What they said: Nick Watney

October 20, 2010
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals Open transcript archive

NICK WATNEY: The course was actually drier than I anticipated, just with the sound of the rain last night. But playing with Justin and Andy Garcia, it was very fun. They're good guys, good players, and I enjoyed myself.

Q. (Indiscernible)?(Indiscernible)?

NICK WATNEY: Jerry Rice.

Q. Oh, Jerry. Tell us the story about this. You're a Sacramento guy.

NICK WATNEY: Yeah. I grew up on the West Coast, and the first thing I can remember from the 49ers is Jerry Rice. So once I saw him on the tee, it was -- I was definitely going to get his autograph.

Q. Is he the greatest 49er or Joe Montana, or Dwight Clark??

NICK WATNEY: I think Jerry Rice is the greatest wide receiver of all time, and Joe Montana is the greatest 49er.

Q. Okay. You talked about playing with Justin. Tell us about his game. Were you impressed??

NICK WATNEY: I was. Obviously he's got a lot going on. I think that's an understatement. And he hit the ball very solid. You can tell he's a good athlete. You know, he's coordinated and he makes a good move at it. He hits it solid.

One thing I really liked today, he wants to do it, and I think -- I don't know how much he gets to play this week. This may be his only time. So he wanted to do well and he's a really stand-up guy. Good player.

Q. Can you talk about your year a little bit? Are you pretty happy with how things have gone so far?

NICK WATNEY: Yeah, for the most part. I felt like I've played consistently well, but obviously winning is how you judge your year. So in that respect I'm a little disappointed, but I feel like I've made some strides as far as consistency, and I've been in contention in some bigger events. So those are the positives I take from the year.

Q. Are you playing well enough to win this thing this week right now??

NICK WATNEY: I would say I'm working harder now than I ever have at this time. Usually I come in here and kind of, you know, ready to take some time off and just kind of going through the motions leading up to the event. But I've been working pretty hard this year, here at the end of the year, so I'm just going to go out there and hopefully I'll be in contention come Sunday.

Q. You're still trying to get into that top 30, aren't you??

NICK WATNEY: Oh, well, I played Atlanta.

Q. Right. So you're all set there; right??

NICK WATNEY: Yes.

Q. And everything. What is your motivation other than winning? Is that the only motivation this week?

NICK WATNEY: Well, I mean I live here now.

Q. Where exactly do you live, by the way??

NICK WATNEY: I live south of town, Henderson. My address is Henderson, Nevada.

Q. Oh. But where do you live? Do you live out by Lake Las Vegas?

NICK WATNEY: No.

Q. Oh, sure. So being home, of course, you want to do well??

NICK WATNEY: Yes. Yes. I've got some friends in town, and -- friends and family in town. So I always like to play well in front of them.

Q. Sure. Sure. What about this tournament being played this late in the year here? As someone who lives in Vegas, or Henderson, lives in Nevada, are you concerned about the future of the tournament here because it's so late in the year and the Fall Series, it's hard to attract a lot of big-name guys?

NICK WATNEY: I think -- I honestly think that Justin helps that, having his name attached to it. You know, and he's involved. I mean it's not just like his name only. He's involved in the event. I think that helps.

Yeah, I mean obviously we'd love to have a top-notch field. A lot of the guys have kind of finished their year off, in terms of the big-name players. Could we get another date? That's above my pay grade. I'm not sure what the status of that is, so you know, as long as -- I guess as long as the community and the area supports it, I think there will be an event here.

Q. So you think it could survive where it is right now with the field it has at the time of year it is? And again, I'm not trying to demean the guys who are playing today. You know, with you, with Hunter, it is a pretty good field for this time of year.

NICK WATNEY: Yeah. It's tough to -- you know, obviously we want to have all the top guys here. The date definitely does not help in terms of scheduling for the top names. But I think every event wants -- if they could have every Top 10 player there, that's the goal. But change the date would probably help.

Q. Move it to the spring??

NICK WATNEY: Spring would help. But you know, that's the TOUR.

Q. And of course, they're working toward that end, trying to get the TOUR to move it to the spring, if they can. But in the meantime, it is what it is; right??

NICK WATNEY: Yes.

Q. And again, it's a great opportunity for someone like yourself to get a W and finish up strong.

NICK WATNEY: Yeah. I mean.

Q. Right??

NICK WATNEY: Yeah.

Q. You don't want more competition than you already have. (Laughs).

NICK WATNEY: I mean as a competitor, obviously you'd like to beat the best.

Q. But there's two guys out here.

NICK WATNEY: Yeah. A win is a win on the PGA TOUR.

Q. What do you think it will take for the course having been softened up by the rain? Does the number become even lower than usual?

NICK WATNEY: I think so, yeah. I think so. I mean I think traditionally it's in the 20s, and I'm sure it will be mid 20s this year.

Q. Really going to put a premium on those second shots, gotta be close.

NICK WATNEY: Yeah. Second shots.

Q. Do you think guys will be able to fire at the pins more because of the greens being softer??

NICK WATNEY: Yeah. No question.

Q. Where are you going after this??

NICK WATNEY: I'm going to China. Golf wise, heading to China in November. And that's it for playing. Getting married a week from Saturday. So that's definitely taking up some of my time.

Q. Honeymoon in China??

NICK WATNEY: Honeymoon on the way home from China.

Q. Stopping in Hawaii??

NICK WATNEY: Bora Bora.

Q. Oh, nice.

NICK WATNEY: Yeah.

Q. Then you're going to the Children's??

NICK WATNEY: No. I didn't get into Tiger's or the Disney. So I'm just going to stick around here and try to get to work for next year.