Apr
20
2014
Masters hangover? Masters hangover.
By Stephanie Wei under The Masters
Bubba Watson celebrates with his caddie Teddy Scott

Bubba Watson celebrates with his caddie Teddy Scott

Hey, guys! Miss me? Sorry I’ve been MIA. It felt really weird not being able to write during the Masters last week, but I literally had no time after working 14-hour (-plus) days as an on-air reporter for Fox Sports International. Which was an incredible experience and one that I’ve pretty much dreamt of since I started this site five years ago — it was like seeing the culmination of all the hard work I’ve put in (but, of course, I still have a long ways to go!).Many of you have asked where you can watch my TV work. Well, the thing is you generally have to be in Asia — it’s broadcast all across the continent. In fact, thanks to a screenshot from a viewer, I know that my interview last Sunday with Ben Crenshaw made it all the way to Dubai! In any case, I have some of the footage that I can upload to YouTube, but I have to ask the powers-that-be if I can post it, so stay tuned!

So, that little tournament called the Masters ended a week ago. A week ago! I can’t believe it’s been that long. It feels like it was done only a few days ago — probably because I was absolutely exhausted. I know, I know, tough life covering the Masters! Well, hey, it actually is a lot harder than it looks, and I don’t care how much you love your job, you’re still working. No joke, I slept for three straight days when I got home. I think I’ve finally recovered. No complaints, though, obviously. I just feel bad it’s taken me this long to actually write on WUP again.

As you all know, Bubba Watson shot a final-round three-under 69 to post a tournament total eight-under, besting Masters first-timers Jordan Spieth and Jonas Blixt by three shots.

Watson won his second green jacket in three years. It was kind of hard to believe the first time, but the course couldn’t set up more perfectly for him — as long as he putts decently, he’ll be in the mix every year.

“It’s overwhelming,” said Watson when asked to describe his emotions following the victory. “To get the first one, it was a dream come true.  To get the second one, it’s icing on the cake.  I never expect to make it again this far.  To make the PGA Tour was a blessing, and now six wins, two green jackets, it’s pretty remarkable.  You know what I’m telling you?  I can’t really put it into words.”

In the final round, Bubba got off to somewhat of a slow start, failing to birdie the par-5 2nd and then bogeying the par-4 3rd. Meanwhile, Spieth, the 20-year-old phenom who had a shot at breaking Tiger Woods’ record as the youngest Masters champion, was on a roll, birdieing nos. 2, 4, 6 and 7.

Through seven holes, Spieth opened a two-shot lead over Watson, but whether it was nerves or just a wrong bounce or misread putt or two, it caught up to Spieth on the final two holes of the back nine — he three-putted for bogey on no. 8 and then followed it with another bogey on no. 9, while Watson birdied both. Yep, that’s a four-shot swing in two holes.

What really hurt Spieth was dunking it in Rae’s Creek on the unforgiving par-3 12th — the hole that has cost so many Masters dreams. He salvaged an impressive bogey, but Bubba responded with one hell of a drive — 366 yards — on the par-5 no. 13, piping it through the trees on the left-hand side.

The back nine on Sundays is famous for its dramatic finishes, but this year, the excitement happened on the front. Which is a shame because we all look forward to the roars (and the groans) as the leaders make it around Amen Corner and down the par-5s and then the par-3 16th — it’s always where anything can happen, except this year, it was the Bubba show. Spieth, along with Jonas Blixt and the other contenders, couldn’t keep up or get anything going or had already faded away and dropped too far down the leaderboard.

“Lucky for me today is that nobody really made putts coming down the stretch,” said Watson. “So I didn’t have to make putts myself.

“Yeah, you know, a shot back on 12, (Spieth) made a great up‑and‑down, but the shot on 12, if he could have that back; I made a 10 there last year,” said Watson. “I wish I could have that back.

“That’s one of those things, and just like I told him when I shook his hand, gave him a hug, I said he’s a great talent and you’re going to have a lot more opportunities; you’re only 20.  But you know, he doesn’t really care what I have to say at that moment.

“But no, it’s just one of those things, he’s a young kid.  I mean, everybody presses.  There’s a lot of tournaments that I’ve hit some bad shots pressing trying to win.”

For all the complexities that make up the man, who was born Gerry Lester Watson in the panhandle of, Florida, there’s no denying his talent as a golfer and the flair with which he plays the game, dubbed as “Bubba Golf.” The two-time Masters champion is quirky and self-diagnosed with ADHD. He craves attention, but also has a love-hate relationship with it — it’s all good as long as it’s all positive.

Bubba has a complicated relationship with the media, fans and perhaps even his caddie, Ted Scott. As you’ve probably seen more than once, Bubba has been known to take out his frustration on Scott or bark at photographers (along with the written press).

Again, it’s complicated. Then, there’s the Bubba who plays with a homemade swing, hitting 30-yard slices around trees and 350-plus yard tee shots, with a pink driver, no less. There’s the Bubba who adopted his now two-year-old son, Caleb, with his wife Angie, just a few weeks before he won his first Masters in 2012. There’s the Bubba who I’ve seen write $20,000 checks for charity without a blink of an eye (nor cameras present). There’s the Bubba who plays up his humble roots, while charming fans with his Twitter chats and “awesome” golf. And of course, there’s the Bubba who can’t help but pour out his emotions and cry on his wife’s shoulder after winning.

“For me, it’s a dream to be on the PGA Tour,” said Watson in his post-win presser.  “It’s a dream to win, and winning any tournament is a big deal.  Winning the green jacket is a little bit bigger deal.  So, yeah, I’m going to cry, because why me?  Why Bubba Watson from Bagdad, Florida?  Why is he winning?  So I just always ask the question why, why me.

“That’s why I’m always going to cry, you know.  I’ll probably cry again tonight sometime, just thinking about it.”

Speaking of hangovers, Bubba experienced one after capturing his first Green Jacket in 2012. He didn’t make last year’s Presidents Cup team and didn’t do much of note, earning just three top 10s in the 2013 season. His drought wasn’t a massive surprise, as many players endure the same after winning their first major — the expectations are higher, the attention is greater, the media/sponsor obligations are more demanding.

Bubba broke that win-less streak just a few months ago at the Northern Trust Open.

“After getting the green jacket the first time, 2012, winning it, you know, it’s overwhelming,” he said.  “Again, like I said to start this off, a guy named Bubba from a small town, born in Pensacola, Florida, raised in Bagdad, it’s crazy to think that you’ve won.  So it took me a while to ‑‑ at the same time, adopting my son the week before threw a wrench in there, as well.  Learning to be a dad and then learning to have a green jacket with you is two big things to adjust to.

