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February 1, 2019

Bubba Watson

Scottsdale, Arizona

Q. What is it about this town and this golf course that wakes up your golf game in January?
BUBBA WATSON: Oh, man, I love it here. Look at this, perfect little bubble. Today the wind's got up pretty high. It got up to like seven miles an hour. But look at this, it's sunshine, look at all the people that are supporting this tournament, all the people around this area, they're golf nerds and nuts and they love the game of golf. I wouldn't mind booing some people too when they 3-putt and miss some shots, so it's always fun around here.

Q. They booed Phil today, which I mean that's almost unheard of here.
BUBBA WATSON: I don't know if you're allowed to do that.

Q. I didn't think you were allowed to either, but they certainly did. How do you deal with all the commotion? Even this morning hitting balls, people are running to 16.
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, no, you just got to take it in. This is a fun event and when you think about all the commotion and everything, I think it was, what is it, it's well over 10 million, nine million dollars they're giving to charity every year. So this golf tournament does a lot more than just playing golf. So you just got to take it in stride, but you know it's all in good fun, nobody out there really hates you, it's just you got a dollar bet on it, you got to boo them, you know.

Q. What would it mean to win here again?
BUBBA WATSON: Oh, gosh, this is an amazing -- this is a place that my management team is here, Ping is here, Oakley's a huge sponsor of this place -- so it's one of those things that this would be a big notch on the belt to do it.

Q. 9-under par, great par saving putt there at 9, but I want to talk about your putting overall and what seems to be a new style putter for you and a bigger grip.
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, for sure. I was just telling them that me and Bryson, my best friend, he's been giving me some tips and so I tried that. He texted me this morning, my alarm went off at five this morning, and I already had some texts from him. He's over in Saudi Arabia. So I told him as soon as he gets back I think he comes back to L.A., I need some more help. But yeah I'm trying it out. It locks that wrist in, so I like it. The only hard part is the lag putting. I had two 3-putts today just because of lag putting, trying to get that right, because it's a different feel. Inside 15 feet though it's a no-brainer, it feels so solid. I might not make all the putts that I want to make, but that's what golfers do, right, they complain about not making enough. So I think it's better, I think it's definitely going to be better, but I just got this putter on Tuesday, so we're talking, I mean, I just said, yeah, why not try it, what else are we going to do. And I put a new driver in, a new ball in, why not, let's just try everything.

Q. What was going so well for you today? Is this a course you've always kind of had the circled on your schedule?
BUBBA WATSON: I had a house out here for nine years until we got our kids we moved back home, a couple businesses, we moved back to Florida, but I love it out here, I'm still a member of Estancia just down the street here, close to Pinnacle Peak, it's always fun. I mean the charity dollars that all these people raise is amazing. So I love it. It's always, nine out of 10 years it's always perfect weather.

Q. Where are you with your game? 9-under seems like it's obviously everything's going pretty well.
BUBBA WATSON: Score is one thing, but I'm gaining on it. New driver this week, new putter this week, new putting style this week, just trying to see if there's any advantage to it. We have seen a lot of guys putt well with doing that. Bryson's not too bad at it, he's won a few tournaments lately. So it's one of those things I'm just trying. My putting has never been in the top 100 on the TOUR, so it's not going to affect me much by trying something new.

Q. Explain the new style.
BUBBA WATSON: I don't know, whatever it is, I just copied Bryson DeChambeau. I tried to copy the other guys hitting fairways, try to copy the other guys hitting greens, and now I'm going to copy Bryson on putting. I got some texts from him this morning, he's over in Saudi Arabia, so I got some texts from him this morning asking him some things. I think whenever he comes back I asked him for some more tips, personal tips where I can try to putt a little better.

Q. Are you reading greens the way he does or putting with the flag stick in?
BUBBA WATSON: I don't read very good, man, I just putt.

Q. What have you had to change?
BUBBA WATSON: Just the, it's just the setup of the putter. The putter's longer, so it's set up on the forearm, so that's really all. I'm not asking for like tips on how to read greens, I'm just asking about how to do it, how to set it up and how to get it in the right position. That is the kind of stuff I want to know.

Q. How do you prepare for the atmosphere here?
BUBBA WATSON: I don't know if you can prepare, I don't know how you prepare for it. It's not like everyone is screaming and hollering and getting excited. It's not really that they're yelling at you, it's just that they get so pumped up, you get so amped up that you got to learn to dial it back somehow or focus on what you're trying to focus on. So that's the hard part is just how amped up you get. You feel like a football player in the Super Bowl, you want to go hit somebody. Because you just get so amped up so that club comes through at the ball a lot faster than normal and the ball goes a lot further. So you have to figure out how to dial it back or mishit it a little bit or something.

Q. So my sister, you're her favorite golfer.
BUBBA WATSON: But not you?

Q. Well I really enjoy --
BUBBA WATSON: You like Rickie, don't you.

Q. No.
BUBBA WATSON: Oh, yeah, me neither.

Q. Could you just tell her, say hi? Her name is Kyla?
BUBBA WATSON: Hey Kyla, I want to say hi and thank you for being a fan, even though he's not a fan.

Q. Do you have a Super Bowl prediction at all?
BUBBA WATSON: There's going to be a winning team and there's going to be a losing team. I got friends on both sides, so legally I'm not allowed to pick a side.

Q. As a long hitter on a long hitter's golf course, have you played about what you would expect here in the past or is it different this year?
BUBBA WATSON: No, the golf course is obviously tougher since they redid it and there's some advantage to just go ahead and hit it as hard as you can and go find it and hopefully it doesn't get behind a cactus and then play from there. I can't hit the ball any better than I've hit it in two days. I guess you can look at it and say I should have made one or two more putts. I had two 3-putts today. But ball striking wise I hit it as good as I could hit it. I don't see how I could hit it any better. So that's the same thing I tried to do for all these years before they redid it, but as they redid it got so much tougher, the fairways are more demanding and you got to hit them.

Q. When are the Golf Boys going to come together and do another video?
BUBBA WATSON: We got the wrap around season so we don't have as much time off as we used to, so we haven't been able to get together yet. But we have talked about doing it, we want to do it, but it's just our schedules don't match up now with the wrap around, never taking time off season.

Q. So far with the new putting style do you feel like that's worked out for you so far, do you think that you're going to keep doing it?
BUBBA WATSON: I had two 3-putts today, so it hasn't worked out as good as I would like for it to. But I made that putt on the last hole which felt really nice, dinner will taste a lot better from five feet, making that for par. No, I'm going to try this. It's one of those things you're not going to try it one week and then decide, you're going to look at it, feel it. And my whole goal is to get one percent better. If I can get one percent better this year and then somehow that technique goes another percent better the following year, it means we're improving, so that's all I'm trying to do. I've never been top-100 in putting so if somehow I can get top hundred or top-50 in putting I might be pretty decent at this game. So that's what I'm trying to do.

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