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March 24, 2019

Bubba Watson

Palm Harbor, Florida

Q. Solid week on a really tough golf course. What did you do well this week?
BUBBA WATSON: You know what was funny is we started looking at stats from golf courses from years past and how to play them and how -- we wouldn't say winners because winners, they chip in, they do a lot of crazy stuff -- so we looked at the top-10. What does it take to get in the top-10. Started messing around with stats and looking at it and this week Teddy texted me, gosh, I think it was Sunday night, it might have been Sunday night or Monday, but he texted me and he said, to play good around here you're going to have to play boring golf. So I joked with him and said, that's, my whole game is boring. So you have to pick and choose your battles and around here it wasn't so much of putting as it was hitting the greens in regulation. So trying to hit fairways or hit wherever you can to get on the green. It's about greens in regulation here we figured out and so you had to just kind of plot along and that's kind of what I did. I hit a driver a lot because I love it, I dinked it here and there, but I hit a lot of irons off tees just to get the ball in play. Even if it laid back a lot further I trusted my iron game to hit some of the greens and that's really what I did. I putted really good today, the other days were just decent, for me it was good though.

Q. Starting six back did you feel like you had a chance to win?
BUBBA WATSON: You know, it was one of those things where, yes, you know, you always feel like you have a chance to win because we have seen record breaking scores every week if not every week every other week. So there's always the 50s out there, there's always -- Paul Casey, he shot pretty good, if I would have shot 8-under today that would have put me at 11. So that's the thing. And then when you start out slow and don't make any birdies through eight holes you're like, well second place ain't bad, let's try for that, and then third place and fourth place. So it's one of those things where, yeah, you have that vision and then after nine holes you realize that vision is gone so now just get a good finish, a good top-10 or Top-5 if you have a chance.

Q. What have you been waiting to see in your game since Phoenix?
BUBBA WATSON: This year it's been a weird one. The last couple years it's been up-and-down. I think 2015 I had putting where I was like top 60 in putting and then my whole career I've been pretty good with my irons and then I've been pretty decent with the driver. Hitting 70 percent of my fairways or 40 percent doesn't matter to me if I miss it in the right spots. So for me it was just about working on this putting, trying to get better within 20 feet and so trying to get the putting better. And the putting is actually, with arm lock, has actually helped me with my ball striking a lot better, it's got me in a position I want to get in. So we're going forward, we're moving forward, we like where we're at. And with Mickelson doing what he did, I got eight years, so I still got a chance at 48 I can -- my goal was to get, after I got to 10 I wanted to get to 15, so I'm three away. So we're looking for the future, we're not looking like we got to have it now, we're not looking -- don't get me wrong, if I win Match Play again it would be a miracle but it would be awesome, I would accept it. But we're just trying to look forward, six months from now and see if we have improved. And if that means throwing in a win here or there, great, but we're just trying to improve and get more consistent so we have chances on Sundays instead of last place.

Q. Is it big for you to get a little momentum going toward Augusta?
BUBBA WATSON: Like I said, I truly do not sit back and look at one tournament and think about, I've got to practice and prepare for this. Because then you're missing -- why show up for this one, right? So for me it was about, what do we need to do to top-10 here. Because if you're around top-10 you have a chance, right? Somebody 3-putts, you chip in, you still have a chance, you can still get a victory. And that's what we were trying to do this week. Next week's different because there's no strokes but leading, going to Augusta I feel good, I love that place. Looking forward to the other tournaments, Hamilton is going to be amazing up there in how difficult that golf course is and so maybe I'll plot myself around it there too. Jim Furyk's done all right doing that, so maybe I'll copy Jim.

Q. What would it mean to you defend your title in Austin?
BUBBA WATSON: It would mean a lot. It would be, gosh, I mean, give or take, I think it's, is it seven matches -- I'm terrible with numbers -- to win. So seven matches, I'll be tired, but it might be, oh, it doesn't matter, I'll win, let's say it that way, the other guy quits, there's only six matches. So it would be amazing. It would be one of those things, to win on the PGA TOUR and especially to win head-to-head like that -- I vote every year not to have Match Play because I feel like I have a better chance in 72 holes than do I individual, because we have seen every year a guy shoot in the 60s and lose and then we see a guy shoot in the 70's and win and it's like, wait a second, how fair is this? Last year it was very fair, but, you know, it would be nice to, any time you gets to hold a trophy, doesn't matter what tournament it is, it's special.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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