“It just took me a little time.  You know, again, like I said, when I won in L.A., I might never win again, but I’m going to give it my best effort.  I just kept ‑‑ hard work, even though it doesn’t look like I practice that much.  Hard work; my wife’s dedication.  We worked out schedules, how I can practice, practice at a high level, if it’s 30 minutes, in it’s an hour, just get a quick practice in and then come back and be a dad and be a husband.  So we figured out our schedule and how to travel better and everything, and here we are today, a couple wins later.

“It took me a year or so to get adjusted that I’m not really that good, I’ve got to keep practicing.  Finally I got adjusted to it and here we are another green jacket after a year, two years.”

As Bubba walked up toward the 18th green, he kept his head down, knowing Angie and Caleb were waiting for him — and he knew if he saw them, he would lost it and start crying before he had clinched his second green jacket. Then, after Spieth, who shared the 54-hole lead with Watson, missed his birdie putt. Bubba turned to his caddie to make sure he knew where he stood.

“I know when Jordan missed on the last hole, and Teddy was helping read ‑‑ I said, ‘Read the putt, just help me.’

“I went over to him and I said, ‘I’m not very good at math, but we’ve got four putts, right?’

“He goes, ‘Yes, just lag it down.’

“I said, ‘It’s fast?’

“(He said,) ‘It’s real fast.’

“I said, ‘All right.  It’s a lot better for my nerves this way.’

Bubba lagged it to a kick-in distance, and when he finally looked up, he saw his two-year-old son Caleb waddling toward him on the back of the green. He scooped him up and then Angie joined in on the family celebration and the tears couldn’t stop flowing from both Bubba and his wife.

“Well, tapping in the putt, there was a lot of emotions, thinking about, I knew (Caleb) was back there, and I knew my wife was back there, knew my family was back there,” said Watson.

“Seeing him, what a blessing that is for us to have to go through the adoption process.  There’s so many kids out there that need homes, would love homes.  So you know, what a dream, hate to say this because I have it on right now, but having my son means more to me than the green jacket.”

Bubba Watson – Masters Statistics
Driving Accuracy                       40 of 56 (71.43%)          T13
Greens in Regulation                 50 of 72 (69.44%)          T5
Total Putts                                116                               T16
Driving Distance                        305.62                          1st

*********

Despite coming up short, I think it’s safe to say Jordan Spieth has one heck of a bright future. (Who else was rooting for him last Sunday??)

The 20-year-old gave it his all in the final round of the Masters, but when it came down to it, the putts just stopped dropping and perhaps the nerves kicked in a little. After all, he was tied for the 54-hole lead with a shot at history by becoming the youngest Masters winner ever.

Spieth couldn’t have been more thrilled with his first seven holes on Sunday.

“I got off to kind of a dream start for Sunday at Augusta,” said Spieth in his post-round press conference. “It’s just so hard to play the first seven holes, I would say, well out here, and I was 3‑under through the first seven.  So if you told me that when I woke up this morning, I would have thought, you know, it would be difficult for me to not win this golf tournament.

“But 8 and 9 were the turning points of the day.

“When I got to 10 tee box, I still believed that I could win the tournament, no doubt about it.  I still thought that Bubba ‑‑ with the way the golf course was playing, after No. 10, as well, thought that I may be able to really kick into the lead.”

Spieth had a putt to tie Bubba on the par-4 11th, but missed. For a moment there, the kid looked like he might have lost a bit of his composure. Then, he took an aggressive line on the deadly par-3 12th, dunking it in the water.

“I had 9‑iron and it goes 150 yards to the hole, like 143 or so on the carry number on the right side, which is the carry number to the bunker, as well.,” said Spieth.

“My caddie, Michael (Greller), simply said, ‘Take it over the right side of that bunker, right at the TV tower.  Just get a look at it.  This isn’t the hole to do it on.  Just get yourself a putt; you can drain a 20‑footer.’

“The breeze was supposed to be into and it felt a little down, and I if smoke a 9‑iron downwind that’s going to fly in the back bunker, and that’s what that hole does.  I mean, that’s what that hole is famous for is the swirling winds.  So when I got over it, I felt like there was no way it was into.  I felt like it was just dead.

“I guess I just got a little too aggressive over the ball, played a little bit of a fade instead of just hitting that straight one over the bunker and it caught whatever, couple‑mile‑an‑hour breeze was up there, and made a big difference.  When it was in the air, I thought that it was still there.  I thought it was really good, actually.  And then it just kind of got hit and fell down short.

“That was tough, tough to swallow at that point, because there’s still a lot of golf left, and that’s what’s so underrated about that hole is that you still have six holes left with really a few good birdie opportunities, so there’s just no point, even though you have a short iron in your hand.”

From there, Spieth had a few looks, but it was hard to keep your cool when Bubba was on fire, striping 360-plus yard drives and getting bounces into the fairway after hitting the trees (like on no. 13).

Following Spieth’s even-par 72, asked what he learned the most about himself out there, he replied, with a smile, “I learned I can actually have patience.”

He added: “I was nervous, but I wasn’t quite as patient today as I was the first three rounds and holding (in) emotions, as well.  I was very close.  It was still the best I’ve ever done on a Sunday, and I know that it can only improve from there, and that’s what’s driving me to get back out.”

Spieth, who tied for runner-up honors with Jonas Blixt, will still take a lot away from the experience.

“I’m very, very pleased, no doubt,” he said. “It stings right now, and the only thing I’m thinking about is when am I getting back next year. That’s what’s on my mind, because it’s tough.  It’s tough being in this position.

“Obviously I’ve worked my whole life to lead Augusta on Sunday, and although I feel like it’s very early in my career, and I’ll have more chances, it’s a stinger.  And I had it in my hands and I could have gone forward with it and just didn’t quite make the putts and that’s what it came down to.

“But ultimately, I’m very happy with the week, happy with the way my game is at going forward for this year, and I’ve accomplished one of my goals this year, which is to get in contention in a major and see how I can do.  You know, hopefully going forward, I can do that again.  There’s still three more this year.”

Spieth has nothing to hang his head over. In fact, it’s just the opposite. If Spieth wasn’t already a household name before the Masters, it certainly is now (at least for sports fans).

*********

Quick shout-out to Jonas Blixt, who shared runner-up honors with Spieth — an impressive feat for his first start at the Masters. The 29-year-old Swede was the only player to shoot under-par in all four rounds at Augusta National.

“I’m kind of lost for words here,” said Blixt in his post-round presser. “It was a great day.  I played decently.  Hit my driver a lot better, just didn’t get my approaches as close as I wanted and didn’t give myself enough opportunities to make birdies.

Blixt had an “emergency driver session” with his swing coach Jorge Parada on Saturday evening following the third round to try and straighten things out. Sounds like it came in handy.

“Overall, a decent round, and when you shoot under par at Augusta National on a Sunday, you should be pretty happy,” he said.

“Now, Bubba Watson played better.  I got beat, and he deserves to win.  I congratulate him for that.  But I learned a lot today, and have a lot more new experiences and can’t wait to come back.”

