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October 17, 2008

Zach Johnson


Q. Looked up at the leaderboard and went, Wait a minute. I shot 10-under yesterday and I'm five shots back. Are you kidding me?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, it's kind of what I expected. I'm not going lie to you. These conditions, which quite frankly feel like you're playing in a dome, it's very benign. It's out there. The greens are perfect and the fairways are rolling nice. I expected that. I didn't expect much.
I actually thought I would be further back. But, you know, I had a decent round today and now going into the weekend.

Q. 7-under is just a little bit better than just a decent round. Of course, the round didn't start off as well as you wanted it to, but that was just with the putting. You seemed to be hitting the ball great all day.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, my first three holes I gave at least two shots away, probably three or four even, which was frustrating.
But I got it turned around and hit some good shots the remainder of the front nine and made some birdies on the back that hopefully will give me only momentum going into the weekend.

Q. How is that when you know you're hitting the ball well and the putts just aren't going in the hole? Is it hard to say focused? Is that one of the things you've been working on for a little while?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you got to stay in the present. You got to forget -- I mean, I walked off the first green today and I hit it about ten feet for birdie and made a bogey. I walked off the green and said, you know, one and done. Who cares? Let's hit two good shots and go from there. I hit two good shots and just missed a birdie putt on the next hole.
You got to be (indiscernible) in this game. That's what golf is all about. I'm pretty happy and fortunate of how I responded.

Q. Going into the weekend 17-under par now. Do you think about a number for the weekend because the scores are just going to be so low, or you just think, you know what, I just got to hit it?
ZACH JOHNSON: No, I'm not a number guy. Yeah, my focus now is that tee shot on No. 1. I've never played here in the tournament, so kind of getting used to the pin placement.

Q. Justin Timberlake concert tonight. You going?
ZACH JOHNSON: Oh, yeah. I don't have a choice.

Q. Not necessarily because you want to go, but because you have to go?
ZACH JOHNSON: I think he's a very talented guy, and certainly as a member of the TOUR I'm happy that he's doing what he's doing, especially for our charities. It's great.

Q. (No microphone.)
ZACH JOHNSON: I'm happy with where my putting is going. That finally showed last week. That's what the fall's for, you know, to get some positive at the end of the year and get some momentum for the next year. That's my whole approach.

Q. What's the schedule for the rest of the year?
ZACH JOHNSON: I'm still not quite positive, but I think I'm going to probably play at least one, maybe two, more.

Q. (No microphone.)
ZACH JOHNSON: I think the name on the tournament. No. Oh, yeah, that's part of it. You know, what he's done for the TOUR and for our charities is fantastic, so I don't -- there's a lot of weight there.
Outside of that, I've never played in the tournament and I had an opportunity to come here. Wasn't that far from San Antonio, so why not?

Q. Does it feel any different with his name on the tournament, like any difference with the crowds or...
ZACH JOHNSON: No, I mean, I think it helps with a lot of them. It helps with raising money for charities and for fan base and more people to come back out here.
He's a recognized name. He's a rock star. Completely a rock star, so, yeah, I think that's great. I think it's a positive for the TOUR.

Q. Talking about the low scores, and a lot of good players going home this week. Surprised?
ZACH JOHNSON: No, I'm not. If you're a little bit off here it can certainly show, but the cut is 6-under. I don't think it's ever been lower than that. It's pretty ridiculous. You shoot 3-under, most of the golfers that play on the here, you're extremely happy going into the weekend. You're usually in contention.
Like I said, you're playing in a dome, more or less, and the greens are rolling very, very pure. You get it in the right quadrant of the green with a lot of wedges in your hand and the par-5s are reachable, you know, you're going to shoot a lot under.
I mean, I don't really like to think of par as a number, but par is not 72. So, yeah, it's not all that surprising.

Q. You said you were working on your putting. Was that all year, or just kind of...
ZACH JOHNSON: I made some -- I recommitted to some fundamental changes after New Jersey, which was my last event. Didn't really know what to expect, which is kind of a good thing. Ball-striking and putting, I'm starting to be more comfortable with it.
But, you know, still got a lot of work to do.

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