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July 6, 2010

Bubba Watson


DOUG MILNE: Bubba Watson, thanks for joining us for a few minutes prior to the start of the 2010 John Deere Classic. We appreciate your time. Congratulations on your Travelers Championship victory. I know that was probably long overdue feeling like. Just talk a little bit about what life has been like for you. You mentioned that you've tried to keep everything kind of calm so that you can go about your business, and just kind of how you're feeling as you're heading into the week here.
BUBBA WATSON: First off, it was a fun week. It was obviously a great week. Sunday night we did all the interviews, and I don't know, just seemed like it took forever.
Then I had to go to Rhode Island for the PBS Charity Classic that we planned on playing in. So we got up there 12:45, 12:30, finally turned the lights off just before 2; wakeup call at 6:15, played in that for a couple of days, and then we -- then I flew back home and had my junior tournament on Wednesday in High Point, North Carolina.
So I didn't really have time to think about it or enjoy it, whatever you want to call it. So I did that for two days. Thursday night was the first night I got to lay down and know that I didn't have to get up in the morning. So it was a wakeup call at 6 a.m. to go to the junior tournament was pretty fun.
So I did that, did everything I needed to do there and put on a little clinic there; and Thursday night I just rested, and Friday I didn't leave my bedroom -- I told my wife I wasn't leaving my bedroom until at least 2 in the afternoon. A couple of times I stood at the edge of my door and said, can you bring me up something to drink? So I waited until exactly 2:00 to leave the room.
We just goofed around on Friday and did some water sports on the weekend, and here we are.
DOUG MILNE: This is your first tournament back as a winner on the PGA TOUR. Does it make you feel any different? Do you approach this week any different or is it just another golf tournament you're trying to win?
BUBBA WATSON: Another golf tournament I'm trying to win, trying to prove that I'm a good player, trying to win.
You know, I want to win. That's why I play on the PGA TOUR. I love golf, and I want to win. And you know, it's fun. It's fun having the chance to win, but yeah, I don't really see it as I'm a winner on the PGA TOUR. I see it as I'm trying to win this week. I want to be the winner of the John Deere Classic, and next week I want to win the British Open, and than Canada. So I don't see it as any different, just I have a platform now that I have played and I can do it. So let's do it again.
After the first one, they say the first one is hard, but then the second one is just as hard and the third one is just as hard, so I'm trying to just keep winning, keep it going.
DOUG MILNE: Okay. With that we'll open it up and take a few questions.

Q. How much were you watching Sunday knowing that you may get into the British Open, and when it was finally secured, your berth was finally secured, what kind of feelings did you go through with that?
BUBBA WATSON: Started off, I went to the qualifier back in Dallas, lost in the playoff, so I really wanted to get there. I had a chance that I almost got there.
Then, you know, I didn't think anything of the special Money List until I won, obviously, and then I saw that I was No. 2. So we started looking at it.
But you know, I didn't play last week, and the reason why I didn't play, I was already involved in some things and raising money for charity out on my junior golf tournament. So it didn't hit me till Sunday that I had a shot at making it. And then me and my friend were working out and watching the golf at that time, so we started watching it. So my training went a lot longer than normal because I was focused on Justin Rose winning, I needed him to win.
But yeah, to make it and know I made it now, it's special. It's the home of golf. That's what I know as the home of golf and to play St. Andrews for the Open is going to be fun. Just like Justin Rose, he missed it the last two times they played there, he said, and now he's getting to play it. So it's an honor for any of us to play it, but it's really special to be there at St. Andrews, no matter what I shoot.