So far, Blixt seems to have taken a liking to majors. With only three starts under his belt, he has not finished worse than T26 at last year’s Open Championship. Then, he placed 4th at the PGA Championship, and now, T2 at the Masters. Big things might be in store for him, particularly if he can keep his long game under control — his short game, especially his putting, is supremely underrated.

“I think (majors) are a lot of fun to play,” said Blixt, smiling.  “It’s really tough.  You beat your head in a little bit but you can’t beat yourself up too bad.  You know, the atmosphere, there are so many people here, the excitement of being here, it just adds to the experience.”

*********

One for the oldies! Two players in the 50-plus club finished in the top 10. Miguel Angel Jimenez placed solo fourth, posting scores of 71-76-66-71. As you can imagine, he was very excited. When he walked up to the TV scrum with about eight microphones pointed in his face, he stopped, sucked on his cigar, blew a puff of smoke up in the air and just gazed at it poignantly for a moment. It was classic MAJ.

“Well, the people, (the older guys) take care of themselves,” said Jimenez when asked to explain why the 50-plus . “They are being more healthy.  If you don’t want to be here at 50, you shouldn’t be here.  I love the game, I love competing, and probably that is the reason.”

We all know Jimenez enjoys the game and that’s the reason why he plays.

Jimenez, who actually won in his Champions Tour debut this week, planned to play in that one senior event and then focus on earning points to make the European Ryder Cup team. He’s not ruling out the concept of a Champions Tour player winning the Masters someday, though.

“Why not? said Jimenez. “Fred Couples played nice, Langer played nice, I played nice, too.  To win a tournament you need to play hit the ball well, putt good and go play.  If you are able and ready to play, you got a chance.”

56-year-old Bernhard Langer fired scores of 72-74-73-69 to finish a dazzling T8. It was Langer’s best showing at the Masters in a decade — in 2004 he placed T4th.

“Yes, I think it’s a statement,” said Langer when asked for his thoughts on six 50-plus-year-olds making the cut at this year’s Masters. “There’s a lot of good over‑50 players.  We can compete at the highest level and even on a very, very long golf course like this one.”

Langer thinks the influx of the senior tour players finishing well has to do with more guys competing on the Champions Tour and their attention to fitness.

“I think the guys stay in better shape and they know that there’s a great Tour with the Champions Tour waiting for them,” said the two-time Masters Champion. “In their late 40s they don’t kind of quit and say I’m kind of done.  They’re actually maybe working harder at it knowing they’re going to have five or ten years, maybe more, on the Champions Tour.  So they focus on that and they pace themselves.”

Fred Couples posted a final-round three-over 75 to drop down to T20 — his worst finish in the last five years at Augusta National. He got off to a solid start with birdies on two of the first three holes, but then he opened the back nine with a bogey-double-bogey, which killed any momentum he had.

Couples wasn’t surprised by the number of oldies who made the cut, nor by the two who placed in the top-10.

“Well, because we play here so many times,” said Couples. “I know Bernhard just had a great week.  I think he shot 69 today which was a great score.

“No, I think that he has probably played this 30 years also or more.  So you get to know the course, you know the wind, you know how to play it.

“Is it surprising?  I don’t think he’s going to tell you it’s surprising, but when you look at a 55 year old and he’s going to finish maybe in the top‑10, that’s something.”

In other words, experience matters.

*********

Here are the full transcripts for Bubba Watson, Ted Scott and Jordan Spieth…

BUBBA WATSON

 

CRAIG HEATLEY:  Ladies and gentlemen, it’s my pleasure to introduce the 2014 and two‑times Masters Champion, Bubba Watson.

Bubba, you’ve just joined a fairly small and elite group of golfers, Byron Nelson, Seve Ballesteros, you’re getting quite accustomed to that chair you’re sitting in.  How does it feel?

BUBBA WATSON:  Yeah, it’s overwhelming, you know, to win twice, to be with the great names that you just said; again, small‑town guy named Bubba now has two green jackets, it’s pretty wild.  I know my mom probably watched at home.  I wish she was here.  But yeah, it’s pretty cool.

CRAIG HEATLEY:  Questions, please.

BUBBA WATSON:  Or not (laughter).

 

Q.  They showed a picture of the Georgia intersquad spring football game, which do you consider the bigger accomplishment? 

BUBBA WATSON:  Well, obviously you always say, “Go Dogs!”  But I think this jacket, I think this is for them, for everybody at University of Georgia, for the teachers that helped me, helped me and tutored me to get through school there.  Preparing myself for professional golf at University of Georgia was pretty good, helped me out pretty good.  I’ve done quite well since then.

No, I always have University of Georgia on my bag and on my mind.  But the green jacket is always ‑‑ it’s part theirs, too.  Let’s get that first and then we can share it.

 

Q.  In your mind, how big were those putts on the par 3s on the front in answering Jordan? 

BUBBA WATSON:  Very big.  You know, I hit a great shot in there and then he hit a better bunker shot.  I stepped up there and made the putt.

And then I hit a great shot on 6 ‑‑ well, I thought I hit a great shot.  And then Jordan hit a lot better.  Yeah, so that was huge that I tied him on 6 before he tapped in.

Then I hit two great shots on 8.  8 and 9 were really the turning point where momentum kind of went my way.

Then the group in front of us and other groups, you could just tell, just nobody really caught fire.  There wasn’t too many birdies after No. 10, I don’t think.

 

Q.  The drive on 13, was the line that you hit it on the intended line, and did you know that it clipped a tree? 

BUBBA WATSON:  Well, I’m not very smart, but I can tell it hit some trees, because I mean, that’s not the line I really wanted to go on.

I’ve hit it there a few times there.  I’ve been lucky enough to play here many years ago and I’ve hit wedge to that hole a few times.  Today I hit a sand wedge in there; I hit 56‑degree sand wedge in there.

I knew it, when it took off, it was cutting a little too much.  I knew I hit it really hard.  Obviously, when you get a roar on your tee shot, you know it’s pretty good.  I could start breathing again once I hear them clapping and roaring.

 

Q.  A year ago, you didn’t play very well ‑‑

BUBBA WATSON:  Thank you.  Thank you very much (laughter).  You either (laughter).  I’ve seen you play.

 

Q.  Never got a chance to play. 

BUBBA WATSON:  Yeah, there’s a reason for that (laughter).

No, it’s your turn, go ahead.

 

Q.  The year ends without even making a Presidents Cup team or even being part of the conversation.  What’s changed to enable to you get back to playing this kind of golf where you’ve won twice already this year, got the green jacket on and you’ve got big things ahead of you? 

BUBBA WATSON:  I’ve always ‑‑ you know, the team I have around me, we have always thought that I’ve had the talent.  You know, I’ve always done it my way.  We always felt like I could play golf at a high level.  But then to actually do it is the hard part.

