January 6, 2021
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii, USA
Plantation Course at Kapalua
JOHN BUSH: We would like to welcome our 2013 and 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions winner into the virtual media center.
Dustin, coming off of just an unbelievable year, FedExCup champion, recently won the Masters, but here we are back in Kapalua, I know a place that you love. If we can get some comments on being back.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, this is a place that I love coming every year. It's a goal to get back here every year. Obviously, if you're here, you won. This year's a little bit different. If you made the TOUR Championship you got here. But every other year if you won a tournament you get to play here.
So it's something I've always enjoyed playing here. I like the golf course. This year I think it's in the best shape I've ever seen it. So, it's still a little bit soft, but you can't really do anything about the weather. It seems like it just keeps raining every night.
JOHN BUSH: All right. Well, thank you for that. We're going to go right into questions.
Q. If I could just start by asking, I guess, what's it been like being the Masters champion now for two months and how has it been going? Has it impacted your preparation at all? In other words, did you want to celebrate a little bit longer and not get back at this so quick?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: It's been really good being the Masters champ. Obviously, it's something that I've always had on the list of things I wanted to accomplish, so, yeah, that's been great.
As far as the -- it was nice to have, winning it when I did, in November, was kind of nice because I did get to take some time off and enjoy. And obviously, with the holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas got, spent a lot of time with the family and so it's been great. Did a little bit of celebrating too. Haven't played a whole lot of golf, but that was on purpose.
Q. Do you sort of look at this as like I'm going to just work my way into 2021 or do you feel like there's any momentum to carry over after such a strong fall?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, I felt like the game, even the little that I've played, practicing a little bit the last couple days, everything feels pretty similar. Obviously not quite as sharp as I was probably back at Augusta, but I'm seeing a lot of the same shapes and I feel like I'm doing everything pretty well, even though I haven't practiced a whole lot here lately.
But, yeah, I mean, this is a good week. It's okay to be a little bit rusty. The fairways are nice and wide and there's still some shots, you got to hit some really quality golf shots, but I feel like I've had the last week or so to play a little bit, so I'm not -- I'm rusty, but not too rusty.
Q. Where is the Green Jacket and what have you been doing with the Green Jacket?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: The Green Jacket is in my closet at home.
Q. Have you worn it anywhere besides at Augusta?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I've worn it a couple times. Not a whole lot. I'll put it on every once in awhile at the house. But yeah, I did a couple interviews and stuff with it.
Q. Have you had a chance to watch any of your Masters win and have you had time to ponder, truly absorb what that Masters win has meant to you?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I have not watched the replay yet. I'm going to, I just haven't done it yet. I've got it in my e-mail, so I've got the link to watch it. So I am looking forward to that. I'll probably wait until I get back home where I have some time where I can sit down for a couple hours and watch it.
But, yeah, I mean, I've had a little bit of time to think about it, not a whole lot. Like I was saying, being the holidays and Thanksgiving and we have done a little bit of traveling, so, and then Christmas and with the kids you don't get a whole lot of time to think about too much.
Q. Last year, coming off a four-win season, won the FedExCup, won the Masters, what motivates you going forward after such a great year and after, so far, a great career?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Motivation for me, it's not that hard. I mean, I like being the best. I want to continue the good play and hopefully can have a little bit better year this year.
Q. I wanted to ask you a little bit about Whoop and how you've been using that. Can you just run me through how you've done that?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, I have not been wearing it the last couple months. I did, I used to wear it a lot and -- or I wore it for quite awhile, but then I got to, like, a little bit too involved with what my recovery was saying and everything, so I, it was just one more thing that, it was just one less thing to worry about, so I took it off.
But it was just some days like I would feel great, but then it would say my recovery wasn't that good, so I don't know. But, yeah, I got to where every morning I was waking up, first thing I would do is check my recovery, and so I stopped wearing it. I do like it to wear to train and kind of -- so I'll wear it some during the day, but I've been, but I'll take it off at night just so I don't have to, so I'm not -- it's just one less thing to worry about.
Q. So I'll ask one thing that people are able to see now for Tour players that wear it going forward is I guess heart rate in the critical crucial moments. You're known as a guy who looks super calm on the outside. What do you think the data would show for you in those moments?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Oh, no, the heart rate's going for sure. But once it does, though, obviously I don't -- I don't know exactly what I do, but I can slow my heart rate back down in those moments. But it's just something that you learn over time. Obviously, in the beginning of my career I wouldn't be able to do that. But obviously the more times I'm in the hunt, the more times I'm in those big pressure situations, you kind of learn your body and learn what it does. So, but, yeah, that would be interesting to see for sure.
