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December 9, 2010
DAVE SENKO: Thanks for joining us. Maybe get us started. Each of you have played here before. Just talk about what makes this event - it's the end of the year now - fun for guys to play in this team event.
BUBBA WATSON: You know, the team event is very fun. The first thing though, it's always been charity, an event like this. It is a chance for us to make a little bit of money, but at the same time it's about charity and the great causes that Greg and his team want to support.
But for us it's a fun event because we're in a team. Got to play with Greg the first time, and now Rickie. So it's going to be a fun event. Me and him are good friends, so hopefully we can make some few putts and win this thing.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, first time I played was last year. Like Bubba said, it was a way for us to give back by kind of having a fun week. The two pro-ams, it's kind of nice. You have the option of riding around in the cart. It's been unfortunate we had some rough weather.
It's a fun week having a partner, another PGA TOUR player and a good friend of mine in a fun format that we don't usually get to see. Playing modified alternate shot, best ball, and finishing off with a scramble.
DAVE SENKO: When did you guys find out you would be teamed up?
BUBBA WATSON: Week ago, two weeks ago, somewhere in there. Soon as my agent called me, I sent him a text and called him on the phone. I told him he better start practicing up so we have a chance to win. I'm just going to ride his coattails the whole time.
RICKIE FOWLER: I proceeded to take probably a week or so off and hit a couple balls. We're ready to go.
DAVE SENKO: Questions.
Q. Can you just talk about how you became pals?
RICKIE FOWLER: We played what, Saturday at Kahala. I think it was Saturday Kahala. I watched you chop it around.
No, and then we basically just started playing some practice rounds together. That was the first time I really met him and spent time with him, and then started messing around in practice round, that lead to messing around on Twitter making videos, and now we're playing The Shark Shootout together.
BUBBA WATSON: We also did the -- you caddied for Mark Wahlberg and I caddied for Drew Brees. So we took a plane together over to California from Memorial, so we had five hours to become quick friends.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah.
Q. What was that event again?
BUBBA WATSON: That was the Golf Digest U.S. Open Challenge. We caddie for celebrities and the one amateur who wins the essay contest.
Q. Some of the other things that you both enjoy outside of golf, common interests that you have?
BUBBA WATSON: Cars.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, we like cars. He likes real fast cars. I like slow cars, though. I don't know, we both like just to have a good time off the course, whether it be going to dinner or just finding other stuff to do. Go play laser tag.
I mean, he ended up winning Hartford right after we played laser tag on Saturday night that week. So I think we have a common interest of just going out and having a good time and have fun.
BUBBA WATSON: We have a lot of things in common. We both don't drink, so off the course we do the same things. We're not about drinking; we're not about partying or anything like that. We just go have fun, no matter what it is.
We play a lot of mini golf, putt-putt together. If I remember correctly, me and Angie beat ya'll, you and your girl and your parents. Just one of those things I'm throwing out there. (Laughing.)
RICKIE FOWLER: That's correct.
BUBBA WATSON: That was at the John Deere right before we flew to the British. I remember that.
RICKIE FOWLER: So just fun things to do.
Q. It sounded like you guys had a blast together at the PGA Championship. You talked about how in the neighborhood you kind of got to be pals with the neighborhood kids. Weren't you like skateboarding or...
BUBBA WATSON: We had -- the bikes -- the house we rented the bikes were too small for me, but we had Razors, these little push scooters. The neighborhood kids were riding around, so me and my caddie -- my caddie just had a baby, so the caddie I used that week, Mark Carens, a good friend of mine was there. And he came over about every day. My wife cooked dinner for us.
And so we came over and we played basketball, we threw the football a little bit, threw the baseball a little bit. The little tricycles and scooters that they had, we goofed around with the neighborhood kids. And actually right down the street, a block from the street, what's that, you can feed the goats for 25 cents.
RICKIE FOWLER: And ducks.
BUBBA WATSON: So we fed some goats and ducks every other day because we had to drive right past it to go to the golf course. So just goofing around. We both like to goof around and have fun.
And then oh, the ice cream shop that we went to. My trainer wasn't happy with that, but we went there every other night.
Q. Can each of you comment on each other's games, kind of what you like about it?
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, I think I feel in a way our games are fairly similar. We kind of like to have fun. We're not just going to sit there and hit a stock shot one after another.
