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May 19, 2019

Dustin Johnson

Farmingdale, New York

JOHN DEVER: Welcome back to Bethpage Black and special thanks to our runner-up, Dustin Johnson, for making it to the media center. He finished with a final round 69, four-day total of 274. This runner-up finish is the best of his career in our PGA Championship.

Valiant effort all week, but especially today. At what point in your round did you feel engaged with Brooks, and what did that feel like?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I wasn't playing with him, so I didn't engage with him. But yeah, I knew today, starting off, that it was going to play tough. You know, the wind was up. It was the most wind we've had all week.

I knew if I could get off to a good start, which I did, you know, that I could maybe put a little bit of pressure on him, and you know, I did that, too.

Just the last three holes is what got me. Walking off 15 green, well, really, standing on 16 fairway, I'm at 8-under, and hit two really good shots there on 16, and I still don't know how my ball went over the green there. Obviously not a spot where you can go, but hit a great chip and a good putt, and you know, made a 5.

That one kind of took -- you know, I knew I needed to birdie one of the last two when I did that.

Q. The only player in the field that broke par all four rounds; what do you take from the week? I'm sure there's got to be a lot of good things in there.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I'm very pleased with the way I played. I feel like my game's been pretty good all year. You know, this week, especially, I felt like I really, really played well tee-to-green. You know, the first three days, I didn't make enough putts, you know, I hit the ball plenty good enough to have been tied with Brooks going into Sunday. I just didn't make enough putts.

Today I felt like I rolled the putter a lot better. In these tough conditions, tough wind, even the putts that I missed looked like they were going in. Hit the ball really well again today, too.

So I'm pleased with where the game's at. Especially we've still got a lot of big tournaments left this year. I'm very happy with that.

Q. Can you go into more detail on what you had in the middle of the 16th fairway, and what were you trying to do and what happened?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I had 194 hole. You know, wind was howling in my face a little bit off the right. I actually almost went back and grabbed -- I hit a 5-iron, but almost went back and got a 4-iron because I didn't think the 5 was going to even come close, based on the shots that I've hit, earlier in the round, into the wind. The wind was just really eating the ball up when you're hitting it into it.

Yeah, I mean, so I tried to hit kind of like just a little low draw. Hit the shot I wanted to right at the flag. Just I don't know how it flew 200 yards into the wind like that.

Q. How do you rank these conditions, among the toughest that you've ever played?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, with this golf course and this amount of wind, it's very, very difficult. So I mean, it's definitely one of the tougher days we've played in.

Q. What's the tone -- I know it's early, but the texts and stuff you've gotten so far, are people saying congratulations, get it next time? What have your friends been saying?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, good playing. Keep your head up. Which I'm happy with the way I played. Obviously I knew starting seven back that it was going to be a big feat to catch Brooks. You know, I definitely gave him a run, though, so I was happy with that.

Q. When Brooks was making four bogeys in a row, just how closely were you paying attention to that on the scoreboard, and what was the level of awareness going to 16?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I was really trying not to pay attention too much because it was so difficult out there. I know anything can happen. But I looked at the leaderboard on maybe 9, or I was on 12 tee, maybe I saw it. There's a leaderboard right there, and I think he was at 12-under making the turn.

And so you know, I knew I needed to play well finishing, but yeah, I gave it a run. That's all you can ask for.

Q. On the back side there, the crowd really shifted hard towards you and there were a lot of cheers for your name both in your group and his. Could you feel that energy coming his way?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I couldn't ask any more from the fans. They were definitely out there and on my side. They were pulling for me. They were great. It was a lot of fun. You know, it's why we play golf, is to be in these kind of situations. And you know, for me, yeah, I had a great time out there today, even in these tough conditions. I gave it a good shot.

Q. On 17, did that give you a bit --
DUSTIN JOHNSON: There was a lot of yells out there (laughter). I just, you know -- you've just got to go with it (shrugging shoulders). I made a bad swing. It had nothing to do with anyone else.

Q. What do you make of what Brooks has been doing here of late, especially this week, and the lead that he got to? And secondly, are you at all surprised that he even gave you a chance there, the way he's been playing?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, no, not surprised, just because, like I said, the conditions were so tough. This is a tough golf course. I mean, it's a tough golf course no matter what the conditions are, but you know, every hole out here is tough. It's not like it's just there's a few hard holes. They are all hard. You've got to hit the fairway, and they are not very wide.

You know, the rough is very, very penal, and so it's -- yeah, it's just difficult. So I mean, you played three really good rounds. So you kind of think you're due for the one that you're not spot on, and today, if you weren't spot on today, you were going to struggle. I mean, as you can see the scores, there were not too many good scores today.

Q. Your thoughts on what he's been doing?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, Brooks is a great player. I play a lot of golf with him. He's one of my good buddies. You know, very happy for him, for his win. He's one of the guys that I look for that I have to beat. He's one of the best players out here, so he's always somebody that I've got my eye on.

Q. So if you had to pick, who do you think the best player in the world is?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I'm pretty sure I'm still ranked No. 1, so I'd pick myself.

JOHN DEVER: On that note, we're going to thank Dustin for his play this week and for being with us. Thank you.

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