All transcripts courtesy of ASAP Sports.
TOM WATSON: I didn't play with the type of aggressiveness that I needed to play today. I played tentative golf. I made a couple of putts, but then I still -- I hit some wayward shots, and kind of -- I didn't have the feel for the distance today.
I, you know, with the four-shot lead and the best thing to do is to try to make it 5, 6 and 7. And I got off to a bogey start. Kind of struggled that hole, and struggled on the third hole. Made a par there, but kind of got me off kind of on the wrong foot.
Made a good putt at 5 for birdie after driving the ball in the rough. Made it from about 20 feet. You know, that helped me get right back there. And then I gave it right back at number 7 with a shot that hit with the putt that left 20 feet short. I hit it on the top of the putter coming off the fringe, and it hit something dead. Didn't get any roll at all.
Then I birdied 8. And made a nice putt at at 8 and 9. Hit a terrible shot to the right. Hit a poor chip and made bogey there.
You know, after that it was just -- I didn't get the ball close enough to the hole. And when I did, I was always leaving the putt just a little short. I wasn't getting the ball past the hole. These greens will do it to you.
But today, everybody in our group left it short today. It seemed the greens were just a touch slower today, and maybe that's just the pressure in those. But certainly we didn't -- seemed like they had more moisture on them or something today than they did yesterday or the day before and everybody left it short.
When Loren Roberts leaves it short, the boss of the moss, there's a -- you know, maybe the greens were just a little bit slower today.
Q. You talked about how the greens were slower, but with the wind, didn't you expect them -- was that one of the factors that was hard to judge the speed of the greens because it was so windy and you expected them to be a little harder??
TOM WATSON: Well, the wind wasn't a great factor. But the greens just seemed a little softer, little wetter. Just didn't -- kind of reminded me of the Pro-Am greens. Just a little slower than the Pro-Am greens than they were in the first couple of rounds.
Q. You guys were kind of struggling along a little bit, and you look up on the scoreboards and he's 4 under, 5 under? How much are you aware of it?
TOM WATSON: I knew of my position pretty much all day. When I made the birdie at 15, then a wonderful putt down the hill. I got it on the line, then it went to the right. And I said, Oh, man, don't go right. And it broke left right back in the hole. I don't know what happened. But it decided it was going to go in.
When I made that putt, I figured if Jay didn't birdie 16, which he didn't, I'd be kind of in the cat-bird seat if I just played par golf in. But that wasn't the case. He birdied 17 and 18 and closed the door on me.
Q. How long was that putt at 15??
TOM WATSON: I'd say it was 35 feet. I hit it like about a five-footer, though. It was straight down that hill.
I do like this golf course. I like putting these greens and I like the way it plays. I've played here twice now and done well both times. Maybe next time.
Q. I know you said you didn't play as aggressively as you would have liked. But given the way the wind was blowing out there, wouldn't you have thought a 70 on the first tee would have been good enough??
TOM WATSON: I would have thought we had a pretty good chance of winning, yeah. But stranger things happen out here. We've got players that can flat play on the Champions Tour, and Jay Haas is one of them.
Just your lead's not safe unless you do something, and I didn't do that something today, you know. I figured if I -- I figured if I shot 69 or 68 today, I would have won the tournament and I would have tied with 69.
Q. What club did you hit on 16, what iron did you hit there??
TOM WATSON: I had 5.
Q. You came to the back nine with a middle front nine and a two-shot lead. You had so many back nines on Sunday that have mattered. Do you still feel the rush? What was it like out there today?
TOM WATSON: Sure. I felt the pressure out there today. I mean, I hit -- I didn't hit as many solid shots on the back nine as I would have wanted. I mean, every shot was just a little bit off center it seemed.
The most solid shot I hit to the back nine was a 5-iron on 15. I hit some good drives. I was still driving the ball well. Though he went into the right rough at 18, I'm still driving the ball well.
But my iron play was not very solid today, and it does get me. That's where I want to be. I want to be there on Sunday. I had my opportunity. I had my opportunities from the fairway a number of times. My iron play was just not up to it.
Q. Is there anyway to describe how differently this felt or would have meant versus Turnberry this year, coming down the stretch??
TOM WATSON: Frankly, it's not a lot different, honestly. I'm a golfer. That's what I do. When I have a chance to win a tournament, it doesn't matter whether it's the British Open or this Tour Championship. It doesn't matter a hill of beans. It's the same thing. I'm trying my darnedest to perform no matter what the circumstances are.
Q. The guy who ended upbeating you wasn't in your group on the last hole. Is that tough when you've got a guy who is maybe ahead of you a little bit, and you don't sort of get to match him kind of throughout the round? You said that your whole group was kind of struggling a little bit. If Jay had been in your group, do you think that would have picked you up a little bit and you would have been a little more aggressive?
TOM WATSON: I don't know. Our group just didn't get the ball to the hole today. We were all short. Kept on coming up short, short, short.
I was the only guy that made any putts today out there. That's considering the boss of the moss out there. He made a couple of short putts, but that's it. Usually he makes three or four good putts. On a good day, eight or nine putts. But he kept hitting it a heart short.
To answer your question - I don't think it makes a lot of difference. I knew what I was trying to do I think you're feeding off somebody, and you're feeding off somebody's play. It does help though in the wind when you're seeing somebody hit a good shot, because it tells you how to hit a shot if you hit after that person.
You're stupid if you're not watching your competitors hit the ball through the wind to see what the wind's doing with the ball. That's part of judging the feel for the shot. Of course, if somebody's hitting it lousy, you know, forget it.
TOM WATSON: I don't know. I heard you say on TV, going to Afghanistan for the USO Tour. Did they talk there? Give lessons there? They go and say thanks to the troops and try to bring a little bit of home to them.
Q. Who will be going with you??
TOM WATSON: Butch Harmon right now. Howard Twitty, I'm not sure who else is going to go with us. Right now that's just the three of us right now. There may be some more at the last moment, depending on the tour. The guys on the tour that want to go.
TOM WATSON: I've been to Iraq. I've never been to Afghanistan. It's a wonderful experience. It makes you very proud of your country.
Q. Just go back to number one. Where was the shot sequence you said??
TOM WATSON: One in the bunker dead with the driver, right up against the lip. The pitching wedge out. Pitching wedge on the green right up about three or four feet. Made the putt for bogey.
Number 5, driver in the left rough. Pitching wedge, about a 20-footer. 6, the 4-iron, right front edge, left it 20 feet short, missed that, bogey. 8, hit a pitching wedge, about 15 feet, made the putt. 9, 5-iron to the right hit it about 12 feet, missed it.
Then just parred to 15, the 5-iron, 35 feet. Then 18 -- I was driving it in the right rough. Hit the hybrid out of the rough, and then the sand wedge, tried to pull it. And thems the berries, as they say. Thank you. .