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


May 14, 2019

Dustin Johnson

Farmingdale, New York

JON DEVER: Good afternoon from the 2019 PGA Championship here at Bethpage Black. I am pleased to be joined by world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. Dustin, welcome to what is your 10th PGA Championship, a decade in for you. But what's interesting is that this is the third straight year you've gone into PGA Championship week ranked as the world's No. 1 player. Does that help or hinder you?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: It doesn't matter either way, but it's always nice to be No. 1. For me coming here to the PGA, especially coming back to Bethpage, played a few events here, and it's a golf course that -- I really like this course, especially if you're hitting it well.

For me, it's all about driving. The fairways are generous in some spots. Some holes are narrow. But you've got to hit the fairways here. The rough is pretty penal. It's not super deep, but it's just really thick, and you've just got to drive it straight.

I like the golf course. It sets up well for me. I feel like I can drive it good around here, but yeah, the course is in perfect condition, and I've been out there, played 18 today, played a few holes yesterday.

THE MODERATOR: You played yesterday, impressive. So what's the difference between Bethpage Black in an August scenario, which is when you played the Barclays and probably the U.S. Open, as opposed to what you saw out here the last couple days in May? What's the difference of Bethpage in August and May?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: The course really isn't any different than any time we've played here. The only difference is the temperature, and the ball goes a lot further when it's warmer. The course is playing extremely long right now.

Surprisingly, it's not near as wet as I thought it would be. It obviously drains very well because it's fairly dry out there. The greens still have a little bit of bounce in them. I mean, they're receptive, but they're not as soft as I would expect after all the rain we've had the last couple days.

Q. I would think, given that Firestone preceded the PGA, that this is the first time you've had some time off coming into this championship, three weeks' worth. What do you think the difference will be? You used to play I would think quite a bit before the PGA, throw in a Canada and a British Open.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, usually the PGA is my fourth tournament in a row after a stretch of -- for me, a big stretch of weeks. With the British, Canada, WGC in Akron, and then the PGA was always the fourth week. I don't know, it's definitely different for me, but obviously mentally I'm coming in here very fresh and focused and ready to go.

Is the game probably as sharp as it is after four weeks of big tournaments? Probably not. But I feel like I'm swinging really well. I've felt like I've been swinging well all year.

You know, the game is in good form. I'm going to have to -- short game is going to be very important around here, especially out of this deep rough and the bunkers. If you do drive it in the rough, you're going to have to lay up. Wedge game is going to be a big factor I feel like.

So for me, been doing a lot of work on that in the last couple days, especially coming from Florida. It's a little bit different grass. So just working on the chipping and the wedge shots a lot.

Q. The way that you've been consistent and dominant in this sport for a few years, how disappointing is it for you that there's only one major to your name so far?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, disappointed I wouldn't go with, but a little frustrated sometimes just because I've had quite a few chances and I've felt like a few of them I really didn't do anything -- I played well. But that's just how it is. It's hard to win majors. If it was easy, a lot of guys would have a lot more than they do.

But it's just tough. They're always on tough golf courses, and you've got to put four good rounds together. A lot of times that's hard to do on really tough courses.

But I feel good coming into this week, and I feel like this is a golf course where I've had success on, and I feel like I can play it well, especially in these conditions.

So yeah, I'm definitely looking forward to this week.

Q. You've said that the improvement in your wedge game has improved your overall results. Could you kind of take me through how much of a practice session do you devote to wedge play, and what are you looking for specifically when you do?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Most of my practice, probably 90 percent of my practice I spend on say 140 yards and in, whether that's wedges, full wedge shots, chipping and putting. So probably 90 percent of practice I do is from that distance in.

And then spend a little bit of time on the longer game. But yeah, most of it's with wedges, and I'm always focused on the strike, making sure the strike is consistent, the flight is consistent. So that's what I'm looking for.

Q. Do you have like three different distances for each wedge or --
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I have different shots. I have different swings. Yeah, three swings I put on, and that goes for all the wedges that I use. And so I just work on carry numbers, and then I feel like I can adjust off of that for the golf courses and the conditions.

