home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 19, 2021

Dustin Johnson

Kiawah Island, South Carolina, USA

The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: We are happy to be joined by two-time Major Champion, Mr. Dustin Johnson, playing in his 12th career PGA Championship.

Dustin, welcome. Your world changed since we saw you last August winning the Masters in the fall. How are you playing this year and how are you feeling coming in here? I know this must have been a special -- you might have been looking at this one on the schedule the last few years being a native of South Carolina.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, it's always great to come back to South Carolina, to especially play a major here. You know, looking forward to it. I enjoyed it in 2012, and yeah, golf course is fantastic. It's going to be a really tough test. Looks like we are going to have a nice breeze all week so the golf course is tough, and so I like tough golf courses and I like this course.

I definitely played a Junior, couldn't tell you when, maybe once or twice, and then obviously played it in 2012, but I haven't spent a whole lot of time here.

Q. I don't mean to dumb this down, but when you say the golf course is tough, which we've heard all week, what's your definition of it? What makes it tough and when and why?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, it's tough with no wind, just the conditions. The greens are firm, they're all raised. It's long, hitting long clubs in. So you know, especially when the wind is blowing how it has been the last few days, even the downwind holes are tough just because it's hard to stop the ball.

So yeah, it just requires you to do everything well. You've got to drive it good. Driving is definitely a big part of it. You've got to hit the fairways. They are fairly generous but with the winds the way they are and a lot of crosswinds and into-the-wind holes, you know, and the way the holes are angled, you've got to hit good drives to get it in the fairway.

And then obviously from there, doesn't get a whole lot easier.

Q. Have you used your 4-iron this week?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I've used I think every club in my bag this week so far.

Q. Were there clubs you had not used in a while on par 4s?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, par 4s and par 3s, definitely 3- and 4-iron and 7-wood, you know, hitting into par 3s, par 4s. It's not -- especially the into-the-wind holes are playing very long.

Q. When did you hit your 7-wood?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: 14, 18. I could hit 3-iron but 7-wood comes in a little softer.

Q. Update us on your health and what you've done since withdrawing last week.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, health is good. I just want to spend more time on making sure I was feeling 100 percent for this week and done a lot of work at home, and yeah, I feel really good coming into this week.

Q. You played with Shane Lowry on Monday and I see you're grouped with Shane for the first two rounds here at Kiawah Island. Just wonder, did Shane take your money or did you take his money?


Q. Was any bet going on or not?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: No. We were just out enjoying the course.

Q. What do you enjoy about playing with Shane's company and what do you like about him as a golfer, having won The Open, and also as an individual?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, I've known Shane for a while. Enjoy playing with him. It's good fun. We get along well. Looking forward to it.

Q. What made you go to the 7-wood and what type of shots are you looking to hit with that?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I put it in at the PGA last year at Harding Park. I've always been kind of looking for a 5-wood hybrid or something I can get up in the air and land soft.

Keith made me a 7-wood at Harding Park and I hit it a few times, really liked it, and it's been in the bag ever since. Hit a lot of different shots with it.

Q. There's a club pro here named Larkin Gross, and you and Allen were nice enough to contribute to his GoFundMe page. Do you know him well, or what was the situation there?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I did not know him, but Coach Terrell, I guess, does, so wanted to help him out and congrats on qualifying, but that's about as far as it goes.

Q. Your brother played basketball here at Charleston Southern. Did you ever come watch him play in that little gym and what are your memories of that?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I watched quite a few games. I was living in Myrtle Beach, so I would drive down for the weekend or for a game or something. It's only an hour and 15, 20 minutes. It was great. It was always fun coming down and watching my brother play.

Q. It's a tiny little gym, isn't it.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I think my high school gym was bigger. But it was still fun.

Q. What has your relationship evolved into now that he's been on your bag for so many years?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: It's been great. Obviously he knows me better than anybody. He's my best friend. And I know he wants to win just as much as I do, so it's always great, I've got a lot of trust in him. I think we do a very good job.

