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July 26, 2016

Bubba Watson

Springfield, New Jersey

JOHN DEVER: Welcome to the 98th PGA Championship. Like to thank Bubba Watson for spending some time with us.

Welcome to your 10th PGA Championship, Bubba. I'd like to ask you about being at Troon two weeks ago and here ten days later; is this too many adrenaline spikes in a short time or does this play to right up your alley?

BUBBA WATSON: I've never had it, so I don't know. I didn't touch a club. I got home; I got home I think Tuesday, I did some media in New York. So I got home Tuesday and I didn't touch a club until I got here Sunday.

So I played golf on Sunday, had a good break and getting ready for the three tournaments in a row, one of them happened to be the Olympics.

It's one of those things. We knew it starting the year that we were going to have that, you call it a spike, but some tough golf in a row. So I prepared for it. I tried to prepare for it and get ready for it and try to get back to the challenge of getting back to major golf real fast.

I didn't impress anybody at Troon, so hopefully here I can impress some people.

JOHN DEVER: You've been around Baltusrol now for a day or two. What facet of your game do you think matches up with this golf course?

BUBBA WATSON: I think length. Obviously the numbers, if you look at the numbers of the golf course, length is an advantage. Does it mean I'm going to play well? I can't tell you that.

But you look at the numbers and can say with my driver, if I can hit my driver halfway decent, I'll have a better advantage over some of the guys, at least half the field.

Q. Without asking to you pick which one you'd rather win, what would be the significance of winning each of the next three you play?
BUBBA WATSON: Win all three of them?

Q. What's the meaning to each one to you?
BUBBA WATSON: That means I'd have to pay a bigger tax bill.

You know, obviously Travelers Championship is near and dear to my heart. My dad was here to much with a me win. So Travelers is always going to be near and dear to my heart.

I'm missing opening ceremonies of the Olympics because of the Travelers, because it means so much to my family. Travelers did so much for me and my family, outside of my dad, because what people don't realize is what goes on behind the closed doors, when it comes to cancer like that.

Obviously the person that has cancer is in trouble, but at the same time, your family; my mom had a man there for 42 years and then he passed away. So Travelers is always going to be very special to me. So that's first.

And then obviously here, who doesn't want to win here. And then the Olympics. We don't know what to expect, playing for our country. My dad was in Vietnam, I love giving back to the military. So the Olympics, having the flag on my shoulder, or me representing the flag, United States of America, is very special.

But we don't know what to expect there. Here we know what to expect when you win a major or to win Travelers, but when it comes to Olympics, nobody knows. I haven't talked to anybody 112 years ago.

Q. Can you think of why it is that few players haven't come forward to dominate the game as we journalists perhaps have suggested they might in the last few years? Is it that we've got it wrong?
BUBBA WATSON: (Chuckles) I'm going to see how to answer that the right way.

If you think about, look at the greats of the game, I've always said, whoever you consider the great of the game of that era. Tiger Woods has showed us how to work out, how to train, how to deal with pressure, how to practice, how to focus.

And now look at the world. It's a global game. I know we're just getting in the Olympics, but it's a global game. The Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, all these tours around the world have grown the game so much, and obviously PGA of America, which it comes to the club pros.

So when you look at that, it's going to be harder and harder to dominate like what Tiger did over the last 15 or so years, because we're getting so good. I mean, look how many countries are represented in this tournament. Look how many countries are represented just in the Travelers Championship. So we're just getting better as a whole, and so that means it's going to be harder to win.

And I've always said, if you can get double digits wins on the PGA TOUR, you're doing something. Back in the day, it was 20, 30 wins. But now with the global game it is, it just makes it that much harder to win.

So your question is, it's just going to be -- media in the US has said top four, top five, top three guys, and it seems like they are always up there. So I think it's just that era now, it's a multiple of guys, not just one man.

Q. This is kind of in relation to some things that Jordan said at The Open Championship a couple weeks ago about kind of the expectation that comes after winning a major; he's won two tournaments but not a major and people are per receiving it as not a good year. In your situation, once you won a major and came up with another, did you feel a different burden of expectation from the outside and even for yourself --
BUBBA WATSON: For me personally, it was all my own expectations. You win one and you want to win another. And I'm just talking about regular tournament. It doesn't even matter about a major. You put your own pressure on yourself; why am I not winning more; why am I not doing this, and everybody tells me how bad my year's been.

You can't worry about outside influence. All you can focus on is what you're doing and know that you're striving to do your best and sometimes your best isn't good enough. You can't get mad at that.

But sometimes media, as our question over -- the last question, sometimes media writes things that might not be true, but negative sometimes sells.

Q. My first question is about your emotions. Mr. Michael Collins once told me that you're the type of player that is never afraid of showing your emotions on the course, or even in a tournament. So I would like to know, do you benefit from this type of emotional expression, or do you get stressed out a bit?
BUBBA WATSON: Obviously I haven't benefitted because I've lost more than I've won. But no, we're all battling something inside. Like this question: You're battling your own expectations, you're battling your own emotions. I don't know about you guys, but when you 3-putt, it's not very fun, and so you get excited inside.

So you've got to figure out a way, now with the world watching, you've got to figure out a way to calm it down. My son's watching, so I've got to figure out how to not show emotion as much.

