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July 1, 2015

Bubba Watson


(In progress.)

BUBBA WATSON: I'm tired; I'm spent. You know, that much pressure, that much energy spent trying to get into the playoff, stay in the playoff, and then trying to produce in the playoff, I'm tired and worn out. I told my caddie yesterday. We were playing a different golf course this week. After three holes I said, I'm out. I'm done. I'm just going to go home. So my wife gave me some rest. My in laws took the kids to the pool, and so I just sat at my house and just rested a little bit. Mentally the energy level is just not there. So hopefully resting, drinking fluids, and hopefully recover a little bit.

Q. What did you do so much better at that Travelers than at the US Open, and how much of a factor was the weird Chamber's Bay course in your US Open performance?
BUBBA WATSON: You got to remember, US Open is meant to challenge you at all levels. My second shot of the tournament at the US Open I landed it ten feet from the hole and ended up 55 yards away because it went off the slope. But then another hole, a foot over it stays on the green, you make par, and get out of there. So it's all about bounces, the right bounces, and making putts. I didn't make any putts. Those greens are very tricky. So I just made putts at Travelers. I wasn't hitting the ball bad at the US Open. US Open, I don't consider that a bad week. I missed the cut. That makes it a bad week. But my ball striking and the way I putted, I didn't feel bad. I felt great. I felt great about my game. I knew going into Travelers was fine. Wasn't like I was searching for a game. I mean, that golf course is meant to challenge you in all different facets, and that's what it did. It challenged me to a missed cut.

Q. You mentioned the fatigue. Does being here at a familiar place and sleeping in a familiar bed help get you energized a little bit?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, for sure. At the same time, you know, I won a tournament and then I'm playing the following week. There is no time to celebrate and smile and cheer and take some time off and think about the victory you just made. It's back to work. My kid doesn't see it that way. My three-year-old woke me up at 7:00 saying, Daddy, wake up. I haven't seen you in week. I'm like, I've only slept for five hours. Can I go to sleep? So those are things you just to have deal with. Every player on TOUR that's won has had to deal with playing the next week and challenge themselves to get up and get ready for that event.

Q. You got to play with Angie this morning. Does that help with the mental exhaustion factor, being able to just share that time and that family feel that the Greenbrier offer?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, you know, it was cool. I surprised her with it. I bought her a Pro-Am spot. I asked if they had Pro-Am spots available about a month ago and they said yes, so I bought her a Pro-Am spot. Told her at the US Open. So she was excited. We knew her parents were coming in so her dad caddied for her. They threw me with two other guys that were pretty big names themselves, so it was fun. I love football and basketball, so it was great playing with those coaches. Obviously she loves basketball so she talked a little bit of basketball. But, yeah, it's really fun being able to do that, you know, with a family member like that.

Q. You've been in a house here and understand the lay of the land and know Jim Justice pretty well and talk about building the golf course and bringing the Open here. Is that realistic?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, Jim does a lot of things, so I guess it could be. Nobody thought that Chamber's Bay was going to have a US Open, but it did. You never know what's in store. You never know what quality golf course, how the layout is going to be, can the fans fit the golf course? Things like that. There are a lot of things go into building a US Open golf course. Usually it's time and history, but you never know. He can do it. He says he wants to do it; he can probably do it.

Q. Do you feel like a West Virginian now?
BUBBA WATSON: Pretty much. Everybody is treating me great here. I love it here. Me and my family, we think it's one of the best places in the world. How would you not want to be a part of this and the Greenbrier family? My son wants to go ride horses every single day. He could care less about the golf. He just wants to go ride horses. There is a little horse named Chip. He has a helmet and everything, so he enjoys it here.

