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July 14, 2016

Zach Johnson

Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland

Q. 67 is a good round of golf.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, thanks.

Q. How do you like the way you finished?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, quite honestly it's probably what I deserved. I mean, granted, to shoot in the mid 60s, you're going to make putts, but I don't know if it evened out or not. I hit really two errant shots coming in, and I hit some I guess you'd say approach shots, pitches, and misjudged the putts, misread the putts, but two really errant shots that cost me. And if anything, you know, you get to those situations and you're just trying to eliminate the big, big one, and I still had chance to make pars.

Tough pin on 18, and I didn't hit a very good putt on 17. I mean, it's not going to take away from a really solid day.

Q. I didn't mean to suggest that. But that's not the way you want to finish.
ZACH JOHNSON: No, never.

Q. How did it feel out there as defending champion? Did it feel different?
ZACH JOHNSON: Oh, it felt great, yeah. These crowds over here are just so warm and welcoming regardless if you're a past champion, defending champion or from the other end of the world. They're just great in that respect. Wise, I would say, very knowledgeable, and just appreciate certainly us being here, but quality golf. Just tremendous, tremendous fans.

Q. Is there a key stretch in your round, a good par save that kept you going there for a while?
ZACH JOHNSON: Geez, I think I hit the first ten greens in regulation, so it wasn't like there was a whole lot of stress there, you know? Yeah, it wasn't like I was knocking down pins, but I put myself in position to certainly make some putts. I missed a couple there the first six, seven, eight holes, but I made a few, too, so probably evened out.

Good save on 12. That was big. I had the pot bunker, made probably about a seven- or eight-footer for par, really good. Then a couple good, three, four-footers that you have to make it kind of seems like. And a couple nice birdies, too, I guess. Yeah, I had it going. I was 6 through whatever it was, I guess 16, and yeah, I felt good.

I'm not going to make excuses. I mean, we were waiting every shot, but so was the group in front of us and so was the group behind us. It's just the way it is at The Open sometimes. Hard to stay in a good rhythm maybe. I mean, I don't know. That's not an excuse maybe, just an observation. But, man, I hit good shots today.

Q. It's so early in the championship, but how much were you aware of what Phil was shooting?
ZACH JOHNSON: I saw the board a few times. I saw him at 4 or 5 at the turn or whatever it was, and next time I looked up he was at like 7 or 8. But I mean, it was like a half a club of wind today maybe. There's probably more wind going out, actually, than there was coming in, and that kind of switched back to the north. It was south by southwest -- or excuse me, west by southwest when we played early and then it went to northwest when we were coming in, so it kind of teetered, you know, but nothing significant. The severity of it was minimal, so it was a day you could get at if you certainly felt something.

Q. It will be a very different test weather-wise tomorrow.
ZACH JOHNSON: That's the forecast. Kind of expect it. I mean, this is a tournament where you can see three or four seasons and knock ten, 11 holes. Yeah, I mean, I don't necessarily trust the forecast at the same time, I mean, 90% or whatever they're saying, that's probably -- I'm assuming it's going to rain at some point. It's just a matter of how long and if the wind blows and all that.

Q. You covered it well last year that kind of weather.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I think you just have to embrace it and accept it and maybe even appreciate it to a degree over here. I don't know. It could be you know, the morning could be brutal and the afternoon could simmer down and vice versa. You just don't know. But you've got to be prepared for anything. We had some practise rounds and some tough conditions, so it's not like it's that foreign. But let's just hope Mother Nature stays like this for a little while.

Q. Are you a summer golfer?
ZACH JOHNSON: What's that mean?

Q. You've played some of your best golf in the summer growing up in Iowa?
ZACH JOHNSON: I don't know. I don't know.

Q. Last year you were kind of peaking going in at the same time?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, there may be a little bit of truth to that. I don't know. I really never thought or looked at it that way. I mean, I enjoy the stretch. Maybe that's part of it. That and I think I kind of know when to take a rest, too. So I'm kind of peaking, or not peaking, but certainly fit and able to compete, if I'm searching here. I mean, I've won in January and I've also won in November and December. I don't know.

Q. And April?
ZACH JOHNSON: There was one in April, too. Spring. So I don't know if there's any rhyme or reason to it. As of late maybe.

Q. Some guys from the Midwest are doing better in the summer because that's how they grew up.
ZACH JOHNSON: Oh, I never really thought about it that way. Could be possible. I'd have to go back and look, but trends maybe.

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