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April 11, 2008

Zach Johnson


Q. Another crazy round, you get it back, then give it back on 17 and never got any momentum?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, that was it right there. I hit a couple of good shots on the back, made some birdies, of course, but didn't hit that bad of a shot, either. That was frustrating.

Q. What did you hit into 17?
ZACH JOHNSON: 6. I mean, if it flies a foot further or a foot shorter, I'm fine, if that. It was probably inches. It literally hit the turf instead of the sand, and it obviously came backwards instead of straight down or whatever.

Q. You know you got a bad break on 8, you hit someone on 8, and it shot straight over in the pine needles?
ZACH JOHNSON: No, I mean, I hit a bad shot anyway. That was not where I was trying to go anyway. That was a poor shot. But I wasn't aware of that.

Q. But you knew where you stood here on 18, needing a two-putt there. Did you know where you stood?
ZACH JOHNSON: We assumed the cut was going to be no higher than 3, 3 or 4. 2 is obviously in because of the ten-shot rule.

Q. What were you thinking over the first putt?
ZACH JOHNSON: Get it close.

Q. Last year when you had early trouble, I remember you coined the phrase "I got Augusta sized today." Did any of that come back and revisit you today?
ZACH JOHNSON: 17, unfortunately. That's what happens.

Q. The suggestion is that was the weather that was going to come in, play two rounds on Sunday in cool conditions, which you did very well. Does that give you hope?
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, no one wants to play 36 holes on this course in one day, period. It's not any bargain, regardless of who you are or where you are. We're all going to have to go through it. I guess the weather is coming in tonight they're saying. If it stays I've heard it's a pretty significant band of junk. I don't know, has anybody seen? Is it definitely going to hit us?

Q. Thunder tomorrow and then cool on Sunday.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I knew it was cool conditions on Sunday, but it wouldn't be Augusta without that at least one day.

Q. Do you think you started maybe playing defensive and didn't have your usual aggressiveness when you didn't get a couple of those birdies to go early and then you got down and made bogey?
ZACH JOHNSON: Possibly, and there's a couple putts I left short. I remember some of the putts being a little sneaky, namely No. 1. That was short on the draw. 3, that was terrible. 8th, I probably had ten feet, but -- you know, I don't know. I didn't hit it as crisp as I did yesterday or even in days past, which was unfortunate.
No, there was actually a lot of positives on the back nine. I shot 1-over with a double. Aside from that double, it was a pretty good back nine.

Q. Did you hit that putt on 15 a little firm, the birdie putt?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, it was a little firm.

Q. You looked a little surprised.
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, I figured it was on a good lie. I was just hoping it would get down a little bit. There was some break in there and it caught the lip unfortunately, but I also lipped out a few the last few days, too.

Q. At 13 you went for it in two and it paid off. Did you hit a utility club?
ZACH JOHNSON: I hit a 5-wood. It was in between a utility club and a 5-wood, so I hit a smooth high 5-wood. 3-iron would have got to the middle of the green, but the 5-wood we thought would come down a little softer and potentially hit that bank if I hit it a little left, which would have been fine, and probably takes short out of play. It was one of the better executed shots I hit all week. Yeah, that was a highlight, or it was a highlight.

Q. What's your mentality for the weekend?
ZACH JOHNSON: You know, I think it's much the same. I think mentally I was a little -- just a little off. I got a little down. I tried to be a little too aggressive at times. 8 and 9 took a lot out of me. Those were two holes -- I hit a good drive on 8 and I have a chance to get to the front of the green, if not on the green, and I make a 6 after a good chip shot I thought.
I think that was the hole that kind of deflated me. But then I got it back. I got it back on 13 and certainly 15 and I had my chances on 16. My ball flies a foot further on 17 and I've got a chance there, too. There were some opportunities.

Q. Whoever it is that wants to see people go for par-5s in two, you made them happy.
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, that wasn't my point, going for it. But it was just the way I played. It was one of those situations where I hit a good drive, and my lie was decent. The wind was such that it was a perfect club. I mean, Ogilvy was, what, two or three yards in front of me. He laid up, and he hits it, what, 20 yards further than me and 20 feet higher than me and he still laid up.
It's all in the situation and all in the club that you have. He obviously could have got probably a 3 or 4-iron there to the hole, but based on the shot that he was presented, he didn't go for it, and we're side by side. That's Augusta.

Q. What utility club was it?
ZACH JOHNSON: I hit a 5-wood.

Q. Is it ironic that you went for a par-5 today and it's probably the worst round you had in six rounds at Augusta National?
ZACH JOHNSON: I played worse on Saturday last year.

Q. I mean, that was --
ZACH JOHNSON: No, I don't think it has anything to do with it. I had an unfortunate break on 8. You've got to go for it, where there's really no trouble with the exception of where I hit it. Other than that, I played the par-5s 2-under. I don't think there's anything to that. I didn't capitalize when I needed to capitalize.

Q. It looks like the afternoon guys -- the course was more difficult.
ZACH JOHNSON: The course is hard. I remember at lunch the wind started to pick up they said on TV, and I went out to the range, and certainly it was stronger than when I first got here today. It made sense. And the morning greens are a little more receptive. That's when you've got to make your move.

Q. Can you give us a little crystal ball look, if, in fact, we lose Saturday or most of Saturday and you have to play in cold or somewhat wet conditions on Sunday, how hard is it to really put a number up on a day like that at Augusta National?
ZACH JOHNSON: I think for me it's going to be difficult just because of the length. You know, that's going to be a mental -- not only a mental fight but it's going to be a physical fight just because to play more than 18 holes, of course. You know, hopefully Mother Nature cooperates and we can keep this -- the temperature is going to drop, which is fine, but I hope it doesn't get too saturated.

Q. What do you pull from your experience last year going into the weekend here?
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, I think it's just that, it's experience. It's just one of those where I was able to execute shots under the gun in a tough situation, and hopefully I can do that this weekend.

Q. So you have that same feeling, like you've done it before now?
ZACH JOHNSON: Absolutely.

Q. Did you talk to your locker mate? Did you get to talk to him?

Q. What was that like?
ZACH JOHNSON: It was great, talking to all those guys. Mr. Casper was great. We were chatting yesterday while he was in there, and he was talking about how he comes back with his whole family, his grandkids and took a vacation for the week that he looks forward to every year. It's pretty neat. I can't even think about grandkids right now, let alone one more kid myself (laughter).
But that's perspective, and it pays -- you know, he's taken a lot of trips to the Masters and Augusta National in that regard. He loves coming back. He's a fan.

End of FastScripts

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