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July 13, 2017

Zach Johnson

Silvis, Illinois

Q. (In progress.)
ZACH JOHNSON: Thought about it when I was on my 14th or 15th. I was like, I don't think I've chipped yet today. I hadn't.

Then I hit one on the fairway on 9, my last hole, and I was thinking, Okay, I'm still going to be aggressive. It was probably -- normal conditions it would probably be a 6-iron, but tried to punch a 5 to get it back there and be aggressive because the greens were holding.

Kind of overcooked it a little bit. Needless to say, it was a good round. Like you said, pretty solid all around. Hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens.

Fun day.

Q. You going low here is not unusual. We grow to expect it. Good start for you. Got to get out of gates quick.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, you do. These conditions, I mean, we've had it where it's been firm. We've had it where you got to pay attention to runouts and wind and pin placements as a result.

With this Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday rain we had, it's one of those you feel like you got to keep the pedal down. That's okay. Just the way it is. The course is still nice. I was surprised we didn't play it up today. I technically only had one and a half mud balls probably, so that was pretty good considering.

Q. Lastly, your irons. I know you're still working hard, dialing them in, even late in the season.

Q. Are you getting close?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, everything is good. Shoot, I mean, I think my irons were probably the best part of my game today truthfully. A lot of good shots, solid shots. I got the ball in the fairway with my driver, but the irons were great.

I putted okay, too, but outside of a 3-putt, it was a clean day.

Q. (No microphone.)
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I'm not complaining. It was good. Got off to a good start. Had a couple maybe hiccups, but nothing that was overly too difficult to manage.

Kept the momentum going at least after a bad three-putt. Good way to finish.

Q. I joked with you. I said home game for you. You said, Yeah kind of ish.
ZACH JOHNSON: Ish, yeah.

Q. But you just look so comfortable around here. What's the story?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I know the golf course clearly. I've played this tour event more than any other tour event in my career. I had sponsor exemptions before I was ever even on tour. I'm very comfortable with the golf course in essentially any condition, I would assume essentially any wind.

All that being said, you still have to execute. Today was one of those good day. I hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, and made a couple putts.

Q. Speak of the fairways, I made the comparison at one stage that your ball flight was looking like those old (indiscernible) that never missed the center. The golf swing is clearly...
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, it feels good. The rhythm is there. That's really all I'm trying to focus on. I think the mechanics of it have been pretty solid, so it's really just rhythm and certainly understanding my shot lines and that kind of thing.

Yeah, I feel good. It's one day. I think it can get better, but could also be worse. Got to be practical about it. However, I like the work I've put in. I like the progress I've made. I like the foundation I have. I'm just going to keep doing what I am doing.

Q. Tell me about the putter. Seems to be trending in the right direction.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, that's been the part of my game that's probably lacked as of late. I think I've had added a little bit -- it's the same putter, but I've changed it, if you will.

When we get on really fast, undulating, hard greens I felt a little bit unsteady, so I got a little bit of weight to it. I think that added weight with my speed has been probably the issue. Probably just trying to really feel that head and know where it opens and closes and that kind of thing.

At this point, the last, I don't know, probably three, four weeks it's really starting to surface. U.S. Open had a couple good days with it, too. I think it was the right decision.

I wasn't too keen on it a couple rounds here and there, but for the most part, starting to see the benefit.

Q. (No microphone.)
ZACH JOHNSON: Thanks. It was a day where seeing the forecast, knowing the conditions, you felt like you had to kind of push the pedal down hard, you know, essentially at all times, and remain patient.

With these conditions and minimal release on the greens, minimal release in the fairway obviously, you have to be aggressive.

On the patience side of things, you know if you don't birdie a couple holes you feel like you should there are a lot of birdies out there.

These kind of conditions, you can get it out essentially any hole, pin placement, and given the right yardage. So aggressive mindset. Certainly Charlie, Charles, you know, was the rabbit today and I was just trying to catch.

But a good day.

Q. You guys push each other?
ZACH JOHNSON: I don't think that's -- not necessarily, no. But I kind of witnessed what he was doing with his putter. It was easy to see. I missed a green and I don't know how many he missed, but still beat me by, what, two or three shots. I mean, his putter was awesome.

My point is you have to be aggressive with that putter, and he was awesome.

Q. (No microphone.)
ZACH JOHNSON: Feels good. I mean, the conditions set up for that. I'm not suggesting to maybe that degree, but they set up for that. You can misshit tee shots and the ball rolls three, four yards in the fairway.

The hole I bogeyed I could see two thirds of my ball. It was coated in mud. Granted, I hit it on the green and three-putted, but 130 yards and I couldn't get at the pin, you know, that kind of thing.

With the soft conditions you have to be aggressive, whether it's you tee shot, you approach shot. Again, I'm comfortable.

Q. How did you feel like you rolled them on the greens today.
ZACH JOHNSON: I feel like I putted great. I know I three-putted a hole, but I was aggressive on it. I think I hit the proper putt the second one. Damon saw the hole, which whatever. Did not do what I thought it would do.

I mean, I feel like I maybe left a couple out there. Made a couple, too, so probably evened out.

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