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February 3, 2016

Bubba Watson

Scottsdale, Arizona

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Bubba, making your tenth start here, the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Obviously great success coming off back-to-back runner-up finishes. Just a few comments on being back here this week.

BUBBA WATSON: It's good. Ping is here in Phoenix, Arizona. It's nice to be back and working on some equipment with him.

Oakley is a big sponsor here. Stance Socks is a big one for 16 this year with the 16-hole socks. So obviously I'm here because of my sponsors and everything, and so I love coming here. It's always great weather. Used to have a house here. It's always beautiful coming here and playing here.

Q. You've never shot a round over par here.
BUBBA WATSON: Thank you. Now you've just jinxed it.

Q. Why do you like this golf course?
BUBBA WATSON: I don't like it. I'm not going to PC it. I don't like it at all.

I just mentioned why I'm here. I've got three beautiful sponsors that love it here.

Q. Okay. What do you think you need to do? You have had a lot of close finishes lately. What do you think you need to do to try and win one more out here?
BUBBA WATSON: I have got to make more putts. The golf course -- this is the best shape I have ever seen it. I was here two weeks ago. It's the best shape I have ever seen it.

The greens are running so quick right now. You know, you're going to make a lot of putts. That's what I need to do. We know my stats. I don't make that many putts. I've got to try make some putts. The last couple years I missed the putt to force a playoff, and then I just fell short last year. So I've got to just try to make one or two more putts than the other guys.

Q. Let's go back to the thing you just mentioned. Along those lines, 16, your thoughts about it, you strike me as a guy who doesn't like closed spaces.

Q. Your mentality, thoughts, et cetera?
BUBBA WATSON: No, I think it's great. I think the hole is great. You know, just because of my own personality, if I don't like it, is one thing. But to create that, what they have created, what the Thunderbirds, what the Tour has created around here, now Waste Management is involved, what they have created around here is beautiful.

It's one time a year. If it was multiple times a year, it wouldn't be fun. But to do what they have done to create what they have created, it's a beautiful thing.

You know, you've got to get used to the adrenaline pumping. When you're close to the lead, you're nervous already and now you're really nervous for the crowd.

It's a cool thing they have created. But if it was every week -- it's kind of like the U.S. Open, we wouldn't want to do it every week.

Q. What goes through your head?
BUBBA WATSON: Don't mess up. You think about it early. You start hearing the roars even when you make the turn, but when you get to 14, coming up 14, you think about 15, you need to birdie it, you think about 16, trying not to mess up. You want to know where the flag is, play as safe as you can.

And it all depends on weather and wind direction. You try to play safe and make your par and get out of there. Or I do, at least.

Q. What is it about this course you don't like?
BUBBA WATSON: You know, I didn't see any reason to change it. You know, again, they didn't ask me. It's just my own opinion. I didn't see any reason to change it.

But then you have 14, I think 490 uphill. Big hitters. It gets tight down there. No. 8 you've got the slope from right to left right in the bunkers, bunkers start at roughly 280, go to about 320. I don't see that you need to tighten it up.

So just to me it just seems like all they did is just tightened it up. Scores didn't change. It just makes it goofier and tougher, which is not fun for us. We came here for a reason. We came here because we want to play golf and shoot good scores.

But why -- 500,000 people show up here. I didn't see there is a reason to change something that's not broke.

Q. Is there anything you like about the course?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, they let me finish top 5 a couple of times, so it's pretty great. I'm hoping the other guys struggle a little bit.

But no, I mean, realistically the golf course is built for me, built for big hitters. Look at the last few years, big hitters have won. They have made more putts than me. I feel like I have a shot if I can keep my head on straight. Obviously my record shows around here. I feel good. I'm hitting the ball really good.

J.B. Holmes who is walking up has played here quite nicely over the last few years. I want to compete with him. Hey, J.B. J.B. got lucky twice.

If you think about it, I'm not looking at my own golf game. I'm looking at everybody's. I don't know about you guys but Mark Wilson is not a power hitter, I don't know, and he won here. You know, it was a different breed. Look at the last few years, the big hitters are always around the top. I'm hoping again this week as well because that means my name will be around the top somewhere.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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