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October 17, 2007

Jim Furyk

Zach Johnson


JULIUS MASON: Zach Johnson and Jim Furyk, PGA Grand Slam of Golf. Zach Johnson firing a 68 today, finishing a minus 1. Jim Furyk firing a 67, ending minus 2.
Zach, just give us some thoughts on the day.
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, I didn't play that bad. I played decent. Historic for me this week was my short game. It was very -- I hit somewhat straight and my putting and chipping at times was very suspect. But I had a chance coming down the stretch and couple times here and couple times there it could have been different. It was great. I enjoyed the week for the three days thoroughly and hope to be able to come back.
JULIUS MASON: Jim, thoughts on the day or the week?
JIM FURYK: Well, I put myself in a little bit of a hole shooting 1-over par. Didn't finish the round very well. I went out there today and played actually 17 very good holes. 16-under par for 17 holes. Played very, very well. And I made one bad swing on, basically one on my full shots today, I made one really bad swing, second shot on 11. Got in a funny spot in the bunker and somehow turned, should have been a par into a triple bogey eight and that was pretty much my story for the week. Lost by a couple of shots. And kind of really had a bad hole there on 11. I fought back pretty good, birdied four holes on the way in. But 11 definitely took my chances away.
JULIUS MASON: Questions.

Q. You at one point, Zach, you were seven shots behind with 10 holes to play. Were you aware of that deficit and did you ever think you could make it that close at the end?
ZACH JOHNSON: I didn't realize I was seven shots. I knew I was a bunch back. I have no idea. No, I felt pretty good on the ball. I figured I'd just give myself some opportunities to make some putts, and I actually made some on the back which was nice.
This is a golf course where if you're a little cryptic you pay the price. If you're obviously a little off your short game, it's hard to make par.
So I felt if I played solid, you never know. I just didn't want to finish fifth (Laughter), which I think I might have.

Q. Was there any kind of rush with adrenalin when you found yourself just one shot behind?
ZACH JOHNSON: I felt good. I actually thought I made the putt on 17. I had a really good putt on 17 I just hit it too hard otherwise it was in. I got overly aggressive on 18. And on my first putt, on my chip and my putt and my next putt, complete history.
So the greens are difficult. They're difficult from three feet. And let alone from 20.

Q. Jim, what exactly happened? I know your legs were pinched up against the back of the bunker, but was it a stance problem?
JIM FURYK: I didn't have a bad ride, but the way I was pinched up against the bunker I had to stand really close to the ball, one, and then I couldn't dig my feet into the bunker very well, especially my left foot, because I was afraid the sand would actually come down and move the ball. I was having a hard time standing in the bunker.
I tried to hit a shot -- I knew I could never make a hard enough swing with a sand wedge to fly it up to the pin instead of taking my medicine hitting it down there 20 or 30 feet short and making par, I was within a couple of shots at the time and was playing good.
I was trying to figure out a way to make birdie. I took out a 9-iron and was going to make a nice smooth swing and hit it down and hope it would run up the hill give myself a birdie putt at it. I was at an awkward stance and last thing you should do is hit it down, hit it fat at least knock it on the green somewhere I could have made 5 and got out of there. But I did what I shouldn't have and hit it thin trying to basically hit a shot that maybe, maybe wasn't there. But I guess if I would have pulled it off, would have been one back.

Q. You had two bunker shots?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, two good up and downs on the next two holes and then holed one out on 15. I felt good about my bunker game, but I was in an awkward position and really never felt like I could -- I think because I could never dig my left foot in, I like to get my weight on my left side to make sure I hit down on the ball. I never felt like I could get over on my left. I think it just kept my weight back to the right. I picked it clean, which I shouldn't have done.

Q. Zach, now that it's over could you talk about the experience of being here at the Grand Slam and the whole week and just being a part of this whole thing?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, it's certainly great winning a major, but it certainly is an honor. You're talking about, as they said last night at dinner, most difficult one to qualify for. I'm proud of that, certainly. And now playing it it gives you more incentive to want to win a major.
PGA of America, I've always felt they were phenomenal. First class. And I think certainly the Ocean Club did an outstanding job, the greens keeper, et cetera. And the whole Bermuda certainly stepped up. The fans were great. The golf course was awesome. It's been a great stay.

