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July 12, 2015

Zach Johnson


ZACH JOHNSON: I mean, yeah, I don't know. I don't know if it was a backfire from a boat or firecracker or what. But I mean it sounded like a gunshot obviously. Reverberated up here someone said. So unfortunate. I don't know what I had, 30 to 35 feet. It's not like I'm tapping something in, you know. I still got my par out of there, and would have liked to hit a better first putt. At the same time, you know, we're not -- we're used to a lot of things. Maybe not quite that severity or that odd of a thing, but at the same time, you know, regrouping and delays and all that kind of stuff, you've just gotta roll with it.

Q. You must be feeling good about the game as we head into the Open next week.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah. I feel great about my game. I've been feeling good about my game for months. It's just a matter of being patient and execution. And I putted well. I just didn't have enough at the end, which is unfortunate.

Q. 65. You nearly pushed it to 20-under on the last. What's your take-away from today?
ZACH JOHNSON: I mean, you know, you're always, as a golfer, as an athlete, you're always probably thinking and reflecting on the exact last shot; right? You know, I hit a good putt. I saw Johnson's, you know, maybe a foot to the right of my line go left at the very end; mine went right. I hit a good putt, so I can't complain about it. At the same time, as frustrating as it is, there's way more positives. I'm saying all the right things right now, but I'm frustrated.

Q. What exactly happened on 16? Obviously that noise, it was like an air cannon?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah. I don't know if it was like a pipe bomb or backfire from a boat, I don't have any idea, but I know it was loud, and I know I was about ready to hit my putt, and I mean, you know, it was 35 feet. It's not like I was hitting a tap-in or eight-footer or one of those things. But unfortunate, but as a golfer, I guess as an athlete, you gotta regroup and just kind of get back in it mentally and fortunately I did okay.

Q. Big picture now, how much momentum are you carrying now into the Open championship with yet another good finish here at the John Deere?
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, that's just it. I got some momentum. I would have probably felt good about next week regardless of what would have happened today because I know the state of my game. I know I'm controlling my trajectory, I'm controlling my spin and left, right, right left. I feel good about things. It's just a matter of execution. Probably around 14, 15 is when I really started to take a look at what was going on. I figured I was either, you know, right there, one back, two back at the most. I assumed I wasn't in the lead. So you know, I think my mental game plan there was appropriate. You know, I made a couple of good pars and maybe had a couple unfortunate breaks on those last five holes. But all in all a really good week.

Q. 14 and 17, looked like you had lies that were really wet, you couldn't really make the cut you wanted?
ZACH JOHNSON: No, I couldn't. I probably could have called on 14, but in my good conscience, I couldn't see casual. If I was about 20 pounds heavier, I might have got it.

Q. Pretty familiar place for you. If you're not winning this tournament, you've got players looking at the leaderboard to see where your name is.
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, yeah, I mean as of late; right? Yeah, I mean I like it. I love everything about it, I love what this tournament's about. I love this golf course, and I'm comfortable here. It's not always going to transpire to what's happened in the last so many odd years, but I don't want that streak to discontinue, so hopefully I can maintain some good form here.

Q. You've won some of the biggest of them all, so I know that you're very mentally strong, but does this one weigh a little heavy on you, this tournament itself, when you're in your hometown and you've got so many familiar faces, when you've got John Deere on the bag?
ZACH JOHNSON: Oh, yeah. Sure, the weight of this tournament, and I guess you would say specifically what it means to me is substantial. What I finish on the leaderboard on Sunday -- ideally on Sunday -- quite frankly, is irrelevant, as far as my love and certainly my affinity for this place and the people. If I play good, it's just a bonus. That's where -- I played poorly here, and I still get a great round of applause and great support. So my score card, fortunately, with these people and everybody associated, I don't want to say it's irrelevant, because I know they're pushing for me. At the same time, it's nearly irrelevant.

Q. Did you execute the putt on 18 the way you wanted to?
ZACH JOHNSON: I hit a perfect putt.

Q. When you walk on to this golf course, do you expect -- are you to a point now where you expect a finish like this?
ZACH JOHNSON: No. I don't have any expectations with anything. I mean I've had good form going into tournaments and missed cuts. I've had mediocre to poor form in tournaments and essentially won or been really close. So expectations are insignificant.

Q. This tournament does such a good job of giving young guys opportunities. It's given Tom Gillis it seems like that kind of opportunity today?
ZACH JOHNSON: Tom's old.

Q. I know. That's what I'm saying. It's giving an old guy an opportunity today. The score he's been able to accomplish today?
ZACH JOHNSON: I don't know. I know he's at 20, but I don't know if anybody else finished at 20 or not. I'm assuming someone did.

Q. Just Spieth.
ZACH JOHNSON: So yeah, I mean it's great for Tom. I mean you know, that's the beauty of this game, that's the beauty of the PGA TOUR and the sport. We've got young guys, like a Jordan and guys even younger than him quite frankly, and guys that are well into their 40s that are still competing and can still go out there and do it.

Q. How do you transition now in the next couple of days to get ready for St. Andrews?
ZACH JOHNSON: It's not hard to get ready for a major.
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