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May 10, 2014

Bubba Watson


Q.  Talk about grinding it out out there today.
BUBBA WATSON:  In my younger days I would probably pout a little bit.  Around this golf course, this golf course demands a hundred percent your attention on every shot.  No matter how easy or how tough it is.
So today, this week, last few years here, I've just been trying to grind it out.  I've gotten better with my mental game, so obviously getting down early, getting a few over par early, I knew that there was some birdies out there if I could fight back.
So I kept fighting.  I gave one back on 18, but I fought hard all day and I'll take 2‑under after the start I had.

Q.  Four straight birdies, talk about getting on a roll there.
BUBBA WATSON:  Yeah, 14 was more like an eagle, but that shot is very difficult with the pin tucked back to the left over there.  Hit a good 6‑iron in there from about 200 and then made the putt.
Hit a good 4‑wood off the tee, went too far downwind and then somehow, I don't know where it landed, had to land in the rough over the bunker, and then it killed it, it trickled up next to the hole.
The par‑5 is always reachable, always a birdie chance, if you can hit a good tee shot, even into the wind as hard as it is today.  I hit a good 4‑iron in there and made a good birdie.
Then getting on the right side of the green there on 17 and then Stricker showing me the line helped out lot.  I could see it.
Again, gave one back on 18, but all in all a good day.

Q.  The other day you said you were hoping for 36th this week.  Have you changed your goals now after today?
BUBBA WATSON:  No, no, we still, I still got a few shots to play with.
It's a tough golf course, demanding golf course, and for me I'm learning, getting a little bit better at it.  I made a few cuts in a row now, so it's good.
But obviously, you know, obviously, yes, truthfully, I'm trying to be better than that.  I want to, after yesterday's slow finish, I was trying to just try to get to the Top‑25.
Today, slow finish, I was like, well, let's try to get to that top 37.
But then after making all those birdies, yeah, obviously we're trying to get a top‑10.  And if we can do better than that, it would be better, get a top‑5 maybe.
But winning the golf tournament's really probably out of the question, unless something heroic happens tomorrow.  But a top‑10 is very reasonable, if I can play halfway decent.

Q.  You talked about the Masters about the hangover winning the Masters the first time.
BUBBA WATSON:  Well, it was more the media talking about the hangover, I was trying to talk about my son, learning how to be a Masters champion, and a dad, and a good husband.  Three things, it's tough.

Q.  Do you expect to get back on track quicker?
BUBBA WATSON:  I made the cut my first tournament back this time, so it's good.  I missed the first two cuts that I came back to last time, and then I finished second at Travelers.
So obviously I want to play better, I want to contend at every tournament I play in, and I want to talk to you guys.  That means I'm doing something good every tournament.  But, yeah, I think this time around I know what to expect, I know how to prepare.  I know what went wrong.  I know where I need to get better.  I think we have addressed those over the last year and a half.
So, unless we adopt another child real fast, right now I've got the handle on life pretty good.

Q.  How many drivers did you hit in a day out here?
BUBBA WATSON:  Normally hit it on 1, but I didn't today.  2, I hit it on 2, 5, 7, 11.  Depending on where the pin is I hit it on 12.  Today I hit it on 12.
14 I hit it.
16 I hit it and 18 I hit it.  So quite a few.  Probably about 10?  Nine, 10, depending upon wind direction.

Q.  Is there a toughest hole for you here?
BUBBA WATSON:  Yeah, all of them.  No, I think that I was looking at my stats and I double bogeyed it today, 4 and 5 always get me.  I saw a stat on TV that said I was like 3 holes I was like 11‑over, 10‑over, 9‑over, and then the rest of the holes I was under par.  So there's three holes that get me.  I'm not sure which holes they are, but two of them got me today.

Q.  Are you talking about really wanting to contend week in and week out, what do what do you feel it's going to take to contend the week at Pinehurst?
BUBBA WATSON:  I think it's the same thing, the mind in the right spot, good rest the week before.  The rest the week before is big.  So your energy level for your focus, for everything, so that's the key for me, to help my mental game out.  And then making putts.
Lately, this year, I've been making a lot of putts, we changed putters, we added about a half inch to it, so it makes my stroke a little bit better.  That's the key around any golf course is making putts.  Staying in the present and making putts.
So when you're making putts it keeps the momentum.  If the putt is for bogey from 15 feet or for par or making a long putt for birdie or something like that, it's just keeping the momentum going.

Q.  What do you know about Pinehurst?
BUBBA WATSON:  Nothing.  I know it's going to host the U.S. Open.  I've never been there.  Never seen it.  My caddie caddied for Olin Browne there a few years ago, so that's, he's the only one that's seen it, I haven't seen it.  But you know it's difficult, because the U.S. Open is there.

Q.  You spoke about having to learn how to be a Masters champion two years ago.  Have you had to learn anything this time after winning the Masters?
BUBBA WATSON:  I'm still young.  Still, I still think it was last week.  But no, at the same time as winning the Masters you're learning how to manage your time better, but at the same time I had my son at the same time, who never had a man's voice.  So that's why I took tournaments off, took a lot more time off, for that reason, for my son and for my family.
So this time we don't have those, they're not headaches because it's a great time with my son, but I would say those learning obstacles are not in my way this time, so, hopefully, I can keep playing good and keep the momentum going.
Made the cut here yesterday.  The front nine today, and then the back nine yesterday, a little struggle, but other than that I'm playing pretty good this week.

Q.  Payne Stewart used to go to Orange Tree where you're a member to prepare for the Open because it's so tight.  Is that something you may do or does that make sense to you?
BUBBA WATSON:  I just love to play golf.  So I go to Orange Tree lot.  I play with the members at Orange Tree.  I love to play at Isleworth with the members.  I just love to play.
You're not going to see me more than 30 minutes on a range any given time.  Even when I came back after 14 days off, after I won, I was on the range for 20 minutes and then go play golf.
So, but I think playing is the best way to learn the game of golf.  Because there's every kind of shot.
But Orange Tree, obviously, as tight as it is, is very good.  When you hit driver all the way around that golf course without hitting out of bounds that's something.

Q.  I heard you hit‑‑ is this urban legend or fact ‑‑ that you hit 14 drivers and hit 14 fairways.  Is that true?
BUBBA WATSON:  I don't like to brag, but we'll just say it's a good story.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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