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June 28, 2008

Bubba Watson


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Bubba Watson, thank you for joining us after your third consecutive round in the 60s here at the 50th anniversary of the Buick Open; if you could talk about your 4-under 68 today, still some play on the course but looks like you'll be in pretty good position heading into the final round, maybe one or two shots at most off the lead. Some opening comments?
BUBBA WATSON: It's good. The first three days have been good. My first year here, didn't know what to expect. They said the fairways were a little hard to hit. They are tight and so far so good for me, even though I haven't hit that many fairways. Putted well.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Talk about your recovery shot on 1. Nice way to end the round with a par.
BUBBA WATSON: The rain started and I was thinking about hitting the tee shot real quick and lost track of what I was trying to do and my focus and just let it get out and sliced it out there and got behind the tree, but I had room to maneuver it.
So I had 158 front, 176 hole, is what he told me, and so I hit a 9-iron up over the tree as hard as I could and pulled a little flyer, so it flew about 174 maybe, plugged right there, and then limped home from there. Hit to about six feet short of the hole and made it for par.

Q. Coming off a pretty good tournament at the Travelers, what's been going right for you?
BUBBA WATSON: At the Open, we had a week off before the Open, and just trying to change my thinking and trying to be more committed to each shot and take more time behind the ball and just think about the shot and the shot I want to hit and be committed to it. If I hit a bad shot, at least I'm committed and gave it my best effort; just had a bad swing that time.
The Open, my first swing trying to do all this stuff we are trying to do, and the Open is the Open. I thought I played well but just got some bounces the wrong way and came off the Open knowing that I played well; just, it was the Open.
And so I putted really well at the Travelers, and then me and my partner won the CVS Charity Classic on Monday and Tuesday. Feel confident and raring to go here and so far so, got first three days.
The tough day is the last day, though.

Q. Looking at the leaderboard, there are 22 guys within five shots of the lead; is this one of the tournaments you don't know who is going to win until the last couple of holes?
BUBBA WATSON: No, we don't know who is going to win. If you did, you would be pretty smart. No, it's one of those -- it's a birdie-fest and if you miss putts and get down on yourself, you can play yourself out of it even though you were right there and had a chance to win.
Took me a few holes, No. 10, if you watched No. 1 and No. 2 today, I struggled. Looked like I was a beginner. I hooked it hard off the tee. Hit driver down there, barely a hundred yards from the green and barely hit it on the green and 2-putted from 40, 50 feet and next hole hit 4-iron the tee, hooked it into the trees, hooked 9-iron around the trees and barely 2-putted for pars. I made two pars and just kept telling myself, just calm down, we have 16 more holes and just hang in there.
4-under the rest of the way, and here I am talking to you guys.

Q. Because there are so many guys within a few shots of the lead and because the course is conducive so low scoring, do you go in it tomorrow thinking you're go to have to shoot 64,65 or something like that?
BUBBA WATSON: I'm going in there with my mind-set of, I'm going to be committed to every shot, and to every putt, try to get the best stroke on every putt. At the end of the day when we add them up and I win, I win, and if I don't, then I gave it my best effort.

Q. What happened on 13 with the tree?
BUBBA WATSON: I hit 4-iron.

Q. How far were you?
BUBBA WATSON: We had 216 front and 233 hole.

Q. Do you think because of your length, is that a pretty big advantage; that you can just bomb and gouge it and just try to get it on the green somehow?
BUBBA WATSON: I didn't like the way you worded that, "bomb and gouge." I see it more of being nervous off the tee and trying to hit a fairway. It's not bomb-and-gouge. Maybe that's how you play.
But you can word it anyway you want to. I'm trying to play golf. And the way I play golf, I just have to be long. If I was short, I would hit it short, try to chip-and-putt real good and I just happen to hit it long. I'm trying to hit the fairways just like everybody else, and so far this week, I've managed my game well and I'm talking to you guys right now with a chance to win tomorrow.
The length is not a big deal because the golf course is tight. I mean, this is 18 tight golf holes. No. 9 is the tightest golf hole I've seen. When I step up there, it's a hard shot for me and I hit 3-iron off that tee to make sure I can hit it in the fairway. First day I made bogey because I rope-hooked it and last two days I hit the middle of the fairway and birdied it one day and played that hole even. Tomorrow if I make a par, I'll be happy.
It's not being long on a short golf course. The golf course is tight. The golf course is whatever it takes to get it in the fairway and get a good iron in there and have a chance for birdie, and so far I'm just managing my game well.

Q. There were pretty low scores the first two days but you didn't see anybody go real low today; any theories?
BUBBA WATSON: Today was windier. Different wind and a little bit more gusty. Then it started raining that last hole, it was really tough for me. It was just real windy, that's all it was. It was windier than the first two days and there was no morning wave, afternoon wave, where the morning plays better. Everybody had the same wave because of the tee times. It was just windy all the way through the day.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Bubba Watson, thank you.

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