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July 13, 2007

Zach Johnson


Q. Obviously disappointing round.
ZACH JOHNSON: Very disappointing, yeah. I think it sums up that I'm just very rusty. I took a lot of time off, which I needed. I don't regreet that, and I certainly would do it again. But it's very evident that my game is rusty all around.

Q. You've got a great sand game, Zach, but today finding six bunkers didn't help.
ZACH JOHNSON: Was it six? Man, that's a lot. Yeah, and a couple were really just horrible course management. There were a couple that were decent shots that just ended up there, but for the most part that was just poor course management and a couple errant shots. So I've got a lot to work on.
But the good thing is I know that what I need to work on. It's not any secret. Who knows, 1-under, I guess it could go the other way. But knowing the talent of the field and the way the conditions are right now, I doubt they'll go to 1-under.

Q. If you don't make the cut, how disappointing would it be for you?
ZACH JOHNSON: Obviously disappointing. This is one of those jobs, if you will, that you've got to get over pretty quick. I'm accustomed to that. I never like missing cuts, especially by a shot, especially being kind of close to home.
However, that's part of what this game is all about. It's about perseverance, it's about rebounding and keeping your head high and focusing on the present or the future rather than the past.
I think there's a reason why I'm here, and I think that certainly pays dividends for me and hopefully will in the future.

Q. On the back nine you were trying to get the feel?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, exactly. I didn't have the feel. We were talking about that after like 12 I think it was, 11 or 12, and I just felt very handsy. I just feel like I don't have the feel of the club, which goes with not practicing much and not playing much as of late.
At the same time, you know, I can get a little analytical and maybe overanalyze some things, fundamentally especially. I might have done that a little bit. I made a good save on 15 and then obviously my par on 17 wasn't very good. And a good birdie on 18.
You know, I'm trying to stay positive. There's a reason why things happen. I firmly believe that if I miss the cut, that's the way it was supposed to be. I'll learn from it and be better as a result.

Q. The crowd was grinding with you, weren't they?
ZACH JOHNSON: Oh, absolutely, no question. The crowd was awesome. I could have shot 104 today. It felt like 104. I could have shot 104 today and they still would have been behind me, which is pretty special.

Q. Your bunker shot into the woods, you just didn't get enough sand?
ZACH JOHNSON: No, I was trying to pick it. I picked it. That was actually the purest shot I hit on the back nine. That's pretty funny. I was trying to land it on the front of the green. Clearly I landed on the other side of the green. I mean, I hit an 8-iron from 60-some yards. It's not a shot I typically practice. But based on the circumstances, the yardage, it would have been hard to pick it with a wedge and even harder to blast it with a 7-iron or something like that. I tried to play the conservative shot. I'm thinking, standing behind it, I make a par here and give myself an opportunity for a birdie, but make a par here, who knows what can happen. That took a little bit out of me. I obviously made a pretty good 5, but that certainly was one of the shots.

Q. Can you try and spin this into a positive and maybe get an extra round in at the British?
ZACH JOHNSON: Potentially. You know, I don't know. I haven't even given it any thought. I didn't expect to miss the cut. We'll see what happens.

Q. There was great love for you out here obviously. Coming home, everybody is happy to see you, and your family got a chance to be here for this. Did that play into your round at all? I mean, how do you block that out?
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, I see my family a lot. I mean, especially my father. He comes out quite a bit. You know, playing in front of them is -- it feels like I'm doing that every other week. It really has nothing to do with it.
After Augusta I've had pretty good galleries, so I'm accustomed to that, as well. It's not like it's any different.

Q. But with it being a hometown feel, coming back and playing in front of the home crowd?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, it feels great. I mean, there's faces I haven't seen in a while for sure. I was trying to stay focused and go about my business rather than getting caught up on reminiscing in the past with friends and family, which is easy to do. I've got to keep my head between the ropes. At times I did that, but at times I didn't do it very well.

Q. It looked like it was pretty frustrating out there, some of your body language after some shots. What was going through your head after some of those shots that you hit that just didn't feel right?
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, I mean, every time I hit a bad shot, I'm trying to figure out why. That's basically what it comes down to. I know I'll figure it out.
My instructor is here. I haven't seen him since the U.S. Open. So we'll get some good time in together, regardless if I make the cut or not. I'll figure it out. For the most part we've worked so hard on my golf swing over the last six, seven years, and my putting for that matter, that everything is fairly simple. I don't hit it very far so it's got to be simple. As a result it's not that far off. It's just a matter of getting the feelings down.
Like I said before, I don't have the feel. That's frustrating. My fundamentals are fine, I've just got to get the feel down.

Q. British Open courses are feel courses. You've worked hard, you haven't made a cut yet, you get closer, try and learn the golf over there. How do you feel you've developed on that scale, and how do you feel going over to Carnoustie?
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, I just haven't played well there, that's the bottom line. I don't think it has anything to do with my game. I think my game is actually probably pretty good for those style courses. For the most part I'm pretty accurate off the tee, and that's huge, especially with the pot bunkers, and I've got a decent short game, and I'm putting pretty well.
You know, I've just got to get back to where I was mid, early spring and trust in that and see where that takes me. I don't feel like it's that far off. You know, links courses are all about trajectory control. Control is the big word over there. You've got to hit it high, you've got to hit it low, soft, hard. I can do it. I'm not terribly concerned about it. I've taken two weeks off, and typically I don't play very well my first week back. Once again, chalk it up. It's unfortunate, but it's the way it goes.

Q. I know you take positives out of this. Obviously your short game was kind of here today, it was just a matter of getting some momentum on this course?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, yeah. I had it a couple times. I made a birdie here and -- I birdied, what, 10. I hit a good shot in there, so I felt like everything was going the right direction. Yeah, it's unfortunate. I was trying to remain positive and being optimistic about things, but things just didn't pan out like that. I was playing with good friends, too, and one of them was playing really well, so you always like to see that.

Q. Talking to Brad, some of the opportunities that you've left on the table just because of the path you're on, does that kind of blow your mind about the fact that you're standing on that course is a testament to what you guys want to accomplish?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, there's a lot of requests, a lot of opportunities, some that were deliberated upon for a number of hours and days, just because financially it's very, very beneficial. But I feel like those opportunities came for a reason, and if I can continue doing what I'm doing inside the ropes with the system that I have already implemented, meaning on weeks, off weeks, practice, those opportunities will still arise when it better fits my schedule. It just hasn't fit very well. Plus they haven't met my priorities.
It's hard to turn them down, no question about it, especially when you can do a lot with what they're offering. But at the same time, I know that I'm here for a reason and I'm going to try to stick to my guns and stick to my routines and my systems. They've all been pretty understanding with the response, and hopefully they'll come about in the future.

Q. What was going through your head those last few holes when you were thinking the cut was 2 and you were at even?
ZACH JOHNSON: I mean, I was just trying to make birdies, bottom line. I hit a horrible layup shot on 17. I actually hit one less club than I wanted to and it still went in the bunker. I hit it 20 yards left of my target. It's frustrating. I was trying to hit it close and make some putts. I hit two good shots on 18, that was about it.

Q. People are thinking tomorrow if you aren't here there won't be as many fans here.
ZACH JOHNSON: I don't know how to respond to that. It's unfortunate if that's the case. I mean, very unfortunate considering the talent that's here. These guys are professionals, great players, guys that have won majors, guys that will win majors. I would say the people that are thinking about it, if I'm not playing, still come on out and enjoy it because the weather is going to be good and the golf will be good.

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