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March 24, 2017

Zach Johnson

Austin, Texas

Q. You staggered a little bit to the finish line. When that's going on, what's happening inside you?
ZACH JOHNSON: It's a nice way to put it, Stevie. Competitive juices. I love it. To sit here and say that I don't relish that feeling would be completely inaccurate. With the exception of the tee shot on 16, I hit good shots. Terrible shot on 16. I made a birdie, made a great putt. It was staggering. I was in control most of the match. After about the second or third hole I got in control of it. Being the competitor and champion that Steely is, he fought back hard. I'm just getting sick of playing 18 every day. I think this hole owed me one, considering what I did the first day.

It's golf. I didn't probably have my best in the last three days, but it was fortunately good enough.

Q. This week it's match play, compared to stroke play which is what you're used to play every day on the PGA Tour. You're one that grinds every week when you start on the PGA Tour. How tough is this week for you?
ZACH JOHNSON: It's difficult. I don't think it's anything more of a grind than other weeks, in my opinion. I enjoy that fight. I enjoy having to dig deep. I love the format. I love match play. I don't know what my record is in this event, I just enjoy the fact that it's a little bit different. Requires a little bit different mentality, requires just a different thought process that's fun.

If we played this every day, I'd prefer stroke play. But I prefer match play because we don't play it very much.

Q. Thinking of thought process. What's your mentality when you're playing a guy with that kind of horsepower?
ZACH JOHNSON: I'm going to start texting him tonight and get in his kitchen. I think his time is about done. Physically he's not looking great.

It doesn't matter who I play. I'm playing arguably the best player in the world right now. It is by rankings, and probably playing as good as anybody has ever played in the last month. I'm going to enjoy the challenge. Hopefully I've got my "A" game tomorrow, I'll need it. I expect nothing less out of Dustin. He's on a role. Frankly I really enjoy playing him. It's fun to watch. He does things with a golfball that only he can do out here. I'm going to fight and there's nothing more, nothing less. I'm excited about the opportunity.

Q. We'd like to thank you about the drama. I know you didn't want it to go that way.
ZACH JOHNSON: No, you don't want that. But I'm sure you all enjoyed that. I hit some good shots, hit some bad shots coming in, specifically the tee shot on 16 was terrible. And Brendan made a great put, and being competitor and certainly the professional that he is, he made me work. You don't really like to see it end that way. You'd rather win on a birdie. With that being said, it's golf. I gave my first match away. So this is the way it goes sometimes.

Q. Hard to lose the match and make it through to the weekend, but you did that. I want to ask you about the approach shot from both of you on 18. You were both long. And I was there more wind up there than you thought?
A. No, I hit it too hard. I had 113 hole, we were thinking about 105 shot, which would have been perfect. But it was about 110. I paid the price there.

It should have been more left, right and down. But it was straight down. So it was a hard wind to judge, specifically if you factor in 17, what the wind was doing there, gusting straight into us. Didn't make much sense. That's the beauty of this country club and the hills, and the demand with some of the these pin placements. It was just a hard fought match.

Q. You play the No. 1 player in the world tomorrow, looking forward to that?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah. We're good friends. I've got to bring my "A" game. Nothing more, nothing less. But I'm going to relish that opportunity.

Q. How tough was that match?
ZACH JOHNSON: It was very, very difficult. Hard fought match. I had control most of the middle of the round of the played great on the back nine, I didn't make any putts. And Steely really came at me on 16 and 17, which you would expect. He probably got a little unlucky on 18. I guess that was the advantage of me hitting second there. And I still hit mine long. Very tough. But I expect nothing less.

Q. Watching you play, it's a golf course that suits you?
ZACH JOHNSON: I feel like I can do some good work here. I did last year. I got through my pool last year fairly unscathed. And then ran into Rory. We went to the 18th, and it was a great match. I think my game is suited here. I think I can do some great work. With that being said I don't know if it really matters what course you play, if you're on, you're on. And obviously I'm playing the same golf course tomorrow, but I've got an opponent that is a little bit.

Q. You are going to have to bring it. You will be playing first, so you can pump it in there tight before him.
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, let's just hope -- unless I gain 60 yards overnight. I'm going to eat a great meal and work out a little bit, but you never know.

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