Q. Jim, can you compare playing here in Bermuda to playing in Hawaii, the different kinds of conditions?
JIM FURYK: Both warm islands where you can expect quite a bit of breeze. The golf courses are different. This golf course is much shorter. But the penalty lies in the greens basically. You can really hide some pins here. Terry did a good job of that.
The greens, since they've been redone, the grass, they're very pure and nice. They're manicured better than I could ever imagine. Some of the best Bermuda greens I've ever putted on. But with the speed and amount undulation of the greens, I've never seen four golf professionals hit so many bad putts from 30 feet. It wasn't we really hit so many bad putts. It was hard to get the ball three or four feet of the hole. We were hitting a lot of 30-footers. We had a lot of six-footers on the way back. We were not only missing them short and long, missing them right and left. Hole No. 2, we had three out of four guys 3-putt in the second hole.
And I was 30 feet, and I was -- still didn't hit a great putt. I think three feet is the best I did. So the penalty here is the game starts once you get the ball on the greens. The greens are massive. Just getting on the green doesn't do you too much good, because it's pretty easy to 3-putt. The other golf course, the greens were more benign once you got on them, they weren't as good. They were a little bit more, Hawaii, Bermuda, a little bit more common Bermuda, a lot slower. Didn't have to respect the slope on them as much.
And I think you could score better that way. So that golf course was longer. Hit more 5-irons than the par 4s but this one was definitely trickier on the greens.

Q. Does the slope of the terrain, plus the slope on the green, does it fool you from time to time?
JIM FURYK: Somewhat, I think. I think. A lot of it almost looks like still has green. The coloration sometimes got me. We had a couple of putts, I had a putt today on 14 that was only six feet but it had two different, the green was going into the Bermuda first half then down the second half, it was kind of split. When I read the putt from behind the ball looked like it was going one way. When I got behind the hole it was going the other way. It was the coloration of the grass, made the hole look like it was hit differently.
We eventually decided to hit it straight. But the greens were tricky. And although they're manicured very well. I thought they were difficult to read and difficult to play.

Q. Zach, what did you think about that same situation with the green?
ZACH JOHNSON: I think he said it perfect. I did struggle with, I guess, the overall lay of the land versus the slope on the green. I mean the green for the most part followed the slopes. However, it's just difficult, especially -- it's difficult to know where the ocean is, which way it's going to -- I don't know if that's theory, but typically with the terrain.
It was very difficult. You had to commit to it, whatever it was, commit to it. And it was a guessing game at times. But that was very evident in my putting. I putted really well or really poor. The putting was very suspect.

Q. Do you like presents or candy best? (Laughter).
JIM FURYK: Presents.

Q. For both of you, how many times have you been to Bermuda before? I know Jim said?
ZACH JOHNSON: Zero for me.
JIM FURYK: This is my fourth event all for events. I probably would enjoy it more if I could relax. But usually in all those other events, I shouldn't say usually, most of the other events we came a day early or we were here a little bit more for more time. And unfortunately we have to leave tonight because I had another obligation tomorrow. I've got one more round of golf to play tomorrow then I'm taking about four and a half weeks off.
So I'm looking forward to that. I wish we could stay. Beautiful place. People are very nice. It was a pleasure to be here.
ZACH JOHNSON: This is my first time. Like he said I would love to come here without my golf clubs. I could pretty much say that about any place, but this is certainly one of them. We're going to stay around a couple more days. Maybe leave Friday at some point. And my family and my team, if you will, have been beaching it every day while I've been on the golf course. But well-deserved.

Q. Not fair, is it?
ZACH JOHNSON: I don't think so. I think my family is probably out there on the boat living it up.

Q. Bermuda or Beatrice?

Q. Where is the next stop for you?
JIM FURYK: Nedbank in South Africa.
ZACH JOHNSON: Skins game.
JULIUS MASON: Thank you.

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