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September 3, 2011

Bubba Watson


MARK STEVENS: We'd like to welcome Bubba Watson. You got it to 10-under for the tournament with a 64 today. Do you want to kind of talk about the highlights of your round and then we'll have a few questions?
BUBBA WATSON: Highlight was I woke up at 5:20 this morning. You know, I played good. I made a lot of putts. But let's see, the highlights?

Q. Eagle?
BUBBA WATSON: I made an eagle on 7 again, two days in a row, which is always nice. Today I hit driver, and I had, I think, 232 front edge, and I hit -- all we were trying to do was hit the front edge. The pin was in the front. I hit 5-iron, hit it to about, I don't know, 12 feet, and then somehow made that putt for eagle.
14 is where I bogeyed two days in a row. 14 is where I don't think I've ever played that hole good in the five or six years I've been here, so I bogeyed it two days in a row. That's pretty much -- I made a couple putts here and there, nothing really spectacular, I guess. Boring golf.

Q. While you're thinking about it, 14, what is it about it that you don't like or that doesn't suit you?
BUBBA WATSON: I'm just not that good. I hit driver, and the hole sets up for -- it looks like a cut, but really, the distance, it just -- I'm a feel player, so it tricks my mind into thinking I need to cut it off the tee, when really I don't. So I over-cut it, hit it in the rough today, hit it in the nasty rough today and hit it short and then chipped it across the green. It just doesn't suit my eye, just the same as No. 9.
No. 9 doesn't suit my eye because it looks like a cut hole but it's really not, just plays tricks with my mind, and I've got a weak mind, so....

Q. They've got a pretty well-established history of the winners here being long guys off the tee, Hoffman, Adam Scott, Vijay in his prime --
BUBBA WATSON: They're long?

Q. Well, you know, until you came along.
BUBBA WATSON: It'll be in the papers today.

Q. It'll be on the Internet in ten minutes. What is it about this course that seems to favor the long guys? Presumably you can reach all the par-5s? Are the driving corridors wider? You tell me.
BUBBA WATSON: Well, you're hitting an iron off No. 1 for a longer guy or a shorter club than some guys. No. 2 is reachable. No. 3 you're hitting a shorter club. 4 is still reachable with a 3-wood or something. So it's just shorter off the tee. It's easier to hit fairways off the tee. Like for a guy like me, it's easier to hit fairways off the tee. No. 10 I hit iron off the tee. It just favors a long hitter off the tee. It's very friendly off the tee.
And the par-5s, 18, 2, are really reachable. Today downwind on 7 is really reachable for a lot of guys. So that's really all it is. The holes that you can score on are -- it helps to be a long hitter.

Q. You won twice early, jumped way up, top of the Money List, right there, World Ranking real high, and then the last couple months I don't think you've had a top 20. Any explanation for that as far as the ups and downs?
BUBBA WATSON: Just high expectations of myself, wanting to play better. You win three times in less than a year, all the people are writing about you in the paper, you've got more fans, you've got a lot more friends, you've got a lot more family, you've got a lot more of everything. For me, for being a simple guy like myself, it's not what I had the dream to do. I had the dream to play golf for a living, to win championships. You're always dreaming to make the putts from 10 feet to win a golf tournament. You're always dreaming about playing Ryder Cups, Presidents Cup. You never dream about the other stuff that comes with it, how much energy it takes to play good golf every week. And that's the part that hit home with me, and I'm getting used to it.
I thought I was sick a few times, thought I had some energy problems, thought I had something wrong with me, and really it was just -- I'm at a different stage of my life, more focused, more mental game, more preparation, all these things, and it just wears on you, and I had to get used to that. As a rookie I had to get used to everything else. So each year, each time you step up in the game, it's a different level, different expectations, different things that go with it.
So I'm trying to learn that, and right now -- I was still making cuts. I've only missed two cuts, which is pretty good for me, and I'm still learning. This week -- I might go out and shoot 90 tomorrow, but I'm still learning. But it's in a process. Hopefully I'll play golf for a long time and be on TOUR for a long time, so I've got time to learn.

