home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


July 19, 2018

Zach Johnson

Angus, Scotland, United Kingdom

ZACH JOHNSON: That's the beauty this golf course is right now. You can hit 7 irons and 6 irons off the tee box. You can hit drivers, but you'd better hit both of them straight. And that's -- I mean, and I'm not embellishing it one bit. I've never hit an 8 iron off a par 4, and I hit an 8 iron off the par 4 today.

Q. Which one?
ZACH JOHNSON: 3. 8 iron wedge. 8 iron or 9 iron. Should have hit a wedge.

Q. Kisner was talking earlier about the house -- soccer games.
ZACH JOHNSON: I'm not sure I understand what you're asking.

Q. What's the house like? What's the vibe like? What are you guys doing?
ZACH JOHNSON: Got a roof. It's good. This is like the third or fourth year. I'd have to really think about it to --

Q. '16 was the first year. Wasn't it Troon?
ZACH JOHNSON: Third year, that's right. Because I didn't do it in '15. Yeah, third year. Honestly, it just makes everything really, really easy because there's a lot of cars going to and from the golf course. They know our address. We have food essentially at our beck and call. And we have friends. I mean, we do have a little -- we have some women in there to keep the frat house somewhat in order, which is good.

But I mean, every individual there is great. It's fun. Everybody gets it. We're all working, but we're having fun at the same time.

Q. And your football abilities, did you get one past Dufner?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, it's tough. Duff has some bruises.

Q. Sources say you have a good leg.

Q. Which one do you use to stand on? That's the question, though.
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, I was a striker, as you would call it, back in high school, and I was a left forward, left striker. So I had a good left foot. There was no one on the team that had a left foot. I was a set piece guy, corner kicks, set pieces, because I was very not tall and couldn't jump. So I just throw it in there and let the guys do the work. It was my favourite game as a kid.

Q. At Shinnecock you made some comments about the course setup and the USGA. How did you find today? Was there a contrast between how it was set up?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, you brought up my favourite golf course I've ever played. Shinnecock is as good as I've ever stepped foot on in my entire career or life, whatever you want to call it. From a competitive standpoint, I think you could argue it's the best golf course we could play. Carnoustie is really, really good too. Don't get me wrong. But the beauty of what we're seeing right here is Mother Nature just took it over. This is what you get.

And when you go into a place like Shinnecock and try to not let Shinnecock be Shinnecock, I mean, you saw what happened on Saturday, which is unfortunate. I felt awful for certainly the guys behind me. Everybody was like, man, you must have played poorly. I played great that day; I shot 2-over. I played awesome. I just wouldn't have -- Paul Casey on the last hole, four-putt from I don't know how far, and he couldn't do anything about it. And I'm like, here it comes. We lost it on 13, 15, 18. I'm sure there were some other holes alongside that.

I was more concerned, and I felt bad for the guys behind me because I had a moderate tee time, 11:45, noon. And I felt really bad for the membership because, again, you go to Shinnecock right now, you shoot even par, it's a great score. I felt really, really bad for the USGA because they're good people. There's some really good people there. I just don't understand the mentality.

And this is the opposite of that. The golf course is what it is. Greens are what they are. Mother Nature has its course. It's a perfect championship. And it could be -- it's a perfect championship if it was green.

Q. You see these scores, 5-under is leading, but you can still shoot -- DJ shot 76, or you can shoot 80 or whatever.
ZACH JOHNSON: 100 percent. You go back to the first two days at Shinnecock, how many guys were under par? One. Who was it? Dustin. Who is he? He's No. 1 in the world. There's nothing wrong with it. The R&A does a terrific job. They always do.

Q. Different conditions than St. Andrews, but how much are you drawing on that experience at the moment?
ZACH JOHNSON: I enjoy every experience I've ever had over here.

Q. But drawing on that experience?
ZACH JOHNSON: How much am I drawing on that? Forgive me. Shoot, I'm drawing on that experience almost every -- any big event, any major championship certainly, cup, what have you. I mean, so many things to draw upon there, whether it's finishing, whether it's being patient and remaining, you know, just kind of staying in it because I had some moments there -- I think it was Sunday's round where there's no wind. I think I shot -- well, I shot 2-under, but I was even par early and three-putting and whatnot, you know, that kind of stuff.

Just being patient, I think that was the key word that week outside of maybe putting the pedal down on Monday. But patience was the operative word. I don't like that word, but I know what it means. Sometimes it's hard to execute that even though you know what it is. But, yeah, I draw on that all the time.

I mean, Muirfield, I think, there's some similarities. Muirfield's greens were really, really fast. But it was firm. So there's these two courses. This is certainly balls go a lot further than it did at Muirfield. It was warm in Muirfield too, right? Yeah, it was a great week. So maybe some parallels there too.

Q. The split in the first half of your Open career and the second half, was there some sort of epiphany?
ZACH JOHNSON: Say that again now?

Q. The split between the first half and the second half of your Open career?
ZACH JOHNSON: I think I missed my first two or three cuts, and I don't believe I missed a cut since. You'd have to tell me. I think I made 11 or 12 in a row.

Q. You've rated really high in the last half.
ZACH JOHNSON: I think one is I've seen some of the courses more than once. Two, I've embraced what this tournament is all about. And I think, three, my game lends itself to this style play. Meaning using the ground, trying to be somewhat creative, being an athlete -- because everyone knows I'm an athlete, right, Taylor? No.

But just, you know, I love competing. The beauty of this tournament is the golf course is what it is. You get up that morning or that afternoon and the elements are what they are, and you stack it up and go. You might get the good end of the wave, you might get the bad end of the wave, it may be indifferent. I've embraced that.

I think a couple good finishes probably gave me a little bit of confidence too. This is the first cut I made. What year were we here? '06, '07, '08?

Q. '07.
ZACH JOHNSON: So I missed my first T20. I missed my first three cuts, '04, '05, and '06. But the love for this event was immediate. '04 was Troon. Yeah, I didn't know what I was getting myself into that week. Learned a lot. Learned a lot in '05. I had Fanny caddie for me in '05, which was great, at St. Andrews. I remember I made a 9 on 17. Didn't hit one shot out of bounds or hit one penalty shot. Good thought.

Q. Bunker (inaudible)?
ZACH JOHNSON: I don't know. I just remember I was -- where the road is off the tee left of the hotel, there's a wall road and then a hill, and my ball was on that hill, and like in 2010 and 2015, it was just essentially fairway and maybe a little bit -- you know, rough like this. That year there was hay, and I hit it in there and just kept on trying to get it out and couldn't get it out. Anyway, going back to it. I don't know where it was. I love this tournament.

Q. As someone who has figured out how to play this type of golf, what have you noticed in Justin Thomas over the last few years in developing his game to play courses like this? You're staying with him tonight. What has he said about his love for this to you?
ZACH JOHNSON: He hasn't mentioned his love for it, but I know he does like it, you could tell. I know he's enjoyed coming out here to work and practise. As far as his game goes, there's no flaws. I mean, he kills it. His short game is really good, and he's in control of it, and he's got a great caddie on the bag that knows how to win. So they're a lethal combination.

You know, it comes down to probably making putts rather than lipping out putts or what have you, but J.T., I don't know what he's at. I know he played good early, but his game's certainly good enough to win here or multiple, for that matter.

Q. He just hit a hybrid on the 400 yards at 18.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, so did I. Go ahead. I'm just kidding. I don't know what I had. I was close. I had 150 yards to the hole. Yeah, I get it. He hits it -- his driver and my driver are not the same. So my guess is he hit it a lot further, yeah.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297