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July 12, 2007

Zach Johnson


Q. All in all, how was it rolling out there today?
ZACH JOHNSON: Very mediocre for me. I mean, the golf course was great. I played pretty average, I thought. A few good shots here and there and a couple poor ones. Putting was pretty inconsistent.
I know what I've got to work on.

Q. Hard to knock rust off? You've been off for a couple weeks. Is that what it was?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, rust for me. It was just trying to feel it, and I'm not quite feeling everything yet. My ball-striking is certainly coming around, my putter needs to have a little more attention. But I needed the break, and I think it was the best thing for me.
I'm encouraged with where things are and I'm encouraged about the future, and I'll just keep working hard.

Q. What do you think it was with the putter, anything specific?
ZACH JOHNSON: They just didn't go in (laughter).

Q. How disappointing was it?
ZACH JOHNSON: There's no disappointment. I mean, just rusty.

Q. Being the draw in this tournament, good thing, bad thing?
ZACH JOHNSON: The draw? I haven't heard that, but -- the draw maybe as far as having family and friends, for sure. That's how it feels, and that's great. I love that. I love playing in front of friendly faces.
But I think every draw is pretty good out here. It doesn't really matter when we play or where we play. Everybody is good.

Q. Does the reception feel about the same as it always has? The fact you're Masters champion, did it feel any different because of that? There were quite a few people for a Thursday morning.
ZACH JOHNSON: There was. Yeah, that was pretty special. No, about the same. I mean, that's the beauty of this area. You know, especially Iowa. I could still be on the Nationwide Tour and getting sponsor's exemptions and I'd still get a warm response. That's the beauty of the pride here.

Q. Some of the birdie chances that you had, do you feel like you should have done better today?
ZACH JOHNSON: I could have. I definitely could have, yeah. I yeah, I probably should have, actually. I mean, I missed some very short putts. I actually had some unfortunate breaks, too. I hit it in three divots, two on the front and one on the back. That really just kind of put me in a position where I had to try to get on the green.
You know, I mean, to get in a bunker, got a good break there and things could have been different. But certainly my putter was the problem overall.

Q. 6 and 15 and where were the divots?
ZACH JOHNSON: 6, 15 and 5. A small one, but I claim it as a divot.

Q. So any adjustment for tomorrow?
ZACH JOHNSON: No, absolutely not. I'm just going to work on the range and try to practice a lot. My goal this week was to hit as many balls as possible. We were rain hampered Monday and Tuesday for practice rounds, and I think that affected me a little bit. But all in all, I'm very encouraged. I shot 1-under par on a golf course that's been lengthened and is a great test, especially with the wind. I feel I'm in a good position. It's only Thursday. I'm certainly not out of the golf tournament, and tomorrow is Friday and I'll play tomorrow for one day.

Q. The routine you have where you take the sunglasses off before each shot and put them back on afterwards, have you always done that?
ZACH JOHNSON: Since I've worn sunglasses, yes. I had Lasik surgery a couple years ago, and my eyes are significantly better but they're a lot more sensitive to light. So it's just a process that I've put in my routine where I was trying to protect my eyes. I'd prefer to keep them off and hit shots, I just haven't gotten to that point yet.
Oakley has been very good to me, and I intend on trying to get to that point, but as of right now I'm going to keep flipping.

Q. I didn't see your dad or any family members out there. Were they today? What do you think about them not being here?
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, that's frankly none of your business, one. Two, I saw them last week on a family vacation. They'll be here soon.

Q. The chip on 18, you seemed to have a little bit of indecision there, looked like you changed clubs.
ZACH JOHNSON: I'm sorry?

Q. 18, the chip, the third shot.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, that was a little hiccup there. That was unfortunate. I probably had the right one initially. It was just a funky lie. It was one of those where it was barely off the green but yet it's sitting on a tee. I slid underneath it. It was poor and poor management. That was the only good putt all day (laughter).

Q. Was there any point where you felt like the rust was kind of coming off today? Like you birdied two of the last four of the back nine. Did you feel like you were kind of getting better as the day went on?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, absolutely. I was patient. I hit a great chip shot on 12 -- 13, and I missed a two-and-a-half-foot putt. But after that -- it kind of calmed me down. I just figured, I'm hitting it decent -- I hit a good shot there, I just pushed it. But it was no reason to get out of sorts.
I hit a good shot on 15. That second shot on 15 out of a divot with a 3-iron was pretty good. I just felt like, let's get after it now.

Q. All the attention the last few months, has that been a drain on you at all?
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, it's a little bit. It's just something you get accustomed to. There's a responsibility that goes along with what's happened. It's all been good stuff, it's just hard. I've enjoyed it so far. I'm just -- our team, especially my family, is just trying to get used to it. Everybody thinks it's just me, but it's everybody. I mean, it's a team effort, one; and two, we're trying to hit everything head-on and try and make the best decisions possible for everybody. I think we've done a very, very good job of that, and as a result I'm really not worried about anything. It's just a matter of getting through what's -- getting through all the details and then figuring out what's good for us.

Q. What's the routine now? Do you hit balls or do you putt? Do you have a routine?
ZACH JOHNSON: No, I really don't. Sometimes I don't even practice at all, especially if things are going well. Clearly I'll be practicing today.

Q. So do you look for something?
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, we've got it. I know exactly what I need to do. One of our sayings that we stick to is "feel is not real," so a lot of times what I'm feeling over the shot before I hit a shot is not exactly where it needs to be, if that makes sense.
So it's just a matter of maintenance. My golf swing is at a point, I think, where it's fairly simple. I have my tendencies, and it's about finding out where your tendencies are and then trying to correct those so that your golf swing is efficient. I think my last shot, even on 9, that's kind of the shot I'm going to try and think about. I hit that one really well, and there's no reason why I can't continue to do that.

Q. You looked comfortable out there with Lucas and Jonathan.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, two great friends. I've known them for years, and our families are close, our wives are very, very close. So that's -- Jonathan asked me if I had a little inside pull with the pairing, and I said, no, I didn't. It's random, I can assure you. But that was funny. I saw the pairing, and I'm like, man, that's kind of nice. It's actually good for me, especially this week, just kind of keep me calm and relaxed. Those guys are obviously two of the better players out here, one; and two really, really good friends.

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