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


June 11, 2019

Dustin Johnson

Pebble Beach, California

MIKE TROSTEL: It's my pleasure to welcome Dustin Johnson into the Media Center. Dustin is the 2016 U.S. Open champion playing in his 12th U.S. Open this year. Dustin, you've had a great amount of history here at this course, two wins in the AT&T, 54-hole leader in the 2010 U.S. Open. How will that success help you this week?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, I like the golf course. I know the golf course very well playing the AT&T every year, playing the 2010 Open here. It's a golf course that I'm very comfortable on. Obviously this time of year it plays much different than it does in the AT&T, but it still is very helpful to know the golf course.

Like I said, I'm very comfortable out here. It's going to play difficult this week, but I feel like the game is in really good form. And if the weather is like this the rest of the week, it's going to be a fantastic week of golf.

MIKE TROSTEL: You don't see a whole lot of weather like this at Pebble in February. You mentioned the game is in pretty good form, two wins this year, eight top-10s. You feel like everything is rounding into shape for this week?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I feel like I've had good work Monday, good work today. I'm seeing the patterns that I want to see. For me, if I can -- I feel like the putter is starting to roll really good. Last week it was tough to tell how you were putting last week.

I feel like this week I've done a lot of work, worked a lot last night and a lot today. I feel really comfortable on these greens, playing here so many times. I feel like I can see the breaks really well. And I'm comfortable on the greens.

And so if I can putt well this week, I feel like I'll be in contention come Sunday.

Q. When you look back at 2010 at the U.S. Open, what do you remember about it? What stands out for you?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I played a great round on Saturday. I remember the golf course, I felt like the setup was fantastic. It played really firm and fast. It was a good week. I played really well. First time having a lead in a major, got off to a fairly good start. I hit two shots on the green on 1, made a nice two-putt. And hit it right down the middle on 2, had a wedge in. And it went downhill from there.

But it was a good experience. I learned a lot from it. And then came right back and had a really good showing in the PGA later that year. I was in the final group again. Played really well. Unfortunate I got a one-stroke penalty there on 18, but it happens.

But, yeah, the 2010 U.S. Open I felt like it was a great week. I played -- the golf course was great. It's shaping up. I feel like the golf course is getting to where it's going to play like that later on this week. It's going to play tough. You've got to be very, very precise.

Q. How much of a difference does it make having Butch here this week as opposed to just talking to him on the phone or sending him videos? And did you beat him at Cypress yesterday?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I did beat him at Cypress yesterday. He just hit a few shots. But, yeah, it's nice. It's always good to have Butch around. Just trying to just keep things simple and keep my maintenance -- getting my maintenance checks in order. I felt like I was swinging well coming in here. We haven't really done much work, just very small things.

Q. Going back to 2010, you played the course a lot since then. Could you give us some specifics of how the course looks now as opposed to the 2010 Open? Is there anything drastic after eight or nine years?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I don't think the course changed one bit. It looks -- to me it looks the same. The only thing maybe that's a little different from 10 is just the fairway on 18 I think is a little smaller, or maybe it just looks that way to me. But it looks like it's a little smaller, they moved it a little -- brought that rough in down the right side a little bit.

But other than that, I feel like the golf course is identical to what it was in 2010.

Q. When Brooks was in here this morning, he said that even when you're playing cards you're very competitive. How would you describe your friendship/rivalry with Brooks?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, Brooks is one of my best friends. Yeah, we compete. Doesn't matter what we're doing, we're competing doing it. It's fine. We give each other -- we have fun doing it. And we both like to win. But it kind of -- it's good, whether we're in the gym or hanging out or playing golf, it kind of pushes both of us to want to be better.

Q. I know that he followed your lead in a number of ways. Do you take pride in what he's accomplished?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, obviously what he's done is fantastic. It's very impressive. He's a great player. It seems like he steps up and plays really well in big events. That's a sign of a really good player.

Yeah, obviously him being one of my best friends and we train a lot and practice and do a lot of things together, it's cool to see.

