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February 25, 2011

Bubba Watson


LAURA HILL: We'd like to welcome Bubba Watson. I know we keep saying this every time you come in, but it's your first time at this event, you keep moving right along, advanced to the quarterfinals already. How did things go out there today?
BUBBA WATSON: Went good out there today. I had one hiccup on No. 9. I hit a bad shot. Then missed about a 4-footer for par. But other than that it's been great.
My nerves -- I've tried keeping them down as much as possible. Hit a lot of good putts, a lot of good iron shots. Haven't missed that many fairways, probably no more than five all three days. So it's been good so far. And I've won every time, so it works out.

Q. Start us off, walk us through that, I guess, knockdown 3-iron that you knocked up there for the conceded eagle on, was it, 11?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, par-5.

Q. How do you get that shot and what was the thought process? And I imagine that turned out about as good as it could get?
BUBBA WATSON: I won't tell you how I hit that shot, because I won't be able to beat anybody. Luck. I think we had 254 front is what we came up. That's all I thought about. I wasn't thinking about where the pin is, how far it was to the pin. I knew if I hit a bullet 3-iron, it could roll up close, we were just thinking about getting it on the green. We were thinking about missing it left, so we'd have an easy chip up on the slope and not miss it right. I knew it was good. I saw where it was running and it worked out in my favor again. I swung as hard as I could at a low bullet 3-iron.

Q. Are you a match play fan? A lot of guys say it's unfair because you lose to a bogey and then whatever happens the next day the guy goes out and plays poorly. Did you play a lot of match play as an amateur?
BUBBA WATSON: I didn't play much amateur golf. I played -- junior golf we played some match play. You know, so far I'm a big fan of match play. I love it.
But truly, no, I don't think it's a good test of who's playing great that week. I don't think it's a good test of the tournament, how the field is playing that week. It's great for TV, it's great for the fans. It's cool. It's different. I wish we had stable (indiscernible). I would like that better. But I think it's just not all it's cracked up to be, because, again, I shot 3-under on the front 9, Ogilvy shot a couple of under, I was 1-up and then I hit some good shots and made some birdies.
So it's not a test of the whole week how you're playing. Just tomorrow I could shoot 90 and lose real quick. It just means I'm a couple of shots off. So it doesn't have a good test of what you're doing the whole week.

Q. Rickie was saying yesterday it's like the sports you play growing up, it's head-to-head or team against team. Do you like that aspect of it?
BUBBA WATSON: No, because I have to play my friends. I don't want to play -- in stroke play you're not really thinking about the person you're beating. You're trying to beat that score. Or if you're ahead of the score, you're trying to stay ahead of that.
But in match play it's mano e mano. It was Ogilvy today, who I consider a good friend. Our manager is the same manager. He didn't come out today; he didn't want to watch. It's tough when you're beating or playing against a friend.

Q. Bubba, did you watch this last year on TV or did you -- any years prior?
BUBBA WATSON: I watch every tournament on TV. I watch it because I want to be there. I've never played there, I wanted to be there. I want to see how it goes. I love the game of golf, so, yeah, I'm watching. I'm a spectator, I'm a fan of golf.

Q. Do you recall anything from it?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, a guy won at the end. On Sunday they played 36 holes. I think it was Poulter that won last year.
No, I watched it all, because it is -- it changes so fast. Like today on No. 9, where I missed the 4-footer, but Ogilvy had a 6-footer for birdie, he missed, ran it three foot past. If I make the 4-footer, now he's thinking about he just missed that birdie, he has to make this just to tie the hole now. But I missed it so it made it easy for him. It can change that quick; it can easily change that quick.

Q. Obviously you figured something out lately, the win in San Diego, great play this week, are there -- is there a thing or two that have kicked in that have been big for you?
BUBBA WATSON: I'll tell you, as long as you don't tell anybody else. My dad passed away, I don't know if you heard that. My dad passed away and I realized that life is too short. What I believe in my life as a Christian, life is too short, golf means absolutely nothing. It means nothing to me.
You know, if I win this week, it would be awesome, it would be great, that's what I want to do. But in the whole scheme of things, it means absolutely nothing. If I make a bogey on the first hole and lose the next nine holes and lose my match, it means nothing. It means next week I'm going to try harder.
So I realized that my life -- it revolves around golf, but it's not my life. My tombstone is not going to say how many wins or losses I had. It's going to hopefully say I'm a good person and everybody misses me. But don't tell nobody that, though.

Q. Talked about this in the cart. You haven't trailed. That's really hard to do. What's it like playing with house money and having a little margin for error the whole time?
BUBBA WATSON: It's good. I've won the first hole all three rounds. So stepping on the next tee it makes it easier, you're 1-up. You can make a bad swing and still be tied. It's worked in my favor right now. Everything is going good. And, yes, it is nice. 2-up is better than 1-up, so every time I get 1-up I'm trying to get 2-up so I can have more breathing room. So far I've worked it out that I haven't got to the 17th tee yet.

Q. Your new attitude, has that enabled you to enjoy your profession and the gym more, compared to how much you enjoyed it before, was there a burden of pressure, are you happier now?
BUBBA WATSON: I've always been happy. The problem is inside the ropes my life was going the wrong way. A couple of years ago, I guess after I won Travelers, my caddie told me earlier in the year he was going to leave me, because he's a good friend of mine, and he didn't want to see me beat myself inside the ropes.
Outside the ropes, as soon as I sign the scorecard, I'm the same Bubba from Baghdad. I love to have fun, love to goof around. I don't worry about what I shot. Now I just had to bring it to the golf course. So I've worked hard to try to bring it to the golf course. And my caddie has kicked me in the butt a few times to remind me of what I'm supposed to be doing. Golf is the last thing I'm thinking about, we're just thinking about keeping my life in the right direction. So it's working so far. I've always enjoyed the game no matter how bad I play. When I go home I'm still playing with the members at my golf course and having fun.

Q. Did your caddie leave you or did he stick with you?
BUBBA WATSON: No, he's still with me. He's making good money. That was our sit down talk. He said I'm going to have to leave you, we'll still be friends, I'll still help you, but I can't watch you do this on the golf course. It was a slap in the face.
My wife said the same stuff. We had a powwow and I was wrong.

Q. They did an intervention on you?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, and it's worked so far.

Q. She didn't say she was going to leave you?
BUBBA WATSON: No, I'm too good-looking.

Q. Why did you have that attitude? I mean, in college were you a driver?
BUBBA WATSON: I'm a golfer, not a doctor, so I have no idea.

Q. You were always angry inside or pushing yourself or --
BUBBA WATSON: I mean, we can have a powwow right here, if you want. The thing is, from a small town, not much money, life changes. You're making over a million dollars on the PGA TOUR. I made over 100 grand on the Nationwide Tour. I was living the dream. The problem was I was getting wrapped up in the media telling me you needed to do this, telling you they need to do that.
Some people don't like the way you play golf. I was just wrapped up in the wrong stuff. I was getting mad inside the ropes when people were taking my pictures, just stuff that who cares. You know, I should be honored that people want to talk too me and listen to what I have. Like right now, I'll keep rambling and you'll keep listening.

Q. You were like that in San Diego a couple of weeks ago. You were saying you learned to control your emotions a little bit --
BUBBA WATSON: Somewhat. I'm not a hundred percent, I've got 95 percent more to go. I've tried to change my attitude. You're going to have setbacks. Everybody messes up. So far it's doing good.
LAURA HILL: Bubba, thanks so much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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