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March 1, 2006

Bubba Watson


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Bubba, for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center. This is your first time to Doral, and I heard the other day that you put in a new shaft, probably not a new club, into your bag; is that true?

BUBBA WATSON: Yes, I got it the week after Hawaii. It's just a shaft. It's an all new club, just the same head I've been playing, but a new one. It's the same exact shaft. It's just painted different. It's just brighter pink. It's hot pink.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: That's what I was trying to get to.

BUBBA WATSON: That's it.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Just talk about the Florida swing, coming over here, you played well in the West Coast and got yourself in great position with the reshuffle and should help you out for the rest of the season.

BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, it should. Add of right now, I think I might be in Bay Hill, so I'm looking forward to actually playing four tournaments in a row, counting Tucson and the next three, to get into a rhythm, hopefully. I mean, who knows what can happen, but stopping and starting for the last seven tournaments was kind of hard and couldn't really get into a rhythm or stay in a rhythm. I mean, I played good, don't get me wrong, but a rhythm would be a lot better than it taking a week every other week.

Q. Your instructional background is pretty much as a self taught player, and there's a wave of rookies a few years ago that went to golf academies and were heavy on the video and simulator analysis and things like that, and there's probably never a right or wrong way, but why do you think your way works, and do you ever plan to get somebody and get a little bit more technical in the future, or are you just going to do what you've been doing?

BUBBA WATSON: I don't know if my way works because I haven't done anything. You know, my amateur career, I didn't play many amateur tournaments because I took the summer off because I know what I want to do with the rest of my life. So I didn't want to get burned out early.

College, I won one tournament for the University of Georgia. Junior college was a little different and I won a lot. I got to the mini tours, played okay, but I haven't won out here. I didn't win on the Nationwide Tour. So, I mean, you know, if you sit back and poll everybody, no way I would say I'm doing good right now. Looking at lessons and everything, I've always said it, and people think I'm joking, but if I ever think I have to get a lesson, I'm quitting. There's no way about it. If I struggle for a couple years and I quit the game, I'm not going to get a lesson. That's not me to ask somebody for help. That's just the way it is.

Q. Obviously you're here, so you had to have had a certain degree of success to get to the Nationwide Tour and now get to the PGA TOUR, so you know, you've done more than most. But do you believe that the way you've gone about it, is it just unique and individual to you and what works for other people might be different?

BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, everybody is going to be different. You know, let's see, the No. 1 player in the world, the No. 2 player in the world, they all work out and probably try to eat healthier than me. I don't do that. I don't get a lesson. I don't practice as much as a lot of players. It's unique to everybody. Whoever you talk to, it's going to be different than the next person.

Success, I mean, I see success as when you start winning, I've never won, so that's the way everybody media, that's the way everybody looks at it is when you win. And if you start winning, they say, why haven't you won a major; it's just going to escalate from there. Right now, I'm a nobody in the golfing industry because I haven't won. Third place isn't looked upon highly, unless you're Michelle Wie. (Laughter).

Q. Why do you hate the idea so much of asking for help or getting help, or why do you think that is?

BUBBA WATSON: As a kid, it was more fun for me to learn the game, and then now to see myself improve my game without any help.

On mini tours I did really well, and I was able to buy a home for myself to move out of my house and buy a car, so I did well on the mini tours, but on the Nationwide Tour it was different. It was media, it was the fans and the ropes and everything. So I came in 62nd and the next year I came in 37th and last year I came in 21st which got me here because of Jason Gore. Each year I improved. Who knows where I'll end up this year. Hopefully I'll keep my card and maybe win and the following year I'll improve. So each year I've improved and that's the way I look at it. If I am 62nd on the Money List and then 80 something and then 100 something, I'll look back and say, this isn't for me.

I keep improving every year and improving my situation and everything, that's the way I look at it, and I don't need a lesson, I guess.

Q. Have you ever had a lesson, even as a kid?

BUBBA WATSON: No. I have never had a lesson. My dad taught me at age 6 the basics to about seven years old. He helped me he didn't really say, put your foot this way. He said, your object is to swing like a pendulum or a perfect circle almost. My dad could barely break 100; 95 to 100 is pretty decent for him.

So it wasn't like he was a good player. And then he hasn't played since he hasn't played in 15, 16 years because he's got rheumatoid arthritis. He can't even move his arms to help me swing a golf club. I've just been practicing myself.

