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January 22, 2010

Bubba Watson


DOUG MILNE: Bubba Watson, thanks for joining us, our 36 hole leader, great round today. 10-under par, 62. Set the course record. Obviously a lot of things going right for you. Just take us through the round if you would and just kind of how you're feeling as you head into the weekend.
BUBBA WATSON: The funny thing is the course is a tough course. It's the longest course we play. Wet conditions, the ball's even going shorter.
First hole I normally hit iron off the tee, I hit driver today. Then hit a 9-iron in there and made about a 15, 18-footer. Started off nice.
A hole that I normally hit 5-iron, 4-iron into, No. 2, I had to lay up today because of the conditions. So made par there.
But then I made a birdie on number 4? I hit a 4-wood off the tee, hit it to about six feet, I think. Hit a wedge in there, a sand wedge in there about six feet. Made it.
Next hole, 5, I think it's like 305 to the front. Hit driver about seven feet away. Made it for eagle.
Birdied the next hole, too. I hit a little bunt driver off that tee, to keep it out of the water. Hit 8-iron in there about eight feet. Made it.
Par-5, hit 4-wood off the tee because there's no way to reach it. Hit 4-wood to lay up. I had 114 to the hole. Hit it in there about a foot. Made that one.
9, I hit driver down the middle, I had 116, so I hit a little 56 degree in there to about six feet below the hole. Made it.
10, I hit a little 4-wood off the tee. I had around 115 again. I had 111, actually. So I hit it in there about eight feet, nine feet. Right in there. Made it.
Par-5, 12, hit driver, hit 4-wood just short of the green. Hit a chip about eight feet past the hole, 10 feet past the hole. Hit a good putt and made it.
14, it was 168, I remember that one because I was mad about that. 168 we had, normally that's in between a little eight or a good nine and I tried to hit the little eight and came up short, spun off the green. Then I tried to putt it, it started hopping on me and left it about 15 feet short. Missed it.
Then 15, I hit 4-wood off the tee. That's a tough driving hole for me. I had 183, a little chip 7-iron there and then made a good 18-footer, I guess.
Then 18 -- well I chipped in for a par on, I hit in the water on 17, and then I took a drop and chipped in for par.
Made about a 20-footer the hole before that for par. What is that? 16? I made a great par there.
And then hit it in the water and made a par after chipping in.
18 was downwind, but it was raining, so I hit driver, we had 216 to the hole. I hit 6-iron downwind and flew it, hit it about 30 feet past the hole, right around the hole. And then putted about two feet past and then made it for the last birdie.

Q. What were the conditions like over there and does the fact that you hit the ball so far off the tee give you a big advantage in conditions like this?
BUBBA WATSON: The conditions are wet. I didn't expect it to be that wet. I didn't come out of my house yesterday, so I don't know what it was.
It was really wet. First hole was soaking wet, kind of cool. Then it kind of warmed up. And it got nice for the next like 15 holes.
Then when that sun started going down it got cold and the ball went nowhere. Then the rain happened the last hole and a half.
My length is definitely going to play a part on that golf course because it's got wide fairways, I can rip it if I want to. The par-5s are reachable. Unless you get a day like today. A lot of them are almost 600 yards.
So, yeah, I'm going to hit shorter irons, just like normal, but this one is harder to score because you got long irons -- when I'm hitting a 7-iron into a par-4 or something like that, that's a long par-4.
So it's different. It's going to be hard for everybody. But I putted well today. That was my key today. I hit a lot of good shots, but I putted well. If I don't make all the putts, I'm not talking to you right now.

Q. So the conditions on the green were fine?
BUBBA WATSON: The conditions on the greens, they're perfect. They're holding up. The greens are holding up fine on that course, that's the course I played. On SilverRock. So the greens are perfect there. I luckily got some putts to drop in.

Q. How many times have you broken 30 in a tournament and when you do that, particularly on the front nine, any visions of 59 popping around?
BUBBA WATSON: I never think of 59. I think if I shot 29 on front I got, I can shoot 6-over and still shoot 1-under. That's the way I'm looking at it.

Q. That's the way the hackers do it.

Q. You guys aren't supposed to.
BUBBA WATSON: Well I chipped in for par after I hit it in the water so it's obvious I'm pretty close to a hacker.
No, I never think about a 59. Who knows how many times I shot 29 in mini tours and pro. I don't know. But, no, the conditions are tough. I was talking to my, to Cameron, my playing partner, talking to my caddie and his caddie, we're good friends, and we were just shooting the breeze out there. So I didn't think about it.
And then when I made the putt on nine there for 7-under, that's when I was like, "Wow, you just shot 29. And if I can just hold on that's a good score today. If I shoot even par that's a great score."
So I don't think about going to 59 because the conditions can turn. Tomorrow is going to be tough conditions with the wind. So I didn't really think about 59. I thought about not choking, that was it.

