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August 4, 2016

Bubba Watson

Cromwell, Connecticut

Q. Bubba, solid way to start this tournament: three birdies, no bogeys. How would you quantify the first day of the Travelers Championship?
BUBBA WATSON: Very solid. You know, around here I like to try to hit a lot of greens. You know, today I hit my driver halfway decent to start the round. Hung on; made a couple birdies.

You know, you always want to putt better, but at the same time, I made some putts to save par. It was a solid round. A solid start to the day. A solid start to the week.

Q. What is it like for you to come back and play in this first round and have all these fans behind you after your performance last year in that playoff and being a two-time champion?
BUBBA WATSON: It's very nice. You know, they've kind of documented me here as a local. It's been amazing. The support, the energy I get from them, what Travelers has done for this local community, it's just amazing.

To be a part of it as a professional golfer is nice, but then having two victories here just means that much more.

Q. Looks like the conditions will be similar tomorrow. You go off in the early wave. Few more shots out there to grab in the early wave for you?
BUBBA WATSON: We'll see how my body wakes up, but if I could shoot the same thing, you know, it would be a nice two days.

Obviously you would like a few more, but at the same time, I liked the ease of the 3-under out there today. It was nice.

Q. You got it going at 11; three birdies in row out there.
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, it was nice. I hit some quality shots. Missed a short putt on 2 today, but I hit a lot of quality shots, a lot of greens, which you need to do around here, keep the momentum, and that's what I did. Made a nice putt on 11.

Made a nice putt on, what was that, 12? Hit the fairway.

Hit a great 3-wood on 13.

So it was nice.

Then the ball hanging up on I think 15 and 17 was very nice. To get those two pars there was big to keep the momentum going in the day. Turned out to be a nice day.

Q. A little bit of a test run today with the renovations to the golf course. How did you like it?
BUBBA WATSON: It's very nice. Some of the spots for the bigger hitters it challenges a little bit more. Makes driving the ball that much tougher. It's very fair, very playable.

It's very rare to see a golf course where you like all the changes. So far I like all the changes because I played well. You know, I talked to the architect and said that it was great what he did. I love what he did.

We knew it was going to be about a year away from really being at its strength, you know, with the weather and the way they had to water the course. There are a couple spots here and there.

Overall it's a great job and great condition where it is after that hard work.

Q. Behind the scenes was there any Olympics banter today?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, for sure. All three of us are very excited. We're eager to get over there. It's funny, you hear all the USA chants, but at the same time you want to play well here. They're like, Good luck next week. I'm like, Good luck this week, not next week.

So it's very fun, us three hanging out. We're good friends. We had a blast out there. Having a pairing like that, no matter if we were going to Rio or not, it's a fun pairing.

Q. You guys are coming up the 18th and there is a USA chant. What does that do for you?
BUBBA WATSON: When you hear the USA chant, being from here and being an American, it's an honor and a privilege.

To think about the Olympics, obviously, like I just said, we want to play good this week first. There are other things we want to do first.

But, no, it's very special to be a part of that, for us three to be paired together. We're all good friends and we all pull for each other. For us to be going to Rio with golf not being in the Olympics and now it is, what an honor and a thrill to be part of that and be part of history.

Q. Going into the year you knew it was going to be busy schedule. Now that you're in the middle of it, what's your fatigue level like?
BUBBA WATSON: You know what? I'm a kid at heart. We're athletes. I would never blame injury, sickness, or fatigue. It's one of those things where you just fight through it. This is what we signed up for. This is what I signed up for when I was six years old and started playing golf.

There are a lot worse things I could be doing. If I say I'm getting tired of playing golf then I have some other issues to work out, so...

Q. Usually at this tournament the next week is not the Olympics or a major even. Do you find this week that you have to deal with a wandering mind at all maybe in the off times sitting around?
BUBBA WATSON: I had to deal with that from when they announced that the Olympics was going. You know, a year or so ago when they announced it that it was going be in the Olympics, golf was going to be in the Olympics, it was something I wanted to do.

So we have to get away from that sometimes and realize that, like I said, we're here first. We're at the Travelers Championship. It would be very nice to hold that trophy. Gold medal is nice, too, but right now we're working for a trophy. That would be a thrill and an honor.

Yeah, we have to catch ourselves. I do. I don't know about the other guys. Had to catch myself over the last year or so. Instead of putting so much pressure to make the Olympic team, think about the other tournaments that I am at that are going to help me make the Olympic team.

Q. This early in the tournament do you look at it as it's not so much that it's two or three shots back, but how well did I hit the ball today?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, for sure. Around this golf course, for me, with the way I play golf, I could have a lot of birdie putts. I didn't miss too many greens today. I could have had the ball bounce another way or make my score worse or bounce the other way and make my score better.

Very pleased with it. No, you don't look at it -- supposed to be some weather on Saturday it looks like, so then the scores could go up really high if it's bad weather. You just pace yourself and know that a couple rounds of 4-under a day for four days is right at what I won last year.

So I got to shoot 5-under tomorrow to catch back up to that 4-under total. But, you know, that's what we all look at. We know if we shoot in the 60s, shoot under par, we have a shot come Sunday. The pressure gets to people. When you shoot a real low score, a lot of the media attention.

So we're all human. Just got to stay focused on what we're doing and fight through everything.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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