August 8, 2020
San Francisco, California, USA
Harding Park Golf Club
JOHN DEVER: Good afternoon. Welcome back to the 2020 PGA Championship here at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. Pleased to be joined by Dustin Johnson, who just is joining us after posting a 65, 5-under par today. He is 9-under par for the championship and is currently at the top of the leaderboard.
Eight birdies today on what probably would not be described as a vulnerable golf course. What part of your game was clicking? Tell us a little bit about that.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I putted really well. That was key. But I hit a lot of good shots to give myself some good looks because the flags are tucked. The greens are firm and fast. So I did hit a lot of quality iron shots.
Tomorrow I think I need to go -- I definitely need to hit some more fairways, because it's really tough playing this golf course from the rough. Obviously the bunkers, too, are very tough. A couple -- had a few nice up-and-downs out of the bunkers, but also a few poor ones.
Q. You are here in a major championship again and you've been in contention many times, but this time, obviously no roars. A lot of people are within a few shots of you. What are you going to do tomorrow about looking at scoreboards, kind of trying to figure out what is going on as the day unfolds?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I'm going to try my best not to do that. All I can do is go out and play my game and shoot the best number I can. I'm going to just try and go out and shoot as low as I can tomorrow just like I did today. You know, just take what the golf course gives me and just keep on going because, you know, it doesn't really matter what other guys are doing. All I can control is myself.
Q. Curious, you get that double-bogey on 9. What are your thoughts going to 10 tee knowing the back nine has really been difficult this week?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I should have never hit it in the left bunker, is what I was thinking. I knew it was a bad spot. I actually went down a club not to get there, and I misjudged the lie a little bit. I didn't think it was going to come out very good, and it came out way better than I thought it was, and I hit it in the one spot I didn't want to hit it in. It's just one of those things.
The golf course is tough. You're going to make a score -- obviously a bogey would have been a lot nicer, but I knew I was playing good. I was putting good. I just needed to keep on going and put it behind me.
Q. We're hearing reports: Did you lose your yardage book?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I did. I think -- it's got to be in the bottom of my bag but I didn't want to take all my clubs out on the golf course. But AJ had an extra one, so we were fine.
Q. Following up on that, when did you realize you couldn't find it, and what's the difference, I guess, between the two books?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Nothing. I just used a regular yardage book. I use it more so I can get the yardages out of the fairway and where the flag is. But my brother had an extra one, so it was perfect.
JOHN DEVER: Thank goodness for brothers.
Q. Just to be clear, he had an extra one from this golf course, though, right?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, it was from last week, but it worked out well. (Laughter.)
Q. Wanted to ask you, you've had a number of chances going into the final round of a major. What's the difference in how you look at the opportunity tomorrow compared with when you were younger, when you had a chance at either Pebble, Whistling or St. George's or any number of other ones?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, those, I was definitely younger. I have been out here awhile now. I've been in contention a lot, and I've got it done a lot of times. Tomorrow, it's no different. I need to be out -- I'm going to have to play good golf if I want to win. It's simple; I've got to hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens. If I can do that tomorrow, I'm going to have a good chance coming down the stretch on the back nine.
Q. Is it almost better that there's about a billion people within two shots of the lead, instead of one or two?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, it really doesn't matter. I feel like I have a chance no matter where I am on the leaderboard starting tomorrow. Obviously the guys, they still have quite a few holes to play, the guys behind us.
I'm going to be in a good position no matter what, and you know, tomorrow I'm just going to have to go out and do what I did today. Just get it done.
Q. You're looking for your second major title. A lot of guys who are in the thick of this are looking for their first. How much can you use that to your advantage?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, yeah, I definitely have experience in this situation that definitely will help tomorrow. I've been in the hunt a bunch of times in a major. I've got one major, so having that experience is definitely going to be beneficial tomorrow.
You know, but it's one of those things. Still going to have to go out and play really good golf. This is a tough golf course. Greens are getting really firm. They are fast. So I think the wind is going to blow again tomorrow, so it's going to play difficult.
I look forward to the challenge, and you know, I will definitely be relying on a lot of that experience that I have.
Q. You've been asked a little about the back nine, which has been giving most players trouble. Looks like you shot 31 on the back. Curious your take on how much of a role that will play tomorrow and how difficult that can be, and specifically, 16, 17 and 18 to have a short par 4, windy par 3 and obviously the closing hole. What do you think of that stretch?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, the whole golf course is tough. I mean, you've got to put your ball in position, but yeah, obviously depending where they set the tees up tomorrow on 16 and the flag, it could be a hole where you could possibly make a two if you need to, or you know, but on 17, again, it's a par 3. It's not too long, but you still have got to hit a quality golf shot if you want to get it close to the hole. That green, it sits out there in the wind all day, it's really firm. Obviously 18 is just a really good hole. You have to hit a really good tee shot into the fairway there if you want to give yourself any chance.
JOHN DEVER: Thank you, sir.
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