After getting the green jacket the first time, 2012, winning it, you know, it’s overwhelming.

Again, like I said to start this off, a guy named Bubba from a small town, born in Pensacola, Florida, raised in Bagdad, it’s crazy to think that you’ve won.  So it took me a while to ‑‑ at the same time, adopting my son the week before threw a wrench in there, as well.  Learning to be a dad and then learning to have a green jacket with you is two big things to adjust to.

So just took me a little time.  You know, again, like I said, when I won in L.A., I might never win again, but I’m going to give it my best effort.  I just kept ‑‑ hard work, even though it doesn’t look like I practice that much.  Hard work; my wife’s dedication.  We worked out schedules, how I can practice, practice at a high level, if it’s 30 minutes, in it’s an hour, just get a quick practice in and then come back and be a dad and be a husband.  So we figured out our schedule and how to travel better and everything, and here we are today, a couple wins later.

It took me a year or so to get adjusted that I’m not really that good, I’ve got to keep practicing.  Finally I got adjusted to it and here we are another green jacket after a year, two years.

 

Q.  For the record, I think you played pretty good this week. 

BUBBA WATSON:  Well, thank you.  Yesterday was probably some bad writing, that I was struggling.

 

Q.  Can you talk about your shot on 15, what you were thinking and does that kind of personify your style?

BUBBA WATSON:  On 15, are you talking about the second shot?  There’s a bigger, there’s a taller gap.  I was thinking about hitting the 8‑iron up this gap, and I told my caddie, I said, “I’m not going to do that to you.  You tell me what to do.”  I said, “If you want me to lay up, I’ll lay up.”  Because the easier gap was the bunker, try to hit it in the bunker over there.  And if it went over the bunker, hits the crowd, hits the grandstand and I get a free drop.

So, you know, it was one of those things where I knew I could cut it.  So I had 181 to the front and that’s all the number I was worried about.  Hit a low 6‑iron, choked up and just cut it a little bit.  And obviously still made par, bad chip.

So, yeah, it was a shot that I was trying to hit in the bunker, the worst spot would be in the bunker and that’s where I was trying to hit it.  But you know me, I wanted to get it a little closer to the pin, and so I cut it a little bit without telling my caddie I was going to do that (laughter).

 

Q.  Can you compare and contrast the emotions of winning it this time with a comfortable win coming down the stretch, as opposed to the last time with the miraculous and the way you did that time?

BUBBA WATSON:  Yeah, coming down 17, 17 got a little ‑‑ just like the first time I won, I got a little loose on the tee shot.  Hit it over there, had to chip out to the right there.  To get that up‑and‑down was very big for me, even though I’d still have a two‑shot lead if I didn’t, to get that up‑and‑down on 17.

So on 18, I just grabbed a 4‑wood right away, tried to hit the fairway somehow and get it in play, and I did.  It came out perfect, a little tiny draw, so I knew it was going to go out there a little far.

Yes, having a three‑shot lead, as long as my playing partner didn’t hole it from the fairway, I was very comfortable.  Hit a good shot.  Attacked the pin again, as I always do, and hit a little 9‑iron right on top of the flag, thought it was going to be a little better than it was but take it.

So, yeah, playing this way was a lot better than obviously ‑‑ a lot easier coming down the last few holes, especially the last hole, knowing that I had a couple shots to play with.

 

Q.  You’ve experienced this now twice.  Will you and your team treat the next six or eight months differently than you treated the six or eight months after the first time? 

BUBBA WATSON:  Well, the first time we treated it a lot different because of the family.  My son being adopted, didn’t have a male figure in his life for the first month of his life.  We got him at a month old.  So getting used to smell, touch, feel, sound, everything, I had to be there for my son.  And so golf was the farthest thing from my mind.  So I took off some tournaments.  Trying to be a good husband, a good dad at that moment was the most important thing.

So this one is a little bit different.  My schedule is probably not going to change.  So everything’s the same.  Everything’s a go.  We are trying to make The Ryder Cup Team.  We are trying to win the next tournament, the next tournament we play in, trying to make the next cut.  So it’s a lot different situation now than it was back then.

 

Q.  Tom Watson has already Tweeted, “See you on the plane for Gleneagles.”  What will it mean to play a Ryder Cup in Scotland?  And have you considered The Scottish Open? 

BUBBA WATSON:  I haven’t thought about it.  I always play Greenbrier, because it’s two weeks before.  It’s an amazing feeling to have a chance to go to Scotland, the Home of Golf, St. Andrews.  I mean, how would you not want to play golf there?  I love it, going over there and playing golf, so I can’t wait.  I know a win here is double points, so I figure I made the team.

It’s a great feeling.  Can’t wait to get over there.  Obviously, sorry to say that, but I’d like to win one.  I haven’t won a Ryder Cup yet, so that’s the next big tournament I’d like to win.  But no, I’d love to go over there, and again, and that’s what we call the Home of Golf, so it will be great.

 

Q.  Does this golf course suit your eye and fit your game more than any other? 

BUBBA WATSON:  No.  My home course is really easy, so I like that (laughter).

There’s a couple shots.  The shots that really get to me are 7.

I got lucky this year because some of the tops of trees were down on 11, so it made 11 a lot easier for me.

But you’ve got 7 and 18 now.  11 was a big one but now it’s a little bit easier for me, but 18 has always been ‑‑ it’s been tough for me, 18 and 7.  So those are the two that are really tough tee shots to look at.

Obviously No. 4 is tough for everybody.

No. 3, the pin placements, that’s tough.

So, yeah, there’s only a couple tee shots that are really tough for me that I’m kind of nervous about.  So other than that, yeah, the golf course sets up pretty good off the tee for me and when I’m hitting my driver halfway decent, I can kind of get some shorter irons in there.

 

Q.  Do you feel like this victory validates you as an elite player?

BUBBA WATSON:  No.  No.  Again, I just got lucky enough to have two green jackets.  I’m just trying to keep my TOUR card every year and if people say that I’m a good player, that’s great.  But I’m not ‑‑ I’m not trying to play golf ‑‑ I’m not trying to play golf for a living.  I’m not trying to play golf for everybody to tell me how great I am or I’m one of the greats of the game.

I play golf because I love it, I love the game, I want to grow the game.  The game has brought me everything that I’ve ever owned in my life.  My parents taught me values through the game of golf.

I think what they did today or this week on Sunday was again what golf should all be about, growing this great game, family time, seeing the family members with their kids.  I mean, what a joyous occasion that is; having the ability to do that, hopefully my son can do that so I can be here on the grounds with him watching him hit.

So that’s really what I play the game for, is I love it.  It brought me so much closer to my mom and dad.  I’ve got a lot of friends, I’ve traveled the world because of this game, and that’s really why I play it, because I love it.  Every day it’s different.

