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June 14, 2007

Bubba Watson


Q. Even par for the day, feel pretty good about that right now?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, you know, I woke up this morning, and even par with a little bit of rain last night, I thought that was a good number.
I saw a couple of holes were not easy pins but accessible, so after the first like six holes, I saw that even par was a great score and you could shoot that today. You know earlier in the week, I didn't think even par, one or two even pars throughout the whole week.
But today with a little bit damp, a little bit cool, everything is playing a little bit softer, not a lot but a little bit where you can go.

Q. Jim Hyler said yesterday that they were going to try to go with consistency on this course; they want it to play the same on Sunday as it did in practice rounds on Monday. Do you feel the course is playing fairly consistent with what you've done in practice rounds?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, it's playing just a touch easier I guess, not as dramatic scores as everybody is predicting.
You know, every tournament you play in, no matter if it is the U.S. Open or in Memphis last week; the courses always get tougher as they go along, no matter what they say they are trying to do.

Q. How often did you go with driver?
BUBBA WATSON: I went a little less today. You know, we made a game plan last night to go with a few less drivers than normal. Normally go with seven. Practice rounds we go with seven both days, so half those.
You could fire at it and hopefully hit the right shot. If you miss-hit it, you know, your ball can go anywhere. If you hit one solid, you can hold the greens easily.

Q. How many fairways did you hit?
BUBBA WATSON: I don't know. I'd say -- I had hit more than normal because I played pretty good, so -- in the U.S. Open like this, putted really well. I would say at least half of them, maybe one or two more.

Q. Can you talk about 12?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, I hit driver and 3-iron to lay up and hit sand wedge to two feet. That's how everybody is going to play it. No matter if I bomb it off the tee or not, it's going to be playing a three-shot hole.

Q. 18, what did you hit?
BUBBA WATSON: I hit driver today. I hit iron off of No. 9 in the hazard, so didn't really help out as much.

Q. Seemed like that was the only bad tee shot you hit all day.
BUBBA WATSON: I missed my target by about 15 feet and it -- downwind, it went a lot farther than we expected. I hit 4-iron off the tee and 5-iron into it after I took my drop. The hole was playing short downwind and we missed my target 15, 20 feet. You have no room to hit that tee shot anyway.
Just missed it. If I had hooked it a little bit instead of cut it a little bit, might be under par but can't look back now. Even is what I wanted to do and I was under par going into the last hole, so did all right, I guess.

Q. 17, did you try to drive the green?
BUBBA WATSON: You try to drive the green but you're not really trying to drive it. You're trying to hit just to the front left. You're trying to hit to the front left so you can just get in that rough and you can hit the shot out of the rough up the green. You're trying to keep it just short of the green, but as close as you can because those bunkers, you're just playing for par once you get in those bunkers like I did today because I didn't cut it enough today.

Q. Is that the play the whole week?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, I think most guys, if they think about that shot, it's going to be that. My two players I played with hit iron down the middle and then they hit it in the first cut of rough because it just rolls down that hill. You have really no iron shot -- you have to hit two perfect shots or one halfway decent shot with a driver.

Q. Looked like the greens were slower --
BUBBA WATSON: The rain didn't slow them down. It just made them a little bit softer and receptive to the shots.

Q. It seemed like when you did make a mistake you did a good job getting up-and-down.
BUBBA WATSON: The goal is no doubles. I had to make an 8- or 10-footer on my 10th hole, No. 1, to save bogey because I lost my focus because some stuff happened, you know, some crowd, movement -- some stuff happened. My caddie made fun of me and said, "Look, this is your problem right here. This is what we've got to fix." He got me focused back and somehow I got it back even though I got a little temper for a couple of holes.

Q. Did you get up-and-down on 18?
BUBBA WATSON: I putted well. You know, this week, everything under ten foot, you have to make. You're going to have a ton of those, ten foot and in.
Today I made them. I can't think of one that I really thought I should have made.

Q. What was it like for the two guys from the same small town to be playing in the Open together, the same pairing?
BUBBA WATSON: It's good. You know, for us, we're not big with these bright lights and everything and these big tournaments, so for us to be able to talk and see a familiar face, it's fun.
We talked about -- he talked about how he wanted to play one practice round because he didn't want to get beat up the whole week. He played one practice round and I played two. We had fun out there. He was playing good at first, and then made a couple -- didn't get up-and-down a couple of times, but he still shot 2-over.
We both had respectable scores.

Q. Did you look at each other during the rounds, like you've come a long way?
BUBBA WATSON: Every day we step on the PGA TOUR, we've come a long way; we think about it every week.

Q. Have you ever played together?
BUBBA WATSON: We've never played together, I don't think. This is maybe the first time.

Q. Your third guy, was he able to hang with you guys in distance?
BUBBA WATSON: No, not really. The nerves got to him a little bit, I think. But he still hung in there. He got over par quick but he still hung in at 6-over, so not out of it. Not too bad.

Q. What was the hole you said you got distracted on with the crowd movement?
BUBBA WATSON: No. 1, my 10th hole. The marshals let some people walk through the fairway while I was getting ready to hit and I had to wait. I have no patience and I hate waiting, so I let it get to me.

Q. After 5, you didn't hit that good of a second shot and made bogey but you came right back on 6, the par 3.
BUBBA WATSON: That par 3, it just sets up good. It's a perfect 6-iron and the wind was crosswind so I started right at the right side and just drift and got the right bounce to go down there about three feet. The putt was harder than the iron shot I think when I got over it.

Q. Would you call the hole after that No. 7 after just ripping a drive that's working too hard to make par?
BUBBA WATSON: I hit a good drive and my caddie told me it bounced down in the first cut and we get down to the first cut and it's a tough little lie and it's a crosswind and a hook stance and I'm trying to hit a wedge out of the stuff. Just came over a little bit and it ran down the hill and then I had that tough shot. So I made my seven-footer that I had to make. That works out to a par, I guess.

Q. You hit wedge?

Q. How far in did you have?
BUBBA WATSON: 156, somewhere in that area. We were trying to hit like 142 though.

Q. So for those of us who are not that familiar with Baghdad, Florida, what is that like?
BUBBA WATSON: It's a great little town. It used to be like the lumber mill capital down there, way before my parents were born. It's just a small little town and real quiet. There's a post office and that's about it in the town. No red lights, all stop signs, elementary school and good 'ole people, good 'ole southern people.
Boo says he's not from there. He says he's from across the river. I admit to it. My parents still live there and everything. I'm there all the time.

Q. The pink shafts?
BUBBA WATSON: If I outdrive you with a pink driver, you can't make fun of me.

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