Q. Have you received any critiques on your performance in the gun slinger outfit?

BUBBA WATSON: No, I haven't seen it. It was on last night, I think, but I haven't seen it.

Q. So who keeps an eye on your swing?


Q. Does your caddie, would he be able to see some things?

BUBBA WATSON: If I come out tomorrow and shoot 85, I'm not that smart, so I'll forget about it and come out and shoot 65 the next day, probably still miss the cut. After a bad shot, if I hit in the water, my caddie gives me ten seconds to do whatever I want to do and then I'm back and I forget about it and I'm ready to go.

So I don't linger on the bad things or the good things or any of that. I just play golf. It's fun for me right now and I'm able to eat, so that's the way I look at it.

Q. When you're on the range, do you visualize, are there things you're actually working on?

BUBBA WATSON: No, I just hit balls. Like I don't hit at targets. Say if I want to cut it a little bit, like with my driver, I like to play a little cut with my driver, if it's falling that way, that's perfect, that's all I look at.

Q. Has there ever been a time when your swing has gotten unhinged or whatever and you need to go to the range and fix it, what do you do?

BUBBA WATSON: I don't have a swing that gets unhinged or whatever. It's all mental. My whole game is mental. If I can stay focused and stay happy and not think about what could happen in the future, then I'm going to be fine.

Like last week was my best week ever, I lost, but I didn't make a bogey. I stayed focused. When I hit a bad shot, I didn't get mad. I just kept walking and thought about hitting my next shot good so I could make a par and not make a bogey. Last week was my best week ever in my golf career to stay focused and stay happy about everything.

That's what it comes down to. If I had the mental game of Tiger Woods, I'd be probably 100th in the world instead of whatever I am in the world. It's just my golf game is not the part that I need to think about or work on. That's going to happen. Everybody at this level can play golf. It's between the ears is where you make the best players in the world.

Q. So I'm assuming you don't have a coach for that, either?


Q. You don't have a swing coach, but you think it's important, so you just try to straighten yourself out when you do get mad and you do lose your temper, you just straighten yourself out?

BUBBA WATSON: It's just me. I don't know how to explain it, it's just me not getting mad. You know, my wife let's me know when I get mad on the course, and so I just have to sit back and just think about all of the positive things in my life that are going well; that I don't have to worry. I mean, I can pay for my bills, I can do everything. Golf is just a bonus. I play golf for a living, so sometimes I just have to sit back and see that and just play golf.

Q. What has been your biggest, "wow, I'm out here" moment?

BUBBA WATSON: When you guys want to talk to me, you know, I mean that's it. (Laughter).

You dream about it as a kid, you know, people talk about making putts to win The Masters, win this, win that, winning Doral. So as a kid, you want to be No. 1 in the world, you want to be No. 10 in the world, so everybody wants your autograph, everybody wants a piece of you. Like when I came in fourth in Hawaii and everybody wants to talk to me, everybody wants to see what you have to say and see what makes you tick.

Q. For those of us that haven't been to that neck of the woods, describe Bagdad and how big is it and what do you do for fun in Bagdad?

BUBBA WATSON: This resort is probably twice as big as Baghdad. It's just outside of downtown Milton and 15 minutes outside of Pensacola. Milton has a golf course called Tanglewood that me and Heath and Boo (ph) grew up at and they are five or six years older than me. So I looked up to them. I played golf, I would get out of school at 2:15, my mom would drop me off at the golf course when I was no more than 10 years old, 11 years old and she would pick me up at 5:30. So for three hours that's what I would do is practice golf, chipping and putting. The pro was left handed, everyone would make sure I was practicing. And around the house, I hit plastic golf balls. I didn't have toys, it was fun for me, because I was making the ball do certain things with the plastic ball. That's what I do in Baghdad.

Q. Where did you go to high school?

BUBBA WATSON: Milton High School.

Q. Was there a golf team?

BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, we had a golf team. Didn't seem like one, but yeah.

Q. But you also, I've seen where you've mentioned that you don't hunt or fish and that you don't necessarily consider yourself a country boy, so to speak, for lack of a better word. Did the golf just get in the way of developing any other hobbies or interests?

