“I mean, any win is big, but you know, with all that heated stuff going on, it’s a big one for him,” he said.
“I didn’t see it because I was coming here, but I know that there was a real battle coming down the stretch. I texted McIlroy after the win. I just said, ‘Man, great putt on the last hole”.
It prompted the question of Watson if he’d heard back from McIlroy?
“No. I guess he’s probably partying a little bit longer. That was a big win,” said Watson laughing.
Watson was also asked if he was a friend of Patrick Reed and if so, did he feel some sympathy towards the Texan with what his fellow Masters champion has been enduring of in recent years.
“Gosh, every time there’s some heat around Patrick’s name, he just seems to get better at golf,” said Watson.
“Maybe, he should have been on my team. I would have kept him fired up all the time. But now that he is not, I’m going to be nice to him. He’s such a grinder. That’s his whole mentality”.
So what did Watson think of the now highly-publicised ‘Tee-gate’ saga last week involving Reed and McIlroy?
“I don’t believe without a shadow of a doubt, I don’t believe that Patrick threw a tee at McIlroy,” said Watson. “I’ve thrown tees at people before just for fun.
“I don’t look at media, so I didn’t know that there was a subpoena given to McIlroy on Christmas Eve. So yes, I 100 per cent agree with McIlroy that if you give me a subpoena, I’m probably not going to talk to you either.
“I don’t believe McIlroy has done anything wrong in his career or his life.
“And maybe, Patrick was just trying to say, ‘Hey, I’m sorry’. Who knows? But I don’t think he was being mean. Though a subpoena changes everything, right? I’m still going to be friends with both of them, until he gives me a subpoena, that is!
“Also with regards to Patrick’s ball being lost in the palm tree well I didn’t see that on TV as I was flying here to Saudi but then I heard a volunteer said the ball went into the tree that they were looking at, and if that is the case you have to go with that.
“And if both the referee and Patrick saw a marking on Patrick’s ball then you also have to go with that”.
Watson was also asked, and on the back of Spaniard Jon Rahm’s remarks that in allowing LIV Golf Masters winners into the Former Champions Dinner it will only cause tension.
“There will be no tension,” Watson said. “I have talked with former Masters winners who are now LIV attached. I still care about those guys. In American terms, if you went from Verizon to TMobile, I am happy for you. And if you have a better job, and you believe it to be a better job, it’s great for your family and I will be happy for you and your family and I will support you.
“I still talk to Scotty (Adam Scott) and other guys. They are still playing the PGA Tour but they remain my friends, so I will not have any issues in joining them for the Former Champions dinner.
“Like, if Scotty (Scheffler) were to contact me as to how he should prepare for the dinner, there won’t be any bad blood between him and I”.
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