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December 9, 2007

Greg Norman

Bubba Watson


THE MODERATOR: We've got Greg Norman and Bubba Watson with us. Greg, obviously a great week overall. Came up a little short out there today, but doesn't take away from all that was accomplished here this week.
GREG NORMAN: No, not at all. When I was coming into this week I knew it was probably going to be a little bit better than any other week just from a tournament perspective. The feedback I was getting from the sponsors at the cocktail party, our new partner, they're extremely happy with the outcome this week. Merrill Lynch, just at ease with everything.
Taylor Ives did a great job with his people behind the scenes. There really weren't any hiccups anywhere along the line. If there were I didn't know about them. So just going out and playing golf. And I said this from the start of the week: I never in my career have been excited about playing golf with anybody, but I was excited about playing with Bubba because I had heard so much about him and I wanted to see how you played and handled himself. He impressed me all three days that we played.
THE MODERATOR: Bubba, that putt on the last hole looked awfully good. Just get your thoughts.
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah. The first nine holes he made every putt it seemed like. So I was just cheering him on. I tried to practice putt but it's not the same feeling. But the last hole, you know, it felt good off the putter face. It did everything, but then you could just see it dying and I knew it was just going to tail off.
I was hoping, but you could see it wasn't make it. He hit a good roll and then I hit a good roll and just came up short.
THE MODERATOR: Can we just get your thoughts on this week playing with Greg. To hear those words that he just said has got to mean an awful lot.
BUBBA WATSON: Oh, definitely, sure. It's an honor to play here, not matter who I was paired with. For him to let me play in his tournament and be involved in something like this, and then to be paired with him, one the greats, I mean, watching him spin the ball as hard as he did growing up and then getting to play with him.
So it's an honor and a pleasure a blessing, whatever word you can use in there. I'm going to count this as a top 5 in my career. It was fun. The main goal on the last day in any event is to have a chance to win, and we hung in there. We were struggling, and then they started struggling at the end and started missing some putts and kept giving us chances. Last hole we had a chance and missed it.

Q. Greg, exciting to come this close and disappointing to come that close and not get it?
GREG NORMAN: Am I disappointed for myself? Yeah. But more for Bubba. I would love for him to get a victory. To get a taste of it. I think he did today, quite honestly, all the way down to the last putt. That's what golf is. You got to expect the unexpected. As I was lining up my putt I had a feeling that we would be having a putt to win.
And I truly felt because that, because they had a tougher putt than we had coming across the grain a little bit. And that's what golf is all about. But am I disappointed? Of course I'm disappointed. We all play to win the championship, no matter what the championship is. We put ourselves in the position.
And Bubba's right. I think our letdown was probably No. 10 for not capitalizing on that. We both could have put it into a position to make that easier. Tough position. I tried to put it down the left side to get an easy shot at it to let Bubba go at it, and I just pulled a little bit. If I put the ball in play there just gives him a little bit better feel about the shot.
But outside of that, I don't think we really did a miss step all the way coming in. On a scale of one to ten, I think our performance was probably a 9.5 and the result was probably 7.5.

Q. What did you say to Bubba after your approach on 18? Was that maybe one moment where you might have not minded being the anchor guy for a change?
GREG NORMAN: No. I just told him to go right at it. I put the ball exactly where I wanted to. Maybe six feet too far off the green. I couldn't go at the flag and put left and then go into the water. Would have put too much pressure on him. We were off a funky lie, too. The ball was a little bit above my feet and a little bit below his feet.
So you had to be careful on that shot. I knew for me was just to put the ball somewhere within the 20 foot range and give ourselves a chance. I said, Bubba, just go right at it. He just flushed it. Yesterday I was talking about flushing and he just flushed that shot. It was just perfect and it just came out of there, and that's part of golf, too.
A little bit of adrenaline starts playing in there and you learn how to play with that adrenaline. We only had about nine feet of green to work with, tough pin position, precise shot to get at. You get to understand what your adrenaline can and cannot do. Sometimes, I know in my experiences when I've really been under the gun, 140-yard shot seems like a 120-yard shot.
Those are the secrets and those are the things that you get to feel as the more experience you generate as you go on in your career.

