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June 26, 2015

Bubba Watson


Q. Yesterday 9 birdies, but really solid round today. The conditions looked a little different with the wind and some of the pin conditions tucked back today.
BUBBA WATSON: Yes, for sure. It was windier, gustier coming from a different direction, so it made the golf course tougher. Hard to get the ball close. You can still make some birdies, but the lower scores were very difficult to keep repeating like yesterday.

Q. I talked to your caddie after the round yesterday. He said you're going to hit a lot of drivers. We've talked to some of the bombers that hit it long. They said they were going to hit 3-woods and 1-irons, but he said you feel really comfortable hitting your driver. But this is at 14 yesterday where you just hammered hard right to left shot. When you hit these kind of shots, how much of this is what you see in the artistry because it just doesn't seem like you stand up there with a lot of technical thoughts?
BUBBA WATSON: No, I definitely don't have technical thoughts. What I'm looking at here, I'm going off this bunker. You can barely see it. But there is a bunker right there.

Q. And that curves from that direction?
BUBBA WATSON: Right. So I'm trying to get it, feed it down there somewhere in the fairway. A low cut for me, I call it deep cut. It's no problem for me. It's something I've done my whole life. A lot of holes are shaped that way. On this golf course, a lot of holes are shaped that way. If you see it right there. So I'm just trying to get it. Make sure it landed on the other side of this pole right here that you can see. As long as it does that, it's an okay hole, and I can make birdie.

Q. So you're not standing up there with a mechanical thought. It's more what the hole gives you and what you feel?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, I've never thought about anything mechanical, where my body should be and my elbows or anything like that. I just play golf. I just see it and hopefully I can pull it off.

Q. Tom Watson playing well in the Senior Open. You're playing well this week. What do you think about this guy's golf swing?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, that's pretty good, huh?

Q. Your son, Caleb.
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, he's a little short. More like Allen Doyle. But he's not too bad. He's getting better. He loves it. He loves playing. He wants to do everything that dad does. He leaves his tees in his golf bag, and his golf balls in there. So he goes on the range, and he puts all his balls in the bag. So he gets one ball at a time out of the bag because that's what he sees dad doing.

Q. He sees you practicing with no shoes on as well?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, well he never sees me practicing. But when he makes putts, he'll take his hat off if he's wearing one. And if not, he'll just walk over and say, nice to meet you. Because when he watches me on 18, he always sees me shaking hands, so he thinks I'm saying nice to meet you every time.

Q. What was the plan of attack today as far as maybe not making a big number and keeping that card really clean?
BUBBA WATSON: That's what we were trying to do yesterday. Yesterday the wind was favorable and good scoring. Today, tougher pins and more wind, so it makes it tougher to get the ball close. Some of the holes were playing a little bit longer because of the wind. The wind was in a different direction. So it just made the golf course a little bit tougher. But obviously when you're playing good, you're thinking, well, you can still score. All these players are still pretty good. So you can still score even in tougher conditions.

Q. Did you feel like maybe you left a shot or two out there with the short par-4 and the par-5s that you were unable to make birdies on?
BUBBA WATSON: No, not really. You know me, because the first hole I made an 8-footer, ten-footer for par. So first hole I saved one there, and then you know, just played steady. I made a lot of solid putts where I could easily two-putt for pars. The number, what is that, No. 5, I had hit 4-iron in there today, the par-3. Hit a great 4-iron into the center of the green, two-putted it. There were a lot of things that were good and bad, but overall I'm happy with the day.

Q. How are you feeling about the weekend now?
BUBBA WATSON: I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully the weather gets out of here and we can play golf like this. Yesterday when I got done, the last time I looked at the weather, it's supposed to be raining all day to day. So turned out to be a nice day.

Q. Nice round today. What was working for you out there today?
BUBBA WATSON: It's just my mind right now. Over the putts I'm thinking well. Made a good, solid putt on the first hole, the 10th hole today for par. I stayed, when I hit a bad shot or a shot that went just off the fairway, I played smart. Hit a good 4-iron on No. 5 today. The wind was different than yesterday, so it made the golf course a lot longer. Made it tougher getting the ball close. So I just stayed patient and just kept playing steady.

Q. You told us earlier in the week that you were driving the ball well and you hit a lot of wedges out here. Is that the most fun thing about playing this golf course, or what is the most fun playing this golf course?
BUBBA WATSON: That these greens are perfect. These greens are running so smoothly. Yesterday I added it up after I left the media center. I had three holes that I didn't have a wedge into it, so three par-3s I had a longer iron, I guess you'd say. Today was different because the wind conditions were different. They were faster, and they were coming from a different direction so made the golf course a little bit tougher.

