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April 12, 2014

Bubba Watson


MODERATOR:¬† Like to welcome Bubba Watson to the interview room, our 2012 champion, in his sixth appearance, shot a 2‑over par 74 today and is tied for the lead. ¬†Could you comment on your round, please.
BUBBA WATSON:¬† It was a difficult round.¬† The course is ‑‑ I wouldn't say the course, I'd say that the greens are really firmed up, a lot faster, a lot harder than what we are used to the day before.¬† Maybe that's because a played a little bit earlier yesterday.¬† It was the firmest I've seen it in years out here the last couple of years.
You know, a lot of my bogeys were long, long or short.¬† It wasn't left‑to‑right, so I'm not too worried about what went on.¬† A couple 3‑putts; you 2‑putt those, you're right there and you've got a two‑shot lead.
So all in all, a good day.  If somebody told me on Monday I'd have 74 and still be tied for the lead, I'd have taken it all day long.

Q.  Your shot down 10 was one of the best shots of the day, your approach.  Did you have a good feeling down there after a couple years ago?
BUBBA WATSON:  No, I've made quite a few bogeys on that hole.  Just one of those things, it set up good.  I hit a good shot.
Like I said, my bad holes on the front, I only know one swing that I wish I could do over and that was the first tee shot on the first hole, I turned it over too much.
And it was just one of those things that set up perfectly, it was a good yardage, a little bit of breeze into us, hit a cut, started at the bunker and cut it off the bunker and next to the hole.

Q.  The par saves on 17 and 18, how big were those from a mental standpoint?  And secondly, can you maybe take us through the range of emotions and nerves that you had?  It was obviously a roller coaster day out there.
BUBBA WATSON:¬† Yeah, the putts, 17, even the year that I won, I had that putt and I hammered it, and it just went forever, hit the back of the hole when I won and I stopped and I 2‑putted.¬† I 3‑putted it a couple times that same direction today.
Even my caddie said, "Hey, it's going to be fast."¬† So mine came up way short, and Sendo did, too, he came up pretty short, three feet or so short.¬† Yeah, it was big to make it.¬† Not really with‑‑ it wasn't going to hurt my confidence or anything like that if I missed it, but obviously you don't want to get too far off the lead.
And then 18, I saw that I would be in the final group if I could make the par putt there.  Again, Sendo showed me a pretty good line and I stepped up and somehow made the putt.
And what did you say, the up‑and‑down?

Q.  Just the emotions.
BUBBA WATSON:¬† The emotions were good all day.¬† It's one of those things, I hit a good 7‑iron on 4, came up short.¬† But again, I thought it was an easy up‑and‑down, you know.¬† It rolled out farther, eight feet past.
No. 6, again, I hit the green.¬† Normally that putt, you can 2‑putt that, and you just get it started and it just breaks to the hole but the last few years, seems like the slope is not there as much as it used to be.
Then, you know, what was the other one?¬† 7, I bogeyed.¬† I hit a good 8‑iron.¬† Hit 8‑iron on 5, 6 and 7.¬† They all went three different distances and the wind was three different directions.¬† It was ten feet too far, stays on the green.¬† So again, another quick bogey, but not because it was left and right, it was just because the ball went a little bit farther today.
So the emotions were there.  I knew that I was hitting the ball good.  I know I was hitting my driver well.  I knew the key was just making some putts down the stretch, and luckily I did that on the last two holes to get in the final group.

Q.  Do you think your experience is going to come in handy tomorrow against Jordan?  What's your take on tomorrow?
BUBBA WATSON:  He's young, nerves are no big deal to him.
I've won one, so I've got that going for me, you know, but if I play bad tomorrow, I still have a green jacket, so that's the positive I have to go for.
You know, we're all trying to win the same trophy.  We are all trying to do the same thing.  We are all going to be nervous and we all know what it means to our career, for our status to move forward in the game.  So it's going to be tough for everybody, not just guys that have never won one.

Q.  And he says he's going to call you Mr.Watson tomorrow?
BUBBA WATSON:  That's fine.  When I'm hitting it past him (laughter).

