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April 1, 2006

Zach Johnson


PHIL STAMBAUGH: Nice contemplation today, 8 under 64, your low round of the year. Just a couple of thoughts about how the course played today and how you played. Obviously we had a little rain this morning.

ZACH JOHNSON: The course in general is obviously a little softer, different wind today which made it interesting. So we were not getting much roll on the fairway until probably the end of the day, you get a little bit of roll. But all in all, fairways were fine, greens were decent of course, and it was nice to get off to a good start and get some sort of rhythm on the greens. I hit it pretty good on the last two days and a little bit better today. I managed to make some putts. It was nice.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Take us through your round.

ZACH JOHNSON: I made a 25 footer probably on No. 2.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: 29 feet, ten inches.

ZACH JOHNSON: No. 4, I hit a good shot there to about five feet, five inches.

The next hole, No. 5 was playing very difficult. I hit a 5 iron into that green left and I probably made a, oh, I'm guessing, 40 feet.


ZACH JOHNSON: It was a bomb. I don't know how it went in.

The next one, the par 5 on 6, I probably hit it up there about two feet, 2 1/2 feet maybe, three feet.

Got back to No. 10. No. 10, I probably made about a 12 footer for birdie I would say. Missed a short one on 11.

Made another 15 to 18 footer on 12.

13, I flopped it up there to a foot and tapped that in.

15, that was a good ten to 12 feet as well. Probably 12 feet on 15, right to left breaker.

Bogeyed 16. Missed probably a 4 footer there.

Managed to make probably a 10 footer on 18.

Q. Can you talk about you're exactly where you were when you won the tournament in 2004, your score after three rounds. You were up three shots then, you're down 11 as we speak right now. Can you put this in perspective where Phil is with his game and kind of what's going on here?

ZACH JOHNSON: Well, I can't, frankly. I don't know where he's playing. I mean, today, I guess because I played decent, I can understand it. But the first two days, he was in the same wave I was in, and that's just freaky good golf. He's driving it well. I saw something that he's missed like two greens or something like that. He missed one green by like a couple inches.

So he's obviously driving it very well and hitting his irons very well and putting well. That's a hard combination to beat, especially when you combine his talent in general and his experience. You know, you always want to say there's always a chance, but, you know, kind of hard to say that in this situation.

At the same time, you've got to keep playing. That's why we play the game. You never know what can happen. I mean, you just never know. I'm not going to say he's going to shoot over par tomorrow, but at the same time I mean, who knows what he'll shoot. I'll try to focus on Zach and you know, see how things go. I feel that it's really, you know, what he's doing right now is actually kind of a positive for us. It makes us work harder because you know you can play better.

Q. How does this bode for you to carry over next week to Augusta?

ZACH JOHNSON: You know, yeah, a lot of confidence. I felt like I played I've been playing pretty well. I had a good finish on the West Coast and played decent on the East Coast. A couple bad instances maybe on the golf course the last couple of weeks. I played pretty good, made some cuts. It's kind of nice, knowing all the hard work I've been doing is paying off.

Confidence I think breeds momentum, and that's huge, especially in this game.

Q. When you are that far behind but still playing well, is the pressure off and you can just let go and play? Can you play with more freedom because you're not really worried about your score in relation to the lead?

ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I think so. You have the attitude, nothing to lose, and I think that's a good way to go about it. You probably should have that attitude every day. But there's also a time to be conservative. For guys like myself, anybody else, Top 10 or whatever, it's just going out there and having fun and one shot at a time, doing what you've been doing I think is the way you've got to approach it.

Q. How does the Zach Johnson of today compare to the one who won two years ago? What have you added to your repertoire; stack those two against each other.

ZACH JOHNSON: Well, a lot of things specifically. I mean, experience would be the obvious first thing, and that's huge. After that, I would say I think everybody part of my game is improving, without a doubt, you talk about my ball striking, my putting and my short game. I think more importantly than that is knowing exactly what I need to do and where I need to go. I feel like I have the system in place and the foundation in place and I just have to build on it.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Thank you, Zach. Good luck tomorrow.

End of FastScripts.

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