What they said: Nick Watney

August 25, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: The Barclays interview transcripts archive LAURA HILL: Just some general comments about your rounds and your position heading into the final.

NICK WATNEY: My round was -- I got off to a great start, and right around the middle, I made a couple loose bogeys. Then, you know, a couple of 3-putts on 15 and 18. But birdie on 17 was a really nice bonus.

So overall, I'm pleased. It was very difficult out there. And I'm really looking forward to tomorrow.

Q. Were the greens fast enough for you, and how much did they change from yesterday??

NICK WATNEY: Yes, they were extremely fast. They changed a lot -- I played late yesterday. They changed a lot since early Thursday. Yesterday they were on their way to where they are now, which is -- there's not a lot of grass in some spots. It's very, very fast, very, very firm. It was very difficult. The course just kind of beat you up. There's no letdown and it's very difficult.

Q. Is there any way to judge how many feet faster they might have been??

NICK WATNEY: There were -- I mean, two, three feet faster. They were downhill putts. I felt like they were probably 16 or 17, just really fast.

Q. What do you need to do better tomorrow to win this golf tournament??

NICK WATNEY: I'm just going to need to, you know, just hang around. If Sergio goes out and shoots 4- or 5-under, you've just got to tip your hat. But I'm super excited to be in the last group, and I think I just need to play -- the middle of the course is very difficult, I need to play that a little bit better tomorrow.

Q. I think you made five putts of at least 15 feet; did you putt good or did you get lucky??

NICK WATNEY: (Laughs). Both, I would say.

But my putting this week has been the best of all year. My friend, Sam Reids (ph), got me in touch with Darrell Kestner, who is a pro at Deepdale and he's been helping me with my putting, and it's paid off. I just saw him on Monday and a little bit this morning, and it's paid off huge.

Q. What did he do for you??

NICK WATNEY: Mostly just my setup. My stroke was -- I was set up quite a bit back on my heels. My stroke would go pretty severely in to out, and now I'm getting a little more -- the ball is at my feet, getting the putter shaft a little bit more vertical, and the putter seems to be traveling down the line a little bit better and the ball is starting where I want it to.

Q. Also wanted to ask you if you could just go through that swing when you walk off 10 with a three-shot lead and three holes later, you're one behind??

NICK WATNEY: Yeah, that was rough. I hit a really good drive on 11 and pretty much the first bad shot of the day there to make bogey. Then I hit my next bad shot, tee shot on 12, and put myself in a bad position. And then Sergio made a great birdie on 13.

You know, it was definitely unfortunate and not what I wanted, but at the same time, there's still so much golf to be played that you know, fortunately for me, they don't give out the trophy after the 13th hole on Saturday (laughter).

Q. A repeat question from yesterday. We asked you, you would just assume have the greens fast; would you assume maybe this fast again tomorrow??

NICK WATNEY: Maybe not this fast. This is -- I mean, you have a 15-footer, and normally you hit those two feet by. Well, here, they are going four or five feet by just because, you know, obviously you're trying to make a putt but then the balls don't stop once it goes past the hole.

I think I prefer the greens fast, but hopefully the pins will be in spots where there's some grass on the greens and the ball will stop rolling.

Q. Slugger said a minute ago that you guys like firm and fast, and then when you give them firm and fast, they don't like it anymore; any thoughts on that? (Laughter)?

NICK WATNEY: Well, there's firm and fast, and then there's this. I mean, this is pretty extreme. I would like to see Slugger put out there a little bit.

No, I mean, fair and fast is good. It identifies best player, I believe, but at the same time, it's close to, you know -- they are close to losing control of some of the greens, and eliminating some of the pin positions. So I think there's a limit to everything.

Q. The 18th green gave myself a lot of people trouble today, not just you. What's so tough and will it be as tough tomorrow do you think??

NICK WATNEY: I misjudged, once I got past the hole, I didn't realize the green went straight downhill past the hole. I hit my ball a little too hard and next thing I know, I'm ten feet by.

Just subtle slopes like that, when the greens are this fast, the ball will just go. And so I think that was -- you know, I almost thought my putt was a little uphill, and turned out to be a little downhill. It was a bit of an optical illusion I guess; and when it's this fast, your mistakes will be exposed.

LAURA HILL: Thanks for your time. Good luck tomorrow.