Q. Your competitive history might you have, just on that moment, wanted to maybe let him hit the safe one in?
GREG NORMAN: No. We had a good rhythm all day. Quite honestly, we were setting up nicely. I was the guy to put the ball in play and let him go because, because he's so aggressive and shapes his shots so well.
Like on 14, for example. I went for my -- tried to hit just the perfect shot in there, which I did, it just went a little bit too far to allow him to go at it with a 4-iron in there.
Just unfortunately we were just a couple of inches out here and there from winning this tournament.

Q. Greg, Woody said this was payback for not inviting him for so long and now he's excited to get an automatic entry next year. What do you have to say to that?
GREG NORMAN: Well, you know what, the way he played today, he drove the ball extremely well. I don't think there's any such thing as payback. I think his performance was warranted today. Like I said, they really let us in for three holes there, 15, 16, 17. They really should have shot us out there by making two of those three holes for birdie.
They gave us the ability to have a look anyway, and it was good for television. So, Hey, he earned the right to come back. As far as I'm concerned, he's coming back, too.

Q. As your partner?
GREG NORMAN: I'd love to have him as my partner.
BUBBA WATSON: Me too. I want to win with him. I think we should have won this year. We didn't play that good today. That's just honest truth. We were just a little off and our putts were a little off today. I would have loved to win it for me and for him. His own tournament. I'd love to be a part of that and see him go crazy and jump in the water, whatever he's supposed to do.
When I saw his putt go in and we had to make it a tie I felt bad, because I was like, now all we do is tie. I wanted to have the putt it pin win. I wanted to win it for him, push him in the water, do whatever it took to get him in the water. It didn't happen, so hopefully he'll let me come back and we can be paired together.
GREG NORMAN: Yup, we'll do that, and we'll bring the tennis racquets because we had a good match last night.
BUBBA WATSON: My side of the fence lost. We lost in every way.

Q. Who was it? Was it you against him or was it a doubles match?
GREG NORMAN: It was a doubles match, yeah.
BUBBA WATSON: Me and my caddie. My caddie and his wife are pretty good. We went out and played a set with him and his partner. Everybody knows she's pretty good at tennis. She was touring with us and running her mouth. I couldn't really say nothing to her. Yeah, it was fun. Hopefully we can do that again.

Q. She's running her mouth you said?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, she let's us have it. Just like I would let her have it if we played golf together.
THE MODERATOR: Let's go through the birdies if we can, starting on No. 3.
BUBBA WATSON: I hit drive down there pretty good. We had like 122 to the back pin. Greg hit it in there to about ten feet and made the putt.
Next hole I hit 5-iron to about four feet and he made the putt.
Par 5, next hole, I hit driver down there pretty good. 2-iron from like 282 around the front of it, and then I putted it up there about four feet and he made the putt for birdie.
Then, oh, the next hole I hit driver up there close to the green about 50 yards. He chipped it in there to about 12, 15 feet and he made the putt. I think he putted good today.
Where did we birdie again? No. 9. That was me. I hit driver down there. I hit wedge to about a foot and he said, Go ahead and make the putt. And I said, Are you sure? Let me mark it first. He said, No. Go ahead and make it. So I tapped it in and I made my first putt.
And then 11, what was 11? I hit driver. Took my driver up there and then, yeah, 100 yards exactly. Just on the fringe, and then I made it about 50 feet I guess.
Eagle on 14. I hit a good drive. He hit 5-wood and landed just past the pin and rolled off the back. I hit a little bump chip in there and when it took the bounce I just felt it was going in and it did for eagle.
17, I hit a good drive down there. He hit a shot in the green to about 40 feet. Not sure what club he hit. 6-iron. And then he left it about foot short and I left it about eight inches short and I tapped it in for birdie.

Q. (No microphone.)
GREG NORMAN: Drive on 14 was probably the longest. Probably 360, 350.
BUBBA WATSON: What did we have in, on 17 we had 187.
GREG NORMAN: Yeah, that was long, too.

Q. (No microphone.)
GREG NORMAN: Yeah, I tried to hit a little 9-iron. I was about 136 or 137, something like that.
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, it was 133. I remember every number.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much.
GREG NORMAN: Have a great Christmas everybody.

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