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August 9, 2015

Bubba Watson


THE MODERATOR: We're here with Bubba Watson. Bubba, you finished 9-under for the tournament. Talk about overall thoughts on the day and the week.

BUBBA WATSON: Obviously, a good week. I don't know what the last group is going to do. So right now I think I'm second still. At the end of the week, you always want a top 10, have a chance on Sunday, and I had a chance. So it was close but not close enough.

THE MODERATOR: Talk about thoughts on your game heading into next week.

BUBBA WATSON: Good. I mean, obviously. I made a cut this week, so looking good. Got some good feel around that golf course, but that doesn't mean you're going to play well again. It just means that you've played well once there. Driving the ball good. Putting well. Thinking positive. But at the same time, I've played terrible in majors this year. So might take another major off, I guess.

Q. Bubba, in the last six starts, a win and two seconds. I think it's safe to say that your form is pretty good heading into Whistling Straits.
BUBBA WATSON: Well, I mean, yeah, but if you look at the last three years, my form has been pretty good. I've been around top 10 in the world the last few years. It's always good, but I missed the last two major cuts. Sometimes the majors, especially with the bounces that the last two majors had, doesn't show if you're playing great or not. It just shows that you didn't make the cut. Who knows? Going in there, as long as I hit my driver as good as I've hit it the last few days -- I think they were joking in the locker room, I think it says on the app I averaged 378 this week driving distance, pretty good. And I hit 50% of my fairways, so that's a pretty good average for hitting it 378.

Q. What else do you recall about Whistling Straits?

Q. There's that. I wasn't going to mention that.
BUBBA WATSON: At least I got in a playoff. Here I didn't even get in a playoff. Through the tree and make birdie.

Q. Do you like the golf course, as far as you can recall?
BUBBA WATSON: Yes. Obviously, if you play well at a golf course -- if I remember correctly, there's only a couple of blind shots. Blind shots are what I don't like the most. And I think No. 8, right offhand, I think No. 8 is kind of a blind shot. You're kind of going up the hill. You can't see the fairway. That's really the only one I can think of right off the top of my head. Maybe No. 4, there's one hole that takes a dip down. That's another one. There's not too many blind shots off the tee where I can -- I'm focused and I can see where I need to hit it. Again, I played great there last time. So if I can do that again, I'd love the place.

Q. Could you just talk about the hot stretch in the middle of the round where you got close, and then coming in, how you just couldn't get the one more.
BUBBA WATSON: Well, I needed two more.

Q. As it turns out.
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, I got you. The first few holes, the wind switched compared to the last three days. So the first few holes -- 4, 5, 6 -- was different wind. 6 was into the wind. And I struggled on that hole too because, again, I can't see the fairway where I want to shape the ball to. So I knew if I could just hang on somehow, keep making pars and grinding out pars, when I hit the downwind holes, I'm pretty good. That's what I did. I don't know, I hit it close to 400 on 8. 360 or 370 on 9. I made birdies on those holes because it was downwind. It was easy to hit those shots and keep them in play. Then 10, I hit a great shot under the trees that trickled up there to about 12 feet and made the putt. 11, I hit the flagstick, missed the putt there. Great putt, missed the putt. Made a great putt on 12, though. A huge putt on -- I think that's 13. 15, I missed a short one, but at the same time, you get mad that you missed it. We'll say short. It's eight feet, ten feet. I already -- the last few holes, I made a bunch of putts. So it's kind of -- it all equals out at the end of the day. I just didn't hit enough good shots and make enough putts to challenge.

Q. Bubba, you mentioned your driving distance. Was it different this week? What specifically about your driver are you feeling so good about?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, it's pink. Who doesn't want a pink driver? Ping makes a good product. This week, normally, we see it softer around here. This is the first time we've seen it this firm. Or the first time I've seen it this firm. So you hit the ball on the fairway, and the ball was just bounding down the fairway. I mean, everybody, if you look at the average -- I think they said yesterday the average was around 315, 317 for the whole field. That's a pretty good average. That just shows the whole golf course is playing firmer and faster.

Q. Two things, Bubba. You seem a little flummoxed almost about where exactly to pitch the ball coming in.
BUBBA WATSON: Where? That's a lot of big words you just used there.

Q. Georgia grad, sorry. Confused maybe on where exactly to land it. 16 comes to mind in terms of how much it was going to spin back, how much it was going to release. Was it inconsistent all day?
BUBBA WATSON: No, it's not inconsistent. It's just I don't produce enough spin, I guess. I had adjustments and everything over water, I had 125, a little breeze downwind, let's say three miles an hour, four miles an hour. So I pulled out my 63 degree lob wedge -- I don't know if you've hit your lob wedge that far, but that's what I hit, and I landed it five feet past the hole, and it ended up 30 feet, 40 feet from the hole. We knew that going into it -- that's why I hit that club, trying to produce spin, and same thing with 18. Again, not that I could hit these any closer. I hit great shots. They just bounced different than I wanted them to. 18 was the same thing. I nipped it, took paint off the ball, and cut it with a 63 degree lob wedge, and it just bounced -- I don't know if you all watched me play, but it bounced up the hill to a 40-footer. Now knowing that if I had hit the tree, it spins it more on 18. That's what I should have did. Tell Lowry that was unbelievable. So, no, it wasn't that I didn't know. I knew how firm it was, but we tried to -- I tried to be a hero and hit a 63 degree lob wedge, flew just right at the hole, and it bounced and didn't spin.

Q. How long have you had that 63? I don't have one of those.
BUBBA WATSON: You need to get one. They go pretty far. I've used this one since China last year. I put it in at China.

Q. Lastly, just given the overall way you played today, you must be pretty excited about next week on a course where you played great last time.
BUBBA WATSON: Yes. I've answered that question, but I'll answer again, yes.

Q. You don't need to.
BUBBA WATSON: No, I mean, I've been playing great. I've played great. I've been really working hard on my putting, and I think the stat shows I've been working hard on putting. The driving, you get confidence with putting, everything else starts getting better. It's all about confidence, trying to take after Jordan Spieth. So going in there, yeah, I look forward to it. But, again, it's all about, you sleep good. Does your body feel good? Is your mind in the right place? Are you just missing fairways, or are you hitting fairways? That's around a major, you've got to hit fairways because it gets pretty thick around those holes.

Q. Is your mind in the right place?
BUBBA WATSON: It is today. We'll find out in a few days.
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