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July 19, 2017

Dustin Johnson

Southport, England

MIKE WOODCOCK: We're joined in the interview room by the world No. 1, Dustin Johnson.

Dustin, you've had a season with a few wins so far and a string of good performances. Obviously perhaps not what you would have hoped for in the majors so far this year. How much of a platform do you have coming into The Open this week.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I feel good. I feel like the game is starting to get back to what it was. I'm definitely hitting it a lot better. I feel like the putter is starting to roll a little bit better. That was really the only thing that at Muirfield, at Jack's tournament, and at the U.S. Open, I mean it was really just putting. But after the injury at Augusta I spent a lot of time working on my swing and kind of not much time working on the short game. So that was not by design, but just kind of how it went.

I struggled a little bit on the greens at Memorial and at the U.S. Open. But the putter feels good. I'm starting to roll it a lot better. And got a lot of confidence in it. Everything is feeling pretty good right now.

Q. Just wonder what your feeling is about the course, have you got a good vibe about it? Do you feel it's a course that could suit you?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I really like the golf course. Obviously it's my first time here. But I got over here early; I got here on Saturday. So I've gotten a lot of practise on the course. And I feel like it sets up well for me.

But it's like any Open Championship, you've just got to control your golf ball. If you can do that, you can get around here and shoot some good scores.

Q. I don't think they have names for the holes like they do at St. Andrews and some of the others, but if you had to name the 6th hole, what would you give it?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, probably words I couldn't use in a press conference. But it's a good hole. It's one of the tougher holes on the golf course. But there's plenty of room out there, you've just got to hit a good tee ball there.

Q. I'm curious what your strategy is there, do you come short of the bunkers, do you take it on, along the right?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: It just all depends on the wind. If there's any kind of help in the wind or cross, then I can hit it over the bunker. And so that's what I'll do. But if it's hurting, it's a really tough tee shot for me, because even if it's straight into the wind, I've got to keep it left of that bunker.

Q. If you were to win The Open, where would that rate in your achievements?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: It would be just as good as the U.S. Open win, for sure. It's definitely one that -- I feel like I play well over here. I like this kind of golf. You use a lot of imagination. You've got to use a lot of different shots. I really enjoy coming over here and playing.

But, yeah, it would definitely mean a lot, and it would be just as good as any of my other wins.

Q. I wonder if you would give us your opinion on the PGA Tour, the decision to allegedly introduce blood testing for doping control for next year onwards?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I don't care. They can do whatever they have to. It's nothing that concerns me, that's for sure.

Q. Has Brooks been goofing off since his U.S. Open win or are you guys continuing to work out? How is that going?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: He had a good couple weeks. But, yeah, the last little bit, definitely started working out. I have been. There was nothing for me to celebrate. I've been working pretty hard the last month. He had a few weeks off, which was well deserved. But, yeah, he's back on it now.

Q. When he's back on it, is it you and he together most days?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, a lot of times. A lot of times we work out. We live pretty close to each other and we train at the same gym. I usually get to the gym a little bit earlier than he does.

Q. I don't know if you're a tennis fan, do you feel golf at the moment lacks a Roger Federer kind of figure? And as well as No. 1, do you feel a responsibility to represent the sport and also attract people into it, to be a star?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I think I do okay. I don't really know. You all will be the judge of that. But as far as my opinion, I think I do a pretty good job.

No, I think golf is in a really good spot right now. I think with all the -- myself included, but all the young guys that are so good. I think the talent level is very high and it's very exciting every week.

Q. Just to follow up on that, with the seven first-time winners in a row of majors, do you think it would be better if the talent was more focused on a few names that people could really root for and look out for?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, you know, like I said, the talent level is so high on the PGA Tour that it's hard to be -- especially right now in this day and age, the talent is so good, from 1 to 50 in the world that it's hard to be that dominant. If you look at tennis, top 50th guy in the world is probably not going to win a major championship, whereas a guy here in the top 50 has a really good shot.

It's just different. It's a different sport. It's different levels of talent from 1 to 50.

Q. How has having a new baby been for you? Has that given you a bit of a lift? And which family members have you brought with you here this week?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, they're not over here. My new son is only five weeks old. He's at home with mom. And he's doing well, healthy. Everybody is happy. He's doing really well. But it's been very exciting. It's a lot of fun. Definitely the second one is easier than the first one, not quite as nervous when you're bringing them home from the hospital.

Q. And is Wayne Gretzky with you?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, I'm over here by myself.

Q. You're known for having a very positive attitude to getting over setbacks. I just wondered, though, whether the fall that you suffered on the eve of the Masters when you were in the form of your career, whether that was any kind of lingering regret for you?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean it definitely it sucked, that's for sure. But things happen. Obviously I've had quite a few things happen to myself. It's nothing new.

Q. Just to follow up on the fact that you're over here on your own, does that make it easier to concentrate or a little bit harder because everyone is so far away and your thoughts are obviously back with the new addition to the family?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: With FaceTime and the things we've got now, it's pretty easy to keep in touch and to kind of feel like you're almost there. But I obviously miss the family, but it's part of the job. I get over here, though, and we're on a different time zone. Even when we're at home, I'm at the golf course all day. So it's not too bad, because at nighttime you can FaceTime and stuff, so it's pretty easy.

Q. Kind of going back to that parity question: Your rookie year, the same year that Tiger wins his last major, I'm curious what kind of influence he had on you as a college kid, as a golf fan, as you were growing up? And what are the odds of seeing that level of dominance again?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: As good as he was and the things he did in the game of golf, I don't see -- I don't know if anybody can dominate like he did for that time period he did it for.

Q. Were you a fan?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, big fan. What's not to be a fan of? He's grown this game so much and he's done so much for all the players on the Tour that it's hard not to be.

MIKE WOODCOCK: Dustin, best of luck this week. Thank you.


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