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July 3, 2018

Bubba Watson

White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Bubba Watson here to the a Military Tribute here at The Greenbrier. Bubba, you're making your fifth appearance here at the Greenbrier. You've made four cuts and your best finish was T-13 in 2015. Talk about the state of your game and your expectations this week, please?

BUBBA WATSON: My expectation is always trying to win. That's why we're always in the field. All the guys here are trying to win. I feel good. I had a week off. Haven't really played any golf. So I snuck out and hit some tee shots on the Old White the last few days, so I'm looking forward to it.

I'm looking forward to the challenge. Hopefully make some putts like I did at Travelers, and that's the key to anybody's game. If you can make some putts, we can all hit the ball. So it's just making the putts at the right time to keep the momentum going.

JOHN BUSH: Speaking of winning, you've done a lot of it this year, three wins. If we could get some comments on your season, please, it's been a great one.

BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, yeah, it's been good. Looking back, I'm a golfer, so there's always things I wish was better. But it was a slow start to the year, missed a couple cuts. But I knew I was headed in the right direction. So getting a couple wins, getting a couple trophies is always a pleasure. Obviously, this early in the year, you want to keep going. The goal was always to get the next trophy. So trying to move forward and looking forward to what's ahead, and hopefully get to the Ryder Cup and play well there.

Q. Speaking of trophies, there's a very big one at the end of the season as well. You're currently third in the FedExCup standings, positioned really well. Just comment on your goals as Atlanta looms on the horizon.
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, at the FedExCup, we're all chasing that. Me, I don't ever think about it until we get to the end of the season, the playoffs, because I just try to get the weekly trophies and then try to get the big one at the end. But where I'm at right now, another good finish, another couple good finishes, we're going to be right up there going into the playoffs. So I'm looking forward to that. Looking forward to the Chase.

That's just another trophy, another thing on the mantle, that would be an amazing accomplishment and an honor to lift. FedEx does so much for our TOUR, but also for us to lift the trophy like that with the FedEx name on it means you did something for the whole year, not just one week.

Q. In your opinion, what does The Greenbrier mean to golf and the state of West Virginia?
BUBBA WATSON: Oh, man, that's a good question. I think the history. The Old White, what, it's 101 or 102 years old. So when you think about the history of the game, coming here, playing here, the big names that have been here, won here, it's huge for golf. Then when you go to West Virginia, it's huge for West Virginia. I mean, you're talking about a state that is beautiful. Some people don't ever come to. So having this resort right here, The Greenbrier, this is a beautiful place. Everybody that comes here loves it. Falls in love with it because of the atmosphere, but then as a golfer, the golf course is getting nicer as well.

My kids love it for all the other activities. So when you're talking about West Virginia, the beauty of West Virginia is seen here when you come to the Greenbrier.

Q. You mentioned you had taken a couple tee shots earlier in the week. They've made some changes on the course. So how does that impact the way you approach it this week?
BUBBA WATSON: For me, personally, it all comes down to the tee shots, getting me engaged in the golf course, and where am I going to place it, no matter if it's in the rough or the fairway, where am I going to place it to have the best angle into the greens. So that's what I'm looking at, trying to figure out.

I think last year was our first year with the changes, so there's a different sight lines, different clubs off the tees, so we're trying to figure out what's the best attack for my game. And there's a couple holes, I think number 14, they moved that bunker back a few yards, so now it's different. Do we lay short of it or still try to hit driver and go over it and have that different angle and a shorter shot into it.

Q. You mentioned being here and the special nature of West Virginia, and the beauty of the surroundings, but you've been to plenty of beautiful places, plenty of beautiful courses. What was it about here that you wanted to be a property owner, and was there an initial wow factor when you first came here?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, so I was looking for a second home to just have a, I guess, a vacation site. I was looking in Montana, Colorado, all these different places, kind of northern. And Webb, Webb Simpson told me about this place. Scott Stallings, after he won, told me how amazing this place was. Then when I started doing the -- thinking about all the pros and cons, I mean, having a PGA event right here in your backyard, and when I finally came here, seeing the beauty of it, seeing all the different things that you can do here, basically you're talking about Colorado, and Montana wrapped into one right here, with the fly fishing, all the activities they have for the kids.

