LIV Golf Las Vegas

Thursday, 8 February, 2024

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Las Vegas Country Club

RangeGoats GC

Bubba Watson

Matt Wolff

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Let's welcome two members of RangeGoats GC. We are joined by our captain Bubba Watson and Matt Wolff. I am looking at this leaderboard and all I see is pink. We've got all four of you guys in the top 7.

BUBBA WATSON: We need to count four balls today.

Q. Tell us, what have you done as a captain in the off-season and with the new guys to create this amazing team dynamic to have this leaderboard.

BUBBA WATSON: You know, it's funny, everybody is excited. Everybody is excited to get back and play. It was a rough one for us at Mayakoba because it's just tough driving. I even played with Joaco today and talked about it.

Even though he played phenomenal and won last week, he even talked about how difficult it is. One fairway last week was eight yards -- 13, the par-5, eight yards wide. I don't know how to hit into that, and I didn't; I hit it in the trees. We knew that going into it, that for our long-hitting team, it was going to be tough, and it was going to be a grind.

Coming here, getting here, we got here on Monday, played a quick nine on Monday late in the day, saw the ryegrass, we get excited and feel like we can play, and it shows.

It's not like the guys played bad last week, it's just the golf course is really, really difficult last week. It's good to see.

Q. Matt, welcome to the RangeGoats. Tell us a little bit about what your experience has been working with Cap and on this team so far this season.

MATT WOLFF: It's been a lot of fun. Having support has been more than I could ask for. Really just being around a good group of guys that care about you, want you to play well, and more than anything, just are out there regardless of what you shoot, good or bad, you're going back, eating dinners, hanging out and not talking about golf really.

It kind of helps me just be in a better frame of mind and mentally, as well. But yeah, I think echoing off what Bubba said, last week it was first tournament of the year. I hadn't played since Miami last year. Kind of kicking some rust off, and it's a hard driving course and didn't really suit us too well I don't think.

This course is a little bit more forgiving but still got to hit your driver well. It's only day one, so we're definitely looking to carry momentum into the next couple days, but I'd rather be -- I'd want to be on the top of the leaderboard after day one.

Do you?

BUBBA WATSON: No, day three.

Q. You guys both shot 65 today. Tell us about your rounds and your experience with this golf course.

MATT WOLFF: Yeah, I really like the golf course. I think there's OB on a few holes and there's some tight driving holes, but for the most part, it's just trees, and I felt like I'm really starting to hit my driver a lot better.

I just really gave myself a lot of looks and made sure to minimize mistakes. I thought honestly people were going to tear this place up. I thought we might see another 61, 60. The scores were a touch higher than I thought. It's a little harder to make putts than I envisioned.

I think I'm just going to keep on giving myself a lot of looks, and like I said, minimizing the mistakes. I'm not going to change what I did today.

BUBBA WATSON: Let me tell you what I did today. I missed two -- if I remember correctly -- I missed two fairways, back-to-back holes. No. 3 and No. 4, hit lob wedge from both of those, but I only missed the fairway by less than 10 feet. We'll say five feet just to make me sound better. That was the only fairways I missed.

If I can hit my driver well like that, put it in play and feel confident with it, I know that I'm going to have a pretty decent day. Just make a few putts.

That's what I did today, just kind of stayed steady. Three-putted the party hole. Got nervous.

MATT WOLFF: I made birdie so they liked me.

BUBBA WATSON: 16 with the wind coming, kind of swirling there on 16, it was a tough hole. I blocked it into the bunker and didn't get up-and-down, so I made two bogeys on two par-3s. But played really solid.

Seeing the leaderboard, birdieing the last hole, 18, to tie two of the guys, maybe we can play together tomorrow, was awesome. It's awesome to see all the pink up there. It was fun to see that going around the leaderboard and going around the course today.

Q. You guys are both kind of checking the leaderboard, saw the pink. Does that give you extra motivation to play well out there?

BUBBA WATSON: It does for me for sure. I get thrilled. If I don't see pink, then it makes me fired up, and if I do see pink, it gets me fired up because I want to play better to get our team up there, and then if you see all the guys you've got to play better so you're not losing at 4-under today.

Q. Matt, were you leaderboard watching today?

MATT WOLFF: I try not to. I think a little bit.

BUBBA WATSON: You don't even care.

MATT WOLFF: I do. I promise. Yeah, I think a little bit. I always kind of glance at it and stuff and to see -- I saw all of us at one point were in the top 10, and I think we still are. To see all the pink up there and stuff, I think it gives you a little extra motivation, too.

When you're playing for yourself, you're obviously playing as hard as you can, wanting to hit shots, but when you see your team playing well and you're playing well and you feel like you can maybe take a little bit of that momentum and help the team more than yourself, I think it kind of gives you a little extra motivation. At least that's what I feel.

I'm really happy to be on the RangeGoats, and I think that contrary to the first event, I think we're looking forward to a good year and a fun year for sure.

Q. Bubba, I know the road to recovery from your knee surgery has been a little bit challenging for you. You struggled a little bit last year. How exciting is it for you to be at the top of the leaderboard and in contention?

BUBBA WATSON: It feels great. That's what I wanted to do. I wanted a challenge. I want to lift a trophy, not only for the team but also for me personally, selfish reasons, that I want to prove to myself that I can play golf at a high level still.

