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January 30, 2014

Bubba Watson


THE MODERATOR:¬† Bubba Watson joins us here in the interview room with a 7‑under par 64.¬† Bubba got off to a great start today and just a great round.¬† If we can just get some comments.
BUBBA WATSON:  Yeah, it was a good round.  You know, coming off last week my ball striking was really good.  I led in distance and I led in greens in regulation.  I think I was dead last in birdies.
So coming off last week, I knew my ball striking was good.  This golf course, if your ball striking is good, you can shoot some good numbers here.
I made some putts right off the bat the first two holes and then just played steady.  Hit a lot of greens, didn't make too many mistakes, didn't miss too many fairways.  Just  played solid.
The only hole I really messed up was 11.¬† I had it in the middle of the fairway.¬† We had 170 to the hole, and I hit 9‑iron, trying to hit an easy 9, and it just flew on me, went just over the green and didn't get up and down.
THE MODERATOR:  You mentioned outside just going out there and wanting to have fun.  Talk about your mindset.
BUBBA WATSON:  To bore you all with my information, this whole year is about rejoice.  So when I look back, I have to rejoice on what I have done, what I have done off the course and what I have done on the course.  I have been blessed.  I've gotten to play the PGA TOUR for many years, gotten to win on the PGA TOUR.
That's what I've got to look at.  I can't look at what people say, you're putting bad, you never hit a straight shot, you're terrible, you never hit the fairway.
I can't look at stuff like that.  I think about that myself.  I don't need anybody else to tell me that.
So I just have to rejoice.  That's what this whole year is about, trying to rejoice, my team, and think about that.  And I can think of a quote from Bible.  I think it's Philippians 4:11 that says, I'm not in need.  I'm content with my circumstances.
So that's where I'm at right now and trying to be that way.  If golf is good, it's good.  If it's bad, it's bad.  I have a job for the next couple of years.

Q.  Where does that mindset come from?  Is that just from not winning last year and maybe being criticized?
BUBBA WATSON:  No, you know, truthfully it's me trying to become, you know, a stronger, devout Christian.  Golf just happens to be what I do to help me for my charity endeavors.  So, you know, it's fun for me.
I play golf every day.  You know, when I'm not at a golf tournament, I'm playing every day with the members at my course.  I'm having fun with it.  I love it.  I love the game of golf.
That's what I've got to do is just rejoice.  So, for me, it's about off the course.  On the course I have to act the same way I do off the course.  Off the course, I don't get angry.  I don't flip out.  On the course for the last few years, you know, I have showed anger, showed me being disgruntled.  That's not the way I should be portraying myself.
Having my son, I don't want my son to see stuff like that.  So right now I have a few years before he knows what I'm doing, so I have a few years to practice and get better.

Q.  (Indiscernible.)
BUBBA WATSON:  Yeah, exactly.  I'm not going to show him any of that stuff.

Q.  Looked like you had a really good time on 16.  What were you throwing up to the fans?
BUBBA WATSON:  Glasses.  Oakley sunglasses.  And, you know, on 16 it's one time a year.  Well, if you make the cut it's four times.  But, you know, it's a fun deal.  You know, the fans really get into it.
When you come here, you have to know and you expect that, expect the jitters, expect the boos, expect the cheers.
So I love it.  You know, I just get so pumped up.  Sometimes I hit bad shots.  No, it's fun.  It's our one time to get inside a football stadium basically and have fun.
You have to know going into it.  But it's fun.  One time a year it's been great.

Q.  That hole 16 this year seems to be playing pretty difficult.  Is there any reason in particular?  Is there anything going on there?
BUBBA WATSON:¬† Well, yeah, because the pin is in the very back.¬† You know, that pin location is very tough.¬† If you leave it, if you try to play the fat of the green, you still have a 30, 35‑footer with a tough pin placement.
If you get amped up like you can‑‑ like I did today.¬† I had 179 hole and I hit 9‑iron and it flew all the way to the hole, which is normally about a 165 club.¬† And that's just because you get pumped up.¬† Your blood starts flowing a little faster and you get excited.
So that pin location, it makes it tough.  You know, when the pins are in different spots, it's going to be a bit easier.

Q.  Going back to the last couple of years, was there maybe an adjustment period with you, everything going on off the course, your son, the attention and distractions, things that can go with that?  Was there a period of time you needed to adjust to all of that?
BUBBA WATSON:  For sure.  If you look at my career, through all my career, from junior golf to college golf to mini tours to now the Web.Com Tour, to the PGA TOUR, I got to a level and I got out of my comfort zone.  I get comfortable, and then I step up a new level and I get nervous again.
So, you know, for five years I played on the tour without winning.  Then I won real fast.  It's different.  The media actually wants to hear what I have to say.  Then winning the Masters, hitting the hook, it changes.
Then having a son at the same time I won the Masters, you're figuring out life, and figuring out life with my wife and my son, and then at the same time you're trying to figure out the golf course with all the attention after having that green jacket on you.
Yeah, you're always trying to get better and learn.  So, you know, now hopefully I'm at a steppingstone where I've learned.  Now if I win a few more, I get nervous again.  Right now I'm in a good spot.

Q.  What's your living situation?  Do you still live in Scottsdale?
BUBBA WATSON:  I have a wife and a son (laughter).

Q.  Do you still live in Scottsdale or all Florida now?
BUBBA WATSON:  No, I'm in Florida, I don't know, six, seven months out of the year.  But obviously when it comes to the winter I still have a house here at Estancia.
And then I'm going to have a house in West Virginia at Greenbrier.¬† I get bored real fast (laughter).¬† I stay in Florida the most.¬† Florida is my home.¬† That's what I consider my home.¬† That's where I grew up.¬† Orlando is our full‑time residence.

Q.  On that tee shot on 15, I thought I heard you, when you hit it on the hillside, I thought you heard you say to your caddy you were concerned about getting behind.  I think in the next breath you said it was your fault?
BUBBA WATSON:¬† No, I told him, I said it was my fault.¬† I said‑‑ I was thinking about the cameras.¬† It's my fault.¬† You know, people like to watch the goofy dude hit the pink driver.
So there is a lot of cameras that pop up every once in a while.  I was just thinking about it instead of trying to think about my shot.

Q.  How do you steel yourself?  Because they are incessant and keep trying to take photos.
BUBBA WATSON:  You know, you have to tune it out.  And on that one tee shot, that's why I said sorry to my caddy.  Not that he did anything, I mean, or I did anything wrong.  I just told him it was my fault.  That was my shot.
I just ‑‑I blanked out, wasn't focused on what I needed to be focused on.

Q.  You rattled off those stats at the beginning and mentioned you're way down in birdies, but what changed?  Just making putts?  Did you change anything?
BUBBA WATSON:  No.  No, I just played golf.  You know, today they went in.  Last week they just didn't go in.  I hit a lot of great putts last week, just like today I hit a lot of great putts that didn't go in, but just made some more putts today than last week.

Q.  Do you have a special deal or something going with Ping tomorrow that you're doing?
BUBBA WATSON:¬† Oh, Ping is having, when you come by ‑‑I'm not sure what booth it is.¬† Right?¬† They have a booth out there.¬† On 18?¬† I'm not sure what hole it's on yet.¬† I haven't talked to them.
But if you turn in an old glove, basically they're calling it recycle, you recycle an old glove, they give you a brand new Ping golf glove.
We are trying to raise awareness that Ping golf gloves are going to my foundation.  When they sell the golf glove, they going to donate some money to my foundation.  Instead of me making money off of it, we are doing it straight to my charity.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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