British OpenJuly 15, 2015

The ten best quotes from the St. Andrews pre-tourney pressers

Tom Watson just completed a melancholy press conference on the eve of his last British Open at St. Andrews, which brings the pre-tournament phase of media obligations to an end. Over the past three days, 11 players have made their way into the press center, and through the dull moments and the predictable questions, a few gems emerged. Here are the ten best quotes—some are thoughtful, some are zingers, some are in between. (The only two players not represented are Louis Oosthuizen and Dustin Johnson, but you can read about DJ's presser here.)

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10. Bubba Watson

On fine dining:

__Q.__You hit the Waffle House in Augusta after winning the Masters. Have you staked out a venue should you win here?

BUBBA WATSON: Well, I noticed there was a Domino's Pizza right across the street here. I haven't looked or seen a McDonald's yet, and I know from past experience there's a Subway, I think, if it's still there.

9. Justin Rose

On his recent spectator-hitting spree:

"It always shakes you up...It's amazing how many times the ball goes into the crowd and people don't actually get hurt, which I'm very thankful for that. But when I got up there [at the Memorial], you realized there was somebody on the ground, and that's obviously a bad start. I think at The Memorial there was no blood, and again, that makes you feel a little bit better. The Scottish Open one was way worse because you couldn't really see the crowd down the left, but as I saw, we were all sort of signaling that the ball was going left, so my eye was in that direction, and then I saw the ball jump up high. Obviously for that to happen, it needed to hit something hard, and it leads you to believe -- you know you've probably hit somebody on the head, and I had a sick feeling walking all the way up there, and I got up there and it was an elderly gentleman, which makes you feel even worse."

8. Tiger Woods

On the passage of time:

"Well, retirement? I don't have any AARP card yet, so I'm a ways from that....I'm still young. I'm not 40 yet. I know some of you guys think I'm buried and done, but I'm still right here in front of you."

7. Rickie Fowler

On preparation for Scottish golf, Oklahoma-style:

"I think what helped was getting to play in weather back in Stillwater when I was in school at Oklahoma State. I used to play when it was pretty cold out. I think the coldest I played was probably 27 Fahrenheit, so below zero. Yeah, I don't know. I'd try to go out and have fun. I enjoyed playing more than hitting balls, so I didn't want to hit balls in the barn, instead tee it up and go play. Over there you'd get some crazy wind, so that also helped my wind game. You get a north wind when a front is coming in. You've got to bundle up, and it may be a day we're out qualifying, and you can't pack it in, you've got to figure it out."

6. Bubba, Again

On his unique ball flight:

"I just move it a lot. And it's not because I want to. I want to be like the greats of the game, hit the ball dead straight, I just can't do it. I've never tried to do it and I don't want to change my game. I'm doing okay right now, you know. I'm getting to play The Open Championship, so my moving the ball is doing okay. It's just I move it so much, I've got a -- at certain golf tournaments I've got to figure out how to hit it straighter, especially in heavy winds."

5. Nick Faldo

On the state of his game:

"Even the rust is rusty."

*(And a bonus, on Rory's soccer match: *"He must be kicking himself, as long as he doesn't injure it.")

4. Paul Casey

On sports that might be safer than snowboarding and soccer, which cost him and Rory valuable time on the course:

__Q.__There is a sport called Extreme Ironing -- PAUL CASEY: You obviously haven't partaken in it.

3. Jordan Spieth, aka "Dr. Feels"

On whether success will change him:

"Why is that? Why should I change? I don't think that changes a person. I think that it changes the amount of time that you have, and maybe that gives some people the wrong idea if you don't have time for people that you've been able to make time for in the past...But no, I don't think that anything should change about a person based on their success and what they do, whatever it is. I figure we've gotten where we are right now from who our team has been now; why should our entire personality change?"

2. Henrik Stenson, the funniest man in golf

__Q.__Would you mind answering a question in Swedish for us? HENRIK STENSON: (Answer in Swedish.)

__Q.__Could you maybe answer this one in Scottish for us, please?


(Bonus: After a journalist asked him if he was ready to "consummate" his relationship with the British Open, he responded: "Yeah, I wouldn't mind a date... not with you, with the Claret Jug.")

1. Tom Watson, who gave one of the saddest and most thoughtful press conferences I've seen

"Do I have any regrets? The only regret I have is that it's the end."

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