Q. Because you're able to attack this golf course, is that part of your strategy, especially your strategies heading into the weekend?
BUBBA WATSON: Oh, I don't know. Depends on how nervous I get. Right now I'm thinking well, I'm staying in the moment. I'm hitting my driver well, controlling it pretty nicely. Even when I miss the fairway, it's just off the fairway. So I'm looking forward to it. But it's really about controlling the mind. The body can hit the shots. The body can make the putts. It's just about controlling the mind and making sure you're in the moment.

Q. Start off talking about today's round. It was a little different than yesterday. The were the scoring conditions more difficult?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, the drug test, I passed it, hopefully (laughing). It's usually when you're at the top of the leaderboard, they want to drug test you, especially me. No, today was a good day. No bogeys, tougher conditions, tougher pin locations, and the wind was in a different direction. So some holes play tougher. No. 4 and No. 5 dead into the wind, so those holes play pretty tough. So I mean, it's just a different golf course today than yesterday with the stronger winds. So it's just about playing steady and that's what I did. Made a few birdies. You know, I left a couple birdies out there, but at the same time, I didn't make any bogeys, so I guess it equals out.

Q. Coming out of the sand at 7, was it 7 where you chipped in?
BUBBA WATSON: 7, are you talking about where I made a birdie?

Q. Yeah.
BUBBA WATSON: That I wasn't in the sand. I was in this little dirt patch just above the sand. But, yeah, I hit a pretty good one there and made the putt.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
BUBBA WATSON: I'd say, well, I haven't played in a while, so it's been a while. I would say earlier this year sometime. I took five weeks off after Jacksonville. They couldn't find me.

Q. Will you take five weeks off again after the way you played last couple days?
BUBBA WATSON: No, because I played terrible last week. I played two days.

Q. That's true. What is the mindset you take into the weekend? Do you come out trying to be aggressive depending on the weather?
BUBBA WATSON: I'm going to do exactly what I've been doing. I'm going to hit driver when I feel it's a driver. I've played different on 17 this week just because that hole is a tough one to play. So today I hit driver down there. It was a little bit into the breeze. Hit driver down there, and it was into the breeze in the second shot. And my guys missed the green trying to judge the wind. So I just tried to play safe, make my par and get out of there. That's really the only place I've played aggressive this week. I'm just playing the normal way I've played the last eight, seven years that I've played here.

Q. Have you noticed the crowds out there following you?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, definitely I noticed it when I make the putt because people are cheering and stuff. I mean that's why we play golf for is to make the fans happy and show them shots that they've never seen before and they wish they could do. They've been cheering me on every year I've been here. And after winning here, they've supported me even more. It's always fun when the big crowds are out there.

Q. How much do you watch the forecast calling for maybe rain tomorrow, definitely Sunday? Does that affect the way you play going into the weekend?
BUBBA WATSON: It doesn't affect the way I play like today because today was a different day. But yesterday I saw that the weather was supposed to be bad today when I teed off. Then overnight it changed and went away. So I haven't looked at the weather since I finished because I had a drug test. So, yeah, I'm going to look at it. It will change how I played that morning. It's raining, then it's going to change the way you play. You're going to have to play smarter, safer shall because the water can make the ball go in different directions.

Q. When is the last time you took five straight weeks off and why did you?
BUBBA WATSON: I did it this time so I could spend time with my family. In that five-week stretch I was only going to play Memorial, so there was only one tournament I was going to play. I took four weeks off earlier in the year because I was going to play Bay Hill. But Bay Hill, my friend passed away, so I went and did that. So I did it because I knew my stretch of golf coming up in three weeks and then a week off and then go overseas and come back and play. So I knew my stretch at the end of the year, it's a year-round schedule now, so I just took some time off somewhere so that I could try to play good the rest of the year.

Q. Have you ever taken five weeks off in a row?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, remember, we used to take three months off. But now the TOUR goes all the way around, so that's what I'm looking at. A lot of the guys, it's about finding your break. Now we don't have that winder break, so it's about finding a break somewhere, and that's where I chose to take it this year. The schedule has changed from last year, and I heard the schedule was supposed to change next year, so don't know what the schedule's going to look like.

Q. After you won here in 2010, if someone had asked you where you wanted to be in five years, what would you have said? Are you where you wanted to be now that it is five years?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, I'm ahead of where I wanted to be. You can never predict if you're ever going to win again. So when I won here, three months later my dad passed away. So if I wanted to do it over, I would want him still here. But I can never predict. I'm not going to sit here and brag and say I'm an awesome golfer and I should have majors. I mean, there are great players that have never won. There are great players that have never won a major. So for me to have two and now 7 wins and a World Golf Championship after my first win here, I'm ahead of schedule. My whole dream in life was to play on the PGA TOUR, and to actually have 7 wins and two of them a major, I'm ahead of schedule than I've ever dreamed.

Q. In retrospect, what did winning here do for you?
BUBBA WATSON: It gave me a lot of money (laughing). It gave me hope that I can play this game. It gave me confidence I can play this game, and it gave my family some positive energy for these last few months.
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