I mean, Bubba likes to move the ball. I would say he's quite a bit longer than I am, so for the most part I think I'll be the one that's teeing off first. Once I get in the fairway then I'll let him go.
I like watching Bubba play, because like I say, he plays a lot like I like to play, except his ball goes a little further and tends to move a little bit more than mine can. So he's exciting to watch.
I've learned some stuff playing with him in practice rounds and seeing him play tournaments, so it's been pretty cool to become good friends with him throughout the year, and like I said, be around him and play with him.
BUBBA WATSON: The same said for Rickie. But the one thing that's so good about Rickie if you watch him is his mind. His mind is the best part of his game. His physical game is great, but his mind is so good.
Just like at the Ryder Cup when he was losing by three or four or whatever and he ended up having the match putt after putt, like 16, 17, 18. He just made putts that he needed to make.
Shows that he has fight in him and that no matter how old he is -- what is it, 22 on Monday -- you know, he's gonna fight to the end, and he's not gonna let bad swings or bad putts or whatever creep in his mind. He's gonna just keep fighting.
That's a great part about his game. He's a fighter all the way. He does it his way. If you slip up one time, he's going to beat you.
Q. Just a follow up on that.
RICKIE FOWLER: I thought that was the last one.
Q. I know. You guys are both such shot makers. When you're playing practicing rounds, do you ever get into where you're showing off or you're trying to top each other? Do you do that at all?
BUBBA WATSON: Yes.
RICKIE FOWLER: He's always showing off.
BUBBA WATSON: I mean, look at me. I show off -- no, you know what, it's -- if you hit one in the trees -- I hit one in the trees a lot more than he does, so when I'm in the trees at a practice rounds or something , I'll go, Watch this, Rickie. I'm gonna hit this shot out of here. I'm gonna cut this one. He's like, There's no way you can do it.
So you're always goofing around with buddies and saying, Oh, I can hit this shot; you can't hit it. Drop a ball over here; let's do this. You got to move this one this way to do it. You gotta go over or under the tree. Or chip it. You know, first one it chip in or something like that. There's always little competitions.
Yeah, you're always try trying to pull off a shot that think can't be done, or are hard to do. So, yeah, we're always having little competitions. I usually win 'em, though. Enough said.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah. I know the one I remember him showing off a little bit. We were playing a practice round at the British Open, St. Andrews, on 18. Decides to aim it at the hotel and just take a nice little cut back on the fairway.
BUBBA WATSON: I did aim it at the hotel. It was sweet.
Q. You two could do that this week.
BUBBA WATSON: When he hits one good down the middle, I'm just going aim way off somewhere and just hit it way out of play. We should play that one.
Q. Rickie, how would you characterize this year for you? This was one of your first events, I guess, here a year ago. Bubba, how would you think about his year?
RICKIE FOWLER: Um, I had a lot of fun this year. Came here last year right after getting my card through Q-School. The only thing I really left out this year was getting my first win, so I was very pleased with how I played. I learned a lot, learned a lot about my game and about playing on tour.
So I'm really looking forward to next season. I feel like a win is just around the corner. It's been a great year. Like I said, I just felt like the win was just left off the list. We're ready to go get that.
BUBBA WATSON: Um, I feel that he had a great season. To come out as young as he is, to do the things he's done in his short career, what a year and a few tournaments last year, he's played great. He shows he has the ability to win.
He fought all the way. I guess at Memorial was his second place, I guess. He's done a lot of great things so far. You know, I think that he's learned a lot and he's proved that he's going to be here for years to come.
But, you know, for him to have the all hype and the media behind him and the push behind him and to wear bright clothes and do the things he does. The orange outfit on Sundays, I mean, that's hard. It puts a lot of pressure on yourself.
He might not say it - people don't like to talk about pressure and stuff - but it shows that he can back it up. You know, he's not doing anything wrong, but there's a lot of media hype behind him, and he proved that he can do it. That's what I admire about this year and about what he's done so far.
Q. How will you dress this week? Is there a competition there?
BUBBA WATSON: Oh, no. I'm too fat to wear the clothes that he wears.
RICKIE FOWLER: You used to be.
