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April 8, 2010

Zach Johnson


Q. How were the conditions out there? A little windy and different from earlier this week. Did you have to make some adjustments and how intense was that?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, there were some minor adjustments. I think it was more difficult than the practice rounds, no question about that. I think your trajectory control today was a premium, and I think commitment was a premium. Backing off shots is going to happen, you've got to do it. Eating pollen, you've got to do it.
But I think all in all, it was tough. The putting was tough with the wind. You had to play the wind in some certain putts, too. It was like any other day at a major, specifically the Masters. It was just patience.

Q. The par saves on 10 and 15 seemed especially key.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, 10 was big. I mean, 15 wasn't that hard of a shot. Making a par there wasn't overly that difficult. I thought from the middle of the fairway 4 wouldn't be that difficult, but I was hitting a 3-iron in there. I pushed it a little bit and I guess it hit a chair.
10 was big, though. I was trying to make a 5. I was trying to get my third shot on the green, and if I kept it on the green, I figured it would be a good shot, and then I just managed to make a putt. That was nice.

Q. The wind kicked up right --
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, right. I was getting a lot of stuff in my eyes and then you had a branch that fell down on one of the patrons, as they say. It was pretty dangerous there for sure. That was probably the worst as far as gusts go today. That was hard. It was, like I said, being patient and sticking to it.

Q. Are you satisfied?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I'm satisfied with my execution, yes. I am satisfied with my execution, and that's all I can really ask for. I can't push numbers. You can always save a couple putts here, a couple putts there, but for the most part I made every putt that was five, six feet, three feet. I made all the tough ones today that I can remember.
I really hit two bad shots, I think. And that would have been my tee shot on 4, I mis-hit it, but I thought it would still be enough. I misjudged the wind there. And then my second shot on 10. All in all, it wasn't really that bad.

Q. Are you surprised to see this many red numbers up on the board?
ZACH JOHNSON: Of course it's playing pretty fast. We're getting a lot of loft in our hands. There haven't been many times where I've hit 9-irons and 8-irons into 17 and a 3-iron into 15, 7-iron into 18. For me -- I hit an 8-iron into 1. The balls are rolling. So getting some loft in your hands with certain pins, they're accessible. You see some individuals that have played here over the years that really know the golf course, and knowing how they hit the golf ball, they're getting some loft in their hands and they know where the putts go. That's the only way to answer it. Not overly surprised, no.

Q. This is the first year for the Asian amateur exemption. What did you think about him today?
ZACH JOHNSON: I wish I was that good at 18. He's very talented. I mean, I think he was a bit in awe and a bit in shock according to his caddie/translator. I mean, I was nervous, so I can only imagine what an 18 year old was, but it's going to be a great experience for him. He's got a good golf swing, hits it solid, good putting stroke. Just needs to learn the golf course, and then obviously more about himself. But he's good. I think it's a great exemption.

Q. How can you explain what Tom Watson has done?
ZACH JOHNSON: You know, I'm probably not the perfect person to ask because I've never played with him nor have I seen him up close, but from what others have told me, he hits it -- for a man that's 60, he still hits it hard, and he's still got the distance to play out here, which was evident last year in the British and it's really evident today. Combine that with his savvy and his knowledge, I mean, I don't think it's -- I mean, it's fantastic. It's great for the game. But I don't think it's overly surprising.

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