Q. Based on the way these golf courses have played historically you played the two toughest courses so far and you got a two-shot lead coming to the two easiest courses, that's got to be comforting to you.
BUBBA WATSON: I got three days left. If it was the last day I would be a lot happier.

Q. There's a lot of golf left, right?
BUBBA WATSON: There's a lot of golf left. The funny thing is, like I was doing an interview earlier, last year we had really windy conditions on the last round. I was tied for third going into the last round. I shot 75 and came in 25th.
So, you know, if I can beat 75 tomorrow, in windy conditions, that means I'm doing better than last year.
I don't look at what's ahead, I look at how tough tomorrow's going to be and let's get after it and try to play good tomorrow.

Q. When you have a day off, that's a freak thing, and yesterday, the day off yesterday, what do you do? Do you hit balls? Do you look out and say, no play? Did they tell you -- and then, when did you find out you weren't playing with amateurs today?
BUBBA WATSON: I don't know if y'all heard, but I made some Twitter videos and so yesterday I made some more Twitter videos that I had. So that's what I did at my house. I just made some Twitter videos, hit some shots from out of the house. Hope the person I rented it from doesn't know I hit balls from out of their house. So that's what I did yesterday. And I got a little putting matt that I putted and practice putted from about five feet, six feet all day yesterday.

Q. Unlike Kevin Costner you didn't knock it through the window, did you?
BUBBA WATSON: No, no, no -- well, maybe. It's on Twitter. If you see it, you'll laugh.

Q. And then like today, when do you find out that the amateurs aren't playing with you?
BUBBA WATSON: Today? When I found out?

Q. When you got here?
BUBBA WATSON: When I got a text message that woke me up this morning from the PGA TOUR saying that it was just all pros. And then my wife is yelling in the background, since she's playing this week, she's mad. She would rather her play and me not play.
So she's looking forward to tomorrow. But, yeah, so I knew early when she was kind of pissy that she wasn't going to get to play.

Q. Who was, what's her group?
BUBBA WATSON: She plays with Kevin Nealon is her celebrity, and then I don't know the other guy. She played with Troy Merritt and I don't know who she was supposed to play with today. Brian Davis, Rich Beem, or Bo Van Pelt. So one of those she's going to miss.

Q. Has she ever done that before?
BUBBA WATSON: Done what?

Q. Played here before?
BUBBA WATSON: No. No. There was -- I asked a few years ago for her to play in the Pebble Beach Pro-am, and they said no. And then I met the Bob Hope people and called them and said, "My fifth year anniversary is coming up, my wife's a four handicap, is there any way I can get her in?" And they said, they said, "I don't know, let us see." Because there's a waiting list. So and they gave me a call and they said, "Sure, we'll do it."

Q. So how pumped up was she about playing and how nervous was she?
BUBBA WATSON: She's excited. She says she was so nervous on the first tee with all the people standing around watching the celebrities. And then she's nervous because I'm on another golf course playing, so she wants to know how I'm playing, you know.
So tomorrow she's probably going to be happy she's playing, but at the same time wondering what I'm doing.
But she's had fun. She played good yesterday, she said. It's hard playing the same tees as the men, because there's not a ladies tee. But she is going to enjoy every minute of it, no matter how bad she plays or how good she plays. She's enjoying it so far. Except today, like I said. But she got to watch me, I guess.

Q. Did she watch you?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, she was out there. She never misses, unless she's playing in a tournament.

Q. Question for you about the grooves. What's been your grooves experience? How much did you prepare for it?
BUBBA WATSON: Not one change for me. I swing at it hard enough the ball is going to compress. I think Ping had the least to change. I haven't felt any change yet. They obviously felt good today.

Q. What is your Twitter address, first of all?
BUBBA WATSON: @BubbaWatson.

Q. And are you really an inch shorter than your wife? If you guys stand back to back is she taller?
BUBBA WATSON: She's about, she's about a half inch, give or take, a half inch, right around there.

Q. Has she always played golf?
BUBBA WATSON: No, she's been serious about it for the last six years. We have been married five years. So about the last six years she really got into it. And I won't let her have lessons, just like me, I just told her to go practice.
DOUG MILNE: Bubba, great playing today keep it up tomorrow.
BUBBA WATSON: Thank you.

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