Q. The emotion that you showed on the putting green during your, during the trophy ceremony, did it surprise you at all?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: A little bit. Usually I feel like I can control my emotions pretty well and obviously in that instance I couldn't. But, so it wasn't surprising. It was a little surprising that it, that there wasn't anything I could do to control it. But it was just such a great moment for me and my family and so it was, obviously it meant a lot to me.
Q. What have some people said to you about that moment?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, everyone that I've talked to or seen, obviously they really liked it and they said it was nice to see that I did show some emotion, just because I try, out on the golf course, not to try to get too excited or too upset.
Q. For awhile in the days of Nicklaus and Watson, it was believed that players peaked in their 30s and you look like you're a player who is peaking in his 30s right now, mid-30s. But Tiger sort of skewed things, where he sort of led this wave of guys who looked like they were peaking in their 20s. Do you think over time more guys are going to be like you or like Watson and Nicklaus and actually find their absolute career peak into their 30s?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I don't know. I can't answer that, obviously. But, yeah, for me it's, I feel like the more I played, the more I grow as a person and as a golfer, the better I'm getting. So I still feel great. I feel young. I feel like I'm in my 20s, even though I'm not.
But yeah, I mean, I can't really say why or what the reason is, other than for myself. But for other guys, I mean, I'm sure some guys will start to peak at a little bit later.
Q. And then real quick can I just ask you: To me, Tony Finau's game, his skill set looks similar to yours. Am I off base there or are they somewhat similar?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, yeah, I would say there's some similarities. I mean, obviously Tony's a very good player. He hits it a long way, can hit it a lot further than I can too. But as far as -- I don't know, I've never really compared our games. He has a nice game, though.
Q. Have you put any thought into what the Champion's Dinner might be?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I have thought a little bit, but I have not, I'm not -- I've not made a decision yet.
Q. Can you hint at what you might be leaning towards?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I don't know. Right now it's all over the board.
Q. Kind of along those lines, did you dream about winning the Masters? I can assume you dreamt about winning the Masters growing up, and if so, how close was the actual event to what you thought about growing up?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I for sure definitely dreamed about winning the Masters and it wasn't even close.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, just, I mean, yeah, you dream about winning it and what it's going to be like, but until you actually do and experience it, yeah, I don't think the dream was anywhere close to the feeling and the gratification and everything that goes along with it. It was much more special than I dreamed, for sure.
Q. Rex's question made me wonder: Have you ever had to set a menu for anything in your life? Have you ever been in charge of saying what's for dinner?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I've traveled -- I have a chef that travels with me a lot of weeks of the year and so I do the menu most nights for dinner.
Q. All right. You've taken some breaks before during the course of the year. What's different about coming off a break when you're in January starting with a full year ahead of you as opposed to just coming back from three or four weeks?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, nothing, really. Our season is, it's all year long, so we do get some breaks during the year. I guess we had one earlier this year for a lot longer than I think any of us anticipated. But I think, what's it been, six weeks or something since the Masters?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Somewhere around there. So it's not, it hasn't been that long. So, but I mean, I enjoy my time off probably just as much as anybody. So I think it's good for the game, for me at least, and it's more good for the mental side.
Q. A lot of guys who come into this year, there's the feeling of optimism kind of like you get at spring training in baseball. What's the optimism like for a guy who is coming off like a pretty sensational year?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean obviously I think I'm -- I don't know if I'm a -- yeah, don't have a lot of optimism. I expect to play well always, so I'm not hoping to play well, I expect to play well.
Q. You talked about hopefully a better year and obviously there's always room to improve, are there any specific things you can actually do better after such a great season? Areas of your game that you're looking to improve for this year?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean I feel like I definitely have -- there's plenty of areas in my game where I can improve, short game, putting, wedges, I still feel like I can get a lot better with the wedges. I continue to practice those, when I do practice, I mean I'm always working on my wedges. But, yeah, I mean, I can drive it better, I can definitely hit the long irons a little bit better, but yeah, so I feel like there's plenty of areas I can improve and so that's what I'll look forward to doing this year is just improving some areas where I think that I have a lot of room for improvement.
Q. Did you put the new TaylorMade driver in play and if so what did you see from it?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I do, I'm going to play the new SIM 2 this week. It's, yeah, I really like it. I think it looks great, it's got a great feel and I'm sure I'll go through a few of them before I find the one that I really love. I mean, I like the one that I'm hitting, but you can always, it can always be better, I'm always looking for more distance and more consistency. But the one I'm playing right now seems to be working pretty well.
JOHN BUSH: Dustin, we appreciate your time. Thank you, sir.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Thank you.
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