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January 6, 2018

Dustin Johnson

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

ALEX URBAN: Like to welcome Dustin Johnson to the interview room here at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. You're 54-hole leader, two-shot lead. Take us through your day and where you stand through 54 holes.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, it was pretty similar to the first couple days. I felt like I really drove it well, which I have been all three days. I hit controlled irons pretty well. It's definitely the conditions are pretty tough, but today I hit just kind of kept the ball in the right side of the holes when I needed to and made some nice 2-putts. Which around here you're going to have some long putts, so if I keep 2-putting when I get those long ones, that's always a good thing. It just felt like today was pretty easy. Never really got really out of position. Number 11, which I actually hit a really good shot, it just rolled off the back and I just hit a poor chip, didn't get up-and-down there. But came right back and holed it from the left rough on 12.

ALEX URBAN: Maybe take us through that shot.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I had, I don't know, maybe 60 front and then 75 hole or something like that, straight down wind. I knew I just wanted to land it, and I was kind of looking just left of the flag, but short of the green and it hit and rolled on the green. And I knew once it got on the green that it was going to be pretty good. And, obviously, it went in, so that was definitely a nice bonus.

ALEX URBAN: Great. Open it up for questions.

Q. I know you talked about it a little bit yesterday, but this is your 8th trip here, nobody else more than four. How key, especially in these winds -- the wind this week, is knowledge of this place for a guy like you?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, yeah, I played the golf course, obviously, quite a few times and I like it. It's fun to play. The wind's blowing always here and you really got to use the wind to help your ball get close to the hole or stop the ball or however you want to do it. But I enjoy playing. It's always interesting, every day you're out here, the kind of shots that you got to hit. I mean it's all about controlling the ball and hitting it solid. When the wind's blowing this hard, you hit solid shots you can control it.

Q. Given the similar circumstances Rickie just made a comment about you probably don't even remember what happened in China. Do you, if at all, think about it?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, I didn't until Todd just asked me about it a minute ago. But I mean, look, it was a long time ago. It's completely different golf course. It was, what, two months ago or something. So, yeah, I'm going to try not to think about it tomorrow, hopefully I won't. But I just need to go out and play my game and just see what happens.

Q. Some guys come in here and they say they feel rusty, they haven't played a lot. Other guys work a lot to -- before they come in here. How would you say your game was coming in here? Were you in semi mid season form or not real sharp or how would you describe it?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I practiced a little bit. I played like four days before I came up here on Monday, so I felt pretty good. Got four rounds of golf in. That was pretty good. Played a couple times at Sherwood the week before. So I mean I wasn't feeling -- I hadn't practiced a whole lot, but I played some golf, so yeah, I felt fine with the game.

Q. Once again, the Tiger, if you will, is on your back. You're leading, you're the world's No. 1, etcetera. Do you embrace it and you enjoy that, try to anyway?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: For me it's more about playing the golf course. I don't really think about the guys coming after me or leading or anything. I'm trying to go out and shoot as low a score as I can. So when I start worrying about what everybody else is doing that's when I'm in trouble.

Q. I know you didn't go into the last day in China thinking it was over, but the feeling was that it was from players, from everybody else. I'm just curious if you ever pick up vibes like that? Do you ever get any sense of what people around you are thinking?

Q. Do you want to give that a little more thought?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, going in, I mean, I still got 18 holes of golf, a lot could happen in 18 holes. So I mean obviously I was pretty confident that I could most likely get it done on Sunday in China, if it wasn't for a -- obviously, I got off to kind of a rough start there. But even then I still felt pretty good and played -- played pretty solid. The only thing that I struggled with a little bit was the putter and I felt like I was hitting good putts, just nothing would go in the hole. Then I hit a couple iron shots a little heavy on the back nine that cost me a couple strokes or I would have, I probably would have gone into a playoff.

Q. Did you have new irons in the bag that week?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I did. New irons.

Q. Where are they now? Still have them?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No. I don't think they made the trip home from China.

(Laughter.) They probably are still in my locker at whatever the golf course is called.

Q. Mr. Li's probably got them?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, that's fine.

ALEX URBAN: All right, Dustin, thanks for your time and good luck.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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