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August 7, 2018

Dustin Johnson

St. Louis, Missouri

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everybody. Welcome back to the 100th PGA Championship. Pleased to be joined by Dustin Johnson, 2016 U.S. Open champion. Dustin, welcome to what is your ninth PGA Championship, and you're currently world No. 1. So I'm going to ask you about that. Is that anything you ever draw upon inside the ropes while competing, or is it just something that people like myself ask you about after you're finished for the day?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: A little bit of both. It's definitely something that's a big accomplishment and something that I'm very proud of. For me, it's more of -- it shows that the things that I'm doing on the course and off the course are working, and it just gives me more confirmation to keep doing those things and just keep trying to get better.

But there's so many good guys that are right there, right behind me that I've got to continue to play very, very well if I want to stay in that position.

THE MODERATOR: Let's talk about the golf course here at Bellerive. I don't believe you played here in 2008. So what are your first impressions, and where do you see your game fitting into this challenge here this week?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: The first time I saw the golf course was yesterday. The golf course, I feel like it's in very good condition. The greens are a little soft, but it's still there's a lot of quadrants in all the greens, so it's going to be fairly difficult to get at the flags. You definitely got to hit the fairways because the rough's very penal, I feel like. But I feel like the course sets up well for me. I really liked it yesterday when I played it. I feel like the game's in pretty good form coming into this week.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. If you hit the ball where you want it on this golf course and the way you want it, how many actual clubs will you need in your bag? Out of the 14?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: All of them.

Q. So you think there's an occasion to use every club in your bag through this golf course?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I think so. Yesterday just the way the course played, I hit pretty much all the clubs in my bag.

Q. With this being the 100th PGA Championship and knowing how many of the greats have played in this tournament over the years, what does it mean to you to be playing in this centennial event?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, yeah, I mean it's a big tournament. It's a Major. It's a tournament that we always look forward to playing and I always look forward to playing in. It's one that I've had some success in, and so it would be a special year to have a chance to win come Sunday.

Q. With the size of the greens and the bunkers, I'm wondering are you spending more time this week on lag putting and longer bunker shots?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I kind of practice the short game just every week, kind of the same that I would this week, but yeah, I spent a little time in the bunkers because, if you miss greens, a lot of times you could be in a bunker. Yeah, the greens are big, and there's a lot of slopes in them, so yeah, definitely spend a lot of time with lag putting.

Q. I realize this is dangerous territory asking you to remember stuff from 10 years ago, but your rookie year, do you remember, as good as you were coming out of college and getting your card and everything, of wanting to get into the Majors and not getting into this one, did you find yourself being kind of -- wanting results to come quicker?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, a little bit because I got off to a really good start my first year out here. I finished top-10 in maybe four -- maybe four out of the first five events, which got me into a couple tournaments. Yeah, so I played well early. Then I didn't play very well through the -- kind of from after the beginning of the year until like the playoffs. So I didn't get in -- I think I was really close to getting in this event and didn't get in here. So and then I remember I missed like a 3-footer at the first playoff event on the 36th hole, and I had to make it to -- I had to make the putt to make the cut, and then I would have moved on to the next week also if I made the cut, and I ended up missing.

So I had a few weeks off. Then I came back, and I won the first event after that, after a break at Turning Stone.

Q. When you look at -- and there's so many more young really good players coming out of college. From your experience, what is good expectations for succeeding, how quickly?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, I have no idea. The guys out here are so good, and it kind of all depends on how you prepare and how good the player actually is. I think you learn really quickly if you can compete out here or not though.

Q. This event will obviously move, but for now it is the last Major on the calendar. Do you ever come to this event with added expectations or just a little more pressure knowing that this is your last opportunity to add to a Major total for another eight months?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, I think I try to approach every Major, every tournament that I go to with kind of the same expectations. I expect to play well. I feel like, especially coming off of two really good weeks, I feel like the game's in good shape and so, yeah, I expect to play well here this week, yes.