 

Q.  Obviously there were tears after the first one and there’s tears after the second one.  Are you going to cry every time you win this thing, and what were the emotions that are still so obvious after winning for a second time?

BUBBA WATSON:  Well, it was funny, at the Junior event on Sunday, saw Kay Cockerill, was talking to her about how great this program was that they were doing here.

And she said, “I still remember the time that you cried.”  She interviewed me the day that I got my TOUR card, it was the Nationwide Tour back then.  And I cried, I could never do an interview.  I was the last man to get the TOUR card, and I couldn’t get a word out because, I mean, what a blessing.

You think about the people that have tried and the hundreds of thousands that have tried to get their TOUR card and never made it to the TOUR.  There’s some great players that have never made it.

So for me, it’s a dream to be on the PGA TOUR.  It’s a dream to win, and winning any tournament is a big deal.  Winning the green jacket is a little bit bigger deal.  So, yeah, I’m going to cry, because why me?  Why Bubba Watson from Bagdad, Florida?  Why is he winning?  So I just always ask the question why, why me.

That’s why I’m always going to cry, you know.  I’ll probably cry again tonight sometime, just thinking about it.

 

Q.  What were your emotions when you first saw your son at the 18th green? 

BUBBA WATSON:  Well, tapping in the putt, there was a lot of emotions, thinking about, I knew he was back there, and I knew my wife was back there, knew my family was back there.

Seeing him, what a blessing that is for us to have to go through the adoption process.  There’s so many kids out there that need homes, would love homes.  So you know, what a dream, hate to say this because I have it on right now, but having my son means more to me than the green jacket.

So when we adopted him, knowing that this young lady gave us a chance to raise her son; and so seeing him back there was just ‑‑ what an amazing feeling as a parent, and then throw on the green jacket on top of it just changes everything.

You know, we are going to have pictures.  We are going to have story time and hopefully he still likes me in about 13, 14 years, so we can talk about some of the great times we had, because he probably won’t remember it until I show him the pictures.

 

Q.  You talked about 8 and 9 being a turning point.  Could you sense Jordan’s frustration trying to keep up with your drives and things? 

BUBBA WATSON:  No.  The game of golf was challenging, and so he’s probably trying to hit great shots.

I hit a bad shot on 10, and then he hit a shot just like mine on 10, but he got up‑and‑down.

11, he bombed it down the middle.  Just didn’t make the putts.  I mean, the putts were difficult.  Seemed like every putt we had on the back nine broke a few feet, so it’s difficult.  It’s not like you can just go up and make a 15‑footer.  It’s very difficult to putt around here and that’s where the nerves get in real fast.

So lucky for me today is that nobody really made putts coming down the stretch.  So I didn’t have to make putts myself.  Yeah, you know, a shot back on 12, he made a great up‑and‑down, but the shot on 12, if he could have that back; I made a 10 there last year.  I wish I could have that back (laughter).

That’s one of those things, and just like I told him when I shook his hand, gave him a hug, I said he’s a great talent and you’re going to have a lot more opportunities; you’re only 20.  But you know, he doesn’t really care what I have to say at that moment (laughter).

But no, it’s just one of those things, he’s a young kid.  I mean, everybody presses.  There’s a lot of tournaments that I’ve hit some bad shots pressing trying to win.

 

Q.  Two years ago when you won, it was obviously very dramatic in the playoff.  Do you feel guilty at all for robbing this one of excitement down the stretch?

BUBBA WATSON:  No, I feel a lot better.  The shot out of the woods made me famous, but this one was a lot better for me and my nerves, my family, probably on Teddy.  I know when Jordan missed on the last hole, and Teddy was helping read ‑‑ I said, “Read the putt, just help me.”

When he missed and he was tapping in, I went over to him and I said, “I’m not very good at math, but we’ve got four putts, right?”

He goes, “Yes, just lag it down.”

I said, “It’s fast?”

“It’s real fast.”

I said, “All right.  It’s a lot better for my nerves this way.”

 

Q.  Can you explain to the average guy out there, who doesn’t take lessons, has never had a lesson, how you can win two green jackets in three years?

BUBBA WATSON:  You know, it’s hard to explain it that way.  But, you know, it’s a drive and a will, a lot of hard work.  A lot of times amateurs don’t have these same practice schedules as we do because a lot of them have to work.  So our work is hitting balls and chipping and putting.

You know, you have to play ‑‑ you have to play your swing.  You have to play what you know.  Sometimes I hit a big slice off the tee to get it in play.  Sometimes I hit a big draw with an iron.  Just whatever makes you feel comfortable and that’s what Teddy said all day, all week is what do you feel comfortable with.

He said, “If you want to hit the hard 9 instead of the easy 8, hit the hard 9.  Whatever makes you feel comfortable, whatever makes you feel comfortable in your own swing and your own game.”

That’s what I’d tell anybody, I do what it takes to make the score.  I don’t care how pretty it is, I don’t care if it’s ugly, I don’t care if it’s out of the woods.  I just want to make a score.  Lucky for me, I’ve done it a couple times around this place.

CRAIG HEATLEY:  Bubba, could we test your memory just one more time and go through the card, we are all in awe.

BUBBA WATSON:  Let’s see, what do you want me to do?

CRAIG HEATLEY:  Just if you can go birdies and bogeys.

BUBBA WATSON:  Where did I bogey ‑‑ I bogeyed 3.  3, the pin is very difficult, so we told ourselves, I was just going to hit a hard driver and it just ‑‑ it just didn’t cut a little bit, and I thought I could get there today with the wind situation.  I guess it hit the edge of the trees.  We can’t see it from the tree.  Kicked out.  The club bounced a little bit, a little downhill lie, so I hit a little 64‑degree lob‑wedge trying to chip it and run it, hit the hill and run it down to the pin.  It bounced a little bit in the club, you could hear it, or bounced a little bit into the ball, so it bounced into the ball and went long.

Hit a good next chip.  Had about a 7‑footer and it didn’t break as much as I thought, especially after seeing Jordan’s, so tapped it in for a quick bogey.

Birdied 4.  Good 5‑iron there.  Had the flag just over the bunker.  It was 222 over the bunker, 233 hole after adjustments and everything.  And so hit it in there about, I don’t know, seven feet, six feet and made that putt.

No. 6, I hit 9‑iron, tried to cut 9‑iron and aim right at the fringe and cut it.  Didn’t really cut, but it hit the fringe and just kind of drifted onto the green.  Made the putt, real fast putt.  Made a great putt there.

8, I hit a good drive.  The wind was perfect.  I hit it really good, so I knew it was going to be over the bunker, no problem.  I had 247 hole after adjustments and everything.  So I hit 5‑iron again trying to hit it just long, downwind a little bit.  And so I hit 5‑iron I think to the center of the green.  I fixed the ball mark just past the center of the green.  Chipped it up there.  The green was forgiving today and so it spun a little bit.  Knocked it about two feet past and made it.