Q. What are some things you like about playing golf here in New England? Is there anything unique about it?
BUBBA WATSON: Right now it's great. I love it. No, it's different. We get big trees, there's some good scenery, just a fun place to play. Everybody understands the game, everybody treats us well here, so it's nice. The sponsors are really happy to have us here. I've played a few times in Rhode Island, the CVS Charity, so it's always been good here. Some great places here.

Q. You've talked about your mental game. Do you think that's still keeping you from kind of getting to that next level where you want to be?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, yeah, definitely. I don't think the physical game is the problem. When my mind is right, when I'm focused on what I'm doing, when I'm not bad-mouthing myself on the golf course, you know, I'm playing pretty good golf.
You know, I'm just out there free-wheeling it, having fun and focused on what I'm doing and not focused on what everybody else is doing. Not worrying about what the papers are going to say, not worried about what people are going to write about me on Twitter, some people.
So it's a learning process, and the mental part is my biggest struggle. The physical part I've always thought I was pretty good at, even though people make fun of my swing. It's worked out so far.

Q. Is there a process? You've told me in the past that it's something -- you weren't going to do a swing teacher, you weren't going to do psychotherapy, you weren't going to do any of those things, but in terms of talking about playing on the TOUR a long time and kind of peaking to where you want to be and staying out here consistent for the next ten years, do you think you're going to have to get some help?
BUBBA WATSON: I'm going to have to save my money or play real good, one of the two, retire early. I don't think I need help. I think it's just one of those things. I've just got to figure it out on my own. I've figured out my golf swing; I've made it here. I'm guaranteed, I think, three more years on TOUR with my two wins this year, so three more years you're going to see me, and hopefully it grows from there. I'm playing good this week and my mind is in the right spot. I've been working hard at the house doing some things, and hopefully it's working and hopefully I don't have that many steps back, and it all just goes forward from here.

Q. You were, I guess, kidding when you said those guys are long, but who do you consider to be long in addition to yourself and maybe J.B.?
BUBBA WATSON: Right offhand, J.B. Holmes is brute strength. The guy hits it miles. Gary Woodland, I've never played with him I don't think, but he hits it miles. Dustin Johnson -- into the wind, I think Dustin Johnson is the longest because he has that low bullet ball flight. And Quiros from overseas, he's probably just like me, crazy, but he hits it miles, too. And Garrigus, my friend, Robert Garrigus is a long hitter, too, so put that out there so I don't get a text from him.

Q. You talk about people make fun of your swing and I don't think they make fun of it, they just --
BUBBA WATSON: Well, you've got to sell papers. You've got to say something.

Q. But Quiros has what looks like a very short backswing but yet he hits it miles. Have you looked at that technique?
BUBBA WATSON: It's a good technique. He's won a few tournaments. It's kind of like J.B. Holmes; J.B. Holmes has kind of a short backswing and just straight power. I don't even know if he goes to the gym, but he's just straight power. They're both the same even though one is skinny and one is a little bit shorter.
Yeah, the technique, there's no perfect swing. The writers, everybody wants to say there's a perfect swing, but look at what we consider the greats of the game; they all swing different, so there's no perfect swing. If the putts go in, you win golf tournaments.

Q. So do you think it's legs or --
BUBBA WATSON: For the power?

Q. For Quiros.
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, it's the lag, just like -- remember Sergio, watching him in slow motion, his lag, and that's really what it is. But it's so quick it's hard to see by human eye.

Q. You kind of alluded to this. I take it you probably saw some of the stories that some of us were writing whether you were the best American player on the planet after you had won --
BUBBA WATSON: And people bad-mouthing me about France, yeah, I've seen all that stuff. My new goal is not to watch -- I love The Golf Channel but I'm not going to watch or listen to anybody, because my game is built around fun and I want to just have fun with the game, and I don't like hearing that negative talk.

Q. You don't want to talk about any famous Boston landmarks or anything like that?
BUBBA WATSON: I don't know any. There's a fence or something, isn't there, a green one? (Laughter.) I love the Yankees, sorry. They're all going to hate me anyways.

Q. Speaking of fun, I know you like to fish down south. Are you going to hang around the tournament for any striper fishing in New England?
BUBBA WATSON: I'm going to go straight home and have a few days on the lake, and then I'm going to Athens to watch the South Carolina game.

Q. They play tonight, don't they?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, they play some team, Boise or something.

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