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July 14, 2017

Zach Johnson

Silvis, Illinois

Q. Zach, with all of your ties to the area, how does the comfortability factor allow you to play on this course?
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, I think it's just that. I'm very comfortable. I'm very comfortable with the shot making, the lines, certainly the greens, the reads, you know. Obviously boils down to execution.

I mean, I'm starting to play better, which is always nice. I feel like my best game is still in front of me. I just love everything about this golf course and this tournament.

Q. You mentioned that your best game is ahead of you. When you're not playing your best game, how do you assess where you're at?
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, I mean, it's hard. You got to be critical, but yet take it in stride, too. It's never as good as you think it is and certainly never as bad as you think it is.

I'm all about right now. As of right now, I'm doing everything pretty well. I mean, I probably could have made a few more putts today. I drove it awesome, probably as far as I've every driven it. I mean, probably the best driver I've ever had in my bag, the PXG.

That's key here, getting yourself in position to score is important. I've been able to do that for the most part.

I wish I could have taken more advantage of the par-5s today. You know, making three fives on those today would've been -- it's not the exactly ideal; however, it's not like I was knocking the pins down either.

To assess it, there are way more positives right now than negatives.

Q. This is a place we see red numbers year after year. What's the key for the weekend?
ZACH JOHNSON: I think the key for the weekend is certainly just to continue doing what I'm doing: Hit fairways and give myself opportunities. I felt like my last nine holes, with the exception of maybe one or two holes, I could have essentially birdied every hole. That's ideal.

You want to put yourself in a place to be aggressive with loft in your hand and that kind of thing. I was able to do that. More than that, I think patience is obviously the key word. There are still 36 holes left. I mean, we're halfway through a little marathon. It's certainly not a sprint.

Yeah, a lot of positives. I feel in control. The shots that went wayward were either poor decision on the execution or just a little bit overly anxious.

So, yeah, I feel good about everything, quite frankly.

Q. How do you feel is sizes up for the weekend? Maybe you didn't take advantage of your par-5s, but you certainly putted like crazy.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, the par-5s are what stick out today. Certainly I would say my last four, five holes I felt like I could have had a couple more. I hit it in there. I think I had three putts inside eight or nine feet that I missed.

Again, I made a couple, like you said. Making a lot of twos; a lot of par-3s. I don't think that will continue to last. I got to take advantage of those par-5s.

Q. Charles Howell said he really enjoyed sharing your gallery.
ZACH JOHNSON: (Laughter.) Well, that's very kind of him. That being said, I'm sure there were some Chucky Three-Stick fans out there, you know, and rightfully so. He's a world-class player.

Yeah, it's fun playing in front of my friends and family and even locals that I don't know. This is an hour and a half from where it all started, so that's pretty special.

Q. Seemed to get a little off the track there on 5 and 6, but you were able to reel it back in.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, quite frankly, probably should have escaped with two pars, but just a yip of a putt on 6 I guess it was. Then rallied. Made birdie on 7. That certainly calmed me down.

Other than those two holes and maybe a tee shot on 2, it was really solid. I didn't put myself in a position to really make any major mistakes, and kept the golf course in front of fault me. If anything, just going to try to fall back on my last nine holes. It was solid. Tee-to-green it was really good.

I think I misread a couple putts and misshit a couple putts - in particular my last hole was not a good putt. Other than that, there is a lot of positives.

Q. Can you ever remember a John Deere Classic with this weather and how the course played out today?
ZACH JOHNSON: No, I can't remember weather like this. I didn't foresee this. I mean, I saw the forecast. With the rain we had and the humidity we had early on Monday through Thursday, I didn't expect the course to dry out like it did.

You're not going to get a mud ball now, one; and, two, it's starting to firm up. You've got to pay attention to skid and release, both off the tee and on to the green.

So I didn't anticipate it. And I haven't remembered -- I mean, maybe September back, you know, 17, 18 years ago, 15, 16 years ago. I can't recall.

Q. Patrick Rodgers played at your thing Monday and he's been there before. What's your relationship with him?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, Patrick, great kid, terrific kid, talent that's immense. I mean, his amateur resume is one of the best we've seen probably in the last I don't know how many years. Certainly collegiately. I think he tied Tiger's record at Stanford. Tiger was there for two years and Patrick was only there for three years.

We have the same manager, so I've gotten to know him very, very well. Good midwest kid. Good athlete. Played basketball in high school, that kind of thing. Hits it a long ways, but you know, who doesn't this day and age?

But a great kid. Very calm demeanor. Good caddie, Tom. I know him well, too. It's just a matter of time. It's not a matter of if. Hopefully it's not this week.

Q. Anything you need to shore up for the weekend?
ZACH JOHNSON: No. I think it's much of the same: Continue to hit fairways, give myself ops, and maybe hole a few more putts. That's really what it is out here. I haven't putted well in the past so many odd months, or even short game. I haven't scored and I haven't putted well.

I had a couple rounds here and there where it looked all right, but my driver has been terrific. Finally got fitted for the right one I think at the end of last year, PXG. It's been awesome. I'm hitting it as far as I've ever hit it. Just a matter the execution and scoring and wedge play. That's obviously a thing that I always stress. That's starting to really, really come about now. I've hit some really good wedge shots, half shots.

But the name of the game at this point is putting.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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