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August 12, 2015

Dustin Johnson

Kohler, Wisconsin, USA

JOHN DEVER: Good afternoon, everyone, welcome to the 97th PGA Championship here at Whistling Straits. We would like to thank Mr. Dustin Johnson for joining us, spending a few moments with us.

Dustin, welcome to your sixth PGA Championship, three of which have rendered top-10 finishes. Is there something about the PGA Championship that you really enjoy?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, I like any of the Majors, but the PGA, it's always like the venue that we're playing at that I like. It's at the end of the year, it's the last Major of the year, so that's kind of when you want to really be playing well. You want to play well all year, but you would rather play, if you're going to pick what time you're going to play your best, it would be at the end of the year. So, I don't know, I tend to play well in the PGA. It's just an event that I really like.

JOHN DEVER: What part of your game needs to be on this week if you will, to put you over the top and finish the deal?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I think every part of your game, on this golf course, needs to be good. You've got to hit every club in the bag. You need to drive it well, hit your irons well, and always if you want to have a chance to win a Major, then you've got to putt it well. That's just something -- these greens are fantastic, they're rolling perfect, so if you're putting well, you can make a lot of putts.

JOHN DEVER: Questions, please?

Q. Your golf has been world class. You've been through a bit of a ride in life and you seem to have got your focus back on the game. Would you talk to us about the journey and what kind of transformation you've had to achieve to get where you are today?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I don't know.

JOHN DEVER: Can you repeat it again?

Q. Your game's always been world class but you've been through a bit of a rough ride and you needed to get your focus back on the game again, would you want to talk to us about the transformation as a person?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean probably the biggest transformation would be the birth of mine and Paulina's son, that was probably the best thing that he's ever happened to us. And it's going to be -- so that's been the best thing for me and probably the most positive thing that I've had. Having a son makes everything so much more easy. You don't worry about golf as much. You don't worry about anything as much. The focus is more on him. So that's been the biggest transformation, biggest, the best thing that's happened to me.

Q. Before we started you said it was your desire to ask a question. If you could ask media one question, what would it be?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, we were just missing around. It was going to be a question to Jordan but I'll wait until next time he's up here and I'll ask.

JOHN DEVER: Get him next year.

Q. How often have you thought about what happened here on the 18th hole five years ago?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: About as many times as I've been asked the question. I mean, so, I don't know how many times that is. But I don't really think about it unless someone asks me the question. But this year I don't have to worry about it, there's a grand stand there. Thank you, PGA. I appreciate that.

Q. What have you seen the first two days that could tell you this could be your week and that the slate could be wiped clean right here with a little redemption sprinkled on top?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, I've had a lot of good practice the last few days. The game feels like it's back to where it was at the U.S. Open where I was playing really well. I got a lot more confidence in my swing. I did a lot of good work with Butch and Claude Monday, Tuesday, today. And I feel like every part of my game's pretty good right now. I feel like I'm driving it well, I feel like I'm hitting good iron shots, and the putter is rolling pretty well. So, it just all depends. I mean, this could be the week. Any week could be the week though.

Q. I think we all marvel at how you don't let any of it bother you. Close calls, you just wash them away and move on. Yet is there. Have you had some sort of conversation with yourself at some point in the last few months to say there's something more you have to do in order to close the deal?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No. I mean, you go back to the U.S. Open, I don't think there's anything else I could have done. Unfortunately, the surfaces we were putting on weren't up to, you know, weren't as nice as these. So it was tough to control what was going on. But I controlled everything else so well, I mean I was even hitting my putts where I wanted to, just it's tough to get it in the hole. We knew it was, going into it. I mean, but there was nothing else I could have done.

So, no, I don't really think about that, I just, you know, this week, it's going to be a long week, tee off early in the morning tomorrow, so just focus one shot at a time and go.

Q. Martin Kaymer said earlier that he's sad that whenever people talk about the PGA at Whistling Straits they always think about what happened to you in 2010. What is your response to that? Do you think that what happened to you in 2010 overshadowed his victory?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I don't know. You would have to -- obviously Martin answered that question. I can't answer that for him. But I mean maybe a little bit. I'm not real sure. Obviously he did win, so that, I mean that was a great achievement. I would have liked to have at least been in the playoff with him to give it a shot, but I wasn't. But, yeah, I mean when you have something like that happen, on the last hole, it definitely, it definitely overshadows a little bit.

Q. There are notices all over the locker room this week about the bunkers. Have you looked at them first of all and secondly can you at least smile a little bit at how many there are and probably because of what happened five years ago?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I haven't looked at them but I don't need to. After what happened, I'm pretty sure I know what's going on.

Q. Before an event like this, what are your emotions? Are you anxious, are you nervous, where are you at emotionally?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I'm just chilling. Trying to get focused for tomorrow. I always get nervous on the first tee at every event. So, but as far as right now, no, I'm feeling good. Ready to get going, but no really emotions right now.