Q.  Can you walk us through 13, 15, how long were the drives, and what did you have in each hole and how disappointing was it to walk off each with a par?
BUBBA WATSON:¬† 13, I'm not sure how far it went.¬† But I had 180‑something, we'll say 186, 187.¬† And so my whole goal there was not to mess with the pin.¬† It was to come up short in the middle of the green, like I did.¬† I hit 9‑iron, just a little downwind, so the 9‑iron flew 172, 3‑putted there.¬† Obviously not happy with that.
But again, you have to keep looking at where you're at.  You're still winning at that time.  So you can't get down.  If you're going to get down when you're still winning, then you've got issues; and I do have issues but (laughter).
Then on 15, I had 177 hole.¬† No wind.¬† This was adjusted yardage.¬† So we are looking back at 13; 13 it flew 172 with a little draw.¬† This time I'm trying to cut it, and I hit 9‑iron, the same club, and cut it perfectly, thought it was going to be a great shot and again it flew.¬† It was the same thing, my wayward shots, or my shots I wish I could do over, weren't left and right, it was just always long or short.¬† Seems like most were long today.
So no, just one of those things, I don't know why it flew that far.  And obviously yeah, I wish I could make birdies on those, but again I'm in a good situation.  There's a lot of people that wish they were in my situation shooting 74.

Q.  You've been through this before.  What do you do all day to make the time pass for a late tee time and how is Sunday at Augusta different from anything else in golf?
BUBBA WATSON:  Well, first of all, I love sleeping, and so I went to bed last night at 11 o'clock.  My alarm went off at 10:05, so I was fine, you know (laughter).
Then I just played with my son a little bit, had some breakfast, my wife cooked some breakfast.  So played with my son in the backyard and then I just came to the course.  I mean, I just stayed in the bed, tried to save as much energy as I can, try to stay in bed and sleep as much as possible, because I know it's going to be draining today.
The heat, this is the most heat we've seen and so water was needed‑‑ as much water as possible.¬† So that was the key, just staying in bed, and I can do that pretty easily.¬† I'm good at sleeping.

Q.  You'll do the same tomorrow?
BUBBA WATSON:  Yeah, just sleep as much as I can.

Q.  How is Sunday different than anything else you experience in golf?
BUBBA WATSON:  You know the roars, you know the history of the game.  As a kid we've always dreamed about Sunday afternoon, having a chance on the last hole or birdieing the last four like Schwartzel did.
So you always have that dream as a kid when you're growing up, so when you get here, you hear the same roars and you want to be part of those roars.
On Sunday that's a big deal because that's the day they give out the green jacket, so it makes all of us nervous and makes all of us sweat a little more and makes every putt mean that much more.

Q.¬† It's unique to see a 20‑year‑old in the last group.¬† What do you know about Spieth?
BUBBA WATSON:  Yes, I've played with him a couple times.  Love the kid.  He's a good guy.  Good family.  Good upbringing.  Love his caddie.  His caddie was I think a fifth grade teacher, something like that.

Q.  Sixth.
BUBBA WATSON:  Sixth grade teacher.  Well, he should have been fifth grade (laughter).
He's a good guy.  He goes to Bible study with us on the Tour here.  We joked about it on the range today when they were going to the tee.  They said, "We'll see you in the last group on Sunday."
And I was like, "You'd better play good."  But obviously I should have played a little bit better.
It's fun.¬† It will be good.¬† He's a great player obviously.¬† A guy like that, he obviously has no fear.¬† And he's just going to‑‑ his game is just going to get better and better.¬† But he's like a veteran.¬† He started out here like at 15 years old I think at tournaments like the Byron Nelson and stuff.

Q.  How important was it for you to be in that last group tomorrow?
BUBBA WATSON:  Very important.  On 17, you're not thinking about that putt has a chance to get in the final group, but on 18, I knew it when I saw the leaderboard, saw everything happening.  I knew that a par going into 18 was going to get me into the final group and that's where you want to be.  You want to be there.
Even if you play bad tomorrow, you still have that feeling of next time you're there in the future.  And so, you know, that's where you want to be.  You want to have a chance.  You want to know what everybody is doing.  When I come down 18 tomorrow, even if I'm playing really good, I'll know what all the scores are.  If I'm three holes in front of everybody, then it's up to them, they can birdie and beat me.
So yeah, that's where everybody wants to be, where you want to be on Sunday.  It's a lot better making that putt to win when you're in the last group than having to wait.
MODERATOR:  Bubba, thanks for your time.

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