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February 19, 2009

Vincent Johnson


VINCENT JOHNSON: The first tee shot, I thought I would be more nervous but it helps the fairway is about 80 yards wide. I definitely think that settled me, hitting a good wedge shot and having it kick in, really set the tone for the day.

Q. 1-under par, is that as good as you could have envisioned?
VINCENT JOHNSON: I had no idea what to expect. You know, I'm happy with the number. I felt like I drove the ball really well. I drove the ball and played really well today, but I was a little nervous and tentative with my iron shots and I'm fortunate enough that most of them ended up where I could scramble. Hopefully tomorrow I'll play a little freer, a little more trust and see what happens.

Q. How is your putting today?
VINCENT JOHNSON: Just like the iron shots, there's a couple of putts that my hands were shaking, but yeah, when I made it to the U.S. Am in 2004.

Q. Can you just talk about what you were thinking and feeling, even going back to last night?
VINCENT JOHNSON: You know, last night, I don't know, you want to go out there and compete. You try to get anything to motivate to you just show up and do that. There's times when I was tentative, and you get disappointed because whether you play well or not, you want to step up and just let it go. And sometimes that's difficult.
But today's round, there were not too many people, so that helped not be too nervous. But I was pretty mellow. I did think I would be a bit more nervous.

Q. Besides the obvious, the players and the crowd, what's the biggest difference between the NCAA golf and PGA TOUR tournament golf, now that you've had a round?

VINCENT JOHNSON: I think this is such a great course, it's hard to compare it to anything, but you know, just everything is just a little bit tighter. So you have to be precise with everything you do.

Q. Is the experience surreal?
VINCENT JOHNSON: Well, you have to get over it. I still think there's times where it's a little surreal but you have to find a way to get out there and focus on your shots, because as awesome as this experience has been, you still want to compete well, and you feel like it could be a big opportunity wasted if you don't go out there and compete well.

Q. How is the camaraderie and rapport?
VINCENT JOHNSON: Great. We talked quite a bit. You never know in the group, some people don't like to talk much. They were great and I look forward to playing tomorrow.

Q. Did you look at the leaderboard and see Mickelson up there?
VINCENT JOHNSON: On 8 I was scrambling for par and he was 8-under. This morning he almost ran into me coming out of the door. That was pretty cool.
Yeah, it's really cool to be playing on the same track as these guys and see if I can do a little bit better tomorrow.

Q. Who do you have out here watching and following you today?
VINCENT JOHNSON: Mom, a couple brothers, girlfriend. I have a couple investors that came and watched, and that was cool, and a former coach and a couple friends. I have probably ten to 15 people.

Q. Staying out here all week?
VINCENT JOHNSON: As long as I'm here, they will be here.

Q. How many text messages and phone calls do you think you have to get back to today?
VINCENT JOHNSON: Yeah, there could be a few. You have nothing to base how you're going to play off of. It's just golf but there's a lot to contend with. One thing I didn't realize happens so often were like the caddies and trying to get people to hold. I never realized that it happens so much out here. Just little things that you're not used to. But I'm trying to soak it in as quickly as possible.

Q. Any other random observations from playing a PGA TOUR event?
VINCENT JOHNSON: One thing that really stands out, which I try to have in my game is just to grind it out, no matter how great or poorly you're playing, but shoot the lowest score as possible; it sounds pretty obvious. Playing with Søren, he got off to a rough start, and we tied; he didn't have his best stuff, at all, and he just grinded the whole day and ended up under par.
That kind of professionalism, that's something that I want to reach and do consistently.

Q. What do you think you have to shoot tomorrow to make the cut?
VINCENT JOHNSON: I guess I have to check it out. Typically right around par is okay. I'm not sure. That's something that you've just got to go out there and play, because I could have a really good day and not worry about it, or not so much. But just like today, worrying about what everyone else and what everyone is doing and what the cut out, I don't think that will help me perform this week.

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