernie.
JULIUS MASON: Right that quick. Right.
JIM FURYK: Someone told me that this morning. (Indicating).
JULIUS MASON: You told him? Would you have guessed it if he didn't tell you? You would have got 50 percent of it right.
JIM FURYK: I would have got 50 percent of it. I don't know. I probably wouldn't have.
JULIUS MASON: Tough one. How does it look out there?
JIM FURYK: Good. It's amazing how -- at least on this golf course, you would have no idea a hurricane went through here, whatever, 36 hours ago. A lot of credit to the staff. The golf course is in great shape. It's a fun golf course to play. It's a place where I think you'll see a lot of birdies, a lot of bogeys. If the wind blows from the same direction the next couple of days, which I think it's supposed to, and it's supposed to blow pretty hard, you'll see a bunch of birdies. But you'll see a lot of bogeys and maybe some high numbers, as well. There's some tricky holes, you can get in some trouble. But, you'll see guys with lot of wedges in their hands so they can attack, as well. So, fun golf course, and I'm just amazed at how good a shape it's in. It really looks pristine out there.
JULIUS MASON: Good deal.
Q. You won at Mid Ocean Club, which is not far from here and I just wondered if you got a good feel for this climate, and the island because of it, and it might help you just adjust to a golf course you've never played before?
JIM FURYK: Well, I think that we have all traveled a lot and we have all been -- we have all played around sea level and Bermuda grass, and I think that, really, the first day, it's trying to figure out the routing, where you want to drive it on some of the holes. There's a lot of fairway bunkers in the fairway here. Maybe Bubba and Rory can fly it over a bunch of those, we'll see. I have to kind of play in between some of them. The next thing I noticed is there's a lot of elevation change, which remind me a little bit of Mid Ocean as well, where holes that we're thinking are playing 15, iron shot's playing 15 yards downhill, 18 yards downhill, now you factor in a lot of wind, it's tricky to pick the right club. So, tomorrow that's going to be a factor, as well. Especially playing the second time. We got good technology now, you can take a laser out there and try to figure out -- I would hit the shots and then look back at Fluff and say afterwards, what did it say, and he says he says it's 14 downhill. We were thinking 10. It said 14. So, we were kind of trying to adjust on the fly a little bit. I wish I would have played yesterday, got two rounds in, but it's, for the most part, it's -- most of the holes are pretty straightforward and you can learn it pretty quick.
Q. Your opinion of 16, the par three, compared to some courses you've seen?
JIM FURYK: 3 wood today. 235 into a strong right to left wind. I was aiming it basically right of the green and trying to cut it and hold it off. I got it three wood on the green. I felt like it was a moral victory for the day.
Q. Does it remind you of Whistling Straits and other courses like Pebble maybe?
JIM FURYK: It's far, far prettier than Whistling Straights. It wouldn't remind me of Whistling at all. Nothing reminds me of Whistling Straits, to be honest with you. It's so different than anywhere I've ever been. This kind of has -- it has some good views like Pebble. I wouldn't, I don't know, I don't think I would want to, definitely not belittling it by saying Pebble Beach, that is one of the prettiest courses I've ever played. But I'm not sure I would want to compare anything to it. It's kind of pretty on its own right, and I was surprised at how many holes had a view of the ocean, how many holes played alongside of it. How they utilized a lot of the par-3s, which I think is some of the prettiest holes in golf are par-3s, and they were able to utilize the oceans and views very well on some of those things. I would say, is it -- I think, I'm trying to think, because we played the holes in the wrong rotation, I want to say 8 is a little shorter par three going right at the water. I thought that was just as pretty as well.
Q. That comes down where you got the green in front of you and you can see the blue water and it's basically where all the players stand on the green and just look out for awhile.
JIM FURYK: It's pretty.
Q. Rory was in here earlier and we are having a quick chat about the Ryder Cup and he said that some of the stuff that's come out in public actually might have been a good thing because it will force people to talk about it and have that conversation. Which I think you guys are going to do anyway, but wanted to get your opinion on that?
JIM FURYK: No, I think that it's probably unfortunate the way things happened and how it's become a huge media story and usually not a positive story, if that makes sense. But I said in an interview this morning that I thought that a lot positive could come out of it. The silver lining may be that it gets a chance for us to all talk and have an open forum and discuss things and I think a lot good can come out of it and it can end up very, very positive, which I'm one of those people that, I want to look to the past, I want to see where we have made our mistakes, but how we can get better, but I'm ready to look forward and look to the positives. I think that a lot good can come out of it. I think that the task force that's been formed will be positive. I think that just the open line of communication, it can only be good, if that makes sense. I think Rory is spot on.
Q. I'm assuming there is nothing that's not on the table in terms of discussing things. You think it needs to be a totally open and honest conversation?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, I think that's why we all get together. I'm -- part of I'm part of that committee and I think I'm really more anxious, I've got some ideas of things that I have already talked to Derek and Ted and Pete about. This is kind of things I see going forward and what I would like to see. But we have got 12 individuals or 11 individuals that all have, one, they all have pretty dominant personalities; two, they have a lot of experience; three, they're informed, they either have been captains they want to be captains or they have had a lot of experience in this event. Everyone has some great ideas, I'm just anxious to hear them all. Because it will be really the first time that we all got together as a group. Amongst ourselves we talked a lot about where have we gone wrong in the past, what can we do better in the future. But as a player, you're usually looking at it from a player's perspective. Like when Strick was assistant, he said, I went into it with a player's mindset because I'm a player, but I came out of it thinking more like a captain would think. And I'm anxious to kind of see the views from all different angles from the officers, from the captains, from the players. We all love the event, we all want to see our side succeed and do well, and I'm just anxious to hear all the ideas.
Q. Do you think it's more realistic to look four years down the road rather than two in terms of the ultimate?
JIM FURYK: I think it's, honestly, I said it and I heard Derek say it this morning, one of the things that we always talk about is now, now, now, now, now, in anything we do, in business and in golf. But I think in the Ryder Cup we have always talked about we have got to win the next one and my go goal would really we got to be a little more farsighted than that. A lot of these ideas that come out in this meeting may get set in motion, they may help a little bit in two years, but they may help a little more in four years, and they may help a ton in eight years. Kind of set a process going forward. And I think we need to look at the next 10 to 20 years of Ryder Cup golf and let's think about, hey, for the next 20 years we got 10 events, let's, let's think about, hey, maybe 5-5 is good, let's think about 6-4, let's think about 7-3, let's go on the winning side of it. When we look back the last 20 years, it's probably a 2-8 type of deal. Let's reverse that tide and get it moving forward. I think it's good. Obviously, we're going to focus on 2016, but I think '18, '20, '22, '24, we need to be very more farsighted as well.
JULIUS MASON: Thanks for coming in and we'll see you tomorrow.
JIM FURYK: All right. That was simple.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports