Zurich Classic interview: Bubba Watson

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April 26, 2013

MORE INTERVIEWS: Zurich Classic of New Orleans transcript archive

BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, it was good. You know, yesterday I played really scared. I'm trying to play good. When you do that you don't hit quality shots and you just struggle. So today I just went out there, and I'm still scared, but just freeze up a little bit and I made some putts. I made some great up‑and‑downs when I had to, and I just made my putt to keep my momentum going all day.

Q. What do you mean you played scared?

BUBBA WATSON:
When you're over the ball you don't want to hit a bad shot so you pull it, you push it, and try to stay away from trouble. So you never get comfortable over the ball. That's what happens is the game will drive you to it. You've got water on the left so you pull it right, or you've got water on the right so you push it level left. That's pretty much how I played yesterday. Today I still didn't hit it as well as I wanted to, but I putted really well today. I'm really pleased my putting.

Q. Is that rare for you to play scared?

BUBBA WATSON:
No, I do it all the time. We all do it. We're human. We want to make every shot perfect. So if you're saying you're not nervous or not scared on some shots, you're lying. But yesterday it seemed like every shot I was nervous on. I was always trying to hit the best shot and always worrying about the results not worried about the execution.

So today I just came out and had a sit‑down with my caddy and I talked about it. Hit some good shots on the range, and I made the putts though. The round today was not much better than yesterday. It's just I made putts.

Q. What happened on 12 with the spectator?

BUBBA WATSON:
There's nothing to talk about there. You're taking photos and then started running his mouth towards my caddy, so...

Q. 6‑back now heading into the weekend. Is this a course where you think you can go 66, 66?

BUBBA WATSON:
It's funny because it worked out today. But I was sitting there joking with myself and my family that we had dinner with last night. Shot 1‑over, and if you shoot 65, 65, 65, that's a swing 1‑under. With my 1‑over, that would make you 20‑under, and today I shot 65.

So I'm looking at the board thinking unless this wind comes up crazy or something happens, I'm going to have to shoot 65 a couple more days to have a chance. But right now it looks like I'm playing a lot better, but the leaders are so far ahead. I'm in 11th place I think, but the leaders are so far ahead. It's not like I'm two shots back. I'm going to have to play some great golf.

Q. This is a little bit of a crazy question.

BUBBA WATSON:
Perfect, I love them.

Q. Is it at all a relief to have The Masters over with and all the distractions that come with that? Obviously, it's a tough situation.

BUBBA WATSON:
No. I mean would you always want to be called The Masters champion, you know, the year before Masters champion? But, no, I hear what you're saying. It wasn't a big deal to me. Golf, no matter if you're playing here in New Orleans, playing The Masters, the U.S. Open, playing at John Deere, you're always going to want to play good golf.

Like I said, if anybody's telling you they're not nervous, they're not scared at some point during the round, then they're lying to you and they're trying to be tougher. Their mental coach told them to be tougher than me, I guess.

For the most part that is the key. You're always going to be scared. You just have to be committed to your shots, and today I was a lot more committed than I was yesterday. Every shot I wasn't committed.

Q. Guan Tianlang made the cut at 14. Do you remember what you were doing at 14?

BUBBA WATSON:
It's the same question I had at Augusta. Let's go a different route. Not to change your question though. But if you looked at every sport through time, everybody's gotten better. You know, bigger, better, stronger, faster, no matter what sport it is. In golf there are kids nowadays that are learning at a younger age. They're working out at a younger age; they're eating better; they know what to practice because they've watched Tiger Woods. The young kids are watching Tiger Woods and watching the Phil Mickelsons, Jim Furyk, Ernie Els. You're watching those guys and learning how to get better at the game of golf. So you can just see it.

Just like we've seen on the LPGA. You've seen girls come out at a young age. Saw Michelle Wie at a young age. You saw LeBron James come out of high school. You've seen football players that are ready to go. Now they have a rule football players can't go. But you see where guys are big enough to play in the NFL, and they don't go.

So you look at every person in sports, it's growing that way. Pretty soon they're going to be younger and 20 years down the road it's probably going to be younger than 14. But records are already broken.

Q. It's such a mental game?

BUBBA WATSON:
At 14, he's not trying to pay his house off, you know? He's living on his parents. It's one of those things where he doesn't understand what's going on right now. I mean, he does understand, but what I'm saying is he doesn't have the bad thoughts.

You know, at 34 years old, I've hit enough bad shots where now I get to worry about them. But he doesn't see that yet. Right now this is the first time in the tournament, and he's enjoying every minute of it. I am too, but I worry. He's 14, he doesn't worry yet.

Q. Maybe it's an advantage?

BUBBA WATSON:
Right.

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