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August 24, 2010

Bubba Watson


THE MODERATOR: Okay. We'll get started. We're joined by Bubba Watson here at the Barclays. Thank you for spending a few minutes with us. It's been quite a summer for you, first one at the Travelers Championship a couple of weeks ago, and then the playoff loss at Whistling Straits. Just comment a little bit on your road here to the first playoff event.
BUBBA WATSON: I made the Ryder Cup team, and I'm very excited about that.
You know, it's been a great year. I've learned a lot about myself, about my friends and my family and what's important in life. So it's been a great year. Hectic year. I wouldn't change it for the world.
I'm looking forward to the playoffs. Top 10 on FedExCup, so there's a great shot of trying to win the FedExCup in a few weeks. So looking forward to it and last week I had a good week off goofing around.
And now I'm ready to play some golf.
THE MODERATOR: Talk a little bit about last week. You joined the birdies For the Brave. Talk about the outing in Pensacola.
BUBBA WATSON: I flew home right after the PGA Championship to see my dad, obviously, hang out with the family. I did a clinic at Pensacola Naval Base. Went around and looked at the Blue Angels, met some of the guys that fly the Blue Angels. Then I did a clinic for the First Tee and for Birdies Of the Brave. Put it on. I joined them because my dad was a Special Forces Green Beret I joined with the foundation to help raise some money for their cause and hopefully do some great things with them, and so it was fun.
And left there and went and played on the lake for the last four days with Aaron Baddeley and my wife and a couple other friends. And didn't touch a club, so now I'm ready to going to get the rust off, I guess.

Q. Just curious with the things you're going through off the course this year, a lot of us have gone through them lose focus, seems like everything's come together for you. How do you explain that?
BUBBA WATSON: Because hitting away at a golf ball is not really that important when you think about it. When you seriously think about it, it's something I do, I love to do. But when it comes down to a missed putt, a missed shot, a shot that goes in the water to lose, it doesn't matter.
And that's where you bring the game being more fun. You enjoy it more. You enjoy your time away. It gets me thinking about something else and then what's going on with my family.

Q. I've got this. Do you have any theories on the low scores on TOUR this year, why they're happening, and do you think it's possible out there with the softer conditions, something in 59, 60?
BUBBA WATSON: Out at this course?

Q. Yes.
BUBBA WATSON: I don't think so at this course. I haven't seen it this week. Just got in last night. But, yeah, softer conditions, there's always a possibility of great scores with softer conditions, because the ball's going to stop. Fairways get bigger because the ball stops in the fairway quicker.
So, yeah, there's always a possibility, because with the promotion these guys are good. You know, why the scores are good is because these guys are good. Everybody has a TOUR card. So everybody can play.
Last week, Arjun Atwal Monday qualifies into the tournament but he's a God play. He's proven himself to be a good player. He had some injuries so he lost his card. Now he has it back. But he's a great player. So that's why it wasn't rare for him to win. He's won before on the European TOUR. These guys are good. They're able to play.
And why it's happening this year, it's just, I guess, they're just getting better year after year. No secret to it.

Q. Do you see a change in demeanor for the guys that are in the Top 10 and the guys in maybe the lower the last five, when playoffs come around? A different way of approaching through the next three events?
BUBBA WATSON: The guys that are just made the playoffs, guys who just missed the playoff, their demeanor is different because if you ask them, they say they haven't had a great year. There's not one guy that finished, whoever finished 125 is not going to tell you he had a great year.
So that's why the demeanor, their mindset is different because they haven't -- they would consider themselves not playing a great year. Guy in the top 10 is going to say he had a great year for the most part. Some people still say they should be better. For me, I had a great year. Top 10. I'm looking forward to it. Looking forward to the challenges and then looking forward to the playoffs to be over so I can go to the Ryder Cup. And so for a guy that's low on the points list, farther down the list, is because he hasn't had a great year. He would tell he hadn't had a great year.

Q. You talked a lot about very vocal about the Ryder Cup. When did this tournament, when did this event become so important, so big on your radar and such a goal for you?
BUBBA WATSON: I started golf. When I -- when I was old enough to realize what the Ryder Cup was and what it meant. Like I said before, win or lose, two weeks after the fact of the Ryder Cup or for me a day after, win or lose it's going to be a great experience. It's going to be representing our country and hopefully I'll represent the country well.
Even if I lose every match I'm going to try my hardest and I'm just going to try to show that the U.S. is a great place and I'm going to try to represent it to the best of my ability.
Now, do I want to win? Yes, I want to win it. But it was a goal of mine my whole life to make the Ryder Cup. Now if I don't get injured I'll be able to play in the Ryder Cup?

