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March 24, 2018

Bubba Watson

Austin, Texas

JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Bubba Watson into the interview room after his quarterfinals victory here today. It's been a long day for you, but let's get some comments on your last match. You were all square going into the back nine, and then you poured it on. Just give us some comments if you can.

BUBBA WATSON: It was a great match. And then No. 9 I fatted it in the hazard with a lob wedge in my hand. And then -- if it was stroke play, I told Ted, if it was stroke play -- I'm good friends with Kiradech, and he fatted it on 10. And I would have went over and said, Don't copy me, man. But since we're playing match play, I didn't think he would think it was as funny as I did.

So he bogeyed there, he gave me a hole. I gave him one on 9, he gave me one on 10. We had difficult putts, him being the first putter on 11, putted it seven feet from the hole, so he missed that and I two-putted.

Hitting that bunker shot on 12, two-putt again from 40 feet, 50 feet for birdie. And then making birdie on a tough hole, 13.

So real fast. You have the pressure, you're trying to focus on your shots, and then within minutes it feels like you're cruising to victory. It was one of those things, it could have went either way. And today I made putts and I got the breaks going my way. I didn't three-putt when I needed a two-putt.

Q. Two years ago Jason Day won here. Last year was Dustin. How much of an advantage is length around this course, do you think?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, it's not really around this course, any golf course, if you're hitting it somewhat straight -- when you're hitting an 8-iron and another guy is hitting a 7 or another guy is hitting a 6, obviously that's going to change everything.

It's like LeBron James, when he jumps, he jumps higher than I do, so it's an advantage. When you're hitting the driver good and those guys you're naming, they're known for hitting the driver pretty well, just like Thomas is doing right now, he's been hammering it. Anytime that you're hitting the driver somewhat straight, it's an advantage.

Q. Kiradech said he wanted to take your driver, and you said you would let him if you could take his putter. How do you think he would have fared in that regard?
BUBBA WATSON: He didn't make the putts he needed to make today, so he might have putted better with a wedge, I don't know. It was just one of those things where -- we're good friends. I've been to Thailand so many times, hanging out with him, going to dinner with him, meeting his family. So, yeah, we were having a giggle, but at the same time he wanted to beat me and I wanted to beat him.

Q. How gratifying is it to be playing the way you're playing right now? How confident are you going into tomorrow?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, my wife's cellphone is off right now, and I'm supposed to be on a flight at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow to go out of the country on vacation. I'm going to have to tell her that we ain't making it. So it would be happy from the golf standpoint, but from the other side it will not be happy.

No, it's fun. This is what we're trying to do. We're all trying to compete at a high level. In match play all it takes is a couple shots one way or the other way, kind of like today 10 through 13. And it went in my favor. But obviously I'm playing good.

I know that even though my round at Bay Hill last week was terrible on Sunday. But, again, it was a couple of bounces this way or that way, that could have changed that round and the confidence in that round. No, it's good. It's always good.

Q. You know the tournament finishes on Sunday, booking a vacation for Sunday, it looks like a little bit anticipating negativity?
BUBBA WATSON: That's fine, if it's cheaper to go on Sunday. I've never made it to Sunday at this golf course, so why not? It's a good problem to have, when you have to cancel stuff for an extra day. It's well worth it to play on Sunday.

Q. Your next opponent, you're the only one that stands between him and world No. 1. I wonder if you have any comment on that?
BUBBA WATSON: Does he have to win the tournament, too? For the right price, he can win (laughter).

No. Paycheck? What? You didn't hear that. We'll take that from the record book.

No, I mean, it's fun. Did he win already? No. See?

Q. If he wins, let's just pretend?
BUBBA WATSON: Come on Kyle (laughter).

No, it was the same thing, if you remember a few years ago in Tucson, wasn't it the same thing with Martin Kaymer? Martin Kaymer beat me, and I think he had to beat me to become No. 1. I guess I'm good at that. If you want No. 1, just beat me, and you'll be No. 1.

It will be good. It's good match. It will be fun. I want to beat him and he wants to beat me. It will be a fun match. The only way to win the tournament is to beat the next guy.

Q. To follow up on that, if it is Justin, would it be a little Georgia-Alabama revenge?
BUBBA WATSON: No, I could care less. Georgia could care less what I'm doing right now and Alabama could care less what he's doing. It'll just be a friendly game. And hopefully I'm more friendly at the end than he is.

JOHN BUSH: Bubba Watson, thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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