Q. You've been here at Deere Run before. How does this course play to you? What do you like about it? What do you not like about it?
BUBBA WATSON: You know, I've said this many times. No one ever wanted to listened, I said John Deere -- my home is Tupelo, Mississippi, born and raised, close to Elvis there. And she lived on a farm, and for them to eat they had to grow their own food. So John Deere was a big part of their life, the tractors and stuff, so for me to be here -- I had to miss it last year -- I didn't have to, but my wife wanted to play St. Andrews one day, so we went a week early to the British and I missed this tournament. And I called Clair, the tournament director, and said, look, I'll never miss it again. I had to. My wife wanted to play it, so this is our chance to go. So I told him as soon as the British Open was done last year, I'm back.
So it's a big part of me. My mom loves this tournament. She just loves the name John Deere. Who doesn't? We were in the store yesterday at John Deere buying a bunch of stuff.
But the golf course is a beautiful golf course. It's a great layout. I've played well here at times. You know, my mental game wasn't where it is now. So I just, you know, I struggled with it. I think I finished 17th one time. But I got DQ'd here one time. Last time I played I got DQ'd here.
But no, it's a great atmosphere. They do well. The sponsors, it's a beautiful sponsor. They help us out; they make us feel good here. It might be a tough time spot on the PGA TOUR, but it's a great place, and I saw we have 22 players from the Open playing this week and flying over. So that shows that it's done well and they're doing great things for the pros to show up here.

Q. Does your mom get that John Deere tractor if you happen to win? Did she call that?
BUBBA WATSON: No. My dad suckered me into one a few years ago, so he's got one already. Maybe they'll want an upgrade.
But my mom was here the first time I played here, she's been here the last few years, and obviously my dad's struggling, so my mom's not coming this year.
But yeah, they're always excited about this tournament.

Q. Going back to Sunday watching Justin Rose trying to win, did you find yourself rooting for him?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, I was rooting for him. I was like his parents. I was wanting him to win.

Q. Is that normal to root for other guys on the TOUR?
BUBBA WATSON: You always got your good friends, and Justin was my great friend on Sunday.
You know, my wife said, I finally get to see what it feels like to pull for somebody and watch somebody who has a chance to win and then struggle -- or not really struggle. He didn't really struggle. He played great, I heard that was a great golf course and a hard golf course, but for Ryan Moore and some of the other guys to start birdieing, yeah, it was hard to watch.
But it was a great ending, though. And then Ryan still got in, so it was good. I wasn't rooting against anybody. I just wanted him to birdie a lot.

Q. Can you talk about that experience at St. Andrews last year, playing there?
BUBBA WATSON: You know, it was a weird day, no clouds in the sky, sunny, good temperature, no wind. And it was me, my caddie, my wife and my agent. So us four with some young kids, kids that were around 20 that were caddying for us, and it was neat. It was really neat.
But the funniest thing about going over there is that we're there for the Open. We go play this golf course, and first tee there's a couple that doesn't even play golf, that doesn't play golf at all. They're from Charlotte, and I came in second at Charlotte. They got some free tickets, came out and watched us at Charlotte and just happened to follow my group. And so my caddie met them. They said they love golf, they don't play it.
So they were right there on the first tee. They said, Kenny? Bubba? So we got to see that couple that followed me at Charlotte, and that was a couple that was there from my hometown. So it was just weird that when we played that day there was four people there that we recognized and we knew.
So it was just a special day the whole day. But to get to play there was, again, just an honor. You know, I don't take anything for granted, so it's nice to say I played once, but now that hopefully I'm over there safely and not sick this year like I was last year, and get to play it.

Q. How do you think that sets up for you? Tiger didn't finish the whole a few years ago.
BUBBA WATSON: Tiger's a great player. I just won for the first time.

Q. Do you have to worry about taking driver, avoid bunkers and stuff like that?
BUBBA WATSON: First thing you're going to realize about me and my golf game, I don't worry. I play golf the way I want to play it. I never had a coach.
If I feel like a driver at that time, I'm going to hit it. If it's downwind just right, I might try to drive it over in one and bounce it over the creek. I don't have any routines or what. Just what I feel. I play on feel golf and what I feel at that moment, that's what I'm going to do.
So I just look at it as a great venue. It's an honor to play that golf course. It's the home of golf. That's how I look at it. I don't look at what club I'm going to hit because it could be into the wind one day and downwind the next day, so it's going to be six clubs different. So you never know. I don't look at it as if I'm hitting driver here or hitting a lot of stingers.
Only thing I've heard about it so far is that 17 they added a tee box, so that made 17 a lot longer. I heard that. I don't know if it's true, but that's what I heard.