Q. Was it watching, was there a particular year or any specific memories you have about it?
BUBBA WATSON: Every year. Every year is great. Anytime you can watch it. Obviously the one that comes to mind right away because I used to wear the shirts they wore back in the day when Justin Leonard made that long putt across the green and they wear those remember the shirts had pictures all over them. Not that shirt I'm saying that company that made those shirts. That shirt was ugly.
But you know it was neat watching that then Payne Stewart, I think he had the match or gave the hole to I guess was it Colin? Yeah. So, yeah, that stands out in my mind right away. But you know any of them, when we lose, I want to be there and try to win the putt, make the putt to win the Ryder Cup.
When we win, you cheer for your team even if you're not playing. You're pulling for your country all the time no matter win or lose you're still playing for your country. So all of them are great but that's the one that stands out the most because what Payne did, he was my favorite player what Payne did and Justin making that putt. That was nuts. And those rugby shirts.

Q. It says in the program you've been using the same putter ever since you took up golf. What kind of putter is it and at what age did you get it?
BUBBA WATSON: Just between you and me, the media sometimes messes things up. Just between me and him, though. But I've used a PING putter, V-60 PING putter. I got it when I was eight.
I used it up until I turned pro, first two years of pro, and then PING came out with the Anser Redwood. John Solheim made me a PING B-60 that was bigger with tungsten inserts, stuff done to it. I used it for a year. Then they made the Redwood Anser model. They made it for me not one to switch but then I started using it over the winter, so I switched and I've been using that ever since. So I've actually had three putters since I've started golf.

Q. Where is the original P-60 at?
BUBBA WATSON: It's at my house and it still has the -- well, actually I've done some stuff to it. I've got a diamond in it. A jeweler put a diamond in it for me. I used that a little bit with a diamond in it.

Q. In the face or --
BUBBA WATSON: On the back. When you look down on it, when you're hitting the putt the face is here, when you're hitting the putt it's a green diamond. And then it has the original, like my dad -- my dad used to paint all the shafts. So all the shafts were multi-colored. So I still have the multi-colored shaft there. And it's sitting in my house in a safe place.

Q. You talked about the fact that -- you talk about the fact that if you hit a ball in the water it doesn't matter. You kind of got to that. Do you think if you had had those issues, if you hadn't had the issues you had this summer or earlier this year, that when you hit the ball in the water at your win, that might have affected you differently?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, I mean, yes, it could have. But the truth is, if you go back to even when I finished second a few years ago, when I had a, not a good mindset or a bad attitude, you want to say, coming in second place that means one guy beat me that week.
That means I was really close, one shot away or one swing away from winning the golf tournament. I never got mad at losing a golf tournament by one shot, two shots that means I played great. One guy just played better.
I don't think it would have affected me that I hit in the water. Is it upsetting I hit it in the water, yes. But it wouldn't have affected me that way, because I played a great golf tournament. I came in second. My best finish at a major. And again it got me to the Ryder Cup.

Q. I'm talking about the Travelers?
BUBBA WATSON: I thought you were talking about PGA.

Q. You put the ball in the water on 17.
BUBBA WATSON: It's funny, because again my caddie is back on the bag this week. He's here. So when we were there, we stepped -- when we stepped on 15, we hadn't looked at a leaderboard.
We stepped on 15 green, and I happened to just turn around and look and, wow, if we make this putt we're tied for the lead. We make the putt we go to 16. I said we have three holes. If we birdie two of the three we win this golf tournament. Birdie 16, hit the ball in the bunker. Wedge from 156, I think it was, and I just topped it. And what does everybody tell you on a bunker they tell you hit the ball first. I hit the ball first but hit the very top instead of the middle of it. And so I topped it in the water. But I never put my head down.
You know, I just -- I kept my focus on trying to win a golf tournament. I knew if I got that up-and-down and hold it I win or I'm tied for the lead. When I didn't, I made double. Then what he said the same thing, we birdie this hole we can still force a playoff. So my attitude was perfect.
But, no, when I'm that close to winning the golf tournament, I don't get frustrated. It's just when I'm not close to winning a golf tournament I get frustrated why am I not up there.
But now my attitude, it's working good right now. This week it might go back to where it used to be. But so far it's working good and hopefully it stays that way.
THE MODERATOR: Bubba, thanks for coming by. Play well this week.

End of FastScripts

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