Wells Fargo Championship interview: Nick Watney

May 04, 2013

MORE INTERVIEWS: Wells Fargo Championship transcript archive

DOUG MILNE: Nick Watney, thank you for joining us, a 1‑under 71 in round three of the Wells Fargo Championship puts you in ideal position heading into tomorrow's final round. With that, I guess, we'll just jump right into the obvious question and ask you what happened?

NICK WATNEY: I don't know what happened, to be honest. I was kind of fighting ‑‑ I was kind of fighting my swing all day, just trying to keep it in play, keep it in play. I hit a few shots off the heel with my driver and 3‑wood off the tee, but obviously that was just terrible, a terrible result.

I haven't done that for a really long time. I can't remember really the last time I did that in a tournament, so it was a bit unsettling. But big picture, I'm tied for the lead, and I would have taken that on Thursday morning. Probably wouldn't have liked the way that if you told me that was going to happen. Unfortunately, I can't change it now, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

DOUG MILNE: Like you said, you're tied for the lead.

Q. How much harder did you make it on yourself from the standpoint that it looked like it might be you and Phil and another redo of Doral, if you will, and all of a sudden you have a ton of guys right there?

NICK WATNEY: I didn't really think about Doral. I was just sort of ‑‑ you look at the scoreboard and there are a lot of really good players now two or three shots back. Obviously, you'd like to have as much distance as possible, but who knows, maybe this will be a good story come tomorrow, I guess.

Q. It's a good story one way or the other. We just don't know who.

NICK WATNEY: That's true. Thank you for that.

Q. You had a pretty long wait there at 17, a pretty big log jam there. Did it affect you at all? Was that weight kind of daunting?

NICK WATNEY: There are probably better holes to have a wait than that one, but that wasn't why I hit the shot that I did. Obviously, I've got some things I need to work on this evening. But the wait is what it is. Right in front of us Rory and Lee played the hole fine, so I had no excuses, unfortunately.

Q. What iron did you take?

NICK WATNEY: 6‑iron.

Q. You talked about the fact that on Thursday morning you would have taken being tied going into the final round for the lead. So mentally what do you go through tonight to try to get yourself back into a positive frame of mind and where you're at?

NICK WATNEY: Basically exactly what you said. I hit a really bad shot. I don't know what to say. I hit a terrible shot. I made a double. But when you look at the scoreboard, I'm tied for the lead, and I've got a really tough day coming let alone all the guys that are behind us, but the weather as well.

If I have any chance of playing well tomorrow, I'm going to need to get past it and come out ready to go or else I'm going to get run over. I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

Q. Do you consider yourself a good rain player with your experience in the past?

NICK WATNEY: Yeah, I like to think that. I'm a bit of a mudder, but I guess we'll find out. I'm not really sure. A lot of the rain we have out here there is lightning, so we don't play in a lot of rain. But as long as the grips are dry, we'll be ready to go.

Q. You left that second shot on 17 quite short. What is so hard about that shot? I'm sure Chad gave you the right numbers. Is it the lie, the weirdness of it, what is it?

NICK WATNEY: The lie was fine. It's just at that point there were a lot of things going through my head, and you're staring at a lake as well. So I was a bit tentative, I would say, as well as the next putt. It was just a disaster of a hole, and I'm glad it's over.

Q. How would you characterize your play other than 17, leading up to 17?

NICK WATNEY: I thought I played well. I thought I managed my game pretty well. I wasn't driving it ‑‑ I got some balls on the fairway, but it wasn't like really great shots. It was sort of managing it. I made some putts, which I don't know if I threw expectations out the window or whatever the case, but I was able to make some putts. I made a nice par on 16 after a poor drive.

I was feeling really good, to be honest. I wish I knew what happened because I would make sure I never did it again, but it's just bad timing and no fun at all.

Q. You got a tight turn around to come back early tomorrow morning. Does that concern you or even playing the threesome on Sunday?

NICK WATNEY: No, I mean, this is what we do. We play, if you have a late or early starting time it's pretty much the same. And threesomes, I mean, we play threesomes Thursday and Friday, so it won't be a big deal.

Q. You've obviously played well alongside Phil Mickelson in two rounds this week. Are you excited about playing with Phil again on Sunday?

NICK WATNEY: Absolutely. He's one of the ‑‑ probably the second best player of my generation, so, yeah, absolutely. I'll get excited. It would be a lot of fun to come out on top this time.

Q. How do you think the greens will hold up if there is rain during play tomorrow considering the state they're already in?

NICK WATNEY: That is a great question. I have no idea. From what I understand we're supposed to get a significant amount of rain, and some of the greens are ‑‑ there is not a lot of grass on them, so I don't know how they'll hold up. I think it will be interesting to see how long we go if it does ‑‑ if the rain comes like they say. But I'm glad I don't have to make that decision.

Q. Are you more angry or embarrassed?

NICK WATNEY: A bit of both, to be honest. It's about a tie. It's a tough hole, and I'm sure guys hit shots they thought were good and it just hooked a little and went in the water and made double. It just so happened that I'm playing really well and it was on TV, so that's where the embarrassment comes from. But the other thing is you like to put as much distance as you can between you and the other guys, so a bit of anger and definitely some embarrassment.

Q. Can you repeat what you said into your hat on the 18th green?

NICK WATNEY: No (laughing). No, not right now.

Q. Do you have a goal in mind for the score you're looking for tomorrow?

NICK WATNEY: Only that it be better than the guys that I'm playing with. But, no, I have no idea. It could be that the rain misses us and it's all for nothing. It could be that, from what I understand there is a possibility if it just hammers us we could be here until Monday. I have no idea what's going to happen.

It's supposed to be windy, I'm sure. So I think if you have a target score, it could do more harm than good. So I'm just going to go out and try to have a chance down the stretch.