Q. Tiger was in earlier and said something about everybody was going to be hitting to the same place off the tee. But with your length, that means you're going to have a shorter iron shot to the green. Do you think that gives you a particular advantage over the field?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: It just depends. Obviously if you're playing out of the fairway, yeah, it definitely gives you an advantage. But you've got to get it in the fairway. But, yes, a lot of holes this golf course, you hit it to kind of the same area. You can challenge and get it closer to the green in some places, but a lot of times -- or in most instances here you're just trying to get it in the fairway because it's not overly long. There's a few holes depending on the wind that could play very long.

With the course conditions right now, it's not playing too long, but you have to be in the fairway.

Q. Brooks shows his more playful side in some of the getups that he wears and then takes photos of. I'm wondering if he's ever enticed you to dress up in some of the ways he has? Like what's the craziest thing he's gotten you to wear?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I'm not dressing up. Especially I'm not wearing the little banana hammock he had on in the Maldives.

Q. Can you just speak to that side of him? That's a side that we do not see and the public doesn't see. They see that stoic Brooks, but clearly he has a whole other side. Could you describe that to us?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, I mean, I think we all do. What people don't realize is we're out here on the golf course, yes, they're watching, but we're out here, this is our job. It's our livelihood. So, yeah, we're focused and we're still trying to have fun, but there's a line between having too much fun and not being focused.

So it's business for us. So when we're out here, we're trying to take care of business. And then people don't -- obviously don't see the other side of us and how much fun we do have when we're not playing golf.

Q. Graeme mentioned earlier that what happened to you in 2010 is something that just kind of happens to guys along the way and that that shot on 2 was just a little bit fluky where it ended up and what do you do? I wonder, when you keep on coming back to a course like this and you get to that hole or in a practice round, do you ever drop balls there? How do you kind of move forward from that moment on a specific spot on the course?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, you try not to think about it, but you kind of just got to laugh. Yeah, where it ended up, it was just unlucky. If it goes in the bunker, it's fine. If it flies another foot, it probably kicks on the green. It was just one of those unlucky -- I hit a bad shot, though, period. I had a wedge in that shouldn't have missed the green. But it was a bad shot, and then compounded it on the next hole.

But even with all that, going into the back nine, I still had a good chance to win. It's obviously pretty tough to come back from that kind of start.

Q. Were you able to take anything good from that few-hole stretch of, I guess later in your career, not letting things compound?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Like I said, a couple of months later at the PGA I was in the final group again on Sunday and played very well. That was where I got the penalty. But I did the right things. I played well. Watney kind of went through the same thing I'd just gone through. You kind of feel for him because he was playing well. I think he had a couple-shot lead, and he kind of had the same thing that I just went through at the U.S. Open.

But it's just one of those things you try to learn from it and get better. And I felt like I did that and played well there on Sunday at the PGA.

Q. How long did it take you before you really loved this place? And aside from your success you've had here, why do you love this place?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I really liked it from the first time I ever came up here and played, which was in '08. It was one of my first few events that I ever played on Tour. But just -- I mean, what's not to like? The golf course is fantastic from start to finish. When you've got nice weather, it's quite beautiful out there.

Q. USGA has taken a lot of criticism over the last few years, and a lot of it is revolving around the ruling you had at Oakmont and people felt sorry for you. What's your relationship with the USGA, and how do you feel about how the U.S. Open has gone over the past few years?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I've got a great relationship with the USGA. I think for the most part they've done a fantastic job. This week I don't think they could do anything better. The golf course is fantastic. I think we're going to have a great week. I don't know what else to say. They're a great organization. They're one of the pioneers in our field. I've got no hard feelings towards them.

MIKE TROSTEL: A little bit later this evening you have an event with U.S. Open champions. You're a part of that family, obviously, after your win in 2016. Describe what it's going to be like to have dinner and spend some time with people whose name are on that trophy with yours.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I think tonight is going to be a special evening. They only do it every few years. Just to be a part of it is special. I'm looking forward to it.

Q. I'll use of the cliché of Zen, but I'm wondering if earlier in your career, instead of letting these things that have happened to you roll off your back, so to speak, have you ever tossed a club in a lake? Have you ever shown anger on a course?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Not on the golf course. I don't know, it's just something I've never done. I don't like the way it looks. I don't like when other people do it. So I was taught at a young age that you don't do that. So I just never have. I've hit plenty of bad shots. So why get mad at it?

MIKE TROSTEL: Thanks very much. Have a great week.

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