So it's a learning process. We are all trying to learn, and yes, when I was younger, I was very up and down. I've tried to slow it down some. But I'm still going to have moments and shots and 3-putts that cause me to not be happy.

Q. You were in a meeting last night with the other Olympic golfers and Dan Jansen, just wondering what that was like and what will you take away from what Dan said to you guys?
BUBBA WATSON: You know, Dan, he's a legend, when you look at Olympic sports. He's a legend; he's a legend for America.

Some of the things that he battled, he talked about what he battled. Not just winning. Who cares about winning a medal. Just what he battled trying to get there, what he battled in family life and things like that. It was pretty amazing to hear his stories and how he came through it.

And then, you know, he's there to cheer you up and get you excited about it. But we're all four of us are pretty passionate about it. Any time you can play and represent your country to that level; obviously we represent our country this week, but to that level, a higher level, it's pretty special.

And then when you saw some of the videos that they showed us, and then trying on all the clothes, we became little kids real fast. Can't wait to get there. There's two weeks in between, but yeah, it's pretty exciting, and I want to get there faster than I can. Because just talking to a legend like that and watching some of the videos, pretty special.

Q. Just wondering how is The PGA of America different from the USGA in the way they set up courses and go about running their major championship, and do you think one is more player friendly than the other?
BUBBA WATSON: No. They are both -- there's no tournament, major or not, that's more friendly than the other. They treat us with the utmost respect no matter which tournament we're in.

But like The PGA of America, The PGA of America is the club pros that are going to help grow this game. So when you think of the PGA -- when I think of the PGA Championship, I think about who is going to impact the young kids the most; is it the players, or the head pro at a golf course.

No matter what head pro it is, if it's at Augusta National or at a public course down the street, they are the ones that are going to grow the game and come up with different games and different ideas and different tournaments to help these young people to want to keep playing and grow the game.

I can do a little bit, but the interaction of a club pro is going to do more than Bubba Watson can do.

JOHN DEVER: Good answer.

Q. You opened by talking about the unusual schedule this season and this summer, everything coming one right after another. Do you have an idea or plan in mind how to get through or first to get to The Ryder Cup, and get there fresh and ready at the end of it all these next two months?
BUBBA WATSON: Some people don't call us athletes but we're athletes. Like I said earlier, Tiger Woods has taught us how to train and eat and focus and save your energy.

No, that part, adrenaline starts pumping through you, it won't affect you at all. And then the PGA TOUR has the week off, the one week off right before THE TOUR Championship in Atlanta. So we have a week off that we can rest and get away from golf for a second or two.

So no, we are used to it. Doesn't mean I'm going to perform just because I have a lot of rest but we're fine with rest and everything.

Q. Have you been home enough, I know you're very involved with the massive flooding at the Greenbrier; have you been home enough to see what's going on? I guess they are open back up for play. What's happening there?
BUBBA WATSON: I left because the courses weren't open. So I left to go back to my house in Florida. I've been there. Opened up a candy shop while I was there.

The one course is open, the Greenbrier Course is a little bit higher. When you look at all four courses, it's a little bit higher. It's 20, 30 feet higher, so it didn't get the mud and the yuckness, I guess you would say, from the river. So that course opened up.

And Jim Justice, he's a very smart man, very gracious man, and he understands that opening the hotel and opening up the golf course, the one golf course, is going to give people home and energy to work so they can afford to fix their houses and their yards and buy things that they have lost in the disaster there.

Q. Simply put, what's more important to you: The Ryder Cup or the Olympics?
BUBBA WATSON: Again, I haven't lost an Olympics yet. I'm hoping that my team will play really good so we can win one. Because obviously, I've been losing for our team, so I need them to take over my losses.

I can't answer the question. It's one of those things. If you ask me for a major right now, I've got two majors, so I'd rather have the Gold Medal, or any medal, actually.

Q. Did you have any reservations about going to the Olympics, and if so, why or why not? And did you say you opened a candy store?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah. It's in Pensacola, Florida. It's called Bubba's Sweet Spot. It's a candy shop: Fudge, ice cream, candy, things like that.

Q. What prompted that? Are you just a big candy eater?
BUBBA WATSON: Who doesn't like candy and fudge and ice creme. So I'm spending the most money in there.

But you know, I had no reservations about going to the Olympics. It's the Olympics. And I'll say something, probably shouldn't, but Dan said yesterday, me and him are friends now, I just call him Dan.

In the Olympic meeting yesterday, he said, "You're representing your country, like why would you even -- that's not even a doubt."

He said that golfers, what's different for us, is that when we dreamed about the Olympics; it was about every other sport. It was never about golf, because golf has never been in the Olympics. As a kid growing up, when I played baseball, I played basketball, or I thought I could be an ice skater even though there was no ice where I grew up, it was always a different sport. It was never golf.

For this year, it's the first time golf's in there since any of y'all can remember. So it's a new experience. But no, I would never -- I mean, if they would have asked me to be the towel boy, would I have went to the Olympics.

But again, my situation is different than everybody else's. I can't have kids. We adopted our kids and I'm not fearful of crime or anything like that. So there was no fear at all. It was a go. My wife knew it. She wasn't going to hold me back. She was never -- she missed on her Olympics, so I was going to go, as long as I made the team and somehow made the team. I'm glad people dropped out so it could guarantee me a spot.

JOHN DEVER: Enjoy your week at Baltusrol. Thank you.

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