What they said: Nick Watney

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March 17, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: Transitions Championship transcript archive PHIL STAMBAUGH: Thanks for joining us after your 5-under par 66, a very nice round. You made seven birdies overall, and I looked it up, and you've gone now 93 consecutive holes in stroke play without a 3-putt, so another good putting day there.

NICK WATNEY: That's good to know.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Opening comments about the opening round and then we'll go through hole-by-hole.

NICK WATNEY: I started off, I wasn't sure what to expect but I started off great, and kind of ran out of steam there at the end, but overall, very happy with a 5-under.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: You started at 10, and obviously got off to a good start with four birdies in your first seven holes. You want to talk about your start.

NICK WATNEY: Yeah, the ball just seemed to be going where I was looking and I continued -- I putted great last week, and the ball just -- it's just kind of taking off where I'm looking right now, which is a really good feeling. I was just trying to get as many chances as possible, and luckily, a lot of the putts fell in the it bottom.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: You want to just take us through the birdies, also the two bogeys, and maybe any good saves you may have had?

NICK WATNEY: Yes, No. 11, I always find that fairway pretty difficult to hit, so I was very pleased with that and made a good putt about 12 feet on No. 11.

No. 14, I hit a wedge, probably four feet.

15, I made about a 30-footer, so those are always nice.

17, I hit a really good 3-iron about eight feet.

No. 1, I hit it on the green in two and 2-putted.

No. 2, an 8-iron to about ten feet.

And No. 3, I made another maybe 20-footer.

And the bogeys were No. 4, hit a 7-iron over the green into a bunker and was unable to get up and in, and then No. 8, I also hit in another bunker and failed to get up-and-down.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: No. 1, you 2-putted for birdie. Did you have a realistic eagle chance there?

NICK WATNEY: It was probably a 20-footer.

Q. You said you didn't know what to expect; did you not expect the good play from last week to carry over??

NICK WATNEY: Well, I did, but I feel just a little bit -- just a little bit tired and kind of -- I was on such a high for maybe two days or 2 1/2 days, and Wednesday about noon, right around, felt like I kind of hit the wall.

So I feel like my game is good, but I didn't know if it would carry over. I was happy to see that it did.

Q. You've got four birdies on the back and birdied the first three, so you're 7-under through 12, you've just won. Do you ever feel like this game is easy, I'm king of the world right now? You're confident, but can you explain when you're in a groove like that, what it feels like?

NICK WATNEY: Well, it's kind of just really simple. You get your yardage and it seems like the ball carries pretty much exactly how far you want to hit it, and read the greens, and it perfectly and the ball is going in the hole at good speed. I wouldn't say it's easy, but it's just a lot of fun and it's a great feeling.

But, I bogeyed the fourth and then the fifth holes in the trees to the right and in the trees to the left, and didn't really have a good birdie chance after that.

So I guess it's one of those things, as soon as you feel like you've got it, you don't. But overall, very happy with 5-under around this course, and hopefully I'll be in contention come Sunday.

Q. Have you played the week after a win before??

NICK WATNEY: I did, and my first win, I missed the cut the week after, and the second one, I think I shot 75 in the first round. I ended up making the cut. But this is by far the best round after a win for me.

Q. Have you always been a good putter? I wasn't at Doral last week, but I watched on TV and you just kept making these putts. It was just wonderful to watch, but some people just naturally are able to do that, like a Ben Crenshaw or something, and some people struggle a little bit more with it, so I was wondering if you always would classify yourself --

NICK WATNEY: Well, I'm definitely not in Ben Crenshaw's class (laughing). Actually, I felt like I was a good putter in college, and then once I turned pro, I started working with Butch, and I started hitting the ball much better but my putting was -- 2008, and actually the beginning of last year, I putted really poorly.

But I started working with Dr. Morris Pickens at the U.S. Open of last year, and it's not -- nothing really physical that I'm doing. I'm just trying to make it as easy as possible. Just pick a target and let it go, like a 10-year-old would putt, which is I know it sounds really simple, but it works for me.

Q. Can you tell us more about Dr. Pickens??

NICK WATNEY: Well, he's out of Sea Island. He works with Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink, Jonathan Byrd, Zach Johnson.

Q. How is the course playing??

NICK WATNEY: It's playing probably the easiest we'll see it. The greens are fairly soft, very smooth, not too much wind this morning. So I think as the week goes on, it gets firmer, faster, par would be really good. But today was the easiest we'll see it I think.

Q. Heavy parts of fog in the Bay Area this morning; so what adjustments do you make in your game when the fog is very heavy and you have a quarter of a mile visibility??

NICK WATNEY: Well, we had an hour-and-ten-minute delay this morning, so we don't play in the fog. You can't see where the ball is going (laughter).

Q. Is there a determining factor, like the fog is lifting --

PHIL STAMBAUGH: You have to be able to see.

NICK WATNEY: As soon as you can see and let it go.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Nick, thank you very much.

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