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March 9, 2012

Bubba Watson


BUBBA WATSON:¬† Current leader in the clubhouse here at the World Golf Championships ‑ Cadillac Championship, Bubba Watson, congratulations on matching your career best with a 10‑under 62 today, just one off the course record.¬† Some opening comments about a very, very good day for you.
BUBBA WATSON:¬† You know, this golf course doesn't really suit me.¬† My eye lines‑‑ it's tough.¬† It's tough for me.¬† Not a big fan of No.18.¬† I normally play it really bad.¬† Played it 1‑under so far.
Just one of those things, I've been hitting the ball really well, carried over, made some putts today.¬† I made a few putts yesterday and today, just feeding off of Rosey and Mark played good, he shot 2‑under around this golf course.¬† We all were just feeding off each other, having fun, joking around, picking on each other and somehow we made putts and at the end of the day we all shot a pretty good number.

Q.  Can you talk about the second shot on 8, it seemed like right as you got over the ball, the wind really kicked up.  Still you made a very good approach.  And just take us through some of the birdies in your round, what you thought really set them up well.
BUBBA WATSON:  Want me to go through the round first?  We'll go through the round first.
Just start on 1, even though we started on 10.  Hit driver, 52 degree out of the rough, in the bunker and hit it to about 12 feet.  Made it for birdie.
Hit driver on 2.  Had 40 yards to my target, so 45 hole.  Get Rosey's ball, so it stopped about three feet from the hole.  So I made birdie there.
Then No. 4 is a tough hole for me, with that wind coming across, bunkers in the water, trying to slice one against the wind is pretty tough for a lefty.  So I hit too much club almost in the water and chipped it to about 15 feet and made bogey there.
5, hit driver, had 72 yards hole.  Hit it to about three, four feet and made it.
6, I sliced driver off the tee behind a tree.¬† Had 136 hole.¬† So I took out a wide‑open 9‑iron, aimed it about 40 yards to the right.¬† Sliced it out of the rough to about, I don't know, eight feet.¬† Who does a draw up that way?¬† The sad thing is I could see that in my head.
8, I hit a bullet driver down the middle, had 225.¬† Hit bullet 3‑iron to about, I don't know, eight feet, six feet.
And then 10, hit 3‑wood off the tee.¬† Pulled it into the crowd‑‑ 4‑wood off the tee, pulled it into the crowd.¬† Hit 4‑wood right of the bunkers and chipped it to about, I don't know, four feet, made it for birdie.
12, driver down the middle.¬† Had 270.¬† Hit 3‑iron just off the green to the left.¬† Chipped it up there about six, seven feet and made it for a birdie.
13, I hit 6‑iron.¬† I think we had 221 hole.¬† Hit 6‑iron to about 30 feet.¬† Made it.
14, I hit driver down the middle, 122.¬† Hit 56‑degree in there about, I don't know, four feet again.¬† Made it.
16, drove it just short of the green in the green‑side bunker.¬† Hit a bunker shot, went about 15 feet past the hole.¬† And then made that.
So that was it.¬† That was my round.¬† And then on the par‑5, 8th; so I had 225 hole, dead into the teeth of the wind.¬† Just coming right at me.¬† It wasn't going any direction and so I hit 4‑wood yesterday, hooked a 4‑wood into the water yesterday with that wind coming from the side.¬† So today, a little bit shorter shot by about 15 yards and so I said, I'm going to hit 3‑iron.
My caddie said, well, you'd better hit it as good as you can.  So I took it right up the edge of that tree.  There's a little tree there and it actually nicked that limb a little bit.  I hit it as hard as I could, just a low, what everybody calls a stinger.  Hit as hard as I could low and knew it wasn't going to slice.  So all I was protecting was the draw and it went dead straight and came off perfect and the rest is history; about six feet and made it.

Q.¬† Going through your card, you said this course is not a course that suits your eye or that you feel comfortable with.¬† But seems to me you played the par 5s in 5‑under today.
BUBBA WATSON:  If you go back in the history of me playing this tournament, it's not very good.  So, I mean, it's just one of those things.  I just played good today.  When you hit the ball well and you putt good, every golf course, you can score on.
So today I've just been doing something a little different.  I've been really focused on the mental side of it this year.  Haven't finished out side of the top 18.  Started last winter, after TOUR Championship, I took a different path, and I've been playing a lot better.  Have not finished outside 18 since Australia.  TOUR championship, I think I finished 23rd there so that was the last time I finished in the 20s.  I'm approaching the game differently and working hard at it and so far it's paying off.
Today was just different.  I made some putts.  Hit some good quality shots, trying to trust myself and trust my thoughts and everything.  So right now, it worked today.

Q.  How many times have you shot 59, just screwing around?  Ted said he thought you did it at Estancia and Tanglewood in the Panhandle days?
BUBBA WATSON:  I'd say ten times.  I shot 58 once.

Q.  Obviously you're nota trade to go at the gas pedal in those scenarios, some guys get a little fidgety.
BUBBA WATSON:  Some guys do.  I do too, sometimes.  Sometimes you start going low and then the thing about it, if we had finished on 18 today, it would have been a little tougher to finish that way.  Because 18, it's a hole.  And so you know, it's just one of those things, I finished on No.9 today, so I didn't have as much nervous energy as you would.