9, hit driver, wind is coming a little bit off the right.  Hit driver over the trees with a little cut.  Adjustments and everything, we had 130 hole, 56‑degree sand wedge, trying to fly it in there pin‑high, which luckily I did today and made the putt, a little breaker.  Broke about a foot and a half or so.

Bogey on 10, awesome.  Driver, sliced a driver down there.  Had 190 and change, 198 or something hole, 7‑iron.  Just didn’t cut it.  I didn’t want to flare it way right so I just didn’t cut it.  Hit it over there by the crowd.  Knew that chip was impossible, so all I was trying to do was make sure I made bogey.  Hit it down and almost made the putt from the fringe from about 25 feet or 20 feet.

Then didn’t do much after that.  13, I hit it in there, hit the drive around the corner over the trees ‑‑ or hit the tree, as they told me now.  Sand wedge, had exactly 140 hole with adjustments and everything, 120 front edge, hit 56‑degree sand wedge in there.

And then my putt, just like I did in 2012, I had the same putt, the same eagle putt, left it four or five, six feet short, and then made it there.  That was probably the biggest putt of the day right there, making that with the last few holes coming down the stretch and parred the rest.

CRAIG HEATLEY:  Bubba, congratulations.

TED SCOTT

Q. How clutch were those two putts on the par‑3s on the front side?  Everyone looks at Bubba how he plays the par‑5s, but to answer those. 

TED SCOTT:  Yeah, we were talking about it earlier, it’s one of those things where if everybody in your group makes a birdie before you and you hit it the closest, the putt becomes that much more difficult.

So the one on 4 was very tough.  Then he hit it up there on 6, which is the hardest pin on that hole and you’re like, sweet, we have a birdie putt that’s legit, not up over a mound.

Then he hits it in there a foot and you’re going, come on, guy, what’s up with this?  So it was pretty ‑‑ both of those putts were absolutely clutch.  He was nervous, but you’re nervous on every shot out here today.

 

Q.  How much did the trees on 15 affect you?

TED SCOTT:  It’s Bubba golf.

 

Q.  What did he hit?

TED SCOTT:  A punch 6‑iron.

 

Q.  How far away?

TED SCOTT:  Like 196 or something.

 

Q.  How much opening?

TED SCOTT:  The opening was big, we were trying to get it into the bunker.  He cut it a little bit.  He was trying to hit a low one and punch it into the bunker.

For him it’s not that big a deal.  For me it would have been a big deal, I’m like, that’s not a big gap.  But for him he sees huge gaps.

 

Q.  Did he even try to talk him out of that?

TED SCOTT:  Not on that one.  In 2012 there was a couple shots that, yes.  But this year, it seemed like he hit it in the fairway for most of the time, didn’t really have to do too many of those shots.  Then on that one it was the one, it’s a big canopy to shoot through for a golf ball with him.

 

Q.  Why is he playing Bubba golf now when he wasn’t playing Bubba golf after victory here in 2012?  What’s the difference?

TED SCOTT:  Judah Smith, who is his best friend on the PGA TOUR, best friend in the world, pretty much, he’s a pastor out of Seattle.  Before this season, he got together with Bubba and they just decided to focus on a scripture in the bible, it’s Philippians 4:11 I believe.  And it talks about rejoicing in your circumstances.

As a kid, he said, you dreamed about playing golf on the PGA TOUR, you dreamed about playing in the Masters.  You’ve won the Masters, you’ve won PGA TOUR events.  What can go wrong for you?  So why don’t you just go ahead and rejoice.

I can tell you, last year was a rough year with the pressure of trying to prove yourself, but this year his attitude’s been great.  It’s been a lot of fun to work for him this year.  I really enjoyed the good and bad.

 

Q.  What did he say on 18?

TED SCOTT:  I don’t remember.  Just crying.

 

Q.  Was it different for him emotionally with his son?

TED SCOTT:  Oh, you got to.  I can’t speak for Bubba, I mean, obviously, I get emotional when I see his son and it’s not even my kid.  So it’s got to be.

 

Q.  How does this feel different from two years ago?

TED SCOTT:  It doesn’t.  It’s a high that you can’t explain.  This is the greatest stage in golf.  You’re walking up 18, you look around, you see the history here, you see the people, the crowd, it’s a beautiful day outside, the sun’s setting, the shadows are there, everything about it is amazing.  And then you’re winning the Masters again.  I mean, I don’t know how to describe that, other than what I just said.

 

Q.  It looked like you were kind of applauding Jordan’s holed bunker shot and Bubba came up to you and said something. 

TED SCOTT:  Help me read this putt is what he said.  But I was applauding the bunker shot.  That was such a hard shot.  And he said, I’m just trying to get it on that shelf and it goes in.  That was an awesome shot.  You have to applaud good golf, whether it’s for your guy or not, in my opinion.

 

Q.  Were Bubba’s emotions different this time around?

TED SCOTT:  No, this year he’s been really fantastic with keeping control of his mind.  Yesterday when things weren’t going well, I was in his ear saying, come on, man.  And he said, I got it, man, I’m fine.

So I didn’t have to cheer him up, I didn’t have to pump him up, I didn’t have to encourage him.  He was flat pretty much as far as his attitude, taking the good with the bad.  That’s what you have to do to win a Major Championship.  As soon as you get thinking the wrong way, you’re done.  Because the course is so hard, it’s so difficult.  Obviously, you can look at the scores where there was six or seven people under par.  It’s a Major Championship golf course.  If you get to thinking sour for one minute, you’re going to back up quick.

 

Q.  How would you describe Bubba golf?  What is Bubba golf?

TED SCOTT:  Freak show.  I mean, I can’t describe it any other way.  I played golf with him probably 40, 50 times.  And we have been together that long and every single day that I play golf with him or watch him play golf I just go, how do you do that?  And I asked him on 18, after he hit the tee shot, I said, are you from Mars or something, because I don’t believe that you can hit these shots that you hit.

 

Q.  What’s the most amazing shot you ever seen?

TED SCOTT:  Okay, we were in Memphis, I don’t know the course that well, we only played it one time.  We were missing the cut.  We were on the front nine and he needed some motivation.  So he likes tennis shoes.

So I said, all right, I’ll bet you a pair of tennis shoes you can’t shoot 3‑under on this side, just to make it interesting.  And we had a tree in the way and he’s got 286 to the hole and it’s all carry over water.  So he had to slice it around the tree and carry it 286 yards to the flag.  And as soon as he hit it he goes, oh, yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.  And I’m like, what are you talking about, I’m getting a pair of shoes.