Q. To follow-up on that, what do you think the move to May of this championship will have on the entire golf year? How will that affect the rhythm of the season?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I think the schedule that they have, the way it's changing, is very good. I feel like it spaces out the big tournaments. It's not as congested right at the end of the year. So I really like the schedule for next year. I think too the PGA moving to May gives -- you know, maybe opens up a few more venues that they could use. So, yeah, I think it's good.

Q. Unrelated, but what do you think of the policy of the PGA allowing players to wear shorts in practice sessions, and where do you stand on that?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I think it's good, especially as hot as it is here. It's nice, if you want to wear shorts, to be able to wear them.

Q. With your mother-in-law being from here and with Wayne having some ties here, how about the hometown or the entourage and the hometown support you'll get this week?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I think it will be great. Hopefully, I got a lot of fans with a lot of support. I know I have a lot of family here that's going to be out supporting me. So it definitely helps, and I'm excited for this week. I think I'll have a -- Wayne will bring a lot of fans out there for me, so that will be nice.

Q. And when you and Wayne talk shop -- I know he's an avid golfer -- do you get anything from his greatness in his sport that has helped you in your sport?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, I think any time you can spend time with someone who has kind of dominated their sport and just kind of pick their brain and kind of see what they did to become so good, it definitely helps, absolutely.

Q. Do you plan to wear shorts in the practice round, or did you just forget to pack them because you're not used to it?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I definitely forgot to pack them. But I mean, today I was playing, I was going to play really early this morning so it wasn't going to be too hot so I just wore pants. And I did it last year and at Quail Hollow, and it almost felt kind of weird wearing shorts, especially when I wear pants every single day out here. At home I do wear them a bunch, but yeah, I definitely forgot.

Q. It's already been a successful year for you, of course, but just spell it out for us, how much would it mean to you to get that second Major title under your belt by winning here this week and cap off an already great year?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean it would be a very, very great accomplishment. I think it's definitely something that I really want to do is get that second Major. This week would -- it would mean a great deal, especially I've had a really good year so far, I think it would make it into a great year.

Q. Jordan was talking earlier about -- I wouldn't call it failures, but having a chance to win and not getting it done and looking big picture at chances. When you look back at all the Majors you've contended in, do you see failure, or do you see the fact that you've just given yourself opportunity? How do you balance between the negative and the big picture?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I think that's tough to do, but I feel like I look back and try to take what I did very well that week and try to look back at the good things I did and then obviously try to learn from what I did, that I didn't do so well and why I didn't win. And just try to improve that so that the next time I'm in the situation, I can hopefully handle it better.

Q. Go back to before you won the U.S. Open at Oakmont. If you were looking at the four Majors, knowing your game and knowing the way they are set up, which of those four Majors would you have thought would have been the best opportunity for you to win?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Before I had won, probably the Masters is what, the one that I feel like I like the golf course, I feel like it sets up very well for me, I play it well, so probably the Masters. But I've had the most success in the U.S. Open.

Q. This morning Bjorn and Molinari both in some way alluded to that this U.S. team, Ryder Cup team is shaping up as maybe the best ever. What does that say about the state of golf in the United States, and also do you think they might have been trying to get that underdog role early?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I think both teams are going to be very good when it comes down to, if you compare them, we're going to have a really good team, they're going to have a good team, and it's going to -- I mean, it's going to be a great match. I think it's going to come down to the singles, like it always does, and it's going to be very close until the end. But I do think the game of golf is in a great state right now.

Q. Can you have a great year without winning a Major?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I can still have a great year, absolutely.

Q. What do you consider -- what would you consider one?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, so far it's been pretty good. Obviously, it would -- it can get a lot better. I got four pretty big tournaments coming up and the Ryder Cup, which is another big one, so technically five big tournaments coming up. Yeah, I can still make it a great year.

THE MODERATOR: Dustin, thank you very much for your time and have a great week in St. Louis.


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