What they said: Nick Watney

August 24, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: The Barclays interview transcripts archive

COLIN MURRAY: We'd like to welcome Nick Watney to the interview room here at the Barclays, a 2-under 69 today, 8-under par for the tournament, currently in the lead. Talk a little bit about the round today, how you felt out there, and then we'll open it up to questions.

NICK WATNEY: Well, I felt pretty good. I hit the ball very nice all day, and it was weird, I made some really nice putts and I had some three-putts. Kind of a live-by-the-sword, die-by-the-sword type of day. But overall very pleased and looking forward to the weekend.

COLIN MURRAY: Maybe just talk a little bit about the eagle there at No.4 that kick-started the day.

NICK WATNEY: Yeah, I hit a 5-wood into the green. It's a very difficult green to hit in two just because it slopes from front to back, and I hit a very good shot about 15 feet maybe and was able to hole that.

Any time you can pick up two here it's a great thing.

COLIN MURRAY: And then the three birdies in a row there from 13 to 15 on the back side.

NICK WATNEY: Yeah, 13 and 14 I made really nice putts. The greens were getting really fast, very firm there at the end, and then 15 I drove it in the fairway, which was huge with the front pin, and hit it about a foot and a half. Obviously a great stretch for me there.

Q. You just kind of opened up talking about your putting. Sometimes you made great putts, sometimes you three-putted. Talk about why the putting was like that today and what the greens were like compared to yesterday.

NICK WATNEY: Well, yesterday playing in the morning the greens were soft, not nearly as fast as they were this afternoon. I felt like I didn't have a very good feel for long putts, which I left myself a couple six- to seven-footers which are very difficult with how fast the greens are getting. That having been said, I made a few nice 10- to 15-footers, which out here I'll definitely take.

I think if I can work on my speed and get my long putts a little closer, my lag putts, then maybe I can eliminate some of the three-putts.

Q. Would you prefer them to be fast like this??

NICK WATNEY: Yeah, I think when they're fast like this, it definitely -- good golf is rewarded, and so-so shots are penalized. I think this golf course when it gets like firm and fast like it was this afternoon, 1- or 2-under par is a great score.

Q. Can you talk about your emotions a bit? You had four bogeys and you were still 2-under on the day, kind of a roller coaster maybe.

NICK WATNEY: A little bit. But my emotions, one of the things I've been trying to work on this year has been -- especially of late has been my attitude, just not getting so down if something doesn't go right. I like to say that they didn't affect me too much, but on a course this difficult, bogeys are going to happen, and you've just got to kind of get over it and move on. I think that's the best way to -- if you can hit a good shot, then there are birdies to be made. If you make a bogey and then drive it in the rough, you're looking at another tough save.

As far as making bogeys, they're just going to happen; you've just got to roll with it.

Q. What would you say the speed was of the greens today??

NICK WATNEY: I'm not very good at the stimpmeter, but I would say 12 to 13 maybe. Pretty fast.

Q. Are you generally a streaky player? You went on a nice streak there with the birdies and I wonder if you could describe that run you were on and what that feels like when you get it going like that.

NICK WATNEY: I don't know if I'm a -- if I would consider myself a streaky player, but it's kind of -- sometimes like when I went on that -- when I made three birdies in a row, I didn't really know that they were in a row, to be honest, because I was just really trying to be focused on what I was doing, not necessarily what was going on. But it is nice when you're in control of your game. I think that's one of the feelings that we all play for is to be in control and hitting the ball where you'd like, hitting your spots, and for those three holes it was a good feeling.

Q. I was wondering if you recall what your mindset was after Memorial. You missed the cut there, and then ever since then, you seem to have been playing a lot more consistent. Was there something that happened after that or something around that time that kind of turned it on??

NICK WATNEY: I think I just got with my team and really just tried to -- instead of being angry at the missed cut or worried about that, just try to diagnose what was going on and what I needed to do. So I decided to just get back to the basics and really just try to identify the weaknesses of my game. Ever since then, it's been I feel like steady progression working to this point. You hear Tiger say all the time that he's close, and I really did feel like I was close to playing well, just making a few mistakes or missing a few putts, and this week so far I've been able to play pretty smart and make some putts, and here we are.

Q. Do you remember being frustrated at all after Memorial??

NICK WATNEY: Yeah, I've been frustrated quite a bit this year. It's been not the season I would have hoped for so far. But in golf one week can change that. It's funny how that happens, maybe unlike any other sport. If a football team is struggling, they win one game, it's not really a success. But if golf if you're struggling, you win one tournament, all of a sudden -- I don't know how Sergio was playing, but he wins last week and he's right up there again this week. He's climbing the rankings and all that stuff. Golf is funny in that way, just a couple little things here and there, and all of a sudden you're playing great.

Q. What were you expecting out of this year? When you came into this year you were still looking for your first major and all that stuff. What was going to be a quality, successful year for you?

NICK WATNEY: Well, I wanted to keep improving as a player and to keep winning. That's how we're measured, and that's the funnest part of the game is to win tournaments, and it hasn't happened so far. I haven't been in the mix really. Charlotte was close, but that'swhat I was expecting was being in contention a lot, and that hasn't happened thus far.

But I'm really excited about this week, and I'm definitely going to relish the weekend.

COLIN MURRAY: Nick, thanks for your time. Best of luck this weekend.