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January 13, 2017

Zach Johnson

Honolulu, Hawaii

Q. If Zach Johnson had just one less stroke on his scorecard, he would have been the first-ever player on the PGA TOUR to shoot three rounds of 60. You came close. You shot 61. I guarantee you, 142 players in the field will take a 61 today. If you look back on this round, how would you describe it?
ZACH JOHNSON: Solid, yeah. Trying to think, there wasn't any major stress. A couple 3- or 4-footers for par, but just lag putts, that kind of thing. Hit a lot of fairways. Hit a lot of greens. Made a few putts. Hit it close a few times. Great momentum on 18, my ninth hole, with an eagle out of the trap. That obviously doesn't hurt.

But solid play. It started to just kind of get better as the day went on. I didn't score any better but the shot-making is better.

Q. This golf course is playing different than it has for many years in the past without much wind. When you get to the tee today, does that add more pressure; that you have to go low to be in the mix?
ZACH JOHNSON: You kind of know it, right. Pressure? No. I don't necessarily view it that way. I view it as you can go more aggressive. Especially these greens, they are rolling just fine, but they are really soft. Considering the fairways are running fast, the greens are really, really soft. So you can be very aggressive. I'm not suggesting that's why we saw 59. 59 is a 59 is a 59. But you're going to see a lot of 5- to probably 7-, 8-unders yesterday and today.

Q. 9-under, sounds sweet. How good was it out there?
ZACH JOHNSON: It was good. Kind of sluggish early and then you get one putt to drop and it just kind of cannon-balled there. I had a lot of good looks, and I didn't make everything, but I certainly hit some close and capitalized.

You make a sandshot, that always helps the cause, but very solid. As the day went on, I think it probably became more solid.

Q. Describe the shot.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I actually hit a pretty good drive. It's a very difficult hole to keep it in the fairway, and I didn't hit the fairway. Just punched a 5-wood down there, tried to run it on the green. I pulled it a little bit. Got in the trap. A sandshot, you're probably look at about a six-foot of (ph) radius there, and ideally be aggressive because the greens receptive. I used my sand wedge, rather than my L-wedge, and got a little aggressive with it. It spun right in there. Probably would have only gone two or three feet by. It was good execution. Going in, obviously that's where the luck comes.

Q. What's the major difference? You shoot 1-under yesterday, you're 9-under today, you're 10 going to the weekend. Was it the flat stick? Was it just making a bunch of stuff?
ZACH JOHNSON: Combination of everything. I controlled my flight better. Made more putts. Didn't hit any out-of-bounds. I had a lost ball yesterday. Getting stuck in these palm trees is never fun.

A lot of everything. I think today the big thing was I threw away yesterday. I did end on a good note. I birdied 17, I birdied 18, and that's the kind of momentum you've got to keep and dwell on, and fortunately I did that today.

Q. When guys talk about liking this golf course, playing well here, can you quantify? It doesn't seem to be a certain style of game.
ZACH JOHNSON: No, I don't think it is. I mean, Jimmy Walker has won here and he hits it pretty hard. A couple other guys I'm sure have in the day. Ernie has won, Vijay's won. I think it favors a guy that's just on with his ball-striking or consistent ball-striker.

If you look at Charles Howell plays well here almost every year, and some other guys in particular. I think guys that can control their ball flight, certainly hit the ball in the fairway, that's where I think the qualities of this golf course, it requires those shots.

Yeah, I just think it's one that if you're on, you can go. If you're off, it will expose you, because it is tight. There is a lot of trouble just off the fairways.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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