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November 14, 2020

Dustin Johnson

Augusta, Georgia

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everybody. Dustin, welcome back here. What a terrific round, a 65, bogey‑free, an eagle, a whole bunch of birdies, and great, great swinging of the golf club.
What I had like to do, though, is I'd like to know how you did that shot on No. 2, the shot that brought to you about a foot from the pin. That was a terrific shot. Tell us more about it.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I had a good number and came out exactly where I wanted to. Landed exactly in the right spot. It's tough to get close to that hole location, but with the soft conditions, I was able to hit a nice shot.
I was actually trying to hit a little past the flag, and came up right on it. So obviously get eagle in 2, and then birdieing 3 and 4, got off to a great start and was able to continue that through the rest of the day.
THE MODERATOR: And the club you used on No.2?
THE MODERATOR: 5‑iron. Thank you.
Tell us about the up‑and‑down on 18, a great up‑and‑down. The ball went to the right. Tell us about that.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, obviously wasn't trying to hit it over there, but just ball from the fairway just squirted a little right on me and got it back there. It was kind of nice because I was kind of downhill the whole way. I knew if I could just get it over the hill there short of the green, it was going to roll down pretty close to the hole. And made a pretty good 4 there on the last.
Q. You had a lot of success and a lot of wins. Where would you rank how you're playing right now with some of the other times in your career? You were pretty hot coming in here three years ago. Didn't get a chance to do this. Are you playing better than you were then?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I would say the game is in really good‑‑ really good form right now. You know, very similar to what it was back in 2017. It's just very consistent. I feel like I've got a lot of control what I'm doing, controlling my distance well with my flight and my shape. I'm very comfortable standing over the golf ball right now, and obviously that's a really good feeling.
Q. The par3s here usually demand caution, but just seems‑‑ are they inviting this year? Are you firing at every flag? I think you're 4‑under on the par3s and the field seems to be just attacking all four of them.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, yeah, I'm swinging well, so it definitely helps because the par3s here, you've just got to hit it the right distance. That's the biggest key around here, especially on the par3s, because there's a lot of slopes on the greens, and just seems like if you can hit it the right distance, you can play them pretty solid, and I think I've done a really good job of that so far.
Q. Is that an easier task in the conditions?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Absolutely. I mean, with the conditions being soft, you can be really aggressive no matter what club you have in your hand, as long as you feel comfortable with how far you're going to fly it. I feel like the golf course is in really good condition just with all the rain, it's just so soft. So you've got to be aggressive and you've got to attack the flags.
Q. Never saw your putting stroke look better. Do you try to have that toe a little down and the heel a little up, or am I just seeing something?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: For me, I try to get my hands a little bit higher so I don't pull it. It's kind of something that I always try to do.
Q. Does that mean it comes inside a little bit?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I don't‑‑ I just try to hit it down the line (chuckling).
Q. It's working. Greg Norman help you at all with putting this year?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: We worked a little bit at The Grove one day, yeah. Definitely helped a little bit.
Q. Could you tell us about your approach tomorrow with a substantial lead?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, going into tomorrow, I think I've got a good game plan. I'm not going to change it. It's just, you know, I'm going to have to go out and play well. There's a lot of really good players right around me, so as we all know here, if you get it going, you can shoot some low scores.
I'm going to need to go out and play a really good round of golf if I want to win tomorrow.
Q. Entering this week, your previous low round of the Masters was 67. This week, you have had two bogey‑free rounds of 65. What has been the difference for you this week?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, obviously coming in here and playing well, I've got a lot of confidence in what I'm doing, and I think the conditions have definitely made scoring a little bit more favorable.
Q. You mentioned Greg Norman helping you with your putting, but how much does it help having your brother, calling him in to read every putt?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: We spend a lot of time working on the putting and working on our lines and how we're reading putts, and so it definitely helps, and a lot of times we read them pretty much the same. So it just reassures me that I'm seeing it correctly and feeling it right.
Q. A long way to go still, but what would it mean to you to win this tournament?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: It's definitely still a long way to go. Still got 18 more holes left. But I mean, it would mean a lot. What a great event; it's the Masters, a major. I grew up right down the road. So this one would be very special to me.
Q. How far down the road, how long would it take?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: About an hour away.
Q. You find yourself in a familiar position with a 54‑hole lead at a major, but you've yet to convert one of those for a win. What would need to happen tomorrow to break that streak?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: If I can play like I did today, I think it will break that streak. But yeah, I mean, tomorrow, it's just 18 holes of golf. I need to go out and play solid. I feel like I'm swinging really well. If I can just continue to give myself a lot of looks at birdie, I think I'll have a good day.
Q. It's been four years and the course is playing in a much different fashion than this course is this week. Winning at Oakmont the way you did, will you be able to draw on that tomorrow as you try to win a green jacket?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Absolutely. I think, you know, I put myself in the situation a lot of times. I know what it takes. I know how I respond in this situation. I'm very comfortable with having the lead going into tomorrow. I've been in this situation a lot of times. I'm looking forward to the challenge. It's still going to be a tough day. I'm going to have to play well if I want to get it done tomorrow.
Q. How do you clear your head and try to quiet those voices tonight as you try to sleep?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: What am I going to do? Well, when I get back to the house, I'll play with my kids. They are here. Hang out with Paulina. Her family's here. So just going to have some dinner and hang out at the house.
Q. When you first came here and you didn't have great results, were you comfortable, or did it take you a few years to get comfortable with this golf course?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: For me, it took me a little bit of time to figure the course out. I mean, when I first came here, I love the golf course, but I just‑‑ you know, playing my first few Masters, I just didn't play the course very well.
But I feel like every year, I kind of learned something. Kind of figured out a little bit more about the course, how to play it. You know, when can you attack the golf course and when do you just need to try to make an easy 4.
But the more and more I play it, the more comfortable I get.
Q. Growing up an hour away down the road, as you say, did you get a chance to come play this course before your first Masters?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Never did. Never got to play it. First time I played it was, you know, maybe a couple months before my first Masters.
Q. Obviously the scores don't lie, you're playing really well, but is there anything that you still feel like you need to work on tomorrow or anything you're going to work on tonight or think through?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Right now, I feel comfortable with every part of the game. So there's not really anything I need to work on. Tomorrow just make sure I just worry about what I'm doing, not worry about what everybody else is doing. It's a long day. I just need to be patient out there. I feel like I've done a good job of that the first three rounds, and tomorrow's going to be a lot more of the same.
Q. Along the lines of growing up so close, did you have any specific memories of those early days when you went out to that range, Weed Hill, with your dad and got a taste of golf for the first time?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Obviously growing up in Columbia, in high school, I hit a lot of golf balls at Weed Hill, so definitely remember hitting up there in the dark. They had lights on the range, and most nights I would shut the lights off when I was leaving. So definitely have a lot of good memories from the driving range.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you for being here, and wish you all the best tomorrow. Keep playing well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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