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July 23, 2017

Zach Johnson

Southport, England

Q. Overall your take away of the championship?
ZACH JOHNSON: It's so fresh. I have to really think about it. Well, I think the first takeaway is that this tournament suits me. Even when I have it going south, I know I can turn it around and play good golf here, evident after the first round, which, as you remember, I didn't have anything positive to say except for a six-foot bogey putt on 18.

So, yeah, I think it's -- this tournament suits me here. And there were some positives. I guess everybody probably putts somewhat streaky. I didn't putt great. I didn't putt that bad the first day, with the exception of one day. I putted awful yesterday and putted great today. And I think my short game probably cut me in this week. It seemed, especially today and Friday, if I hit an average to poor shot, that I was able to recover with a good shot. So that's always nice, knowing that I can recover after a poor swing.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, that one on 8 was -- I tried to measure it, just based on pin placement and numbers. That had to be 90 feet. And I don't remember the last time that happened. Granted it was off the green, so technically I don't think it was a putt. But I count it as a putt. And the good one on 13, and it was probably 30 feet. But I had the right -- obviously had the proper read. It was a double breaker, which is normal out here. And just a great, great speed putt there that finally dropped.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ZACH JOHNSON: The guy's already experienced at, what, 23? Makes it even worse. So, I mean, my guess is that he's going to learn a lot from that day. More than that, the similarities are we're flying home tonight. If there's anything unfortunate about the scenario right now, is that going into the day there's three guys that I absolutely admire. I mean Kooch is a neighbour of mine. We hang out off the golf course all the time. Our kids are friends. His wife and my wife are friends.

It's very awkward in the sense that I'm not pulling for anybody. But yet I want them both to play well. I just kind of want one to make a putt on the last hole -- I want one of them to win it. There's a difference between losing and winning it. Or Brooks. Or somebody else right go around there.

Those three guys I admire greatly. Hopefully one of them can go win the golf tournament.

Q. But he handled it really well.
ZACH JOHNSON: Oh, my gosh, classy. It was on the 18th green. He gave me a massive hug. It's one thing to do that and finish 25th, but it's another to lose the playoff by a shot. And he's just class. Obviously he's got great parents. And he's mature beyond his years. All the things we've always said since 2012 or '13, whenever his rookie year was, still hold true. But he's also a fun-loving, just kind of a carefree kind of kid, too. We had fun last night playing cards. Just sitting around, hanging out, that kind of thing. I'm sure we'll get our jabs in on him, but that's what you do, right? Yeah, whatever he gets he deserves and earns.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ZACH JOHNSON: Awesome competitor. And a very good athlete. Great tennis player, all of that. There's a lot -- we're pretty similar in the sense that we kind of grew up in the same mold, you know, kind of small country club boys that played a lot of sports and rely on athleticism to some degree.

But he's a competitor. I mean, I think the beauty of him, from what I've experienced, and I think a lot of us -- I've heard people say the same thing about me and that you have a lull there, but you bounce back. Kooch to me is one of the best bounce-backers I've ever witnessed. And that may be a 5-footer for par, it may be a 30-footer for birdie. But he tends to bounce back nicely. Like yesterday. He made double on 16, right? Comes back with a great birdie on 17. And it looked like he had a good putt on 18, it lipped out. That's what Kooch does.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ZACH JOHNSON: That's a whole 'nother story. That smile is not, hey, how are you doing? Let's put it that way. But it's beautiful. It's beautiful.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, he's got an edge. A lot of people call him "Top 10 Machine". I think when I first came on Tour, granted we were about the same time, he was kind of winding down, Scott Hoch, a few of you remember. Every other week he was top 10. I don't know how many tournaments he won, probably 10, 15 tournaments on Tour. But he was just a machine. And that's Kooch, he's just a machine. If he has a lull, it's brief, whether it's on the golf course or in a tournament or what have you. That kind of thing. So specific examples I can't quite give you.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ZACH JOHNSON: No, there's only four a year and they're very difficult to win. I mean, especially the way the game is right now. I'm not a historian, but my guess is if you go back to '60s, '70s, '80s, there's random, one-time-hits kind of thing. But for the most part there's five to seven guys each era that can win. Every time we tee it up there's five times that amount. So it's just hard. It's just hard.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I don't want to -- I don't think it's inevitable, no. That being said, he's got a better chance than most. Rory has the best chance or Phil. But those two obviously have the best chance. Rory probably has the best chance, if you go on odds and age. But I put nothing past Phil. And I put nothing past Kooch. I'm 41, so he's 39, getting ready to turn 40. Six years from now we might be saying he's won three majors and he's trying to get it, too. You never know.

