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June 17, 2020

Dustin Johnson

Hilton Head, South Carolina

THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Dustin Johnson to the 2020 RBC Heritage. Dustin, if we could just get an opening comment on your return to Harbour Town, and following last week's appearance at the Charles Schwab Challenge.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, it's always good to get back to the Heritage, the RBC Heritage. It's obviously in my home state. I've had some success here the last couple years. I felt like I had some chances to win. I'm looking forward to getting back here.

Obviously, last week, didn't play very well, but went home and practiced, and I feel like I'm definitely -- the game's in a lot better shape coming into this week.

THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions from the media.

Q. First of all, when have you ever been five minutes early to anything?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I'm always early, Doug.

Q. Someone who's been here the last couple years, D.J., I'm just curious, this has always had the vibe of a really relaxing week, a big exhale coming off the intensity of the Masters. Does it still feel that way when we're in a position of kind of like what Jordan said last week, guys want to go get off to a fast start with a fast finish to the season? Has that changed at all?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No. I mean, it's still Hilton Head has got that vibe where it's very relaxing. It's a place, obviously, I look forward to coming to. Obviously, this year is definitely different. It's later in the year. It's not overseeded. So the golf course is going to play a lot different, I think.

It's a place I look forward to coming, and I think -- yeah, I still think the vibe, though, is very relaxed around here.

Q. Does that apply to you? This is probably a bad question. Do you feel more intense than normal?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I do not. Yes, I'm looking forward to having -- I need to come out. I need to have a few good weeks here to kick off this restart, but I haven't played a lot of golf. This is, what, my sixth tournament of this season. So, yeah, it's time to start playing well.

Q. Dustin, I know you said earlier this year that you made some comments about not wanting to play the Olympics just because of the schedule and how everything is shaping up. We don't know what next year's schedule is going to look like, but would you reconsider that if the schedules were different and it fit in a little better?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, absolutely. I think it's something that -- obviously, I've always been a fan of the Olympics. Never really thought golf would be in it. Obviously, it's been in it now -- this will be the second time in a long time. So it's something that, yeah, I'll definitely have to consider.

Q. The field this week is obviously different than a typical Heritage, where guys might pass this one over. What do you think some of these guys who haven't played in Harbour Town in a while can expect here? And might this convince them to come back more in future years?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I think it's a great golf course. You've got to do everything really well around here. It's real small greens. The fairways are really narrow. And on a lot of holes, you've got to hit it in the right or left side of the fairway just to have a shot at the green.

So driving's a big part, but you've got to hit irons off the tee, 3 woods, drivers -- it all depends. The par 3s are pretty tough. So it's just a good all-around golf course. It's going to play different now that we're playing it in the summer and not in April, but it's something that -- you know, the golf course obviously hasn't changed, just the grass has, so it will play a little different, but it's still going to play difficult.

Q. Do you think the guys who are here for kind of a rare appearance here, is this just a one-time thing? Do you get the sense that they might not be back, this is just one of those courses that --
DUSTIN JOHNSON: It depends. Some guys are going to really like it, and some guys won't. That's with every golf course. I don't really think -- it doesn't matter if you're a longer hitter, shorter hitters. It doesn't really favor anybody. It favors the guy who plays really well.

So I think some of the players who haven't played here will like the golf course and will come back.

Q. Dustin, I just had a couple questions. One was you said you only played six times --

Q. You were just referring to the fact you've only played six times this season, and I'm just wondering, as you just said, it's time to start playing well, which you generally do. I'm wondering if six tournaments is enough of a sample size for you to kind of figure out what's been missing, if that makes any sense for you.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I know what I need to work on. I know what I haven't really done that well. So it's not really rocket science. I just need to play a little better.

Q. Just unrelated, I just asked Rory this a minute ago, a little bit of a silver lining to this situation you guys are in here is the fields to these golf tournaments that you're playing in these first few weeks have been stronger than they normally would be. I just wonder if that helps a little bit, as one of the top players, even though it's not a Major Championship, these fields are kind of approaching Major Championship like fields because of the guys that are playing.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, the fields are really good. They're just as strong as any event we'll play all year really. Especially these first three weeks will be really strong fields. I think, obviously, the rest of the season really will be for most of the events.

So, yeah, it's good. It's good too to kind of know where your game's at. It's great really for the tournaments. Even though there's not really fans here, it's still good for the golf tournament that's are hosting these events. So, yeah, it's something that, if you can get off to a good start, it will be good for your game.

Q. Couple things, Dustin. Have you signed any autographs the last two weeks?

Q. Who wanted it?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: A marshal (laughter). No, it was actually a walking scorer, came up from the group behind.

Q. Wasn't even in your group?

Q. It's nice to be wanted.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Hey. One a week, I'll be fine with that.


Q. Just your overall take away from your time at Colonial with no fans, getting used to that for a couple days, and also how do you think that will play out when you get to the PGA Championship that will not have fans? And frankly, we don't know what the U.S. Open's got in store?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: It's different, obviously. The energy is completely different. I enjoy the fans being there for the most part. It makes the game, and it's something that, ever since I've ever been out here, we've always had fans. So it's definitely something to get used to. I mean, it's hard to describe the feeling. It's different. It's almost, you know, a little bit harder to stay focused and stay like focused on what you're doing just because there's -- you know, kind of the fans give you that extra energy and that extra focus because there's so many people out there.

Q. What do you think it will be like at Harding, when you've got the bigness of what you're playing for and nobody there to watch it? Except the marshal trying to get your autograph.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: That will definitely be interesting playing a Major Championship with no fans. Those are the ones that have the most people and the biggest galleries, obviously.

Q. I was wondering if it's changed the practice round dynamics at all with other guys, or if those are quieter days anyway. Does it feel pretty similar? And how do you go about setting up practice round games to begin with?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Actually, the practice days are actually really nice without fans, just because I feel like you can get more work done. It's a little easier to get things done on a practice day without a lot of fans being here. That has been nice. But I definitely would like to see them come back to watch Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Q. How do you decide who you're going to play practice rounds with? Do you set it up beforehand or spur of the moment or a combination?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, sometimes, the day before if you talk to your buddies and you're going to play around the same time, or some days I'll just come out and whoever's on the range, if they look like they're about to go, just talk to them. I don't know. I don't really set up too many games, but every once in a while, we'll set up a game.

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