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June 26, 2020

Zach Johnson

Cromwell, Connecticut

Q. Can you talk a little bit about your round? Obviously the putter helped you out quite a bit today.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I gave myself great opportunities. Rarely missed greens, hit a lot of fairways. Actually probably hit it as good yesterday if not better and just didn't score. Today was more of a scoring day, but I hit some close shots. Played the par-5s great. I lipped out for eagle on one and putted it on the other one, as well, from just off the green. Taking advantage of the short holes, 15, 13, obviously 6 on the front, set up for a good day.

Q. You have sort of a reputation, well-earned, for grinding out tough rounds and such like this, but you've also had a lot of success at tournaments where people have scored a lot of birdies. Do you prefer a venue where you get scoring where there's lots of low 60s, or do you think it's more helpful to you to grind it out a little bit more?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, that's a good question. I think -- I've had success at both, so it's hard to really identify what favors me. I mean, as a person and my personality, I probably prefer the ones that are a little bit more difficult, fairways are beyond a premium, hitting it in the middle of the green is a premium, all those kinds of things. I like when the pressure is on, just to hit quality shots after quality shots.

This course, the reason there's a lot of birdies out here is one, it's not that long; and two, if you're hitting quality shots you're going to have a lot of opportunities, but it can bite you in the butt if you're not. So it kind of goes both ways, I think. The character of this place is what sets itself apart. It's not a U.S. Open golf course, but not every week needs to be. And it's in as good a shape as I've ever seen it.

Q. Are you getting used to playing without spectators?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, in the last two and a half, three months, that's what it's been at home, a lot of games with buddies. Yeah, the only thing, I'm not reaching for the canister of sand to fill my divots off the cart. But yeah, it's fine. It's not ideal; I mean, I'm going to flat-out say that. I enjoy the fact that fans find the entertainment in this and come out and watch us. There's a reason for that because these guys are really good. You know, that's the beauty of PGA TOUR golf is the fanhood. But it's also the right decision right now. I don't love it, but I completely agree with it.

Q. When you went out today obviously early in the morning, it was relatively still. We've heard some guys say some different things about the wind, it was building up, it swirled in some places, and then Viktor came in here and said it was actually really still. What did you experience as the round went on from start to finish?
ZACH JOHNSON: My guess is it was different for everybody, and I'm talking even -- obviously depending on what side you teed off on, but more so even two or three groups behind me or two or three groups in front of me, it was completely different. The best example I can give you is 16, I'm like, this is just a stock 9-iron, it's down off the right, and it was down off the right when I was on 15 green, so it's just a stock 9. By the time it was my turn to hit, I'm like, it's a full 8. It is, you're getting a little bit of swirling, and those holes sit low in particular, but it's not just in the low areas. I would say 13 through 17 you've really, really got to commit on the wind.

My guess is yesterday morning was probably more benign than the afternoon, and granted, the greens in the morning, this kind of poa annua in the morning is really good, so you've got to take advantage of the morning rounds.

Q. For people who are going to be watching this weekend on TV, if we do get the swirling winds and storms, do you think pros would rather play in a little bit of rain than swirling wind or windy conditions?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, typically, unless it's a significant front with some electricity, rain almost diminishes the wind or identifies it clearly. Yeah, and to compound that or couple that, usually it's point-and-shoot-and-stop with rain. You get a little moisture on the greens, you can be more aggressive. Certainly you can be more aggressive off the tee, too, because the ball is not going to release as much in the fairway. Everything just kind of widens as far as your parameters go I feel like with a little bit of moisture. No someone is going to disagree with that. That being said, we don't want that. We want it like this because it can be -- it separates the field better.

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