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February 1, 2017
BRIAN DECKER: Let's welcome Bubba Watson and Mark Wahlberg here to the media center of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Guys, a unique atmosphere, for sure, out there. We will start with you, Bubba, and go to Mark.
What was the experience out there with the Pro-Am, so many people having a good time? What was that overall experience like for you out there?
BUBBA WATSON: It was absolutely amazing, because 16, I have never seen that, especially in a Pro-Am, 16 was packed. I'm pretty sure it was packed to the house. Everybody was excited.
Who isn't excited to see Mark Wahlberg show up at a golf course, a big event like this? No, it was a blast. You can't ask for better weather. The support from the fans on a Wednesday is absolutely amazing, but this tournament does it every year. It's the most fans we have all year.
It's pretty special when you can get this kind of weather and this kind of turnout. And again, like I said, playing with a good friend, Mark Wahlberg, is pretty special, too, in a crowd like that.
BRIAN DECKER: Mark, obviously a cool atmosphere. I'm sure it's cool to play with Bubba and see the things he can do on a golf course.
What was that experience like for you today?
MARK WAHLBERG: Well, I have seen that over and over and over again. He's very consistent with that long, high baby fade. He called, and we played together last year at Pebble and we have played together a couple of times socially, invited me to come up and said it's pretty crazy, definitely a Bucket List moment.
I have been in front of large crowds. It reminded me of, like, 1992 when I was running around with my shirt off, Dodger Stadium or something. But it was a lot of fun. It's nice to see people get excited about the game of golf.
BRIAN DECKER: Questions?
Q. Mark, do you think you'll be back playing in the Pro-Am again one day?
MARK WAHLBERG: You know what? I always say never again after I play, because golf obviously is a very difficult game. Just when I think I had it figured out, I started hitting it sideways. And I almost killed somebody. I forget what hole that was.
BUBBA WATSON: On 16 you hit it in the stands.
MARK WAHLBERG: 16, I hit it over the stands. But I think I might be the first one who ever got a mulligan on 16.
No, it was earlier on. I had a tee shot on a par-3, and I just hit it off the hosel, and it went, like, I swear, six inches over a woman's head.
BUBBA WATSON: She was excited about it.
MARK WAHLBERG: No, I don't think she saw it. Everybody else -- I was shocked. I couldn't hit a ball after that for a good 20 minutes. I was terrified. God forbid I hit a mom or somebody's wife.
I'll definitely come back. I'm a competitive guy, anyway. I will go and be home and start playing good again. But if he asks me, I just show up. That's pretty much mandatory.
Q. Bubba, how are you liking the course this year?
BUBBA WATSON: The course, it's the best shape I have ever seen it. When you look at the greens, the greens this year, I don't know what they have done to it, but the mow pad, sometimes when they crisscross, gets the ball to wabble a little bit, especially on winter grass or ryegrass, whatever you want to call it.
They are running perfect. I have never seen them this good. Absolutely amazing. And again, the weather the last few weeks here has been a little rough, what we want, but then the last few days, and then it looks like the forecast is going to be amazing for the golf course and the fans to have a blast.
Q. Mark, are you going to the Super Bowl?
MARK WAHLBERG: Oh, yeah. You know, I'm a die-hard Patriots fan, obviously. I always made a point to not go, because if they were to lose, I get too upset and I just can't handle it. I need to be alone in a room by myself.
And then my sons now are die-hard Patriots fans. So they said, Dad, if the Patriots go to the Super Bowl, can we go? That was two years ago here. And I said absolutely. And there was nothing more stressful than that game against the Seahawks.
But now it's a tradition. Now my wife is coming to the game, which could be really bad. She's a casual fan and I'm -- like, I go crazy. I lose it. I've got a whole system. I don't want anybody talking to me, looking at me.
She's, like, Oh, it's no big deal. I'm like, It's no big deal? This is one of the more important moments.
But I'll definitely be there. We are happy that the Falcons made it. It's a great organization.
Q. Bubba, what do you do to remain calm on the golf course? You're a very mercurial guy. How do you keep a lid on that?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, I have only won 9 times in 300 tries, so not very good at it.
No, I mean, it's nerve-wracking. Like today, it was just the Wednesday. 16 is nerve-wracking, you know. You want to hit your best shot. You want to show off in front of the crowd. I was just glad I hit the green today.
No, it's all about the easy things: deep breaths, focus on what got you here, focus on what got you at that moment in that point. But your head wanders. But that's what you're trying to do, just keys like that, trying to stay focused. You have practiced for so many years. It's easy to pull the shot off, but then the actual shot comes up and makes it a lot tougher.
Q. Mark, with all these pro golfers, what's the best tip you've received from them? And if you were a pro golfer, what would be the best part of the job you like?
MARK WAHLBERG: Well, if I was a pro golfer, I'd probably be driving my car from event to event. (Laughter.)
You know, when I started to play -- I was reluctant to play the game, and then when I tried the game, I fell in love with the game and became obsessed, like most people, and of course I think immediately, yeah, I can do this professionally at some point. When you figure out how hard it really is to do it and be successful, I'm just glad -- and the best advice I get, especially from this guy, is stick to acting, you know. (Laughter.)
