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August 11, 2016

Bubba Watson

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Q. How did it go?
BUBBA WATSON: I was just saying over there, to Steve, the other Steve, the one shot, the one thought‑‑ I don't know if it's the shot. I love the shot. I love the way it came off on No. 10, pulled out 3‑wood, trying to draw it back against the wind. Either drew it too much‑‑ but I hit it great and it went to the strip of sand in between holes there. And it went in a footprint. Cost me, made me a quick seven.
Two 3‑putts, one wasn't a 3‑putt, one was from the fringe but I still count it as a 3‑putt. You take away those, even the 3‑putts, you take away the one shot, hit the fairway there, you know, make a par, we're even par. The 3‑putts, clean up the 3‑putts here and there, make a few putts, we're under par, well under par for the day.
It's like the last two months. It's really close. It's just the score is not showing up. It's one or two shots that are going in the wrong spots. On a different hole, it would turn out a lot better.

Q. Is there any function of all the different things you deal with playing this course and dealing with Olympic stuff?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, it's called golf and it's very tough. Some guys showed that it's easy, and that's what we do. You've got guys that play good every week, no matter who they are, they are going to play good.
For me, like I said, it's one shot. There's only one shot I want to re‑do. I can take some missed putts that I lipped‑out that I hit great. I hit a lot of great shots out there. Just the score is not what I wanted. But I've got three more days to challenge and keep enjoying my adventure this week.
I've always thought the course was amazing. Obviously it's a lot better when it's no wind, just because of the toughness. But the course is amazing. Not knowing what to expect, brand new golf course, has not been open that long. To see it in this condition, I mean, this is the best‑conditioned course we've played all year.
There's not a shot out here that we don't like or we're disgruntled about. Now, length is one thing, but that's not because of the design of the course. It's just we all want to hit wedges. But no, it's a beautiful place. What they did here, what they have created, Brazil should be very happy and pleased. It's an amazing place.

Q. Are you surprised a 63 is leading?
  BUBBA WATSON: No, it's just like PGA TOUR golf. You've got guys that are going to play good. We've all played in the US. We all have played in majors. We've all played against each other before and this year. The wind was died down this morning and started picking up and that's how it usually is. In the morning rounds, they usually shoot good scores and in the afternoon it's a little tougher.

Q. Any unusual distractions?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, 3‑putts. I do that a lot, I guess it wasn't unusual. We're in our own world and bad swing, that's it. That was it.

Q. You mentioned the last couple of months. Has it been a matter of making the scores that you think you should be getting, play better than your score?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, I'm an athlete. I think I'm better than I am, you know.
No, you want to win. It doesn't seem like it but I won this year and I want to win again. Little things here and there changes it. 3‑putt changes momentum. We say you can't lose it on Thursday but momentum just slows you down. You chip‑in or you make a putt, then you can rattle off three or four birdies. Changes the whole day, the whole complex of everything.
That's why I just kept fighting. I knew, make a birdie here or there. The 3‑putt on 13 hurt me because I just birdied 12, so I knew coming down the stretch, there's some birdie holes. That bunker shot was bad on 16, where I had a good chance of making birdie after driving it right there in the bunker. But I knew there was an opportunity to make a few birdies on last few holes.

Q. With the flags and a lot of the cheering that was out there, pretty nice‑sized gallery, did it feel any different than a normal golf tournament? Did it feel like an Olympics?
BUBBA WATSON: You know, the thing that‑‑ I don't know what an Olympics feels like. I wasn't here back 112 years ago. The weird thing so far, we're used to The Ryder Cup and The Presidents Cup, but this year is a Ryder Cup, so we'll talk about Ryder Cup.
We're pulling for our own team, right, and so when we look up, or I looked up and I saw Matt Kuchar and I was watching him, he makes a putt. I'm like, yes, no, wait, he's trying to beat me.
So you catch yourself that way, because we're wearing the same gear, so we're pulling for each other, but not really. It was like a Ryder Cup, when you see the flags, you're playing it smart and you see the flags on their shirts. So it felt like a Ryder Cup, or a Presidents Cup. That's the only difference.
It would be an amazing, amazing time if there wasn't a team event, just so I could‑‑ when I make a bad swing, I could pull for the other guy.

Q. Did you feel a bit different walking up that first tee as an Olympian?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, I'm not supposed to, but I felt that a long time ago when they said I made the team.
You know, I've always said that I've got to complete all four rounds so I can say I officially was an Olympian. So yeah, it's an amazing feeling. I mean, I want to smile the whole time. A couple nights, I wanted to cry just because golf is in the Olympics and for the first time in my life, I get to be the hero and play for our country.

Q. You have such a close relationship with Teddy. Did it feel different with a different caddie on the bag?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, it was very tough. You know, we are great friends first. He's been texting me every day. He's been texting me Bible verses. He's been texting me his thoughts on everything. He's looked at the flyovers; he's done it all.
Obviously he's my best friend. I trust him with my life. My money man, Randall, we played college golf. So it wasn't like it was a letdown. It was just a guy for 11 years, I think it was officially ten years this week, but having him beside me, yeah, it was like a marriage broke up.
But he'll be back.

Q. He stayed back for family reasons?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, his kids, he just turned 43, so he's old. And then his kids had their birthdays. So it was one of those things where he didn't want to take the vaccinations. It doesn't matter what's really happening here; the state department gave us things we should take just to be safe and he doesn't take medicine. He didn't like medicine.
So it was just one of those things‑‑ and then kids, too. You don't know. All we do is read what was in the headlines and the headlines always scare you. Right or wrong, the Internet is not always right.

Q. How different are the headlines from reality?
BUBBA WATSON: It is unbelievable here. It is an absolutely amazing place and I feel sorry for the guys that didn't make the team and I feel sorry for the guys around the world that didn't come here or couldn't come here. It's an absolutely amazing place and especially to the golfers, this course is in beautiful shape, the golf course. I'm having a blast. I can't wait to watch other sports.

Q. The quality of the course and the experience that you guys are having, do you think that that could sway guys in the future, 2020 and beyond?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, it doesn't matter what country pops up on the podium. We're all going to be mad about it and we're all going to want to fight four years from now, and hopefully I'm still able to keep fighting four years from now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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