I knew it, talking to the doctors, consulting everybody, my therapist, Tyler. I knew it going into it. It was going to be a two-year process to get to 100 percent or 95 percent. We had to take out some of the meniscus, we said about 80 percent. We knew it was coming. We just had to keep grinding. Here we are.

Last week even though it was a tough course, I battled to get in there up close to the leaderboard. This week, starting out day one. I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to the challenges all year long and trying to compete and having my name said more than once later in the week each tournament.

Q. You guys went to see the Knights the other night. How important are team outings like that in terms of building the camaraderie in the team?

MATT WOLFF: Very. Yeah. I think going to games, hanging out after the round -- we shared a villa in Mayakoba, and we were all four of us staying in the same spot. It was just nice. It really did feel like college because I'm not that far removed from college.

After the round, regardless of good or bad, you're going back, you're hanging out with your roommate, you're hanging out with the team, you're going to dinners, and you're not talking about golf.

First off, no one wants to hear every single shot that you hit and every bad break or good break that you get. More importantly, it's just having guys that have similar hobbies and interests. We all love sports, and just -- we just talk about whatever.

It's just really nice to feel like you're kind of separated from golf because at these tournaments, you can kind of get wrapped up in it all, and how you play can affect you off the course, as well. To be able to go off the course, like I said, regardless of good or bad and know that guys are going to support you and you're going to be able to laugh and talk and kind of just hang out, it's relaxing and refreshing. It's new for me.

Q. Do you guys have other plans to do stuff this week?

BUBBA WATSON: This week? Hopefully lift a trophy.

Truthfully, during the photo shoot down in Miami, we went to the Dolphins game. We went to the Heat game. Later in the year, we're planning on doing some more stuff in Miami.

We stayed last week. We flew together, went to the game. We're trying to do some more things that work out in our favor that we can do together.

First time I talked to -- I think Matt was at dinner when I told him the trade happened. He texted me and said, what's going on? I called him right away, and first thing I told him, I said, dude, I don't care anything about your golf. I don't care. I'm not going to teach you anything about golf. You've already learned it all. That's up to you. All I care about is you as a person.

I want the team to see that. When we travel and we do things, I want to have fun. I don't want to just sit in a hotel room and be bored or mad at my bad scores. I want to get out there and just go have fun with the guys and go watch some sports. I mean, that's what we do, go do some fun things. So far it has worked out that we've been able to do some cool things and some fun things together.

Q. Super Bowl on Sunday?

BUBBA WATSON: My wife is -- 25 years ago, the Final Four at University of Georgia, they made it to the Final Four, so they're celebrating. Why did they pick Sunday of the Super Bowl? I don't know, but that's -- so I'm going straight -- when I leave here late Saturday or early Sunday, however you want to word it, I'm going straight to Athens so I can be there. I land at like 8:00 in the morning so I can be there for the 12:00 game to support her and her old teammates, her old coach, and then we'll still have time to stay in Athens and watch some football.

Q. You talked a little bit about obviously all four of you guys hit it great off the tee. Is there any type of internal competition in terms of driving distance? Do you guys have any fun --

MATT WOLFF: There's no competition. I'm the farthest by a lot.

BUBBA WATSON: It's 100 percent true. Nobody is out-driving him. It's funny, I'm fourth. What are you going to do? I am fourth. Guys are longer than me. I can't help it.

My goal is to hit more fairways than them.

Q. Matt, you've had some really good success here at Shriners, had some kind of phenomenal streak of under-par rounds there. Is there something about coming to Las Vegas that kind of gets your juices flowing?

MATT WOLFF: I do like it here. I think that the vibe is really good. I like the golf courses. The grass that we play off of here is really, really pure.

But I mean, I don't think there's anything in particular that I could put my finger on. I just think that I'm in a much better spot, and I guess it so happens to be when I'm in Vegas I play well.

I think the golf courses suit me kind of well. They're a little bit more forgiving off the tee. Not so much like they're wide fairways, but it's not just OB like last week and stuff or hazards. I feel like I can be a little freer and let loose and stuff.

Most of the golf courses here are ones that you can kind of take apart and go low on. I feel like that kind of adds into the low scores and stuff.

But maybe I'm just losing too much on the tables that my luck has to turn eventually.

Q. When you guys saw Vegas on the schedule, did you think you'd be teeing off when it was 41 degrees?


MATT WOLFF: No. We were complaining, like man, this stuff is so thick, in Singapore. There's no way we're going to be wearing sweaters, and now we come here, and I'm like, gosh, this is nice. No, we didn't expect it to be 41. Did you?

BUBBA WATSON: Yeah. I looked at the almanac.

Q. How does that temperature affect this course?

BUBBA WATSON: Your ball doesn't go as far. Only 330.

MATT WOLFF: Yeah, to be honest, I just think you're wrapped up a little bit more, but we've got handwarmers, and this gear keeps us really warm. The ball definitely doesn't go quite as far, but to be honest, that's pretty much it. I think you just have to play for it.

But most of these guys out here, we have so many -- we have TrackMans and GC Quads and all these that they measure the altitude and the temperature and tell you how far the ball is going. Most of us are pretty dialed in, and we know exactly how far we're hitting it regardless of the temperature and the conditions and stuff.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
140955-2-1041 2024-02-08 23:43:00 GMT

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