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July 31, 2014

Zach Johnson


ZACH JOHNSON:  I played good.  I didn't get much out of it early.  A couple three putts that took me over par early.  Then a lot of good shots that didn't pan out.  I fought it back and got it back to even.

Q.  How does this help set up the PGA next week, or does it?
ZACH JOHNSON:  This event will set you up for everything except maybe the British Open.  You've got to hit it straight.  You've got to hit it solid.  You've got to hit it left to right.  You've got to hit it right to left.  You've got to stay below the holes.  You've got to chip it good, putt it good.  You've got to have great speed, and you've got to commit.
To me, it's in my top two, three favorite tournaments each year.

Q.  Zach, you just finished your round.  Did you hear the news about Dustin Johnson?

Q.  Do you have any comments about it?
ZACH JOHNSON:  I think it's extremely unfortunate.  I feel for him.  I feel for his family.  I feel for his team, those that are associated with him because they've done a lot of good work this year.
More than anything, I wished and I pray that his well‑being will be on the rise, on the mend.  He's a good friend.  I wouldn't say we're obviously very tight, but he's a peer of mine.  Cordial would be an understatement between us.  I would say, if anything, it's probably a mild friendship.
Granted, I get called Dustin every other hole out here for some reason.  It's not because of my drives either.  But I feel for him.  I mean, I want him on the Ryder Cup team.  But that's my selfish side coming out.
If anything, like I said, I just hope this is the start of something really, really positive.  And I don't know what happened.  I don't know what the specifics are, nor should I know, that's none of my business.  I feel for him.

Q.  So this was shocking news when you heard this, a total surprise?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Oh, yeah.  I mean, I thought he didn't play this week because of maybe a muscle strain of some sort.  There's no way for me to know.

Q.  Zach, the PGA of America did confirm he's out of the Ryder Cup.  What kind of a loss is that for the team going to Gleneagles?
ZACH JOHNSON:  It stinks.  It really, really stinks.  When he's playing good, he's got the game that it frankly doesn't matter what kind of golf course it is.  He can do well.  I think he also kind of has‑‑ I don't want to‑‑ I don't want to say he has an intimidation factor, but to some individuals he might in the sense that he can overpower courses.
What goes really unnoticed with his golf game is the fact that he's got a really, really good short game, and more than that, he is just ultra‑talented.
I mean, it stinks.  Like I said, I want him on the team.  I've seen what I can do in those team events.  I don't know how many he's played on.  Played in a couple of Presidents Cups too.  I've played in three of each.  I feel like he's been on essentially half of those, if not more.
He's fun in the locker room.  It just really stinks.

Q.  Zach, the next guy on the list‑‑ and I know we have a couple of weeks left‑‑ is Patrick Reed, young guy.  But what do you know about him and what are your thoughts on him maybe being a Ryder Cup teammate?
ZACH JOHNSON:  He's obviously extremely talented.  Came out in a flurry last‑‑ was it last year was his rookie year?

Q.  He won Greensboro last year.
ZACH JOHNSON:  Was he a Rookie of the Year last year?

Q.  That I don't know.
ZACH JOHNSON:  Well, regardless, he won also this year‑‑ technically last year?

Q.  Twice this year and once last year at Greensboro.
ZACH JOHNSON:  Point is, one, he knows how to win.  Two‑‑ I don't want to say he's streaky because he's so young.  It's hard to tell if he's streaky yet.  When he gets going, he's really good.
I played with him, I think, Sunday at Greensboro when he won.  We were both right there, and he capitalized and obviously came through.
Pretty boring game, meaning he hits it pretty straight, putts it okay, all that you'd want in any sort of championship.  So I guess he's next man in right now.  Is that what you're saying?

Q.  Yeah.
ZACH JOHNSON:  That makes me in by one.  Bottom line is we've got two massive weeks, this week and next week.  Anything can change.  It wouldn't shock me if it stays the same, and it wouldn't shock me if it completely, I guess, 6 through 10 now, if you will, changes.
So you just never know.

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