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June 1, 2014

Bubba Watson


Q.  Bubba, the swing got a little loose.  What happened?
BUBBA WATSON:  Just it's tough.  I made one bad decision.  If I hit the 4‑wood off the tee instead of the driver on the par 5, we make five and we win by one.  But I made a double, so we lost by one.
It wasn't too bad.  Swing was there.  Ability was there.  I tried to‑‑ on the last few holes I always try to fit driver on 17, try to dink it.  I hit it in the bunker but still hit the 9‑iron in there; had a chance for birdie.
18, I hit a good 5‑iron in there that landed right next to the pin, and obviously just stayed up in the rough there.
So, no, the swing was good.  Everything was good.  I was excited about the game of golf.  Hit 7‑iron into 16.  Felt like I had to attack it.  Just saw my playing partner attack it, so felt 7‑iron was the big cut.  7‑iron was perfect.  Got up against the collar, so I had to 4‑wood it again.
But coming down the stretch was a solid game of golf.  Again, trying to fit it on 14‑‑ wait, is it 14?  No, it's 13.  13 trying to fit driver.  If it doesn't cut, that's where it ends up.  But hit a good recovery there; just missed the putt.  Hit a good wedge into 13.
So really I don't see the swing as being loose.  I just see that I made one bad decision today and cost me two shots and third place.  20 slots better than my previous finish here, so that's good.

Q.  At 14, that situation, had the lie on 14, could you talk about that, what you hit ‑‑
BUBBA WATSON:  What's 14?

Q.  The par 4.
BUBBA WATSON:  Oh, yeah, I had adjustments at everything about 141 hole.  It was a pitching wedge.  Just hit a chip pitching wedge under the tree limb and then just ran it down there.  I've been here nine years; had that shot before.

Q.  Is there a reason why you didn't go for the green in four after your drive in the middle of the fairway?
BUBBA WATSON:  Yes.  It was 260‑something, 263 adjusted, into a breeze.  I felt like I had a better opportunity with a wedge hitting it in there.  I can't see the flag from there.  That's the problem.  A lot of these things just don't set up well for me coming down the stretch here.
And that one, 4‑wood is not enough off the tee to be able to see the pin.  And so going forward from there I couldn't see the pin.  I just felt like if I could somehow wedge it close, make bogey, I was still in it.
I didn't know that he just hit it in the water or anything like that.  I thought if I could make a bogey with a wedge, I still had a great shot of trying to compete at this championship.

Q.  Why couldn't you go right at the pin on 18 with your chip?
BUBBA WATSON:  Well, I could, but it was going to be so fast it probably would have just bounced off the pin.  That's the thing.  I hate to say that, but it's like putt‑putt.  I mean, there's just no way to stop it.
So I thought if it came out just right with a little bit of spin, with a 64‑degree wedge sideways, it becomes feeding down.  Obviously it didn't feed down, but I made the putt.
But, hindsight, I didn't know I had to ‑‑ I could have taken a bogey and still finished third.

Q.  Did you think you had hit that approach perfect?
BUBBA WATSON:  From the fairway or from the first cut?  Yeah, especially where I saw where it landed.  It's cut in there perfect.  When we saw it landed, I was like this is perfect, it's going to go up the slope and then come back down.  And just caught ‑‑ just went a little bit hot.

Q.  How much does having him in your arms change your perspective on the last couple of hours?
BUBBA WATSON:  Without having him in my arms I still finished third.  Best finish before, as I said, was 23rd.  So I kind of peeked at the numbers there.  I made a pretty good check this week.  So I'm not really upset about it.
It's a step forward.  I played good, so hopefully the media doesn't say I'm going to have a slump after the Masters.  Played good early enough where they might appreciate it a little bit.
But obviously having him in my arms, win or lose, it's good.

Q.  You said yesterday that the other guys beat you, so be it.  Do you think they beat you or‑‑
BUBBA WATSON:  I think the bad decision.  But, again, if we would have did what I said, if I shoot 3‑under 69, I win.
The bad decision, trying to be a hero.  It's not a comfortable tee shot for me because I like to cut it, but I was trying to go over the tree with a cut and I just pulled it.
But, again, it's hindsight.  I could have still sliced my 4‑wood off the tee, too, into the other woods, so it's one of those things.

