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August 14, 2016

Zach Johnson

Silvis, Illinois

Q. Seems like you got it going on the back nine.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I got it going a little bit. Hey, I hit some pretty good shots on the back nine, there's no question about that. I didn't hit it very good on the front and kind of got away with it. Just not my best the entire week.

Obviously it was a pretty decent Thursday, but you know, I got things I can work on, clearly. I'm optimistic but there's parts of my game that I think, you know, given situations, would flourish.

Certainly mentally, I feel like I'm fine. It's just a matter of getting everything in the bag proper and getting my fundamentals down a little bit better. Nothing significant, but you know, I'm still frustrated in the sense that I didn't have my A Game at all.

Q. The hill is full at noon on Sunday. Did people come out to support you?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I was thinking about that, quite frankly on the first tee, but there was numerous times throughout the day where I'm like, I'm in 50th place and there's tons of people out here.

I'm not really that surprised to say the least, just because that's what us Midwesterners and Iowans do, and that's indicative of just quality and character of this community. I mean, I was very pleasantly surprised to a degree, but not shocked.

Q. Is it a strange feeling to be coming in as the leaders on Sunday are teeing off?
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, it is here, but it's not like it's that out of the ordinary, as far as my week-to-week, my year-to-year, depending upon where we're at.

Yeah, I feel like I obviously know this golf course and I feel like I can navigate it properly. I'm not getting any roll -- not making any excuses either, but I need some roll here, which would take the driver out of some of these guys' hands at times, that would have helped.

That being said, I think I missed the 18th fairway by about 75 yards. You know, take it with a grain of salt.

Q. How would you describe or evaluate your year-to-date?
ZACH JOHNSON: I would give it about a C, C+ right now, if you're going to grade it. There's certain aspects that I would give an A, for sure, and other aspects I would give a solid B. There's things that I can go back to and that's why we've got things archived. That's why I've got a team.

I know when it comes to this game, as high as I've ever been on it, the next day, it could flip. So I try not to get too high with those highs or too low with those lows. I might be in a valley but it's a small valley and a short one.

I'm very confident that whatever minor valley I'm in, it will turn around shortly and just through hard work and trust.

Q. You said Thursday that if you take things for granted here, it will kick you in the butt pretty much, and that's exactly what happened. Did you feel maybe that was a possibility or were you just saying that as a matter of --
ZACH JOHNSON: No, it's really a way just for me to stay focussed and stay one hole, one shot a time, kind of thing. Because, for that very reason, the moment you feel like you've got it, it will bite you. Especially if you get a little bit off. You have got to be realistic in saying that you're probably not going to be completely on for 72 holes.

I've only had two or three tournaments where my ball-striking was really on for 72 holes. That just doesn't happen that often. You've got to stay on and stay patient, and you know, keep fighting, and that seems like what I do a lot.

Q. What's The Ryder Cup experience like and what does that opportunity mean to you and is it something you think about?
ZACH JOHNSON: I could write a book on that. I wouldn't even know where to start on that. It's the best thing I've ever been associated in golf.

Q. What gets an A so far this year?
ZACH JOHNSON: My short game and my wedge game has actually been better than what it was last year in my opinion. Maybe because it's there's been a little more pressure on it, too, at times; that, and I think just the way I persevered through some things. There's so many aspects to the game, fundamental, physical, technical, and the mental side, too. Those aspects right there have been great.

Q. Your afternoon plans, will you see how it goes or out the door, on the move?
ZACH JOHNSON: I don't know.

Q. You've got such a phenomenal record here, has not quite happened this week but still a good performance. What do you take from it?
ZACH JOHNSON: I didn't have my A Game, aside from maybe one day, as we spoke on Thursday. I think I really -- it could have gone even worse, the way I see it.

But today was a day where you get some momentum and maybe some good things can. I had some opportunities out there that I let slide, and obviously gave some away at the same time. So it probably evened out today. Nothing flashy, but modestly solid.

Q. You have five Top-10s so far this year, and you have a round today; what do you take from it heading into what is an important time for you?
ZACH JOHNSON: You said it. As a competitor, you have got to find and cling to the positives, try to get some confidence with something and sometimes that can breed some momentum.

I'm going to try to stick to that last nine holes, with the exception of my tee shot on 18, and we'll just continue to fight. That's what this game is, and you know, I love the battle that it is. It's a brutal test, always. The moment you think you have it, it will chew you up and spit you out.

Q. Normally we wouldn't want to talk about a bogey, but you had such a great run of form on the 18th hole, arguably one of the greatest shots in tournament history when you hit it from the bunker to win here in 2012. Can you talk about the best way to play this hole?
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, it's a tee shot here where depending upon the wind, you can hit your little fade or push out there, and especially for the long guys, might even hit 3-wood. But it's a driver for me to the middle of that trap.

From there, it's a brutal second shot, almost regardless of where the pin is. I've noticed in times, especially when it's soft like this, the more aggressive I am, the more my lines are tighter. That bail shot to the right is not any bargain. I go into it thinking, I'm not going to be aggressive. I'm going to hit my shot, which is a little draw occasionally, and accept the outcome.

Q. Just finally, Ryder Cup obviously looming, you're on the team as it stands on the moment, still a bit of work to do. How hard is it to stay away from thinking about it too much? Is it something that you embrace?
ZACH JOHNSON: Shoot, I've been in it now numerous times in the sense that you're trying to make it, trying to make it. But the moment I try is the moment I will not have it.

So at this point, I've got Barclays in two weeks and outside of that, that's the only thing I can't control. I'm going to let things fall where they fall. Bottom line is, I hope to compete and play and represent my country again, especially with Davis as our captain. The team that's assembled looks great. Hope I get that blessing. But if I don't, I'll be cheering and be a fan from the couch.

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