It came down about six feet from the hole, the greens were soft, he made it, went 2‑under on the first hole that we started our bet, and then birdied a couple more and I lost a pair of shoes.  That was the greatest shot I probably ever seen him hit.  It was crazy.  I’m not a gambler, but it was just something to just try to motivate him that day.  Just having some fun.

 

Q.  What today was a shot that he hit that impressed you?

TED SCOTT:  Probably the shot on 4.  Coming off the bogey on 3, that was a big shot for momentum.  This is a game of momentum, as you guys know, and when you hit a shot like that, a bounce back, so to speak, that’s huge in this game.  It gets the feeling like okay, we’re back.  Whereas, when you make a bogey and it takes you awhile to get another birdie, you feel that the feelings aren’t as good.  That was a big shot.

 

Q.  Did the shot on 13 go through the trees?

TED SCOTT:  I’m standing back there by the tee box, I have no idea where it went.

 

Q.  (No Microphone.)

TED SCOTT:  Yeah, absolutely.

 

Q.  The yardage and that?

TED SCOTT:  We don’t do yardage on that hole.  If it’s into the wind, he slices it.  If it’s not, he hammers it.  It’s Bubba golf.  He doesn’t need me on that hole.  I just spectate like you.  Carry the bag like you and just stand there, yes, sir, and move on.

 

Q.  You say that, but Kip Henley tweeted last night that you might have been put by God on earth to caddie for Bubba.  That it’s not a job everyone is equipped to do.  What’s your reaction?

TED SCOTT:  I don’t know.  I’m very thankful that I have a job with Bubba.  He’s a great guy.  I think a lot of people misunderstand Bubba.  And the more you get to know him, the more you’re going to care about him.

I’ve had a lot of people come up to me and say, man, he’s actually such a great guy.  He’s got a great heart.

He’s just different.  A lot of times people maybe take that the wrong way, but I love that about Bubba.  That he’s such a caring person.  He just does a lot of neat things for people that you guys don’t know about.  That’s why I like working for him.  So I do feel blessed.

 

Q.  Don’t you guys knock heads sometimes?

TED SCOTT:  If have you a brother, you’re going to knock heads with him, so, of course.  The more time you spend with anybody ‑‑ we’re all human beings, we’re all individuals, of course you’re going to knock heads.  Is there anybody that you know that you spend a lot of time with that you don’t knock heads with?  Of course not.

 

Q.  Bubba did a Twitter quiz with his followers this morning and is that, do you think he was just trying to keep his mind off things?

TED SCOTT:  Kill time, I guess, I don’t know.  I don’t follow him on Twitter.

 

Q.  What’s your handicap?

TED SCOTT:  Me?  Duck hook, mostly.

 

Q.  You were down two strokes today, any worry about getting into his head when the kid was up two strokes?

TED SCOTT:  No, this is his ninth year on TOUR, he’s a Major winner, you know that the golf tournament doesn’t start until the back nine on Sunday at the Masters.  So you kind of hang in there, plug away, and try to stay close to the lead and see what happens.

 

Q.  Was there any thought about laying up on 15?

TED SCOTT:  No.  He asked me, he said what’s the smart shot?  And the thing is, is like, okay, the smart shot is to hit it through that huge gap into the bunker, because that’s what he’s so good at.  He can pull those shots off.  I was personally not even worried about it.  I think I would be more stressed on a down slope in the Masters to a 90 yard shot to a back pin than I would be him hitting a 6‑iron punch shot through the trees with that big of an opening.

 

Q.  Did that represent progress that he even asked you what the smart shot was instead of just hitting it?

TED SCOTT:  Yeah, absolutely.  That’s one thing that’s so neat about him that, every year, at the end of the season, he stops, he evaluates, and then he tries, how can I get better.  Every year Bubba gets better mentally.

Last year was a big adjustment.  You win a Major, it changes everything.  It changes the way the press sees you, the media, the fans, everything.  It just changes your whole world.  So that’s a big adjustment for anybody.  So that’s one of his greatest assets is that Bubba does evaluate things and see how he can improve himself.

JORDAN SPIETH

 

MODERATOR:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  Like to welcome Jordan Spieth to the interview room.  Jordan shot a final round even par 72 to finish in a tie for second in his Masters debut.

Before we take some questions, Jordan, could you briefly comment on the round today?

JORDAN SPIETH:  Sure.  You know, going in, it’s difficult to sleep I think at my age in the position that was going to be today, and I slept pretty well.  I woke up around 8:15, 8:30.  I was trying to sleep until 9:45, but I can’t do that.  I knew I wasn’t going to be able to go back to sleep.

It’s tough.  I mean, It’s tough waiting that long to come out here and play this round.  I went through the same exact routine, had the same warm up on the range, felt very comfortable.  I didn’t strike it incredibly well on the range, but sometimes those are my best rounds.

Went over to the first tee and got off to kind of a dream start for Sunday at Augusta.  It’s just so hard to play the first seven holes, I would say, well out here, and I was 3‑under through the first seven.  So if you told me that when I woke up this morning, I would have thought, you know, it would be difficult for me to not win this golf tournament.

But 8 and 9 were the turning points of the day.

When I got to 10 tee box, I still believed that I could win the tournament, no doubt about it.  I still thought that Bubba ‑‑ with the way the golf course was playing, after No. 10, as well, thought that I may be able to really kick into the lead.

And I had a putt on 11 to get back to tied.

So from there on, he played incredible golf.  His drive on 13, I’ll never forget.  I thought that it was out‑of‑bounds 70 yards left and it’s perfect (laughter).  And I guess he knew that when he hit it, too.  Ultimately, hats off to him.

I felt like I could take a ton of positives out of this week going forward.  I feel like I’m ready to win.  It’s just a matter of time and maybe a little bit of course knowledge.

But Bubba Watson is a deserving Masters Champion this year, and that was some incredible golf he played down the stretch to hold it together and make his pars.

 

Q.  How far ahead was Bubba to you on 13?

JORDAN SPIETH:  Oh, I bailed out on my drive, so I hit it very far right.  I’m not sure.  I took two shots and I was a little past his ball.  I couldn’t tell you.

It’s a good set up for him, I’ll give him that, to hit that slinging slice.  But I bailed out, so he might have been 100 yards ahead of me.

 

Q.  Were you aware that it hit a tree?

JORDAN SPIETH:  On 13?  I did not know that.

 

Q.  It glanced off a tree and came back into the fairway. 

JORDAN SPIETH:  Well, that’s his day, I guess.

 

Q.  A fantastic week and it’s never fun to finish second, but talk about the pride factor and when you accomplished this week. 

JORDAN SPIETH:  I’m very, very pleased, no doubt.  It stings right now, and the only thing I’m thinking about is when am I getting back next year.  That’s what’s on my mind, because it’s tough.  It’s tough being in this position.

