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July 9, 2009

Zach Johnson


Q. Zach, a solid 2-under par 69 in the first round on the day with a lot of tough pins out there.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, it was like Sunday pins today, that and minimal roll, so it played pretty hard, pretty challenging for sure. If we'd have had any wind today, it would have been even harder. But the course really recovered from the rain all right, an it's starting to dry out nice, so it should be a great championship.

Q. The PGA out here, the PGA TOUR, really a tight-knit family, and what you guys are doing this afternoon is certainly an indication of that.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, well, you got it. We are; we're a big family. We travel as a family, and as a result, when one of our peers -- in my instance one of my really close friends needs some support, that's where my heart is. That's why we're going. It's nice that we're able to do that. Our tee times kind of lucked out.

Q. Coming from Iowa and playing here at the John Deere Classic and the charities that are involved, you have played an instrumental part in that.
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, I don't know about that. I think everybody here at John Deere especially, starting at the top, trickling down, and then you have Clair Peterson, the tournament director here, they're the ones that do a great job. The Birdies for Charity, and then everything else that they incorporate to branch off into charitable structure is very worthy, and I'm just happy to be a part of it.

Q. When we talked earlier this week, it's a birdie course that actually got a lot of rain, and yet a lot of leaders actually fell back with some bogeys late. Why?
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, especially finishing on the front, the last few holes are pretty demanding. 8 and 9 are playing very good, very hard. That and I think we've got some good pins out there today. Guys set it up great. The ball is not rolling, so if you hit it in the fairway and you have the opportunity to go at a pin, it's not going to roll, but you've still got to hit a quality shot.
It's pretty demanding. The course is, except for the rain, great in my opinion. Hopefully the rain will hold off for the rest of the week and we can have a little bit drier conditions. But regardless of what happens, it's still going to be a great championship.

Q. You're from nearby Iowa, and you call this a mini-major for you, and yet it's going to be important enough for you and a number of TOUR players to get on that jet and go down to Jonathan Byrd's father's Memorial service. Why?
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, for me personally he's become one of my best friends. We live about a half a mile from each other. We've got a lot of similarities, a lot of priorities that mesh. Our faith is our most important thing in our life, and as a result, you know, when one of your peers, one of your brothers, if you will, in this family that we call the PGA TOUR has issues, needs some support, you've got to go.
I'm just fortunate, very lucky to have the tee times I have. We've made it possible, we've got about nine of us going down there, and I can't wait to see him.

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