Accenture Match Play interview: Bubba Watson

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February 22, 2013

MORE INTERVIEWS: Accenture transcripts archive

DOUG MILNE:  Bubba Watson, thanks for joining us.  Took a few extra holes, but got the job done with Jim Furyk in round 2 of the Accenture Match Play Championship.
   
BUBBA WATSON: 
Yeah, it was a good match.  I was up early.  He made some putts, he missed some putts.  And then on 18, I hit a good shot in there and he topped me, and I missed my putt.  Struggled on 3, the third extra playoff hole, somehow made a 10 footer, 12 footer and just kind of hung on.  That's all I did is I hit quality iron shots it seems like all day, but I just didn't make the putts, but somehow hung on to win.

Q.  You're not only the only top 10 seed remaining and the highest seed remaining  
   
BUBBA WATSON: 
I have a question about that.  Is Robert Garrigus a 9 seed?

Q.  I don't know, he's like 30 something.
   
BUBBA WATSON:
  Is he a 9 seed?

Q.  1 through 64, you're No. 8 and you're the highest seed  
   
BUBBA WATSON: 
Oh, you're talking about top 10.

Q.  What are your thoughts on that, highest ranked player available?
   
BUBBA WATSON:
  Nothing.  I mean, this game, match play    like I said before, match play is tough because you can go out there and shoot 6 under and lose, you can go out there and shoot 1 over and win.
Yesterday I was 6 under in the stretch of holes, the 10 holes we played.  The guy I played was 5 under, and he lost.  Today I think I was right around par or 1 over, roughly, somewhere in there, and I won.
It's a toss up.  You can't really judge who's going to win or bet who's going to win.  It really means nothing is what I'm saying.

Q.  And lastly, what's going through your head when Jim is standing over that putt on 3 and you've still got some work left?
   
BUBBA WATSON:
  You know, what you're taught to do and what you're supposed to be trained to do is think about your putt.  You're just hoping you have a chance.  Jim was probably the same way.
I had a putt on 18.  I had a putt on 1 that I could have made and ended it right there, but I didn't.  I missed those short putts.  So then he missed and I just made it.  I capitalized on his miss, even though his miss was not    it wasn't an easy putt, it was 15 feet.

Q.  How do these greens compare to Augusta National's greens?
   
BUBBA WATSON: 
I mean, they're similar.  These aren't quite as fast, and those are    Augusta's are more subtle.  You've got some holes with some big breaks, but the greens are more receptive at Augusta, I think, than here.  That's why I think this would be a tough one to have a full field event because it would just be slow play.  We had slow play today, and we only had 32 people in the field.

Q.  What was your mindset like there walking off 18?  And is it any different walking out there to go to extras than it is just losing a normal hole?
   
BUBBA WATSON: 
Well, as a golfer and an athlete, you're down.  You get mad at yourself, how easy that putt was.  Six footer or whatever it was.  My caddie is in my ear, though.  That's why I pay my caddie top dollar.  That's why he was in my ear just saying, you can still do this, you haven't lost yet.  You still can do that.  And then I missed the putt on 1, and he's saying the same stuff.  And I'm like, well, I'm getting tired of missing putts.  Then I somehow made the putt on No. 2 and No. 3 in extra holes, and just had a two putt on the fourth hole.

Q.  I wonder if you could talk about effectively giving away a hole on 14 to square the match and then you get up to the tee and there's a long wait with another group, if you can talk about that.  And secondly, the shape of the shot you played when you eventually did get a chance to hit.
   
BUBBA WATSON: 
Well, it's funny, you don't want the wait, you want to keep playing, but it helped me, let me calm down, let me just focus on what I had to do, let me see the shot more.  The more I sat there, the more I could see the shot, and it's just about me aiming down the edge of the desert and slicing it with a tee shot.  I'm left handed, so I slice it.  It was about 310, so it was just the perfect driver, not a hard driver, just a big slice, and flew perfectly and went up there, and then somehow two putted for the win on that hole.
But I'll just say, though, it's pretty funny that we're worried about belly putters and long putters, and we've been trying to figure out slow play for 40 years, and we've got 32 people in the field and we've got three groups on one hole, which was awesome (smiling).

Q.  You said earlier in the week match play wasn't your favorite form of competition.  Has that evolved now since you won twice?
   
BUBBA WATSON: 
No.  When we got to the extra holes, that's sudden death.  That's a regular golf tournament.  I think I've won three golf tournaments in sudden death.  That part is the same as any golf tournament.
But here the match, 18 holes, some guy can hit four balls in the desert and you're only one up.  But in a golf tournament, he shoots 80, you shoot 70, you're 10 up.  It's just different.  I'd rather have the chance to make up my bad mistakes in a 72 hole event.  So for me that's how it is.  Again, it's like everybody said, a guy could shoot 5 under and lose, a guy could shoot 1 over and win, just depending on how his match is going.  So I think it's just kind of a toss up.

Q.  Did you at all feel the gallery pulling for the local guy, Furyk, and does that have any impact on your match when you're playing at all for you?
   
BUBBA WATSON: 
No.  You know, it's one of those things where he's from here.  Well, he went to college here, not from here.  So obviously he's going to have some people pulling for him.  There was about two or three people pulling for me, my manager and my assistant and my wife, a couple friends, so I had like five people pulling for me.  That's just how it is, that's golf.  You have your favorites.  There's people that    whoever plays against Tiger Woods is going to have a bunch of people pulling for Tiger Woods, so you just deal with that and keep playing.  You keep your head down and try to focus on your good or bad shots.

Q.  Ping is now making these hybrids that go right through 6.  Could you imagine regular Joe golfers having a 7 iron as the longest club in their bag pretty soon here?
   
BUBBA WATSON:
  Oh, for sure.  You see that a lot of times, the LPGA players, they're having the hybrids now because it's easier to hit out of the rough.  And Ping is trying to make the technology where it's easier to hit out of the rough and the fairway and get the ball in the air.
As I get older, my 3 iron is looking like a butter knife.  I haven't been able to hit a hybrid yet, and I really don't want to put one in.  But over the next few years I'm probably going to have to start putting hybrids in.

Q.  Have you run into amateurs where their 7 iron is the longest iron in the bag yet?

BUBBA WATSON: 
Yeah.  Oh, man, what's his name?  Y.E. Yang, doesn't he have like four or five head covers in his bag?
   
DOUG MILNE:  Bubba, congratulations.  Thanks for your time.

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