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February 15, 2014

Bubba Watson


Q.  What was the difference today as opposed to the rest of the week?
BUBBA WATSON:  Just made some putts, made some silly mistakes, three doubles the first two days.  Take away the doubles, we're six shots better.  Today was just steady.  I think I only missed three greens and I putted on those, so it wasn't like a chip, just very steady.  I'm playing solid, hitting the ball really well since January, so you know, today just made a few putts, got some balls to bounce my way on the greens, and here we are talking to you.

Q.  You're legendarily long and that's got to suit this course for you.
BUBBA WATSON:  Yeah, it is, it's nice out here, the par 5s are reachable.  You can hit iron off some holes where you can still have wedge in there.  So yeah, it's quite nice.  Again, it's going to come down like every week.  It's just coming down to the putting and around here with these greens, they get bumpy, a lot of traffic, but they get bumpy, so you just have to get some to bounce your way.

Q.  Talk about your final hole.
BUBBA WATSON:  I hit a good tee shot.  I think we had about 150 roughly with the hill and everything, and a little downwind so I hit my gap wedge, 52‑degree gap wedge as hard as I could just below the hole and somehow made that putt.  It was a tough one to read.  I thought it was going to break to the right.  Teddy thought it was going to break to the left so we kind of played it straight and it just fell in at the last minute.

Q.  Talking about the double bogeys and just eliminating those, is today a day you thought you could come out here and put up 64 and get in contention or what was your goal?
BUBBA WATSON:  I was looking at shooting in the 60s both days, 69, 69, put me at 5‑under total and if you do better than that, then so be it.  So today just started out good.
I don't play No. 10 very well.  It's a very difficult hole for everybody, and it's a very difficult hole for me through my career and so for me to start out with a great tee shot right off the green, made birdie, it was nice, a nice way to start.  I just went from there.  I hit the ball really solid, really controlled my irons well, distances were really good, and I just made a few putts here and there.

Q.  Your best score here, is this a golf course that has been an acquired taste or are you taking to it right away?
BUBBA WATSON:  I love it.  I've never played very good here but I love it.  I've never putted as well as I want to but I love the layout.  I love the old school layout.  I love the history behind it.  I love that they have not tinkered with it too much.  I don't like when they start changing it but if they want to change No. 10, they can.  I just don't like when people start changing stuff.  Just let it go.  If people are going to shoot 30‑under, let them shoot 30‑under.  This place has not changed much.  They added a few tees here and there but we don't use the tee on 2.  It's stayed pretty much true to itself.

Q.  Talking about your power, you had like a 360‑‑yard drive on 13, is that the farthest you've been?
BUBBA WATSON:  13 I'm not trying to hit it hard but what happens is it catches that downslope and the fairways are just running, and right now if you hit the right spot on the green or the right spot on the fairway, they are bouncing and running and so that one, I landed right on the downslope and it just shot forward and probably rolled for a hundred yards.

Q.  You said that you were just trying to shoot two 69s on the weekend.  Obviously that isn't the goal now is it?
BUBBA WATSON:  No.  But when I say that I'm trying to shoot in the 60s and whatever that is, I'm saying I'd be happy with two 69s.  But not making any bogeys, dropping a few putts, it changes tomorrow.  If it's 65 to win, that's what I'm trying to do.

Q.  This course was relatively gettable, and there's a lot of low scores out there.  The prediction on forecast is the same, so do you think it's one of these things where you're going to have to go out there and go after it tomorrow as well?
BUBBA WATSON:  I think the pins are going to get us tomorrow.  They call this moving day for a reason.  The pins are so‑called a little bit easier.  But tomorrow is going to be the pressure of trying to win a golf tournament, the people that haven't won or the people that have won trying to win again.  The greens, if the greens get to you, one bad shot gets to you, but tougher pins tomorrow, too, so that's what makes it slow down a little bit.  But obviously we are good players and somebody is going to play good tomorrow and hopefully it's me, not the other guys.

Q.  Did you leave Phoenix feeling good that you were in contention or frustrated because you didn't get the W?
BUBBA WATSON:  I felt great.  You know, when you go back and look at it, you know, I played great, only one guy beat me so I played pretty solid golf.  And when I look at it at the end of my career, I'm not going to pout over not winning.  And so, I look at it I was playing great, I was putting good, put a new putter in that week.  I was putting good and my last few tournaments I've been playing really well.  So I took all the positive from it.

Q.  Fun to be back in contention tomorrow if you can get yourself in the right spot I would imagine.
BUBBA WATSON:  For sure.  This is what we strive to do, have a chance on Sunday.  Sunday afternoon is where I want a chance, or Sunday mid‑afternoon with these early tee times.  But I'm looking for the back nine tomorrow, having a chance.  That's our goal is to have a chance.  You don't want to come to the back nine going, well, if I shoot 30, then I still don't have a chance to win; so I want that chance to win going into the back nine tomorrow.

Q.  I think they mentioned the conditions being a little firmer, faster, drier than normal here, the weather has been beautiful.  Do you find yourself with different clubs this week into these greens than maybe you've seen in the past or is it all pretty much the same?
BUBBA WATSON:  No, you're trying to hit to a spot.  Some holes you might hit a bit farther.  Like No.2 has been into the wind but they have been getting down to that bunker, 340, because that fairway is so firm.  On 13, my ball just rolled forever.  But a lot of the holes on the front nine and back nine, there are some that you're trying to hit to a spot, like 5, I think it's 5,7 and 8 you're hitting to a spot.  You're not trying to hit it way down there.  You're trying to hit it to a certain spot and have a number.

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