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January 7, 2018
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
ALEX URBAN: We would like to welcome our 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions champion, Dustin Johnson. Your second win at this event, first one in 2013, it's the 17th win of your career. You had a nice cushion on the back. Take us through your feelings down the stretch and maybe a little bit about the 12th.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I knew today was going to be -- I was going to need to play well. I didn't know how well. But I've been playing well all week, so I came out today, I didn't change anything with my game plan. I felt like I had a good game plan for the course. And the wind's blowing in the same direction so it's kind of playing similar as it has every day and I knew I just needed to drive it well, that was my big thing. If I drove it well I was going to play good, I did that. And even making the turn, I think I made the turn at 20. And which I had a pretty good cushion there, but I still my goal was I just told myself I wanted to get it to 25. So I didn't want to let up on the back nine, especially after what had happened in Shanghai. Yeah, I didn't want that to happen again. So but, today was a great day. I really felt like I drove it well. I did a lot of things very well, but the driver was the biggest thing. I put the new M4 driver in last week and I drove it fantastic this week.
ALEX URBAN: Open it up for questions.
Q. 12th best shot you never saw?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I saw it.
Q. How far?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I could see it until it landed, but I knew it was on a good line. Obviously you got to get a nice bounce. But, yeah, I knew it right off the tee, I knew, I got a good line there. I know exactly where I want it to come down out of the air and it did. So I knew it was going to be pretty good, I just, obviously, didn't think I was going to have a tap-in.
Q. Could you hear anything kind -- and when you crested the hill and saw it?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: When I walked off the tee, I kind of heard some people yelling and it sounded like they were coming from behind 12 green, so I knew I'm like, okay, it's on the green. I just didn't know it was that close until about halfway down one of the TV guys told me.
Q. Is that about as hard as you can hit a drive?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, I hit it probably 90 percent. I don't swing -- I don't think I've ever hit one a hundred percent, though.
Q. Did you at least catch it flush?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, it was flush. No, I was messing with Bones when we were in the fairway, because it came up, it was like four inches short. I said, I hit it a little thin. But, no, I was just joking. I hit it perfect.
Q. Have you seen a replay of it yet?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No.
Q. Because it looked like it's going to go over the back and it literally just stops dead.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I'll take it. I don't want it back, that's for sure.
Q. I know you're not probably not a guy who is into big statements or anything, but it must feel good to come into a year at No. 1 where your lead's kind of shrinking at No. 1 and so much talk about the depth on TOUR and to win like this. It almost seems like a reminder that you're still kind of the guy to beat. Do you see it that way at all?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, especially, I think I go back again to the WGC in Shanghai. I had a six-shot lead and just -- that was a really difficult day and I just didn't really putt well, didn't really do anything -- didn't do anything terrible, I just didn't do anything very good and I ended up losing. So for me to come out this week, and I've got a two-shot lead going into Sunday, instead of just barely winning. I won by eight.
So I definitely came out today with a lot of focus and that I knew I wanted to play really well and not even -- I didn't want it to have to come down to the last couple holes. Especially just for -- more for myself and confidence and just to -- after what happened in Shanghai, I wanted to prove to myself that I still -- that ain't going to happen again.
Q. There was a lot of talk after the 2015 U.S. Open about how you could bounce back, and you won the 2016 U.S. Open and then there were references to Shanghai. And obviously you're not shying away from those references, and you come back and win. It just seems like things don't really bother you. You don't seem to hang on to them.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, somebody was asking me about, I think I was doing an interview with Todd, and I think I came in here, and they were like have you thought about Shanghai? And I'm like, no, I really haven't until Todd just asked me about it 10 minutes ago. So, yeah, I try -- it doesn't matter what I did there. That has no -- that was two months ago. It's a different golf course, different part of the world. And golf is so funny, I mean, it really doesn't matter what you did yesterday. This game, it changes very, very easily. So, for me, it's just all about pushing forward, and you can't change anything that happened in the past. You can only control what you're going to do.
Q. And yet you were thinking about it. You didn't want it to happen again. You wanted to make sure it didn't happen?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: When I was on the golf course today, I wasn't thinking about it, but I was focused on the job I was out there to do.
Q. We mentioned earlier in the week when we talked to you, but two things: That's now 11 seasons that you've had at least one win. Your thoughts on that. And also the fact that you're way out in front again.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, obviously winning every year out here on TOUR so far is big for me. I'm very proud of being able to do that. It's not easy to win out here. The guys out here, especially, even -- it doesn't really matter. Any given week anybody in the tournament can win it. It's not like a lot of these other sports where the No. 125 guy is not ever going to beat the No. 1 guy. In golf, it doesn't matter, anybody can win in any week. It's very hard.
For the first few years, I guess, I only had maybe one win. A lot of seasons I've only had one win, but last year was my most and hopefully I can do even better than that this year.
Q. So on the back of that, we also spoke about the potential of someone winning eight or more for the first time in a while and now it's one in the first week, but you got to start somewhere, right?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: It's a good start if I want to do it. I got off to the right start, for sure. But, yeah, I'm going to have to continue to play very good golf if I want to keep winning.
