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February 5, 2016

Bubba Watson

Scottsdale, Arizona

A flash interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Once again in contention here at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. How would you assess your play over the first few rounds?

BUBBA WATSON: The ball striking has been good. Today I got 6, I think it was 6 and 8, got loose with the driver trying to get the ball to draw with the wind and it didn't, obviously. Bad swings. But I haven't really made the putts. Couple 3-putts over the two days. And I missed some short birdie putts yesterday and some short ones today that could have went in.

Q. How much was the wind a factor today?
BUBBA WATSON: It picked up the last 11 holes. At first there wasn't much wind, and then it's picked up, as we can see, made it more difficult. It's hard to hit the fairways when this wind picks up, especially crosswinds like we had on 6 and 8.

Q. What happened on 16?
BUBBA WATSON: Crowd's been good. I will have to say, I have to apologize, I used the wrong words. I have nothing against the fans and the tournament. The fans have been great. I love coming here. I've lived here every winter for eight years.

This is a beautiful place. And the reason why I'm here is because of the excitement around this golf tournament. The fans have been great.

I used words that I shouldn't have used. I didn't explain myself well. My wife says that too when I go home. I don't communicate very well.

You know, it was about the golf course. I'm not a fan of the golf course. I have said that for the -- this will make 10 years. But I'm here because of the excitement. How would you not be here to support the tournament that brings out the most people? Out of any tournament we play around the world, this brings out the most people that we ever see at a golf tournament. So how would I not be here? And I live here and it's beautiful here. Pretty good weather at the end of the day.

Q. That said, how do you reconcile the fact that -- I mean, this course obviously suits your game, your eye.
BUBBA WATSON: Well, you know, it's kind of like the U.S. Open. Sometimes you get the right bounces. And around here.

I have played well because -- you know, we all made the tournament bomb and gouge. If you notice, the big hitters are hitting it hard and hopefully get the right breaks. I just didn't get the right breaks on 6 and 8.

But over the last couple of years I have made some putts. So far these two days I just haven't made putts.

Q. Talk about those putts. Are you more discouraged about that or encouraged because of the position you're in?
BUBBA WATSON: You know, over the last -- I haven't dedicated to putting over the last couple of weeks. It was more about ball striking. My ball striking is good and my putting is off.

You know, who knows what it is? Misreads, not hitting it hard enough, whatever it is, they are just not going in. My self-esteem is good so I'm not worried, but, you know, it's one of those things.

You know, maybe next week they will fall in or maybe by this weekend they will start falling in.

Q. Are you pleased or discouraged?
BUBBA WATSON: I made the cut, and my record is still going. I haven't shot over par yet. And I gave out free socks today. They booed me and then they cheered me, so it was good.

Q. Free stuff does that.
BUBBA WATSON: Exactly. Free stuff. Give me the free stuff, I like you, too.

But no, it's one of those things. I don't know how to put it into words. The two swings got me really upset on 6 and 8. But then, you know, then I had a chance to really still make a par on 8. I had to take a penalty drop on 6.

So there was chances. I still could have made the putts and worked out the bad drive but I just didn't. That's the thing. I haven't had a bounce-back yet, a bad drive and a good putt. It always seems like both.

Q. You said you haven't liked this course for 10 years. So it wasn't the redesign, necessarily?
BUBBA WATSON: It's tough. Well, no, the redesign has made it even tougher. You know, I come here because I have lived here for the last eight years. Every winter I come here. How could you not like the sun?

For me, when 500,000 people come out and support a tournament, how would you not want to be here? I mean, I'm here. I have been here for 10 years. The only year I didn't get in that they gave me a sponsor exemption my rookie season, so I wasn't here in '06.

I have been here every year since because of the fan support, because of the sponsor, Waste Management, what they're trying to do and what they've created. Just like I said, if you read my transcript from a couple of days ago, my heart was in the right place. I just used the wrong words. Just like my wife says at home. I need to be better at home and I guess here.

Q. You say the fans were great, I'm sure they were, but out there it sounded like they were pretty rough with you.
BUBBA WATSON: When you hit a bad shot, they are rough with everybody. I 3-putted. They were rough then too. But I gave out free socks, so they love me again. That's why I bring the stuff, so they all love me no matter how I hit it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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