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September 22, 2016

Bubba Watson

Atlanta, Georgia

Q. Assessment of your play?
BUBBA WATSON: I thought I played great. The ball striking was where I want it. The driver was coming off hot. Around this golf course, it takes one good round, shoot a 5 under. It's a long marathon around this place. This is the toughest I've seen the rough. I haven't seen the ball sit down in the rough like this for a while. This is the slowest I've seen the greens in the last few years.

So just takes some getting used to, and obviously playing smart out of the rough.

Two tough bogeys. Hit it in the bunker, hit a bad chip shot on whatever that new hole is now. Was that 16? I guess. And then I thought I hit a good tee shot on now 17 that went through the fairway. So I just went too far. I didn't expect it to go that far. So two quick bogeys. Even par would have been nice. Still not too far out of it with a chance to go under par the next couple of days.

Q. When you're right there in competition for the Ryder Cup, do you think about it at all?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, it's easy to block it. There's nothing I can do now. Davis said it's all about strategies and different things. It's not about my play. It's not about anybody's play. So I can't worry about that. And the golf course is so tough, I've got to worry about this golf course.

Q. Does this feel like a tryout?
BUBBA WATSON: No, I'm just trying to somehow play good in Atlanta. My best finish was like maybe fifth last year. So I'm just trying to get better around this golf course. I'm hoping to be here many years, so trying to get better at it.

Q. What do you think of being the focal point with all this Ryder Cup talk, the last pick going on? Everyone seems like they're talking about you, whether they're in favor of you being on this team.
BUBBA WATSON: With my manager behind you, I have not looked at media in over two years. I don't stare at any of the positives or negatives. I got friends that text me and say they're praying for me, pulling for me. I got my manager. So I don't know what -- the only talk I know is people came up to me and said, Do you know what Jordan said about you? Do you know what Brandt said about you? So I thank both of them. That was the only clips of media I know about.

Q. Everyone is praying for you. Who's praying for Ted?
BUBBA WATSON: They gave up on Ted.

Q. Without sounding too dumb here, Davis said it wasn't about strategy or how you play. Did he say what it was about?
BUBBA WATSON: The only thing I know that he told me -- and he's told everybody -- is that it's about who matches up well. I don't know what that means. I don't know if it's about partners. If a guy matches up better with two people or a guy matches up better with three people. I don't know that. I know the same as you know, except I got to see the course. I went and played a practice round. So I know a little bit more, I guess.

Q. How did you win the game up there?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, I made a birdie. These young guys, they can't step up and take the pressure.

Q. Obviously, the Ryder Cup is important to you?
BUBBA WATSON: Sure, it's everything. The only two things that were important this year were making the Olympics and making the Ryder Cup team.

Q. [No microphone]?
BUBBA WATSON: No. We all went there. There's three of us that are looking for a pick. You know, talking to the other guys, talking to the guys that are already on the team. You know, we all want to be there. We all want to be a part of the team. Like I said in an interview yesterday, I want to be a part of the team. I sent him a text that said, Can I be assistant captain if you don't pick me? So I put it out there. I want to be a part of the team no matter what.

There's going to be one year, hopefully before I pass away, that we actually win, and I want to be a part of it.

Q. Is any of that motivation because of the lack of winning -- I mean, not just getting on, but to try to win it?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, if you look at it, from my point of view as a golfer, Hall of Fame, being a Ryder Cup captain, used to be a second form of Hall of Fame to be a Ryder Cup captain, and playing on as many team events as we can play on, because that was a big deal for us playing. And win golf tournaments.

My ultimate goal, when I was a kid, was to try to be a professional golfer. Those are still my goals. So any time you play on a team, win or lose, it's no fun to lose, but it's a privilege and an honor to be representing the United States.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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