Q.  What's your schedule going into Pinehurst?
BUBBA WATSON:  I'll be there Sunday for Pinehurst.  So I'll be there Sunday at Pinehurst.  Week off.

Q.  Have you ever been there before?
BUBBA WATSON:  Never been there.  My caddie's been there.  Caddied for Olin Browne there.

Q.  How does what happened this week, how does it make you feel going into Pinehurst?
BUBBA WATSON:  Still makes me feel good.  I made the cut, so it means the ball‑striking is all right.  I made a few putts.  Finished third in a great field in a great tournament.
Obviously I'm looking forward to it.  Looking forward to getting home and taking a couple days off and start practicing again.

Q.  Do you get a boost from playing well at a place you haven't historically done well at?  Does that give you some different kind of feel leaving here?
BUBBA WATSON:  For sure.  It's about getting better at the game of golf.  And earlier this year I haven't played good.  I love LA, but I haven't played good there.  And then somehow I won there.
And here, I haven't played good here, but I competed this week and have a chance to win.  Obviously it shows my all‑around game is getting better, getting more consistent.
And so that's always exciting going forward.

Q.  Can you talk about how you got the ball through those woods?
BUBBA WATSON:  Which hole?

Q.  15.  He said it's so thick that he doesn't even know how you got through the trees.  Did you know it was going there, that far?
BUBBA WATSON:  On the tee shot that went out of bounds?  Yeah, when it went off the ‑‑ obviously I hit it pretty hard, but it didn't hit a tree going off, so I knew it was going to fly out of bounds.

Q.  You finally play 16, 17, 18 par.  Is it just frustrating that you probably would have thought if you could do that you would be home‑free?
BUBBA WATSON:  Yeah, for sure.  Especially after seeing‑‑ the problem was was there was a guy out there that shot 8‑under early.  His pressure's a little different when you're just trying to shoot a good number.  He's probably thinking we were going to beat him by one, maybe two, especially the way we turned.
And so, yeah, coming down the stretch, after I made the bad decision, I knew I had to make a birdie, two birdies might win it, especially after seeing the ball in the water right in front of me.
So obviously, yeah.  It's a good step forward so next time I have the confidence that I've parred them before, so years down the road I'll have that same confidence.

Q.  What did you hit off 15 Thursday, Friday, Saturday?
BUBBA WATSON:  Hit driver.  Hit driver at least one day, maybe two days, and hit 4‑wood.  I'm not exactly sure what I hit, but I know I hit at least one day driver.

Q.  How encouraged are you that you've been able to sustain a nice level play since the Masters?  You played pretty well at THE PLAYERS where you also didn't play well in the past.
BUBBA WATSON:  Yeah.  THE PLAYERS this year, I made a 7 on I think 13.  But other than that, I would have secured a top 10.  So I'm playing better in places that I haven't played, I haven't been known to play very well at.  So it's good.
But it's all mindset.  My focus, my abilities are fine.  It's my mindset.  If I can get my mindset and just stay focused on what I'm doing.  For me it's very hard to stay focused.  So that's why I keep my head down.  I'm never mad; I just keep my head down so I stay focused on what I'm doing.  And obviously it's been working this year, my stats show that it's obviously paying off, focusing on what really means a lot.

Q.  Scott Langley's putt, was it ‑‑ you looked like, the way you reacted, you could tell it was just teetering a little bit.
BUBBA WATSON:  Which one?

Q.  On 16.  It's the one that sat on the edge and finally fell.
BUBBA WATSON:  Oh, yeah.  I could see that it was trying to move.  And then we could see it.  It was kind of wobbling, and then finally I was like:  It's going to fall.  I don't know how long you can wait.  That's what he was asking.
The problem was it was never stopped, so it ‑‑

Q.  It was moving.
BUBBA WATSON:  Right.  It finally fell in.
His caddie was like, Is it good?  I was like, I'd take it.  It would help me a lot if I could do that.

Q.  Was the wind more of a factor today than it had been the first three days?
BUBBA WATSON:  A little bit different direction.  All in all, we played in all kinds of wind.  So it wasn't that big of a factor.  We all started off hot down the stretch.  Not sure how to pronounce his name the right way, but we made some mistakes coming down the stretch.  And like mine, I made the one bad decision on the par 5.
It wasn't really the wind's fault; it was my swing's fault on that one.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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