BUBBA WATSON: I'm in shape now.
Q. You were in contention the last time you were here. Now that you...
BUBBA WATSON: Greg messed it up. I love you Greg, sorry. (Laughing.)
Q. Does that just stoke your fire even more? Is that something you're going to talk to Rickie about? I know he played here last year.
BUBBA WATSON: Oh, no. I told Rickie -- we had dinner last night. I told Rickie last night, I said, We gotta win this thing. I want another trophy in my house. Every time we have a tournament or just a fun round, we want to win. We want to beat whoever we're playing against, no matter what their handicap is. No matter what it's for, you want to win. So that's why we play golf for a living, because we want to win and win tournaments and win trophies.
For us to be teamed up together, yeah, we want to win. We don't have to worry about how close we came last time, we just want to win.
RICKIE FOWLER: I came to win.
BUBBA WATSON: There you go.
RICKIE FOWLER: Sounds like you want to win.
Q. Did you Tweet about hitting a really long drive today?
BUBBA WATSON: 427.
RICKIE FOWLER: You're showing off.
BUBBA WATSON: I think it was 395, but it said 427 today. I mean, I wasn't Tweeting while I was playing, I was just...
Q. Last one for me. No follow up. Just talk about the Europeans. With Graeme in here yesterday and Ian, they won the Ryder Cup and had the winner from the U.S. Open and the PGA. You know, they're getting in the top 10, more of them. How do you guys look that? Is that something you even consider, that, Okay, we all need to get out here and do a better job?
BUBBA WATSON: Um, truthfully, me personally, I can't speak for anybody else, but for me personally, I see them as people. I don't see them as Europeans or from other countries. I just see them as golfers that we're trying to beat. Rickie is trying to beat Ian; I'm trying to beat Ian; we're trying to beat Graeme. We're trying to beat everybody that's on that leaderboard; we're trying to beat everybody on that field.
This week, we're trying to beat Champions Tour players and regular tour players. We're trying to beat whoever is in our way. So for them to play that great, they're good golfers; they're great golfers. They played better than me this year. They won some big events; I won one event. So I played pretty good, but they beat me.
There's nothing you can say about it, except some other people beat me. I don't see it as where they come from. I mean, most of 'em live in the U.S. now anyway. Because I consider the PGA TOUR the best tour.
But it's just one of those things. Some guys beat me. Who cares where they're from. I'm from Bagdad, Florida. Nobody is around going, You're from a weird place, you know. So I just see it as some great golfers beat me no matter where they come from.
RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, I mean, similar to what Bubba said. It's not like we're out there on the course worrying about which guy is from where. It's been obvious this year that the guys from Europe have been playing well.
I mean, like you said, they won a couple majors, they won recently, and they're playing well. So there's nothing to hide there. Obviously top guys from over here, we want to play well. That's our goal.
My main goal right now is, like I say, to get my first win and go play well next year. Ultimate, that'll keep me moving up the world rankings.
BUBBA WATSON: And win The Shark Shootout.
RICKIE FOWLER: That's immediate. Those are long-term goals.
Q. Congratulations on rookie of the year. You've been friends with Rory a while. What was it like when it seemed obvious that it was going to be one of you two guys? Have you talked about it at all?
RICKIE FOWLER: No, we haven't really talked about it, because the last time I saw him was HSBC. So I don't think we really talked about it there or anything. I had a feeling that it would basically come down to us. I told some people in some interviews -- I think did one with Sobel (ph) couple weeks ago or last week.
Basically told them it wasn't going to change what I did this year or wasn't gonna change me as a person or what my goals were for next year. I felt that Rory and I both had great seasons; obviously he had the win. I had a little bit more play over here.
You know, there's nothing that you can really take away from either one of us on a great season. I just happened to get the more votes and get the rookie of the year.
All in all, I feel like we both had really, really good seasons. I think we can both draw off those, and I hope that him and I can play against each other for a long time to come.
BUBBA WATSON: Let me and you a question, Rickie. If you had it to do, would you want to win rookie of the year or win a PGA event that he won?
RICKIE FOWLER: Oh, I would rather win a PGA TOUR event.
BUBBA WATSON: Okay. Just asking. Nobody pay attention. It was just me asking.
End of FastScripts