Q. How do you feel that suits you?
BUBBA WATSON: I just love a challenge. I love hard golf courses; I love visualizing shots that other people don't see. Now, they might not turn out right, but I visualized it in my head a great shot.
But you know, I look forward to this challenge and something we don't get to do much. Over here we're target golf, not target golf but closer to target golf than over there. There's a lot of bump-and-runs, a lot of firmer ground, a lot of just natural land and some rough. So yeah, I love going over there. This will be my second British Open. So I'm looking forward to it.

Q. Put yourself in the conversation, people actually talking about you at St. Andrews. How does that feel?
BUBBA WATSON: I mean if they're talking about me, it's always good, as long as they're not making fun of me.
But you know, it's golf. You never know. I shot 4-under and I was six back at a golf course that gives up birdies and I won. So you never know what's going to happen. You just gotta put your head down and keep grinding out there.
So my goal is to make as many birdies as possible and few bogeys, so at the end of the day I can hold that trophy or be really close to holding that trophy.

Q. How old were you when you realized you were longer than everyone else? You marvel at a guy like Corey Pavin who's gotta be like 30 yards behind you on every tee shot how he's able to compete.
BUBBA WATSON: You know, at a young age, I started when I was six. About eight years old I started playing in tournaments. Pitch, putt and drive was big back then, where you got to go to Disney, they give you the free pass to Disney World. So I won the contest pitch, putt and drive.
At a young age, 10 years old I was hitting it pretty far. 12 years old I was hitting it really far, for a 12-year-old and for that age group. I think when I was 12 years old I started playing in the older age groups around my house, started playing the back tees because it was just more fun.
So I've hit it long my whole life, but again, I don't try to hit it long. That's just what I do, you know. It's just something that I happen to do.
And again, like Corey Pavin, I mean that guy, if I was half as mentally strong as he is, he knows he's going to hit it short. I mean not bad-mouthing him. He's won 15 times and one U.S. Open. I hope my career gets half that good, and I've got one, so I'm still 14 behind him and I'm a million behind Tiger.
But Corey Pavin is a marvel in itself, the world long drive champion who hits it 400 some yards. Corey Pavin is the other way, but he's a marvel in himself how good he is and what he has to do and how mentally focused he has to be to do that. Yeah, that's crazy. He pulled out 3-wood in the playoff. He hit it a little fat, but still pull out 3-wood knowing he's going to have a long shot in that playoff. That's what he did, he plays his own game. He doesn't care what anybody else does. He's going to do his own thing and that's what's great about him.

Q. You play at St. Andrews with your wife. (Indiscernible).
BUBBA WATSON: Well, you know, my wife does everything for me. Without her, I'd come to the golf course with shirts and probably leave some stuff. Definitely wouldn't be packed neat. She makes my life run smoothly. Without her, I'm nothing. So I gotta take care of her first.

Q. Can she handle her own golf club?
BUBBA WATSON: No. She is retired from golf. But no, she hasn't really beat me yet on the golf course. I got that going for me.

Q. Bubba, (indiscernible) after your win at Hartford, did you have to scramble a little bit to make plans to go over there or did you already have stuff set up?
BUBBA WATSON: My agent is already over there. He's been over there for a couple weeks doing some stuff because Geoff Ogilvy and Aaron Baddeley are his other two clients. So he's got three people. So they've already got houses. So for me getting there, all I'm doing is stealing one of their rooms, but yeah, it was -- it didn't matter. I was going to find a way to be there and do whatever it took. But yeah, it's easy.
When it comes to that, agencies and everything already have everything set up, so all you gotta do is just make it there.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
BUBBA WATSON: My wife is from Canada, so I gotta play that one because her family is there in Toronto. So it's a pretty easy setup.
DOUG MILNE: All righty. Well, Bubba, thanks for your time. We appreciate it. Best of luck this week.

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