Q. Being world No. 1, most of the tournaments you enter you are the favorite. As of just a couple minutes ago, you were actually behind Tiger in the odds. What are your thoughts on that, and what do you think?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: It doesn't matter. Odds are there for a reason, and it is what it is. I don't look at them, and it doesn't matter one way or the other if I'm the favorite or not.

Q. Do you prefer this tournament in May or in the other date?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I like the date. I like the change. I think it's good. It spaces out our big tournaments a little bit better. And yeah, I'm really happy with the date change.

Could be a little warmer up here in May, but other than that, I feel like it's a great move for the PGA moving to May. Yeah, it definitely helps.

Q. Is Tiger the guy to beat this week?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, whoever plays well is the guy to beat. But I mean, obviously he's been playing pretty well this year. I don't know. It's whoever has got their game this week is going to be the guy to beat.

Q. Brooks was in here this morning, and he was asked about career goals, and he believes he can get to 10 or more majors by the time he's done. Can you shed light on not only his game but maybe the confidence it takes to put that sort of goal out there for him?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, yeah, he's won more majors than he has golf tournaments. Yeah, I feel like I definitely could do it. He's a great player. You know, he does have a lot of confidence. But that's what you need in this game. Obviously I spend a lot of time with Brooks and play a lot of golf with him. He's a really good player, hits it long, hits it straight, got a good short game. That adds up to be a good player.

Confidence is definitely a big part of that.

Q. Can you explain how you experience the New York fans of golf when you're out there?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I love the fans up here. They've always been really good to me. Yeah, I love them. You definitely don't want to be on their bad side, though. That's for sure. But yeah, I've always loved coming up here and playing, and fortunately, I don't know why they like me, but they do, and so I'm going to try to do everything to keep it that way.

Q. Two things: What's the most -- when you did get into the rough when you played here, what's the most club you can get on a ball effectively?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: This week or the last couple days playing out there when I've hit it in the rough, I've used a pitching wedge and a 9-iron.

Q. If you had to, could you go as low as --
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, certain holes I guess you probably could, but a lot of the times it seems like the fairway runs out or stops short of the green, so it all depends on which hole it is. If you could possibly chase it up, you could use a little more club. I mean, yeah, so far I've hit a wedge and a 9-iron is the most club I've hit out of it.

Q. And then assuming you hit the fairway on 7 and 15, I'd be curious what you had left. What club?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Today I had -- on 7, I played it all the way back, and I hit a good drive and I had 231 hole.

Q. What club did you hit?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I hit 3-iron, and I hit it hard. And then on 15, I hit driver 6-iron. I hit a really good drive on 15.

Q. Could you talk about how the green complexes and how the greens are rolling here at Bethpage this year compared with other major championships that you've played in recently?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, these greens are perfect. I feel like they're rolling really good. They're fast. They're really, really true. You couldn't ask for better putting surfaces.

Q. From a difficulty standpoint, how do they compare with some of the other courses that you've played recently?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, they're not all that difficult, just because there's not tons of slope on them. But there's enough, and the holes that have slope, it kind of seems like there's two different tears. But you know, for the most part, they're fairly flat like where the flag locations are going to be.

But that's not the difficult part of this golf course. It's driving and then second shots because you have a lot of long to mid-irons in your hand. You can only get a -- there's only four holes where you can get a fairly short iron in your hand. So that's the difficult part of this course.

Q. Is this going to be more like a U.S. Open-style tournament as opposed to a typical PGA than one we'd see later in the summer?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, PGA, U.S. Open, I mean, it doesn't matter what tournament it is. It's still a major championship. It's all based on the golf course. It doesn't really matter either way you look at it. It's a major, and the golf courses dictate how it plays, not the major.

Q. Just given the nature of where we are, I'm curious, when is the last time you paid for greens fees and how much?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Not sure, but I'm pretty -- actually, yeah, when I bring -- I think when I bring guests out to the Bear's Club they charge me a guest fee. I don't know how much, though. I've never looked at my bill. Actually the last time I paid for myself? I couldn't tell you. I don't remember. But yeah, it probably wasn't very much because the courses I played on, I think they were like $10.

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