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July 12, 2014

Zach Johnson


Q.  On a day where you may not have had your best stuff?
ZACH JOHNSON:  That's a really good synopsis there.  That's exactly what it was.  Front nine was really frustrating.  I hit some decent shots and hit some solid shots, but I got nothing out of it.  A couple bonehead mistakes, but if you don't have your best stuff here, this can take you.  The back nine was more solid, you know.  I felt like I left a little bit out there, but for the most part, I didn't have my best stuff, and I didn't shoot myself out of the tournament.

Q.  I felt the whole tournament could have gotten away from you.  You weren't in a good position on nine, and you scrambled to make par there and a really solid back nine?
ZACH JOHNSON:  I tell you what, nine was big.  Terrible tee shot and pretty good second shot.  That's what we were trying to do is error right to the pin and it popped out of there okay.  Obviously, a good sand shot that gave me a little momentum going into the back nine.

Q.  And you kept the streak intact.  23 in a row in the 60s now, and you're still in touch with the leaders, so it can still be a victory for you.
ZACH JOHNSON:  Yeah, a good round tomorrow, obviously, getting off to a decent start would help.  Just getting out there and playing my golf, playing my game, making a few putts, and it can happen.

Q.  The streak continues.  23 straight rounds in the 60s at the John Deere Classic for Zach Johnson.  A bit of a struggle today.  How fortunate were you to shoot 69?
ZACH JOHNSON:  You know, I think it's about what it should have been.  I didn't play great.  I didn't play horrible.  I put myself in position to make some birdies, and I just did not capitalize.  Outside of a pretty bad bogey with a wedge, I wasn't staring bogey in the face too much, so it wasn't like I was going to shoot over par.  It was pretty just boring and just not much fun.
The fun side of it was I played with two great guys, but none of us got anything out of our games today.  So hopefully our best golf is in front of us.

Q.  What can you take away from a day like this where you don't have your best stuff but you're still in the mix?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Glass is half full, lot of positives.  I didn't shoot myself out of the golf tournament.  I have a chance going into tomorrow, and that's all you can ask for on a Sunday at any PGA TOUR event.  I know this golf course, so hopefully I can get into a good rhythm early tomorrow, a little quicker because they're twosomes.  But it's something I'm really excited for.  You know, a good night's rest and we'll see what happens.

Q.  You're still in this thing?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Yeah, I think that's what I'm clinging on to.  Didn't shoot myself out of it, but it was about as blah of a day as I've ever experienced.  You know, a couple misshaped tee shots.  With the exception of my bogey on 6, I mean, I wasn't staring bogey in the face much.  Maybe there were some conservative lines and not quite as aggressive enough on certain pin placements, but none of us got it going.  I'm not saying that's the reason for my play, but it was just kind of boring out there, you know?  Great guys, great conversation, just a lot of blah golf.  But once again, I'm not out of it.  A good round tomorrow.

Q.  Is it a day where you just try to grind it out and stay there?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Yeah, I think so.  That's what Lance and I are talking about.  Staying patient, getting yourself some putts and eventually they'll drop.  I made one, that's the way I look at it, maybe two.  But I need the putter to heat up tomorrow if I'm going to climb that board.

Q.  You know this place better than anybody.  What is it going to take tomorrow?  You're right there and not out of it.
ZACH JOHNSON:  I think Steve Stricker knows it better than anybody.  I might be 1B.  It's going to take a lot of patience, once again.  But it's going to take some birdies early on to kind of get some momentum going.  My guess is based on the forecast, that the storm should get out of here maybe this evening, early morning, and probably going to be once again the same kind of conditions, soft fairways, holding greens.  You're going to have to be aggressive on certain pins and then hold back on certain ones.  But get off to a good start and you never know what could happen.

Q.  Do you think it could be a lot of guys moving today on moving day?
ZACH JOHNSON:  It's about what I expected.  I expected the lead to jump up to right about there, the mid to upper teens.  After you get out and start warming up, if there is anything you have to combat, it's just soaking in, everybody's got to deal with that.  With this amount of depth and talent, you'd expect minimum winds, with holding greens, you'd expect this.  My guess is it's going to be 20‑plus under, but you never know.

Q.  The first three holes you had great opportunities to birdie and didn't make any of the putts.  Was that a momentum killer?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Yeah, I hit one good putt out of three too.  That's frustrating.  I hit a good putt on one.  Pushed my putt on two, and pushed my putt on three.  So, yeah, if one of those drop or two of them drop, you never know what could happen.  But at least I rebounded from that and hit some solid shots at least.  I didn't get overly anxious and start trying to force the birdies.
I hit some good shots that didn't pan out either.  So specifically 7 and 8 just a scramble on 7 and hit two really good shots on 8.  But you know, made a couple putts late.  Maybe that evens it up.  I don't know.  It was a pretty boring day.

Q.  Couple putts in the middle of the round were real close to going in.  Was it a broken record maybe from yesterday?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Here's the thing.  You're going to hit a lot of greens here because of the ways the greens are situated.  You're going to give yourself opportunities.  So a lot of guys are making putts and a lot of guys are missing putts.  My round isn't anomaly.  Everybody's going through the same thing I'm going through.  We saw that with William and Steve too.  It's just the way it is right now.
You're hitting fairways, it plugs.  You hit greens it plugs.  It makes it a little easier.

Q.  No shock to you or anybody up here that Stricker's up close to the lead.  You and he seem to know this course better than anybody?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Yeah, if it's not me one year it's him the next.  So confidence, great results here, that just builds on confidence.  Strick, when he's playing more than three events a year, he's a top 10 player in the world.  Get a guy like that, a little bit of confidence, good things can happen.

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