Q. Where does the PGA rank on your list of accomplishments that you haven't reached yet, and would it be extra special to win here at the Ocean Course?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, absolutely. It's definitely on the -- on the top of the list of things that I haven't accomplished and something that I really would like to, and yeah, it would be great obviously to do it here in my home state.

Q. What exactly was nagging about it, and did it affect hitting or walking?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, it just didn't feel right. I got an MRI. Everything was fine. It was the one I had surgery on about a year and a half ago. Just got together with the doctor and physio down there that I use for my rehab and just put together a little bit of a plan to get a little bit stronger. Yeah, it feels good, though.

Q. When did you notice it didn't feel right?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, it's kind of been off, off and on a little bit over the probably past six months.

Q. What putter are you using this week?


Q. I understand that. Which model?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Honestly I don't even know the name of it. It's a TaylorMade, though.

Q. People say that you like to change putters often, so I thought we should find out what one you're using on the paspalum greens.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I really don't like to change clubs ever, but when one's not working, yeah, I have to find something else.

Q. What color?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: It's silver with a white shaft.

Q. What does it mean to compete in a major in your home state as the No. 1 -- No. 1-ranked player in the world?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, it means a lot. Obviously it's great coming back here to play and playing in a major. I've got a lot of friends and family and a lot of support here in my home state. So I'm really looking forward to it. It was great back in 2012. Obviously it's a little bit different now.

Definitely really looking forward to this week.

Q. It's just Wednesday. Can you tell any difference between August and May here at The Ocean Course and the way the course plays?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: It's a lot warmer in August, and yeah, I mean, I don't remember a whole lot from -- from 2012 but I do remember the course was a lot softer. Greens were definitely softer. But you know, the conditions are really similar, and I mean, it was in good shape then. It's in perfect condition right now.

But the course is just a lot firmer.

Q. Your results over the last six months or so, probably not what you want out of yourself. Is the knee the main issue or something else? What are you working on?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Mix of everything. But the game feels good. I feel like it's been close the past few months. Just haven't put it all together at the same time. But everything feels really good right now. I've got a lot of confidence coming into this week. I feel like I've been working hard on the game and looking forward to it.

Q. You said you have to have everything to play this course well, but what one area of your game do you think for this golf course needs to be in -- you'd like to see in tiptop shape?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: For me, the putter. I mean, I feel like if I putt well, I play well all the time. That would be -- for me it would be the putter.

THE MODERATOR: What's the biggest event you've won in the State of South Carolina in your life to date, golf event?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I have no idea. I really don't. I'm sure a couple but they weren't very big. Junior tournaments maybe. I don't know.

THE MODERATOR: Well, you're due then, right?


Q. If you can think back, what would be -- and we'll see how this week plays out going into it, but the toughest PGA since when? When is the last one that got your attention in this way, the PGA?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: You mean toughness-wise?

Q. Degree of difficulty, yeah.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Whistling Straits is tough.

Q. In '15? Or '10?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, I think all of them, the way they set them up play fairly tough.

A lot of it has to do with conditions, though. Even this course, if you, you know, get a lot of rain and it softens up, it plays a lot easier. But with it firm and fast it's very difficult.

Q. In your practice rounds, did you find yourself tipping it out just to do it?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I played all the way back pretty much on every hole.

Q. But you expect them to move them around quite a bit?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, obviously they have tee markers where they will move some tees up. Yeah, I hit a few shots from there, too.

Q. If you look at your last two runner-up finishes in this event, which one annoys you most?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Both of them.

Q. I was thinking you might pick one.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: They are all annoying. I don't know what else to tell you.

Q. You have another chance in win in South Carolina this year at Congaree. What do you know about that course, and what are you looking forward to down there?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I know nothing. I haven't been there. I mean, I've heard good things about it. But I don't know anything about the course. I know it's in Congaree.

THE MODERATOR: Family and friends this week? Anybody of special note that you're excited to have out with you this week that's not normally around?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, normal. Normal crowd.

THE MODERATOR: Dustin, thanks for stopping by.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297