Q. You've obviously come very close to winning a Major Championship, other than the fact there's only four of them, why do you think it's so hard to win a Major Championship these days?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: It's difficult because of the quality of golfers. If you look from everyone in the field, I mean pretty much everyone in the field is a fantastic golfer. And so whoever has the best week that week is going to win the tournament. I mean, it's just the -- if you look at the -- even the say the top 100 guys, every single one of them has a legitimate chance to win. That's the great thing about golf is you never know who is going to win. On good tough golf courses it brings it back to the best players. But it's always the best player that week is going to win. I mean so it could be anybody. I think that's why it's so hard to win a Major.

Q. Big hitters have had good success in the two previous PGAs here but what is your opinion on the importance of length on this golf course?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, there's a few holes that are long, but if you looked at the leaderboard over the past two, what has it been here twice, I think? It's a mixture of long hitters to average hitters. So that doesn't really matter, I don't think. It's just all about, if I drive it straight, yeah, I've got an advantage, but you got to hit the fairways. Whether you're driving it short or you drive it far, you got to be in the fairway because the rough's brutal and if you get out of the rough into some of these bunkers, you can get some funky lies.

Q. Is there something -- you and Jordan have obviously play a different game tee to green. Is there something about his game that you look at and say, wow, I wish I had that?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I wish I made as many putts as he did. He does. For sure. But that's one thing I think he does very well is he putts the ball really well. He makes a lot of putts. Not just short ones, he makes a lot of 20, 25 footers. He makes more than anybody on TOUR.

Q. You're often complimented by your ability to let disappointment roll off your shoulders. In your quiet moments how much do these close calls in Majors stink, disappoint and motivate you?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I don't really get too angry about them, but yeah, definitely motivation for sure. It's frustrating sometimes, but not, I try not to let it bother me. I love the game, and at the end of the day, it is just a game. And we're out here playing for all of you and all the fans and so to get upset and get too worked up about it, I think it's not worth it.

So I try to learn from all the things that's happened and move forward and help me the next time I'm in the situation to overcome it and get a Major Championship.

Q. In what kind of mind, in what kind of state of mind were you when you came into this clubhouse on Monday? Were you remembering some flashbacks from what happened in 2010?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, not really. I mean, yeah, you think about some of the stuff, but I was more worried about getting on the range and figuring out what was going wrong. So, I struggled at Firestone all week. I played well the first two days or I scored well, I would say, I didn't play well at all. And then on the weekend I just didn't score. But just wasn't hitting the shots that I was wanting to hit. So, I was -- I had along session on the range on Monday and so that's more what I was focused on when I was coming in Monday morning.

Q. At what point did you find out that there was a bunker -- or there was a grandstand that was built over that bunker and what was your reaction?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Oh, well, it was on the range at Firestone, I think. G-Mac came over and told me that there was a grandstand there, because he was out here I guess practicing and he had said something about it in the press and he just wanted to make sure that I knew that he was just kind of making a joke. And I was like, yeah, I didn't care at all. So, we were laughing about it though.

Q. How tired are you of being asked why you haven't won a Major yet?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I'm not tired. I mean it's obviously -- if you're asking me the question it means I'm close and I'm playing well in them. So it's hard to win Majors, it really is. You ask any of the guys out here, it's tough, especially the ones that haven't won. I mean even the guys that have won, they will tell you how tough it is. But I'm not tired of it yet. Ask me in five or 10 years maybe I'll be tired of it by then. But as of right now, I'm not.

Q. You're playing with Jason Day and Rickie Fowler the next two days. Talk about your relationship with those two guys and how you feel playing with them over the next two days?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, when I saw the parings I was excited. Rickie and Jason are both good buddies of mine. I enjoy playing with them. Both very talented players. We get along really well. Rickie lives right down the street from me and down in Florida. And then Jason's a fellow TaylorMade person, so, yeah, spend a lot of time with him. I like both of them and it will be a fun week.

Q. You spent a lot of time with the greatest hockey player who ever lived. What sort of advice does he give you about the ups and downs of sports and what sort of a golfer is he now?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Wayne? Wayne, he's a pretty good stick. I mean he's a 10 or 11 handicap. But he is a good 10 or 11 handicap. He makes birdies and he plays pretty well. He just will have a couple holes where he'll be in his pocket. But other than that he's a pretty good golfer. We play a lot of golf together so I get to see it a lot.

Q. What advice has he given you?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, I spend a lot of time with him, so it's -- I get to watch him and kind of learn from him like the way he handles things and the way he portrays himself. If you ask anyone, he's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet and he always makes time for people to either to talk to them or sign autographs. So, just the way he handles himself is more -- he doesn't really give me too much advice on golf. But it's more -- it's impressive to me just to watch him and just be around him.

JOHN DEVER: Dustin, have a great week. Thanks for your time today.

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