I feel like his ball-striking has probably gotten a little bit better over the last two or three years, as well. He's always been a great putter, probably the top 3-putters I've ever witnessed.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ZACH JOHNSON: It would be phenomenal. Especially given the depth and parity of the game. That being said, two years ago he nearly did the same thing. Easier said than done. But, again, Rory, Jordan, JT, those four or five guys, they never cease to amaze me. I'm not going to say they're Tiger Woods, because they're not. That's the best athlete golfer I've ever witnessed. But they have some of those intangibles. They're hard to pinpoint, but those guys have them.

You all see with Jordan. It's not like Jordan is out there obliterating the golf course with prowess, he hits it plenty far and pretty straight. His short game is a joke. Chip in for par on 10. We gave him grief. You don't chip in for par. He made an 8-footer on 9, chips in for par on 10 makes a bound for birdie on 11 and then hits it to three feet on 12.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ZACH JOHNSON: Same as last year. Really good. None of us were really up for contention last year. Obviously there's two guys. We have a lot of fun. I'm probably the most -- I don't want to say mild, but certainly the most benign of the group. It's really just trying to monitor, keep everybody at ease to some degree. That's my responsibility. Duf's a beauty. Let's just put it that way. My stomach was hurting with that guy. He's a beauty. Self-deprecating, beautiful individual.

Q. How did you guys pass the time?
ZACH JOHNSON: Watch TV. Our schedules have been different, too. Unfortunately for JT, we don't get a bad Friday, none of us wanted to see that, obviously. But he's had fun, just hanging out. Passing the time, a little bit of cards, a little TV watching, quite frankly a lot of sleep. If one of the guys isn't watching TV or in the kitchen eating, they're typically in bed because it's a long week.

Yeah, very fortunate to have a good ensemble of guys. We've got somebody cooking us food and our physio is there, so it's a melting pot of, I guess, you'd say the frat house.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ZACH JOHNSON: I knew him then just because we had crossed paths on maybe some Web events. Honestly his rookie year we actually worked together for a while. I want to say his rookie year was probably 2001. He lost his card in '03, '04, maybe '05, whatever. Yeah, I knew him. I used to live where he's from, on the other side of Orlando. I knew his dad Peter and whatnot. I honestly didn't get to know him well until he went back to St. Simons, his wife is from St. Simons. So we got to St. Simons before then, but actually met his in-laws, I got to know them before I got to know Matt and Cindy all that well. And they travel like crazy, but we got to see them quite a bit.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ZACH JOHNSON: I don't know if I can fully summarize that. I don't know what he has goal-wise, specifically, or what he holds with this, that or the other. But I know that he respects it the utmost, and appreciates this golf. He loves this golf. He's told me that. But anybody that's experienced us a couple of times, unless -- I don't know how anybody in my profession cannot love this. I mean there's times you don't particularly love -- this is also one of those tournaments where luck of the draw comes into effect. So you could tee off at 8 and be perfect, and tee off at 2 and be awful. There was a little bit of a draw issue there. But I know Jordan loves this. It doesn't take -- just like me, it doesn't take much to get me going.

Q. (Inaudible.)
ZACH JOHNSON: He drank out of it, actually. I'm not a historian, I don't know if it's bad luck. I drank out of it when Stewart won it. I was probably the only guy cheering for Stewart that week.

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