BUBBA WATSON: My dad didn't want me to play football. He said I would get hurt, no reason to do that. And my dad didn't like my dad was he hunted, he was in the military and he hunted a little bit, and he said guns were too eyes and he went to a bow, bow hunting. He didn't want me to mess with that stuff; he thought it was too dangerous for me. He wanted me to play baseball.

And I played baseball for 13, 14 years and then I had to decide, golf or baseball. I went with golf because it's not a team sport, it's all on you. I mean, that's how we never went hunting, never went fishing. I wouldn't touch a worm, so wouldn't go fishing. Plastic worms are pretty scary, too, to me. (Laughter).

Q. What's your dad's name?


Q. Are you starting to notice more and more people like hanging around the tee to watch you hit?


Q. With your reputation as a long hitter?

BUBBA WATSON: I notice everything, because I'm not thinking about golf too much, so I notice everything else.

Q. Do you hit the ball far enough Todd that nobody gives you any grieve about a hot pink shafted club?

BUBBA WATSON: People say stuff, but then they don't really talk about it too much after that.

Q. Whose idea was that?

BUBBA WATSON: It was mine. As a joke, I was talking to the True Temper, the company that did it, I was talking to them on the Nationwide Tour, right before Shinnecock, I made it to Shinnecock two years ago. I said, hey, I'd like a pink shafted nobody uses this shaft, it's biomatrix, instead of blue, would you just do it pink for me. They told me, you're on the Nationwide Tour, you can't really ask for anything like that.

I got to the U.S. Open and I guess the head of the True Temper guys were there and he watched me hit a couple tee shots and he said, okay, next week, you can have a pink shafted driver. (Laughter).

I had one, it was violet, like light pink, not what I wanted. After Hawaii, we got the brightest pink you could possibly have. Just my idea, something funny to goof around to do.

Q. What does J.B. (Holmes) winning and Jason (Gore)winning last year, how did that motivate you?

BUBBA WATSON: Well, it just proves that the guys well, I've never played with J.B., I've never played in a tournament with him until this year. But like with Jason Gore and some of the guys on the Nationwide Tour, I could beat them some weeks, I could compete with those guys. Then when Jason came out here right away and won, it just shows that I could do that, too.

Now, will that ever happen? Who knows, but I can do it, and I believe in my head I can do it. So, yeah, it's great. It's great for all of us. Camilo (Villegas) saw it, all of the guys saw it; like Troy Matteson playing well all last year. It helped all of us. It helps everybody on the Nationwide Tour that they can do it one day.

Q. What are your expectations of yourself? You started off by saying I haven't done anything, you haven't won on the Nationwide Tour, has what you've done to this point surprised you at all?

BUBBA WATSON: The bogey free surprised me. But it hasn't really surprised me. I believe I can win. I believe that I can win multiple times. But I haven't conquered that yet. I get nervous. On Thursday, I could be 5 under par and I'll start thinking about Sunday, you know, what's going to happen on Sunday. That's just my mind lingers and I start thinking about the wrong stuff. At Torrey Pines, I was thinking about Top 10ing because I wanted to play in Phoenix and I wanted to play in front of that crowd and I shot 79 because I was too busy worrying about Top 10ing and Phoenix so I could get to Phoenix. I told my wife, that was my fault. I couldn't tell you one thing that happened about golf. I told my caddie, I'm sorry. He said, "That's all right, I understand." I understand what goes through my head is not the right thing, but trying to fix it, every year, every day.

Q. Are you of the school that hitting the fairway may or may not matter as long as you have a wedge into the green?

BUBBA WATSON: I believe that there's not a shot I cannot hit in the game of golf, if I have a swing. If you give me a swing, I believe I can get out of trouble better than most, probably top five at getting out of trouble. I seriously believe that. If it's in the fairway, that's an easy golf shot. If I'm in the rough, if I'm behind a tree, I'll bend around it. If it's fairway or rough, doesn't matter to me. Certain holes, you know the pin is tucked, so you want to try to hit it in the fairway. I try to hit it on the fairway every hole. I just don't do it that much, but I try.

Q. But if you miss, maybe it doesn't matter as long as you have a swing on it?

BUBBA WATSON: As long as I have a swing it doesn't really matter, I'm still going to make bogeys and triple probably every once in awhile but it doesn't really matter. At the end of the day, doesn't matter if I miss every fairway, as long as my score is good.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Bubba.

End of FastScripts.

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