Q.¬† Can you give a specific example of how you and Justin fed off each other?¬† He talked about out there like literally seeing you make a putt and thinking, okay, well, I can make this putt, too.¬† Can you think of an instance where that‑‑
BUBBA WATSON:  Yeah, they are looking at me going, if that guy can do it, anybody can do it.
We started off hot yesterday but then we kind of struggled and Justin played good yesterday.¬† So today we all birdied the first hole, No. 10.¬† We hit good chip shots in there, all birdied it and we just kept playing solid golf, but then Justin‑‑ I think Justin birdied the first three holes today, right, just like I did yesterday.¬† And then I birdied 10 and 12.¬† I missed about a 10‑footer on 11 today, but we just kept‑‑ everybody just kept grinding it out.¬† We hit a shot a little off; got up‑and‑down.
And watching the other guys, you're not watching a guy struggle.¬† You're not watching a guy second guess himself.¬† You're watching three guys that shot under par on the Blue Monster that were just playing good golf.¬† The joke, Mark said, was, "I shot 2‑under and nobody cares."¬†¬†¬† It's funny, when you think about it; I didn't think about what Rosey was shooting, and what Mark was shooting, but that's pretty funny.¬† 2‑under yesterday was a good score.¬† But today marked just happened to be playing with two guys who shot low.

Q.  What give and take do you have with Justin when you are getting on him?  What kinds of things are you getting on him about?  What is the teasing or whatever that's going on?
BUBBA WATSON:  Oh, no, we are just joking, like one hole I hit a drive that it scared me a little bit.  I thought it was not going to fly far enough but then it flew pretty easily.  And so I just, you know, poked fun at them a little bit.  They make birdies on the holes that I don't, so then they poke fun at me.  Like, good tee shot, you know.  Just little ribbing but all in good fun, because we are out here trying to compete and beat each other, but at the same time, it's only the second day.
Sunday, it might be a little different.

Q.  What courses do suit your eye, the way you bend it?
BUBBA WATSON:  I like stuff that you can just find the fairways real easy.  Desert courses, you see desert and grass.  It's easy for me to find it; in my mind, I have to be able to see it, because I'm everywhere.  Today I talked about so many different things with my caddie.  He's like, "Are you even focused on golf?"
It's like, not really.¬† It's one of those things, it takes my mind‑‑ I have to get really focused on it.¬† When you get out here, the grass and the fairways and greens and rough kind of look the same.¬† Like in Atlanta, East Lake, same thing I've said there at TOUR Championship, I just can't see it.¬† It's hard for me to picture shots because everything looks the same, the same color and that's what makes it tough for me, so golf courses where I can finds it, Quail Hollow, JAX course, Bay Hill they overseed, I like those kind of golf courses.

Q.  How much different did the course play today compared to yesterday?
BUBBA WATSON:  It was so easy today.  No, we were talking about it in the scoring tent there, that it's still windy, but today we just played good.  It was a little bit slower.  Actually the practice rounds were really blowing.  Then the first day was blowing but a little less.  Today was a little less.  For some reason, the greens were just running so smooth.  That's what me and Rosey were talking about, how smooth they were running.  Seems like everybody is making putts this week so far.

Q.  Are you working with anybody on the mental stuff?
BUBBA WATSON:  No.  Nobody will take the time to help me.  That's a lot of work.  No, it's just me, just stuff that I'm doing, consciously doing, thinking about, trying to slow down, trying to focus more mentally and trying to slow down on the golf course a little bit.

Q.¬† In the past we've talked about courses not suiting you; you kind of psyched yourself out‑‑
BUBBA WATSON:  Maybe I'm just trying to get the media to turn away from me so that I can just think about golf.

Q.  With this mental work, whatever it is that you're doing, do you think you're kind of past that?
BUBBA WATSON:  No, I still don't like this golf course.  (Laughter).

Q.¬† But can you say, I'm Bubba Watson, I know how to play it¬† ‑‑
BUBBA WATSON:¬† I'm doing it so far.¬† I'll tell you Sunday afternoon if I can do that or not.¬† But I understand what you're saying, yeah.¬† But I'm just saying, like 18‑‑ like the shot on 10, the shot on 10 is a 4‑wood cut but the wind is coming across; the water is over there.¬† So if you over‑cut it, it's in the water.¬† And if you don't like today, I chickened out and hooked it into the crowd, you know what I'm saying.
So mental tricks to myself, 20‑mile‑an‑hour crosswind, it's hard to let a cut go out there and that's what I'm saying.¬† It's hard for me, I'm fighting myself.¬† I still made birdie, but I mean, like yesterday I did the same thing yesterday and made par.¬† You know what I'm saying, so it's just one of those things, it's always a fight in my head, I have to trust it.¬† I'm not worrying about these other guys, I'm worrying about myself.¬† I'm fighting myself more than anybody else.

Q.  There were a couple of cloud bursts before you went to the tee; did you think the course would be more receptive because of the rain?
BUBBA WATSON:  No, when I woke up, it already quit raining so I didn't even know really.  (Laughter).
I saw some Tweets talking about rain, but I didn't know it rained.  Helped me sleep I guess.

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