But, you know, I'm glad I have a good day job, and I'm very good at my day job. It actually takes the pressure off. I like to go out there and have fun and compete.
Q. I'm on the technology side of golf. Can you tell me what technology that you might have been used to prepare yourself or your favorite wearables that you used?
MARK WAHLBERG: Wearable? Is that like an edible?
BUBBA WATSON: Is that back to your underwear days?
MARK WAHLBERG: I don't know. Are we in Colorado or Arizona? (Laughter.)
No, the best technology for me is a Bushnell binocular. Other than that, I just grip it and rip it. Anybody starts talking about outside in, inside out, that's Chinese arithmetic to me. I just go with what feels right. When you get it going, you think you got it right, it goes sideways.
I don't even think Bubba's wearing underwear, he's so cool.
BUBBA WATSON: I don't have a connection with Calvin Klein.
MARK WAHLBERG: You don't want one.
BUBBA WATSON: But can you sign my poster afterwards?
MARK WAHLBERG: Is it me or Bieber in the poster?
BUBBA WATSON: Both y'all. I Photoshopped it.
Q. Michael Phelps was the keynote speaker at the luncheon this year. He shared some stories about you, playing in a Pro-Am with you. I don't know if you remember any stories of that, but did you end up telling him at the end, Keep swimming, or keep his swimming job?
BUBBA WATSON: He's pretty good at it. I know he talked about retiring, but then he came out and did all right. I still think he's going to come back, by the way. He's going to get bored and want to swim again. He's pretty good at it.
No, I remember he hit a lot more worse shots than Mark did.
MARK WAHLBERG: That's good.
BUBBA WATSON: You have that going for you.
MARK WAHLBERG: Thank you.
BUBBA WATSON: The best Olympian. You beat him.
It was fun, but you could tell he was nervous. Out of his element. He had only been playing golf for a few years, so when he played in the Pro-Am, you know, many years ago with me, it was a new element to him. It was so new to him. He was still trying to figure it out.
Obviously, a guy that tall, you know, getting the clubs right and the right length on the irons for him to get the right position over the ball is tough. It took him a few years to figure it out.
MARK WAHLBERG: He'll get really good, though. With his primary business, obviously he can still -- even if he goes to the next Olympics, you know he's only going to be able to do it for so long. He's such a competitive guy.
Just when I was talking to him on the range about how he plays and practices, he'll be good quickly.
Q. He mentioned one time that he hit his best drive of the day, and you came up alongside him and kept walking and said, See where my ball is? He said, The only thing I wished I had said was see that lake over there? Let's do a few laps around there. But how is your swimming?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, he can only swim in chlorine. He can't do natural springs (smiling).
But, yeah, no, I said some jokes. I like to poke fun at, you know, some of my friends and make sure they realize that I'm pretty good at this sport.
MARK WAHLBERG: Yeah, I remember the first time I got beat by Bubba pretty good, I tried to get him in the boxing ring.
BUBBA WATSON: I'm so tired from that, by the way.
MARK WAHLBERG: It's one of those things where I was talking to his caddie, Teddy, and the back tees where Bubba is hitting from, which I normally just play from the back tees because I'm a glutton for punishment, anyway, and I like keeping my handicap high, but when you're up 80 yards ahead on a Pro-Am on the white tees, and you still don't get it out to where he is, it's pretty frustrating and humbling at the same time.
Q. Obviously you have an incredible acting career, but you mentioned being out at 16, it brought back a shirt off, Dodger Stadium, making music. Do you ever thinking about getting back in the studio, making music again, or is that chapter over?
MARK WAHLBERG: No, I think about that when I'm in the shower. No, my kids would be mortified. I embarrass them enough already as it is.
But, no, those days are long behind me, although, you know, a duet with Bubba? Then maybe.
BUBBA WATSON: I'll take my shirt off.
MARK WAHLBERG: Ask Ricky if I can get some leads on a couple songs. Then maybe I'll do it.
Q. Bubba, good to have you back. Long-time Phoenix resident. Do you have insight about Larry Fitzgerald? What do you think about him coming back or calling it a career with the Cardinals?
BUBBA WATSON: I mean, he's so competitive and so passionate. I know he loves it so much. I hope he doesn't hang it up. He seems like the last few years his numbers are getting better and better, as we all see.
I was talking to him yesterday when we did the First Tee clinic for all those kids. You know, I mean, he's going over the middle, catching those passes. I said, I don't know how you do it, man. And as you're getting older, too, so it's a little bit scarier.
Yeah, he's a specimen when you look at him. He obviously is healthy, knows what he's doing, eating the right foods, training and doing everything. Yeah, I can see him going, like Tom Brady, going for many years.
MARK WAHLBERG: I'm playing with him next week. We played last year in the AT&T, so I'm playing with him again this year. I apologize to the people of Arizona, but I will try to recruit him for the Patriots for one year, go get a ring and retire a champion. (Laughter.)
BUBBA WATSON: Can they throw it to him? (Smiling.)
MARK WAHLBERG: Here's the great thing: When they win the Super Bowl, Belichick will be playing at the AT&T, so we'll recruit him. I have Mr. Kraft, and give him a big check and go get that ring and go out in style.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports