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February 9, 2018
Pebble Beach, California
DOUG MILNE: Dustin, thanks for joining us for a few minutes. 7-under 64 today, obviously at a place near and dear to your heart, just a few comments on the round today.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, I think it's probably my lowest by about seven shots at Monterey Peninsula, so I was happy with that. It's probably the first time too I think we have ever played over there with nice weather, so it was definitely a good day, but, yeah, kind of the same as yesterday, I just felt like I played really solid, hit a lot of really good shots, hit a lot of good putts and it was a pretty easy day.
DOUG MILNE: We know you had a good day we understand that your dad had a better day today.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, he did, yeah, he bowled a 300 earlier this afternoon, so that was pretty impressive.
DOUG MILNE: Questions?
Q. How do you follow that?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: It's not his first one, I think he's bowled six or seven of them, but he can roll the rock pretty well.
Q. Any of that rub off on you? What's your best in bowling?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: 292.
Q. Did you choke at the end what happened?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I did. I gassed so bad.
(Laughter.) I did.
Q. Could you just kind of go over some of the better birdies you made today.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: 11 was a good one. Well I birdied the first three to start, 10, 11, 12. Then I made a nice birdie on 17, nice birdie on 1.
Q. How close were they?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: 11 was 9-iron. Last year I think I hit a four. Let's see, 12 I hit driver, 3-iron on the green or no, 3-wood, 3-iron on the green. 10, I hit driver, 5-iron on the green. 16, I birdied 16, yeah, 16 I hit driver, 9-iron. 2-putt.
17, I hit a 9-iron to about three feet. 1, I hit driver, lob wedge. Made birdie on 2, I hit 3-iron, lob wedge on 2, to about a foot. 4 was -- I made a nice putt on 4. I made about a 20-footer from just short of the hole.
Q. What did you have on 1?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: 1.
Q. You said you had lob wedge in. What was your distance, do you remember?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: 109. I hit a nice drive.
Q. You mentioned the 4-iron into the par-3 and this year hitting 9-iron I seem to recall last year on that last par-4 along the coast you hit like a 3-iron to a par-4. I mean that's kind of what the weather was dictating last year?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well that was on 12. 12 last year -- or no, 13. Yeah, I hit a roasted driver and roasted a 3-iron, I made birdie, but see I don't even know how I made birdie, I hit it to about three feet somehow. This year I hit 3-wood and I hit it too far and I had, still only had 85 yards to the hole, but I was right behind the tree.
Q. When you got there today were you more excited about the way you were playing or more excited about seeing the sunshine and no wind?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Both. It was a beautiful day out there, you couldn't ask for better weather, the course is in good shape, and, yeah, it wasn't much wind blowing at all.
Q. What's harder, bowling a 300 or shooting 59?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Oh, they're both very difficult.
Q. And also what about years past at Monterey Peninsula besides the weather just didn't lead to good scores for you or it just didn't fit your eye or?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, I like the golf course, I feel like I should play really well, it just for some reason I just never have. Obviously this year I played much better. I think a lot of it has to do with just maybe with the driving. This year I played a little bit, I hit a lot more irons off the tee, but the ball was rolling so I didn't, I could -- all you're trying to do is just get it in the fairway. The ball was going plenty far and the fairways were firm. So I hit a lot of irons off the tee this year, I think that might have helped a little bit.
Q. When you make birdie or bogey or winning, losing, do you feel or witness difference in chemical in your body?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I don't really understand the question.
Q. If you feel emotion changing.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I do, I just try not to, try not to get too high or too low no matter what. But making a bogey, unless it's, I mean I make bogeys all the time, so I don't really get too upset, unless it's just a really bad bogey, then I might get a little frustrated. No, I try to -- I show emotion when necessary, but most of the time I try to just stay pretty level and just keep on about my business.
Q. You obviously won this event twice, but it was quite awhile ago and you had good showings since then, what sort of that one missing piece? Was it not playing well at Monterey Peninsula last few years or what is that last step to take to get back in the winners circle here?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I think that well that's a big part of it, I think. I still had a couple chances to win even without playing too well at Monterey Peninsula. But obviously I'm in a really good position here starting the weekend, but still got two rounds at Pebble which is Pebble is probably my favorite out of the three courses and I really like playing there, it sets up well for me, so -- but I'm still going to have to go out and shoot a good score tomorrow at Pebble if I want to be in contention on Sunday.
Q. It's almost a year since you went to No. 1 and then had that great stretch through last spring. Are you playing at the same level or can you say how close you are to that stretch leading into the Masters last year obviously when you didn't get to play?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean the game's really close. I don't know if it's quite as good as it was during that stretch. I mean that was probably some of the best golf I've played in my career, but parts of the game are just as good. The only place -- I would say that I'm driving it well, but I'm probably not quite as good as I was when on those three wins, but everything else feels like it's really good.
Q. When you're playing well and you're driving it well, do you think the only guys who can compete with you are long hitters?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Probably depend on the golf course, but I mean, yeah, there's a lot of guys out here that are very, very good, so that kind of play the game a little bit differently, but most of the guys, especially the top guys, they all hit it far. But, yeah, I feel like if I'm driving it really well I'm very tough to beat.
Q. You played Pebble Beach well enough and enough times now to ask you, do you think that golf course is a good match play golf course? The U.S. Amateur visits later this year here.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I think it's a really good match play course. There's a lot of things you can do to -- it's really fun, you can make a lot of birdies. During the U.S. Amateur though it will probably be really firm and fast, so if they grow the rough up a little bit like they had in the U.S. Open, obviously it plays very difficult. But it all depends on how they set it up. But when Pebble's really firm and fast with deep rough, it's hard. But it's definitely a lot of fun though, because you can, you know, you got a whole array of different holes and reachable par-5s, so it's definitely, I think it will be a great match play course.
Q. I wanted to circle back around to the 300 game if you don't mind.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, that's okay.
Q. So have you been around your dad when he's rolled the ball a 300 game before and what's that like compared to what we do out here?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, I haven't seen him bowl one, but I don't know, I mean it's, I bowled a lot in my lifetime, so I mean it's pretty difficult, there's not that many people that have bowled 300s, obviously, there's probably, there's more 300s bowled than 59s, but.
Q. Is there a different excitement level with the people that are watching when you're getting close to bowling a 300 versus maybe somebody shooting 59?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I don't know.
Q. Well thank you, Dustin.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: You're welcome.
Q. I was more curious about your own 292. Did you have a chance at the end?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I did.
Q. Give us details. What happened?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I bowled 11 in a row and then I gassed it. I did.
Q. Is that like, did it jump out of the gutter or you had two pins left or what?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, no, I spared the last one.
Q. The actual question I wanted to ask you is you're coming up on one full year at No. 1. I don't imagine it's something you go to bed thinking about every night, but just generally have you enjoyed it? Do you like being there?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I do, I enjoy it. I really -- I like being No. 1. I think it's -- for me it pushes me to keep working on the things that I'm doing and it kind of, it drives me to keep working hard. And all the guys out here are very, very good, so I know if I want to stay on top that I've got to keep working hard and keep doing the same things that I'm doing.
Q. Is it harder to get to No. 1 or stay No. 1?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Both. Well it's hard to get there for one, but, yeah, it's definitely hard to stay there, too, just with, I mean, the amount of talent we have out here and the top guys in the world, they're all very, very good and can, at any point, win a couple in a row and pass me.
DOUG MILNE: All right, Dustin, thanks for your time, appreciate it.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports