What they said: Bubba WatsonMarch 26, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: Arnold Palmer Invitational transcript archive
BUBBA WATSON: I was aiming at it. I had 161 hole, downwind. So I hit a 52-degree gap wedge. I just pulled it. I was trying to attack the pin and just made a bogey. We were looking at trying to catch these guys at 11-, 12-under, whatever they are at. I just pulled it, and then I wanted to 2-putt and have a good round, but somehow it fell in.
Q. When you went over and saw where the ball finished on 18, did you look around to see where the dot was??
BUBBA WATSON: It was funny, I thought ten more feet to the right. Still didn't get far enough but it would be a great place for tomorrow.
Q. Everybody is talking about how firm the greens are getting; are these greens getting that firm where balls won't even stop on them??
BUBBA WATSON: There are certain greens out here that you just can't stop it. We know which holes it is; you just can't believe it. 17, especially with it downwind, if it was into the wind it will stop. But downwind like it is right now, it's hard to stop it.
Q. What part of the 68 are you happiest with??
BUBBA WATSON: I'm done. That's the best part.
I was nervous all day. This is almost like a major field. I want to just keep doing what I'm doing, shooting under-par rounds. I've had 2-over par rounds this whole year and want to just keep doing my goal and hopefully ends up on top somewhere down the road.
Q. Where was Arnold Palmer on your radar as a kid, junior player, college player??
BUBBA WATSON: Growing up, he was on the Senior Tour, now the Champions Tour. You know, watching the history of the game, you're watching highlights, you're watching all of the old tournaments, especially the Masters when they showed the old highlights of the Masters, and you're watching the greats of the game, the pioneers of the game, the people that built this game the way it is. He's maybe top three, top two of all time, pioneers of the game, growing the game.
That's really the memories I know, just old footage of him from the old days.
Q. So it would be a real kick to win this, win the Memorial, win the Byron Nelson??
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, any time that a guy, a pioneer from the game, has his name on the tournament, it would be an honor to win his tournament so I could shake his hand on Sunday afternoon. Just showing up at these tournaments because they have done so much for us; you have to show up at these tournaments and pay tribute to them.
Q. The way you're playing, are there any golf courses where you are not feeling comfortable right now??
BUBBA WATSON: I'm not comfortable out here. It was funny, I was telling my caddie -- what hole, we were on 16. And I just hit that chip shot to two feet and I looked at him and I said, "My stomach has been churning all day, I've been nervous all day, it feels like we are at a major out here, big crowds, tough conditions." So I've been nervous all day.
Q. Can you talk about your round a little bit??
BUBBA WATSON: Two bad swings all day, two bogeys. But then I hit a lot of good iron shots. I made two long putts today, one for eagle and one for birdie on 18. So just played solid. Yesterday I hit a lot of greens, a lot of fairways and didn't make any putts. Today I made a few more putts so it just worked out today.
Q. Is that major championship golf, one bad swing and you make a bogey --
BUBBA WATSON: That's how it is in a major championship. Make one bad swing, it just bounces off in the deep rough, in a bunker or something. And that's how it is out here, because out here, one bad swing can cost you pretty quickly.
Q. I don't know what the gap is going to be, but does that make it easier to catch up if you're four or five back or harder to catch up, given there can be a big swing??
BUBBA WATSON: It it's a tough one to answer because it goes both ways. If you're hitting the ball great, yes, you can catch up easily, and if they hit bad shots. But we both have the same troubles and we both have the same bounces, and you have to play safe on some pins and you can attack on some of the others. It's a tough one to answer. If they shoot mid 60s, nobody will catch those two.
Q. Have you played a lot of golf with Martin Laird??
BUBBA WATSON: No, I haven't played much with him. We are a member at the same course, but I moved over during the summer, so I never see him during the summer.
Q. If you're paired with Rickie tomorrow, how much fun would it be to go after the leaders with him??
BUBBA WATSON: I don't Rickie (laughter). No, it would be fun. It's always fun to play with your friends. It's always fun to play with somebody you enjoy playing with. And you know, if he starts playing good, I'm going to be cheering him good, and if I start playing good, he'll be cheering me on. It would be cool to play with a good friend like that.