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March 2, 2016

Dustin Johnson

Miami, Florida

MICHAEL BALIKER: Like to welcome Dustin Johnson here to the interview room, 2014 World Golf Championships - Cadillac Championship winner.

Dustin, if you want to start off by talking about your excitement heading into this week and your preparations.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Coming off a pretty good week at Northern Trust, definitely have some confidence in the game and especially coming back to a golf course where I had a lot of success at. Last year, obviously winning the tournament, and played well here the year before, too.

Always excited to come back here. I enjoy playing this golf course. I think it sets up very well for me. They did make some changes this year, which I think are very good. Just moved some bunkers around mostly. I like the changes. I just came off the course just now. So I'm excited about getting this week started.

Q. How do you think the way you played here last year and the win kind of sets you up or possibly affected the way you played the rest of the year?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, again coming in here last year, I just lost in a playoff at Northern Trust and came here and obviously played very well and kind of continued that for the rest of the year.

This year, I'm looking for kind of the same thing. Just go out and just give myself a chance, put myself in the position to have a chance to win here again on Sunday. If I can keep playing the waive been, I'm going to be right there.

Q. You have a great deal of length off the tee, which everyone knows about. But how are you managing to also keep your tee shots as accurate as they are?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I don't know, I work on that every day, trying to hit it straighter. I think everybody does. When I'm swinging well, I drive it straight. I think that's one of the reasons that I am as good as I am is I hit it far, but I also hit it pretty straight. When I play well, I drive it well.

Q. Any special keys to doing that?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Not really. Just hit it solid (smiling).

Q. What is the difference when you come to a tournament you've won the year before; is there a different feeling? And since it's a WGC event with the Top-50 playing --
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Obviously this is a great tournament. It's got a great field. I won here last year, but since last year, we've played a lot of tournaments. So it's not like I just won here and I'm coming back. It's been a year. But it definitely feels good. It gives me a lot of confidence coming into this week, and like I said, I just want to put myself in position to have the chance to win on Sunday.

Q. You said you liked the changes as far as the bunkering. Can you hit it past the bunkers where they are now?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, they really didn't make it any longer to make it over the bunkers. They just moved some bunkers and took some out and just gave us a little more room if you were going to keep it short of them. It gave you a little more room. Still going over them, I think is still pretty similar to what it was.

Q. I was just curious, had you planned to not play The Honda Classic, or you just -- was it a last-minute decision?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, no, I planned not to. Yeah, just didn't work out in the schedule this year.

Q. If Billy Payne asked for your advice on what to do on No. 13, it's 510 now, and they are talking about lengthening it; if he asked for your advice, what would you tell him?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I like it just how it's been. It's been a great hole for a long time. I don't think they need to change it. But they are not going to ask my opinion, so it doesn't matter.

Q. What's the shortest club you hit there?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: 9-iron probably. That's just -- yeah, I mean, it's straight downwind, so it's not really -- but usually it's around a 6-iron, 5- or 6-iron most of the time.

Q. So Bubba's sand wedge, that's off the charts?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, that's getting it down there pretty good. I think -- my manager just told me that I hit a wedge in one time.

Q. The owner of the resort is getting a lot of buzz this week, Donald Trump, even though he's not here. And I was just wondering, if you have any thoughts on sort of the intersection of politics and sports; I don't know if you're somebody who follows the campaign closely, or if you have any problem playing on this course that he owns, given some of his views.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I like Mr. Trump, so I do like playing at his golf course. It's a great event. I think he does a great job here. And I don't really get into politics, so doesn't really bother me.

Q. Not to be political, but do you think the atmosphere will be different here considering he's running for President, when he's out here Sunday, possibly handing a trophy to you?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, there might be a few more people out here. It might be a little bit more crazy. But they tend to get a good crowd out here. There's always a bunch of people it seems like. Yeah, the fans around here are great, or at least it was last year.

Q. Of all the closing holes on tour, where does 18 rank in your mind?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: It's definitely at the top couple holes, I would have to say, especially when it's windy. It's a tough hole to finish on.

Q. What do you generally hit in?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: They just -- it all depends. Last year on Sunday, I hit 7-iron in. I hit a really good drive and a good second shot. I've hit anywhere from -- I've hit anywhere from between sand wedge to 3-iron, 5-wood maybe. Just all depends on the wind.

Q. Do you think it's the most difficult closing hole?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I'd have to say it's definitely up there. I can't really think of all of them, but it's definitely one of the toughest for sure.

MICHAEL BALIKER: Thanks, Dustin. Play well this week.

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