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October 8, 2015

Zach Johnson

Bubba Watson

Rickie Fowler

Dustin Johnson

Songdo IBD, Incheon City, Korea

CHRIS REIMER: We welcome the United States Team.^

Would you talk about your day, what were the keys to playing so well out there with Jordan?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Me and Jordan, we felt like we played pretty well all day. We felt like we had a good, solid match. We both made a couple mistakes. I hit a couple bad drives, but one of them we lost the hole and the other we actually ended up winning the hole. Other than that, I think we had a pretty solid day. Played a lot of good golf and it was a lot of fun.

CHRIS REIMER: Zach, I know you're just off a thrilling match, maybe take us through a little bit of the final few holes and what you and Phil had working.

ZACH JOHNSON: Final few holes, yeah, we actually played pretty well on the back side. Felt like we left some out there. So really it was just keeping on, keeping on, not dwelling on the past.

Phil's driver was obviously tremendous. It was pretty much tremendous the entire day, especially as the day went along. The tee shots he hit on 16 and 18, 18 in particular -- 16 wasn't his favorite tee shot. I don't think anybody loves that tee shot.

Those two were crucial. All we were doing was grinding out opportunities. When you see a 40-footer rolling in, you know, still got to stay down and stay focused. Executed nice on 18, but that's what you expect. These Cups seem to bring out the best, and sometimes it works, and you saw a lot of good golf there the last four or five holes.

CHRIS REIMER: Bubba, you enjoy getting out early in these matches. Talk about being the first group out and getting a point for the team.

BUBBA WATSON: It was perfect for us out there. Lucky for us, we made the putts today. Both teams played great. Hit great tee shots, great irons, and then the key was making putts. J.B. made so many putts today. The other team they just missed them.

So I think it was great golf. It was just we happened to make one or two putts more than the other team.

CHRIS REIMER: Rickie, you and Jimmy were paired a bit together at The Ryder Cup but nice to get a point after a number of halves the last few times you've played together.

RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, it was some great golf that Jimmy and I played today. We got off to a good, solid start. He hit some quality golf shots, tee balls and iron shots, and gave me opportunities to make some putts early to get us out to a solid lead. We just continued to play good golf from there, so it was nice to get things rolling and get off to a good start today.

Q. Can you talk about the momentum you not only built throughout the day, but the momentum you carried in here; it seems like a continuation of what we've seen in past Presidents Cups as far as making putts and getting on top early.
RICKIE FOWLER: Well, this is my first Presidents Cup, so -- (laughter) well, it was fun to get out there and see some red up on the board and see the guys get off to a good start and motivated Jimmy and I to do the same thing and go take care of what we needed to do.

I know Phil talked to us about going out and getting a point and getting it done. Jimmy and I played well together. We just haven't finished one off yet. Seeing the guys when they went out there early and throughout the day and continuing to play well and keep red up on the board, it definitely kept us motivated and it made us want to do the same thing and give the motivation right back.

I feel like we all fed off each other and it was a really good start to the week. We have a lot of work ahead of us.

Q. You wanted to play with Phil for a long time. Can you tell me, how was it playing with Phil, and maybe walk us through the 13th hole, and what was it like when he holed the bunker shot and that great handshake of yours afterwards?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, we've talked about it a number of years. It just hasn't worked out. I don't think it's anything more than that. I think I do -- a couple of the captains kind of feel like I'm a chameleon in the sense that you could probably throw me out anywhere with anybody for the most part. I think there's some strategy involved, but I think this is a golf course, and certainly a format that Phil and I can kind of get along with.

Our personalities, which these guys will attest to, are pretty different, but yet there's just some similarities in how mentally we approach it on the golf course that -- it's kind of hard to explain. Probably a different dynamic than you'll see in a lot of pairings.

But, you know, Phil is a different guy, too, and that's the beauty. I love his energy. I've always enjoyed just playing with him, regardless of the format, of the tournament, of the situation.