Obviously I’ve worked my whole life to lead Augusta on Sunday, and although I feel like it’s very early in my career, and I’ll have more chances, it’s a stinger.  And I had it in my hands and I could have gone forward with it and just didn’t quite make the putts and that’s what it came down to.

But ultimately, I’m very happy with the week, happy with the way my game is at going forward for this year, and I’ve accomplished one of my goals this year, which is to get in contention in a major and see how I can do.  You know, hopefully going forward, I can do that again.  There’s still three more this year.

 

Q.  Can you talk about No. 12 and the club and your reaction? 

JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, 12 is tough.  I’m still not sure if you play it the Gary Player way and just try and take as much ‑‑ to where if you hit it great, you just barely fly the bunker.  I thought I had a good number.  There was just no wind at all.  It should have been a touch into us.

I had 9‑iron and it goes 150 yards to the hole, like 143 or so on the carry number on the right side, which is the carry number to the bunker, as well.

My caddie, Michael, simply said, “Take it over the right side of that bunker, right at the TV tower.  Just get a look at it.  This isn’t the hole to do it on.  Just get yourself a putt; you can drain a 20‑footer.”

I got over it and felt like ‑‑ we were trying to throw it up.  The breeze was supposed to be into and it felt a little down, and I if smoke a 9‑iron downwind that’s going to fly in the back bunker, and that’s what that hole does.  I mean, that’s what that hole is famous for is the swirling winds.  So when I got over it, I felt like there was no way it was into.  I felt like it was just dead.

I guess I just got a little too aggressive over the ball, played a little bit of a fade instead of just hitting that straight one over the bunker and it caught whatever, couple‑mile‑an‑hour breeze was up there, and made a big difference.  When it was in the air, I thought that it was still there.  I thought it was really good, actually.  And then it just kind of got hit and fell down short.

So that was tough, tough to swallow at that point, because there’s still a lot of golf left, and that’s what’s so underrated about that hole is that you still have six holes left with really a few good birdie opportunities, so there’s just no point, even though you have a short iron in your hand.

 

Q.  On 8, you hit what looked like might be a really good pitch that you were running up and the thing moved a foot.  What was that about? 

JORDAN SPIETH:  I don’t know if you guys were watching, but it seemed like the greens were pretty firm out here this week (laughter).  Right there especially, that’s around where the pin was yesterday, and it was ridiculously firm yesterday.

So I walked up, to a look, and it’s infamous how the grain is always mowed into out here.  So into the grain, out of the rough, the ball is not going to spin.  I hit it, and I don’t know actually if it was on camera or not, I hit it, and I was calling for it to sit down.  When I hit it, I said, “Sit”.  I thought I had thrown it too far for the bounce and roll forward.

Then the crowd didn’t react, and I was baffled by it, I really was.  I thought it was a really good shot; if anything, a touch past the hole, which would have been below the hole.  I ran up thinking I would see it kind of drift by it, and it was, whatever, 25 feet short, which was pretty amazing to me hitting into the grain.

From there, I just said, okay, let’s knock it close, hit a good speed putt and make par.

 

Q.  For those of us who saw it, it moved a foot after it hit, maybe two feet. 

JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, I pitched the pitchmark.  It wasn’t far behind the ball.

 

Q.  As you’re retelling things here, emotion or nerves didn’t seem to be part of your narrative as you were playing. 

JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, I was definitely nervous, but I didn’t feel like it made me any ‑‑ create any tendencies that would have caused me to hit shots off‑line.

I was nervous, but I enjoyed it.  I was embracing it and I was taking less club.  I had adrenaline, and you know, I enjoyed it.  I had a great time out there today.

I hit shots, even some of the shots like No. 17, the flop shot, those shots are really, really hard; that even though I was super nervous on, came out easy, and I’m taking that going forward and I’ll be able to draw back on those kind of shots.

But yeah, I was nervous, but I wasn’t quite ‑‑ not quite as patient today as I was the first three rounds and holding emotions, as well.  I was very close.  It was still the best I’ve ever done on a Sunday, and I know that it can only improve from there, and that’s what’s driving me to get back out.

 

Q.  What was that feeling like coming off No. 7 with a two‑stroke lead at the Masters on Sunday?

JORDAN SPIETH:  Good.  I didn’t know what the lead was.  I didn’t know where the guys ahead of me were.  I knew where Bubba was at, but I didn’t look at the scoreboard at all.  First time I looked at it was probably 15, 15 or 16.  But I knew Bubba at the time was the one to chase, so I didn’t feel the need to look at the scoreboard.

 

Q.  What was the byplay like for the last round of a Masters on a Sunday, it looked like it was pretty relaxed between you and Bubba.  What was the give and take like? 

JORDAN SPIETH:  It was.  We’ve played a little golf together before, and I think we both have respect for each other.  And obviously as a past Masters Champion and a guy I’ve watched growing up, I was looking forward to playing with him and battling it out.

You know, it’s just another round to us, and I felt like that was going to help us both out and we approached it like that.  Yeah, we were walking down the fairway talking about anything.  We were messing with each other just like we always do.

Our caddies are really close, so we were joking around about Michael rooting for him and Teddy rooting for me (laughter), but it was a good time.  Whether my face showed it or not on the back nine, I was really, really enjoying myself and taking it all in.

Certain shots, you know, just when you want it so bad and so hard right when you strike it, you know it’s a little off‑line, but when you walked up to each green, the standing ovation coming down the back nine of Augusta is a feeling I won’t forget.

 

Q.  Can you take us through 9, your ball rolling back to you, and then how you felt coming off of 9, having lost four shots?

JORDAN SPIETH:  Yeah, I had a good number.  I had a 9‑iron again, which was a nemesis today, and I felt if I hit a really solid shot with my 9‑iron, it was going to be a perfect club.  You’re hitting off the downslope of the grain with the ball below your feet; it’s a difficult shot.

It’s an underrated shot.  It’s not a standard, on‑the‑driving‑range 9‑iron.  You really have to work towards being aggressive at the ball, and I may have just picked it up just a little early hoping to see it go right at the hole, and I just thought it caught it a little thin.  And I had to hit it very solid for it to be the right club and to get there, and I saw it hit in the bank, thought it would climb up.  I was kind of surprised to see it come back down.

Hit a really great pitch shot and a great putt.  I mean, the putt was super hard from five feet there.  I had to play it a foot outside the hole and just touch it and hope it takes the right break.  Thought I made it.

Going to 10, I told Michael, hey, I just barely missed the iron, and the hole before we got what I thought was a bad break on the chip shot, so I was still fine.  I was still playing solid golf and I felt that way.

He told me to keep on believing, keep on believing, and I did.  So although there were two two‑stroke swings because Bubba played them so well, I didn’t feel any ‑‑ I didn’t feel any rush or any kind of extra tension.  I still felt confident going into the back nine.

MODERATOR:  Great tournament, and we’ll look forward to seeing you next year.