Q. With all you've accomplished, have you exceeded what you imagined you could do out here, and do you allow yourself to think about what your legacy could be if you keep this going for a while?
BUBBA WATSON: I never think about my legacy. It's all personal satisfaction what I'm doing now. My legacy, I'd rather my legacy be better off the golf course than it is on the golf course. If I'm helping people, doing the right things, helping grow the game. There are other things besides golf that I want to go and be known for. No, I never expected to be /where I'm at right now. If my career ended today and I never played again, made another cut, I would be very happy with it. My whole goal on the PGA Tour was getting ten wins. I thought that was a goal that was unreachable, so I thought that was a good goal for myself. Now that I have eight, it scares me because I have a chance. Yeah, it's pretty amazing. Obviously the majors, I never thought -- you always dream of it, and then you do it and you're like you, Uh-Oh, now it just happened. Then to do it again was pretty wild. So, yeah, it's pretty amazing getting this close to my goal. Hopefully I still have some more opportunities to reach my goal of ten.

Q. You've really embraced this area with the house you have near the Slammer course. What would it mean to you in the grand scheme of things to win this event, and how does it compare to other nonmajor events in the schedule?
BUBBA WATSON: It would mean a lot, you know, to be a part of this community, a part of West Virginia now. It would mean a lot. Any time you're at your home course it's like you want to to protect your home soil. I've played here a little bit. I'm still learning the golf course. It's not easy to learn. There are certain pins you have to play smart, certain pins you can attack, so it's about learning all those different situations. When to hit it off the tee and when to lay back off the tee. So it's going to take me some time, but a good putter always makes up for mistakes. Obviously this would be a big win for me. Obviously this week would be even bigger since I just won last week.

Q. You hit the ball good at the US Open, you putted good, yet you missed the cut. You said it challenges you in all sorts of ways. What was the challenge that you didn't accomplish? Is it a mental thing?
BUBBA WATSON: My score obviously didn't accomplish it.

Q. Yeah, but how did it get that way?
BUBBA WATSON: I wouldn't say it's a mental thing. Like I said, two guys can hit from the fairway and ball marks can be a foot apart. One guy is 60 yards off the green and one guy is 20 feet from the hole. So it's all about where you land the ball and controlling your distances. You know, on a course like last week, the week after, it was a little bit softer. The ball doesn't run 60 yards down the fairway off a slope. You know, I could hit driver and it doesn't go crazy distances in some real high hay. So it's just a different way to play golf that's challenging. It's about when do you lay back? Now you got a 4-iron into a par-4 to a green that's not really receptive for a -iron, so you have to play smart and play the perfect distance. For me, my 4-iron goes 150 to 240 sometimes, so I've got to hit the pinpoint accuracy on the distance. I haven't been able to control it that way. That week I wasn't able to control it that way, so it made my score jump pretty high.

Q. And just to follow, I'm not being hard on you, but I...
BUBBA WATSON: No, listen, you're not going to affect me. I've won. I got a trophy at my house. I'm fine. I got a missed cut and a win. I'm good.

Q. You're the guy that can hit all the shots.
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, you can hit all the shots, but if there is a target of two yards - let's say 188 to 190 - you got to land it in that distance. I don't know about you, it's pretty tough to do that on command knowing what it means if you don't do that. So guys that play well at the US Open have control of their mind or their putter is working extra hard that week. The guys that were at the top coming down the stretch, look at the shots they were hitting. Even the young kid that hit the 3-wood to like four inches the last day. They were in control of their golf ball and in control of their distances, and that's why they performed a t high level.

Q. So frustration didn't beat you, it was more.
BUBBA WATSON: Oh, I wasn't frustrated. I'm at the US Open. I don't care what the course is our how difficult it is, we're still getting to play in a major. I'm frustrated with missing the cut, but that's really it.

Q. One major and 15 wins is kind of the standard right now for getting in the World Golf Hall of Fame. You more than halfway there. Ten wins is your goal, but do you start to think even bigger, and where does the Hall of Fame rank for you?
BUBBA WATSON: No, I don't think bigger. I haven't got to my first goal yet. When I get there, yes. One of my goals was win a golf tournament every year. You do that and you don't pack it in and go home. You try to win another golf tournament. I haven't got my ten wins yet, so my goal is not reached. There is no reason to start setting another goal if you haven't reached your first goal. That's the way I see it. I am two away from winning that. Somehow if it's possible to hold a trophy for the tenth time, then, yes, I'll change my goals to 15 or whatever.
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