13th hole, I over-thought the shot on the tee shot. I hit the wrong club. The captains did say the back bunker really wasn't that bad, and once again, these guys would say it too, he's one of the best sandshot, wedges, that I've ever seen in the game.

To hit it up there and make it is one thing -- he felt like he could get it within a four-foot circle, but what great execution on his part, because I put him in that situation and I wasn't very happy about it.

Great momentum considering we probably gave away the 12th hole to get back on the train at the end. From there on, I don't think either one of us missed a shot. From 14, 15 -- he hit this putt on 17, it was tremendous, and Jay's was just a little bit better.

Great bond and great communication, but when it came down to it, we were able to play our games and execute the way we're accustomed.

Oh, and the handshake, it's a gentleman's game, Steve. (Laughter).

Q. Can you elaborate on the handshake when you decided to come out with that celebration?
ZACH JOHNSON: Oh, the handshake, I should apologize. Sorry, Steve -- I shouldn't? (Laughter).

It's one of those things, Phil, he can be a pretty energetic guy. He doesn't -- the beauty of it is what you see is what you get. His emotions are on his sleeve and that's why he is who he is and what he's done. He's one of our leaders and one of the leaders, best leaders I've been around, him and Jim, in particular, in the last 12 years, ten years, whatever it's been.

He likes to let some stuff out, and I'm a pretty mellow guy out there. I thrive with Jason Dufner (laughter) Duf's my boy.

But like I said, Phil and I, there's so many good things that we can do together. Rather than getting up there and doing a chest bump or the big 'ole whatever -- we don't want to -- we just kept it simple. Just a nice, classy handshake when things went well. It's fun. We're here to have fun. Nothing more than that. Good shots deserve a handshake.

Q. Can you talk about the confidence level you obviously felt going into this match with Jordan?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, we were both pretty confident. We played yesterday. We played alternate-shot and played with -- obviously he gives me a lot of confidence, being No. 1 player in the world and the way he's been putting this year.

BUBBA WATSON: (Nodding in agreement).

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I feel like I just hit it on the green and he's going to make it. Gives me a lot of confidence. We just gel really well together.

Q. Did you get in the sense with the other matches going on that you guys winning your match, separated by one hole on the back nine, that point was fairly important?
BUBBA WATSON: When you go out on the first match, obviously what you do is going to have a reflection on the other matches. They are going to look at us and try to look at that first match and see what color is on the board.

So that was my whole goal. Get out there fast, change the color and so the other guys see that and it sparks them going forward. Like Rickie said earlier, you spark the rest of the groups to get the same color up there. So that's what we tried to do.

J.B. made some great putts early, so we were 3-up I think through five, and we didn't make putts for a little while and then we made two putts the last two holes we played to close out the match.

But yeah, that's the main goal. The first group, it's a lot of pressure on you. They try to make sure you're tough enough to take it, because you're trying to get that first point or get that color on the board so the other guys see that and feed off that like Rickie said.

Q. Din the past number of years in The Presidents Cup, the US has done very well in foursomes. Were you surprised at all that the Internationals decided to leave that off this time and were you excited by that?
ZACH JOHNSON: I guess I never really gave it a whole lot of thought to be perfectly honest.

It seems to me, yeah, you're right, over the years we've done pretty well in foursomes as a whole the last three or four Cups. I don't know what their strategy was. I'd say it was a little bit of a surprise. But that said, the format has change and there aren't as much matches and maybe they felt it was in their best interests.

Bottom line is it comes down to what Bubba said; it comes down to making putts, in any format. But in alternate-shot, it seems like putts are that much more heavy. There's more gravity and weight to it. My guess is we probably made a few more putts today.

But we got right on the board. As Rickie said, red is motivation, and really, I think the first group won the second hole; I'm not suggesting that was why, but that's fantastic. I remember I was on the range and asked the captains, "How are we doing?"

"We're 1-up in the first match." Just those little things like that go a long way. So I don't know if -- when there's only one session Thursday and Friday, I don't think it really matters, you know, foursomes or fourball.

CHRIS REIMER: Congratulations on a good first round. Good luck tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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