Q. I think you said outside that you still see room for improvement. Can you elaborate on that, and where do you think you can improve the most?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Still I think with the iron game. Obviously it was decent, it wasn't great. I mean, all the -- what I did really well this week was when I did hit good shots I made the putts. My good shots were really good. I don't know, y'all would probably know better than me, but I don't think I made a putt outside of 10 feet all week. Pretty sure I didn't. Maybe a 11-footer would be the maximum. But, yeah, I mean, so I hit a lot of really good shots. I just didn't hit as many as I would have liked to have hit. For me, it was the driver is what won me the golf tournament this week, because I really drove it well. Never hit one -- I don't think I hit a bad drive all week. I missed a few fairways, but some of these fairways I can't hit even if I wanted to unless I like laid way back. So but I never really, I don't think I ever really was out of position with the driver ever all week. So I just switched to the M4, I was hitting an M3, but I just put the M4 in like last Saturday maybe, I started hitting some when I was down at Makena, and I just started hitting it really straight, controlling it very well, so I put it in play this week and was really pleased with it, drove it great.
Q. How close do you feel like you're playing to the early part of last year and secondly, when you are playing your best, do you feel like is there part of you that feels like you're unbeatable, that you're just going to win?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean if I -- I feel like if I play my best, yes, absolutely. But there's other guys, there's quite a few guys where, if they're playing their best and I'm not at my best, I can't beat them. But I feel like if I am at my best, though, then, yeah, I would welcome any comers.
Q. Have you ever felt more confident at the beginning of the year than you do right now?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I got a lot of confidence, obviously I just won, but especially coming off a strong year last year, yeah, I mean it's probably right now I'm pretty confident in my game, for sure.
Q. You obviously have mastered this course the eight times you played it, but I saw you win last year at the Genesis, you've been able to master a lot of different courses and come through with great wins. What's the key there for you?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Golf is golf, it doesn't matter what golf course you're playing. You still got to hit the shots and even if you're playing here or if you're playing in the Genesis, it's still, you still got to hit golf shots. That's what I did here and I don't try to change my game no matter where I go to to play, I just try to play my game and make it work for that course and so that's what I do everywhere I go.
Q. The weather got a little crazy out there, we were watching on TV, I think maybe when you were on 14 it was raining, up on 16 it was sunny. Was there any, was it tough out there today weather-wise and was there any recollection of your 2013 victory weather-wise today here?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, in 2013 it was like it was just really windy. I mean, I don't think we had any rain, really, it was just the wind was blowing 50 plus miles an hour. So but, no, this week, the wind was pretty normal, I felt like, it always blows 20 around here and I think that's how the golf course is made to be played. Yeah, the few rain showers, they weren't very pleasant, but fortunately they came through very quickly and so they never stayed around very long and I don't know if I ever really had to hit a shot in it, other than a few putts, I putted in, I putted a few times when it was raining, but I never really had to hit any shots while it was raining.
Q. I know you haven't on TOUR but have any time in your life have you got that close to an ace on a par-4 before?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: A course I used to play growing up it was a par-4 I hit a few times. I mean it was only like a 3-wood though to get there, so it wasn't 400 yards.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Same thing.
Q. But you got it close a couple times, you never did it?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, never had a 1 on a par-4.
Q. You've been close, how close, closer than that?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, no, not that close. I mean that was four inches maybe.
Q. A little confused by one thing, you forget things quickly, and but you said the Shanghai, that wasn't going to happen again today, but would you have thought that way if it hadn't been brought up yesterday?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Probably not.
Q. So it's our fault basically that led you to that?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Pretty much. It's not mine. It's never my fault, right?
Q. Along those lines, do you remember the good ones when you're out there, the wins, those moments or do you forget those too?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Not really, no. I mean when I'm out there playing, like the only thing I'm focused on is the shot that I got to hit next. I try not to -- my mind's wandering and thinking about other things, then I'm not going to have a good day. But if I can stay focused just on what I'm supposed to be doing, the shot I want to hit, and the next shot that I'm going to hit, then that's how I have success.
Q. If it does wander, what does it wander to then?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: You don't want to know. You do, but I'm not going to tell you.
Q. There's a number of players that over the years, especially on the kind of the bigger tournaments or bigger moments that, losing hurts or stings worse than winning feels good. Where do you fall on that, do you think?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, winning feels much better than losing.
Q. What's the longest a loss has ever lingered for you? And which one was it?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Not very long, I don't think. Day maybe. Not even. I mean I go back over it and talk about it, but as far as how long has it frustrated me or anything, or words I would use probably shouldn't say here, but yeah, not long. Pebble, the first time, I had the lead going into Pebble, that one probably bothered me until the next day.
Q. You went fishing the next day, didn't you?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah. I did. That was fun. I never thought about Pebble after that, that's for sure. And then Whistling Straights I was frustrated for about an hour.
Q. Any therapist required or did you do it on your own?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, I did it on my own. And then maybe -- yeah, I don't know, I try not to let.
Q. You went playing golf the next day after Chambers, didn't you?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah.
Q. Didn't you get irritated that Wayne took off without you up in Idaho?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Probably, yeah, yeah, I did.
Q. Do you remember anything?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I remember now, yeah. I slept in a little bit that morning. But, yeah, I did, I played golf the next day after Chambers.
Q. That's got to be one of the greatest strengths in golf is a short memory, isn't it, do you think?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I would imagine. I don't know, I can't remember.
ALEX URBAN: Dustin, congratulations on winning the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports