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August 11, 2015

Bubba Watson

Kohler, Wisconsin, USA

JOHN DEVER: Good morning everybody, thanks for joining us here at the 97th PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. I'd like to thank Bubba Watson for spending time with us here this morning. This is your 9th PGA Championship, the best finish came right here in 2010, in a playoff. I was curious as to your recollections of that week.

BUBBA WATSON: The week was good. Obviously only one person beat me, so I wish I could improve on that. What I remember is the tough golf course. I can't remember the score, what was shot. But I remember the golf course being tough and fairways are the key around here. If you don't hit the fairway, just like this week, if you don't hit the fairways, it's going to be very difficult to make pars and have a good finish. It's all about fairways around here, and that front 9 seems like it gets tougher ev ery time I see it. I'm looking forward to the week because I've played here before. I've got some good memories here, and hopefully up to the challenge.

JOHN DEVER: Your impressions of the golf course here this week, especially in lieu of the yesterday's rains.

BUBBA WATSON: The golf course was a little soft greens today, but nothing -- not too soft compared to last week, yes, but the golf course is in beautiful shape. The rough is thick and healthy. And fairways are in perfect shape. Greens, I haven't seen greens run this good in a long time. It's pretty amazing out there how nice it's running.

Q. You've got good memories here, that you've raved on and on about. I'm curious to know, on the 18th, you hit it in the water on the last hole. Do you think about negative stuff, even here --
BUBBA WATSON: I'm a golfer and I'm human, and I think about negative stuff, yes and I've had a lot of negative stuff written about me, so yes.

Q. We're supposed to be negative. I was curious about you. When you played 18 for the first time since you got back, do you see -- do you have any memories come back like that?
BUBBA WATSON: I'll be honest, I haven't played 18 since that day. Maybe that's why I'm not playing it, because I don't want to go back. Looking back on it, I pulled the same club. I thought 6-iron out of that rough, I thought the line was good enough, it was going to move it. Again, like I said before, I walked out of the fairway to get out of Martin's way, and asked the cameraman, where did the ball go, I thought at worts it was just short of the green in the bunker, and I could chip it up and hopefully make par. I didn't know it was in the water, that was 25 yards short, 30 yards short -- there's no way. I asked the camera guy, where is it? I thought it was just short. And I heard the moans and I was like, how can it be in the water. And the guy's like, it's in the w ater. I thought I hit a decet shot or a good shot.

Q. Do you remember what was going through your head when he told you?
BUBBA WATSON: I said, really, that short? He wasn't going to answer that question. He was just going to be like, it's in the water. It was me and Mark, Mark carrying at that time, Teddy was having his second child, his son, well, his wife was having his second child. And so we didn't expect that. I thought at worst, bunker, chip it up to that hole. So the shot, I played everything like I wanted to and obviously just didn't come out like I wanted it to.

Q. When you have good vibes at a golf course like this, do you do much preparation before you come here, looking back at anything you did or do you come here looking at it as sort of a clean slate?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, it was five years ago and at the same time you're looking to see if they've changed anything, anything is tweaked. And Teddy wasn't h ere. Teddy was here in I think it was '04. He was here in '04. So he remembers it then. Obviously that's even longer back -- I don't know math, but pretty far back. He's looking at it again. He walked it yesterday. But coming off of a tough week, even though I didn't win, it's exhausting, it's a big event, World Golf Championship, back-to-back weeks, World Golf Championship and a major. So for me it was, take time off. My little man got in yesterday, so we were hanging out. I haven't seen him in a week. As soon as I'm done here, I'm going to check out the lime green Mercedes that they have in the center over there, I'm going to check that out, because I love bright colors. And then I'm going to go fishing with my little man this afternoon. Coming back here, I've got good memories, but I want to rest right now. Trying to get rest so, hopefully, I can be positive starting on Thursday morning, to answer your question the long way.

Q. You mentioned hitti ng fairways. Do you see a little difference in the presentation of the course this time around versus last time, any narrower, higher rough, or does it seem about the same?
BUBBA WATSON: Seems about the same. You know, the only thing that I noticed, which Teddy brought to my attention, on No. 2 the first like, I would say, eight feet, ten feet, maybe, they cut the rough into us. But then the rest of the rough on the left side, it wasn't into us. And that was the only thing -- obviously, in 2010 I was still new to the game, I never had a win until two weeks before the PGA Championship. I was scared to death playing PGA Championships and majors. And so I can't remember really anything. I remember the layouts and how difficult it was, but I don't remember about emotions or anything at that time.

Q. Speaking of hole No. 2. Did you take part in the long drive this year?
BUBBA WATSON: I guess you could call it that, I didn't hit the fairway. I tied a bunch of people that missed the fairway, I guess. At least last year I hit the fairway.

Q. But you tried?
BUBBA WATSON: Yes. I gave it my best effort and the fairway -- I don't know if you know what No. 2 looks like, but it's pretty tight at 300 plus yards. For some reason they make golf courses longer, and then the farther you hit it, the tighter it gets. It doesn't make sense.

Q. Speaking of long, at Bridgestone, you had some incredible numbers. What do you attribute that to? Can you get longer beyond that, just talk about that?
BUBBA WATSON: I think that my Ping G 30 was pretty good. I can get longer, as soon as they come out with a new G series. You like that? Plugged them a little bit. It's just one of those things. It's the first time I saw that golf course firm and fast. There was no rain, golf course is usually softer. So everybody, if you saw the average that week was higher. And so it was ju st one of those things. The going, the conditions, everything set up for hitting the ball farther that week, last week, that's why.

Q. This is the third major tournament in season on a links style golf course. How do you personally feel about playing on that kind of track and how do the players in general think about it?
BUBBA WATSON: I think it's fine. We're supposed to be able to test our games everywhere. Obviously I missed the last two cuts in majors. Last year I did the same thing, missed the same two cuts. I don't think the golf course has anything to do with it, I just haven't played well. But, I don't see any difference. If there's trees, if there's not trees. It's a tough golf course, we've played here before, so we know it. I don't think the players have any arguments with it. Unless they play bad, then they always have arguments about it.

Q. Dustin got himself into a little bit of trouble with was it a bunker or was it not. How hard is it on this golf course to determine where you are?
BUBBA WATSON: The hard part was like Dustin's situation is, when there's that many people, the PGA Championship brings out the fans. And with 20,000 people probably following him at that moment or on that hole at that moment where he was, you can't tell what the ground is. When they're all huddled around your ball. It's an innocent mistake. He wasn't trying to do anything. He didn't realize it was a bunker. So with the crowd around that much, it's hard to tell what you're in and what you're not in. Yeah, it would be difficult. If I was in that situation it could have happened to me the same way.

Q. Do you expect everybody to be overly cautious this time around?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, there was a lot of paperwork last time, but there's a lot more this time. Everybody has it on their mind, as much as media is talking about it. We have it on our mind, but the goal was to hit the fairway.

Q. You mentioned how new you were to majors when you played here in 2010. What did getting into that playoff do for your comfort level at majors after that?
BUBBA WATSON: It just showed that I have the ability to play golf in a tough competition like that. Have the ability to perform at a high level, under stressful situations. I think I shot in the 60s the last round. I wasn't biting at the lead. I think I shot in the 60s in the last round, played great. Birdied first hole in the playoff under pressure. I did everybody I was supposed to do, except one guy beat me. That just shows I have the ability to perform, tough set up and tough golf course and a lot of stress. It gave me confidence in all parts of my game, in every tournament, not just majors. Like I said before, every tournament is a major for every city that we go to for the charity dollars that it raises.

Q. You said you're human, you're a g olfer, you have those negative thoughts. How do you turn those into positives?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, I don't look at Golf Channel or read any articles about me for the last year and a half, I'd say the last year and a half. So that's one way. But at the same time you've got to remember it's golf. You're going to have bad days and good days. Just like anybody, you're going to have bad days if you shoot free throws if you're a basketball player, bad days at the plate if you're a baseball player. Football, American football, you're going to have bad days. Other countries football, you're going to have bad days. There's bad days, good days, just like anybody. Writers are going to have bad days and good days.

Q. Speaking of bad days and good days, how is your minor league baseball team doing this year?
BUBBA WATSON: Better the second half. There's two halves. They're a half game back right now, trying to make the playoffs. There's two ways to get into the playoffs. They haven't made the playoffs yet. They've struggled the last two years, but I'm trying to inspire them a little bit, I guess.

Q. I just wanted to know, why do you love this game so much?
BUBBA WATSON: The reason why I love this game so much, my oldest memories are with my family. My mom didn't play the game, but my mom carried my bag, she was my caddie. My dad played the game. My sister played the game. So it was all about family time. Instead of playing video games in the house, it was about getting out, hanging out with my family. So the game of golf meant so much to me as a family coming together. That's why I love the game. It brings out family. It brings out friends. But it also challenges you every day. The wind direction, course setup, how you feel, it always challenges you, so I love it, those two different ways.

Q. Were you able to fish when you came here last time and how was fishing in this part of the country versus other places?
BUBBA WATSON: Last place I was here I was in a different location, in a subdivision, so I rode bikes. I brought Rickie over to the house, and me and Rickie rode scooters and bikes with the neighborhood kids. And this year, different location. The house that I'm at this year, it's on 15 acres with a couple acre lake behind it, so we can fish. It's a little different setup this year. I saw the fish yesterday, me and little man went around, but today he's excited about going fishing today, I told him I'd take him today.

Q. Do the shorter or average hitters ever ask you about advice or how you're doing, do they seem consumed with length?
BUBBA WATSON: No, because they look at my accuracy statistics. Jim Furyk is not worried about what I'm doing. I did notice that Jim Furyk was averaging 300 last week. Everybody was bumping it up. But, no, those guys are focused on what they're doing. I'm fo cused on what I'm doing. I'm asking them how to hit fairways. But they're not asking me, they don't want to be wild like me.

JOHN DEVER: Thanks, Bubba, thanks for being with us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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