I mean, there's four -- I think there's four pools on property, if you're a member of the Sporting Club. So you can do all the stuff at the hotels, do all the stuff at the other clubs. So, yeah, it was a no-brainer for me. I'm a golf nerd, so I want to play golf. So it's easy to play golf, but do all the other stuff right here in house. So The Greenbrier was an easy decision for me.

Q. Biggest fish you've caught here?
BUBBA WATSON: Oh, my gosh, that thing's like this big.

Q. There is some suggestion this tournament might be moved to the fall. Do you have any thoughts about that, whether that would be good or bad for this tournament if it was moved to, let's say, October?
BUBBA WATSON: I don't like to voice my opinion very much, but I'm going to this time. I've always thought that the fall would be great, because as a business -- let's look at it as a business. The Greenbrier as a business, 4th of July, the history here, the hotel's going to do good this week, right? Then as the fall, the beauty of fall shows up here, now you're talking about another week that the hotel's going to do well again because we're going to fill it up from the tournament perspective. Then the fans that show up, the people that love the game of golf and love The Greenbrier are going to show up as well.

So I've always thought that was a great location. Now the TOUR and Governor Jim thinks it's a good location, that's a different story. But, for me, personally, I've always thought it would be great. Why would you not want, as a business side of it, to fill your hotel at least twice. But I'm no businessman, so...

Q. How do you prepare for the difficult par-3s at this golf course?
BUBBA WATSON: You know, it's wild. Number 3, it's two different golf holes, really. You've got the pin all the way back, you've got the pin in the front, or multiple pins front, multiple pins back. It's kind of a birdie hole when the pin's in the front, and the pins in the back, you're just hanging on for dear life trying to make par. Making sure you miss it, because when the pin's on -- on number 3, when the pins in the back left, you can't miss it left because of the slope and everything.

Then you've got -- I mean, you've got another long one on what was that, 8? You've got a 4-iron, 3-iron, depending on the weather, it could go down to 6-iron. So that one, because of the slope again -- I remember last year. I missed a couple of them to the right, and with that slope, you can't get up-and-down and you have to make a long putt. If you do, 30-footer or so.

Then where's the next one at? We've got number 15. 15 is so far last week, last few days, I hit 5-iron, 6-iron to it. So that's a good hole with bunkers covering the front and the side. These are long irons. These aren't wedges. So they're demanding. They're demanding on your focus and making sure you miss them in the right area when you miss them.

18 is a shorter hole, but 18 has that -- I don't know what they call them, but humps and bumps in the middle of the green. So you've got to, again, miss in the right spots. If the pin is in the back and you've come up short, now you've got to putt over that, so it's very difficult there. But that one's at least an 8-iron, 9-iron, and depending on the weather, that ones a little shorter. But it's still demanding the way the hole was designed and shaped around the greens.

Yeah, they're very difficult. But they're ones you have to focus, and par is a good score on any of them.

Q. With this tournament, you having property here, how do you approach this? Is it a little extra because this is home, technically, or do you just try to go about your week business as usual and sort of block all that out?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, obviously, you try to block it all out and try to just play golf. But the pressure on myself, I mean, you know, we've heard of people living in Jacksonville putting pressure on themselves wanting to win THE PLAYERS Championship. Calling out Webb again, living in Charlotte, the other guys that live in Charlotte, trying to win in Charlotte.

It's one of those things that as people, we're always putting pressure on our own selves, my own thoughts in my head. So, yeah, it would be a huge accomplishment to win here in front of my home crowd. What a dream that would be.

My dad was in the military, so now with the name of the tournament, it's just one of those things that would mean a lot to my family, just to honor my late dad, it would just be a cool thing. There are so many story lines and that would be cool for me to do it.

My son says he's going to be an Army man. He just wants to go sit on -- I'm not sure what they call them, but the tanks and the military vehicles out front. He has been sitting on those every day. They haven't changed, but he wants to see them every day.

So there are a lot of cool story lines that would be fun, and being part of the membership here and a West Virginia resident during the summer, it would be an honor and a privilege.

JOHN BUSH: Bubba Watson, best of luck this week. Thanks for stopping by.

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