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They Said It: Best quotes from Masters Thursday

Augusta National 13 green
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Bubba Watson (75), when asked whether Thursday felt any different because it was his first round as a Masters champion: “I gave the jacket up two weeks ago when I was here, so nobody owns the jacket. Everybody is playing for it right now.”

Phil Mickelson, after his first-round 71, on his mindset at Augusta: “It’s just not the way I think of Augusta, but it’s been five or six years like this. It’s just extremely soft. My mindset has got to change now. I’m giving the course now way too much respect. I’ve got to attack these pins because the ball is just sticking.”

Jack Nicklaus, on his ceremonial first tee shot: “Oh, I hit it. The whole goal was not to whiff it.”

Tianlang Guan, 14, on his long-term goals: “I want to win a major, and hopefully I can win the four majors in one year.”

David Lynn, who briefly held the lead during an opening-round 68: “I was on the ninth, and my caddie said, ‘You’re leading the Masters.’ He just looked at me and smiled. I said, ‘I’d rather be leading it Sunday afternoon.’”

Fred Couples (68), on his annual love affair with Augusta National: “I just love the place. I know I can play it. If I drive it like that, I can play it any day.”

John Peterson (71), after reading that he had 1,000-to-1 odds to win this week: “It doesn’t matter if I’m the only one that thinks I can play. I believe I can, so yeah, I felt like I could play, and I feel like tomorrow I’m going to do the same thing.”

Rickie Fowler (68), when asked about good friend Bubba Watson’s victory here last year: “Seeing him do what he did, being there with him and being able to share that moment and on through the night, through dinner and stuff, it was definitely special and gave me a little bit of a kick in the butt to go win a golf tournament.” 

Sergio Garcia (66), when asked about his comments last year, when he said that he no longer believes he has the game to win a major: “It was one of those moments where you’re frustrated. It came out wrong the way I said it, but I know what I meant. It doesn’t change that every week I tee it up I try to play my best golf and give myself a chance to win it.”