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July 11, 2010

Zach Johnson


Q. Zach, how does it feel with two 9s for you, a 5-under 30 making the turn and seemed like every time you missed a fairway on the back side it cost you.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah. That's the name of the game here, especially on the back. The fairways are fair and obviously a little bit generous in some spots. So very frustrating.
I mean I felt like I did good enough -- you know, played well enough to move up the board and obviously today I had some mishaps.

Q. Talk about this tournament this week. It's very important to you and the success of this area. Even though there were a lot of things going on in sports and the NBA and World Cup and all that, that 59 Paul shot, Steve Stricker's rounds, this tournament was front and center this week.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, well, I hope so. I think this tournament is indicative of what the PGA TOUR is all about. We're a big ol' family, and that's what they strive for here.
The amenities they give us players are fantastic. Certainly what they do for charity speaks volumes, and you know, obviously the leaderboard and some of the scores that have been placed have been pretty awesome to watch.

Q. Speaking of charities, you announced your foundation and golf tournament earlier this week. For those who missed it earlier, just tell our listeners all about it.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah. We've had a pretty good charitable arm, I guess you'd say, the last five or six years, and we're just going to try to make it bigger and better.
Essentially what we're doing is we established a foundation, and through that foundation, we're going to have events back in my hometown of Cedar Rapids where -- it's pretty simple. We're going to try to raise money for children and families in need, pretty general, pretty, you know, straight to the point.
We don't have any rules, and we just want to do the right thing. So we got some good things brewing there. I've got a great board. These members are working hard, you know, certainly trying to find out -- get a feel for the community and find out what the need is and certainly what we can do.
So I'm excited. My wife's very excited, and I think we're going to do some awesome things.

Q. Finally, thoughts on going across the pond, St. Andrews next week.
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, it's my favorite tournament to play, so I'm really looking forward to it.

Q. Thanks for your time. Good luck next week.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I just really got off to a good start. Could have been a lot better start. So yeah, I mean I felt like all day I was in control, and a couple, you know, poor tee shots that really cost me. Got a little ahead of myself.

Q. You told us on Thursday you didn't come here to win. With all the time off did you accomplish what you wanted to this weekend?
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, I never come to a tournament to win. I mean you do. I said that? You sure?

Q. I'm positive.
ZACH JOHNSON: Okay. Well, I mean, you know, I want to win. I just want to get myself in contention. I really wasn't in contention, so no, I didn't accomplish what I wanted to accomplish.
You know, my outlook is not trying to win the golf tournament. I think you misunderstood me. What my point is I don't tee it up on Thursday to win a golf tournament. I tee it up on Thursday to try to go play golf, and hopefully I'm in contention come Sunday and have a chance to win.

Q. Did you get the rust -- you had 11 days off. Did you see your game improve?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah. I think there's certainly more positives than negatives. I mean I never did anything too flashy this week except for probably one 9. But I think the rust is coming off. You know, it's a feel thing. My miss-hits are more or less a setup issue. You know, I think that's maintenance. I think I can figure that out.

Q. You know Steve pretty well. Any thoughts on his, and he's getting a lot of attention this week, but you've known him for a while. Good guy all the way around?
ZACH JOHNSON: Fantastic guy. He's a family man first, and obviously his golf game is pretty solid. So he's great. He's great for the game. He's great for the TOUR. He does a lot back in his home state of Wisconsin. And you know, feel lucky to have him as a friend.

Q. He deserves this, then? I mean this is --
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, I mean I don't want to.

Q. ...success recently?
ZACH JOHNSON: Sure. He's also had surgery this year, so to come back from that is pretty impressive after his win in wherever it was, West Coast, LA or something. The way I feel, whoever's got the lowest round deserves to win. So I mean whatever. If it's Steve, I'll be the first one to say his name as loud as I can.

Q. Sports is about confidence. Where is your confidence level now going across the pond?
ZACH JOHNSON: I feel good. I feel good about my game. I feel like I've done some good work. I feel like I'm in control for the most part. There's some things I gotta touch up on, but for the most part my fundamentals are pretty good.

Q. How has your mind switch to the British Open and what's your thought process like as you go into one of these?
ZACH JOHNSON: It hasn't really switched over yet. I'm ten minutes away from finishing this tournament. So I think once I really get there, maybe even tonight. I really don't know. I mean mentally my preparation usually starts on Monday, Tuesday, and then carries on into the week. So yeah, I don't know yet.

Q. Years here, talk about the growth and the future of this tournament.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah. I think there's good things on the horizon. The best thing with this tournament is outside of solidifying John Deere as a sponsor is what they do for this community, certainly what they do for the PGA TOUR.
What they do for this community is really impressive. Year in, year out they raise as much, if not more, money per capita than any tournament. So Quad Cities obviously is a large market for this area, but for the TOUR it's not. It's a very small market.
And Clair and his staff have done a tremendous job. They've embraced their date. That's part of it. The field seems to get better and better every year. Having that jet is imperative. You know, and they just make the best of what they have. It's pretty awesome.

Q. You love the British Open; is that right? I mean I thought I heard you say that.
ZACH JOHNSON: Oh, yeah. I love it. It's my favorite tournament to play in.

Q. Why is it your favorite tournament to play in?
ZACH JOHNSON: One, because we don't have that golf over here anywhere. Some people say you do, but we don't. I mean Whistling Straits isn't even close. It's not a links-style course, in my opinion, at all. You have to carry -- every second shot or approach shot at Whistling Straits has to be carried onto the green.
You use the ground over there. So that's one thing. Second thing is you have to have all aspects of your game on, your trajectory control, your short game's gotta be on. You gotta hit it left; you gotta hit it right; you gotta hit it high; you gotta hit it low. And I just think when you leave there, it really magnifies your weaknesses just because of the ground and what it requires as far as soft shots.
It's just pure golf. That, and the fans really understand the game, probably more so than some of our fans even over here. I mean we got great fans, don't get me wrong, but the fans over there are tremendous. They understand in those conditions you hit it to 30 feet, sometimes that's a really good shot.
You know, I think the Augusta fans are pretty much the best there is, too, but the fans over there, they just get golf.

Q. Talking about keeping it on the ground, sometimes you might get a bounce, same shot and want to go left, want to go right. Is that kind of you gotta teach yourself to be patient and that's the breaks of the game?
ZACH JOHNSON: Exactly. It's just a matter of being patient because you can hit quality shots there and get terrible luck. Typically you hit a good shot, you're going to get rewarded. For every one bad bounce you're going to get a few good ones. It's just the hills, the rolling sand dunes, the strategy that it requires. We just don't have that over here. To most people it looks like a cow pasture, but I think it's kind of awesome.

Q. Playing the course they've been playing since 1600 something has gotta be awe-inspiring, isn't it?

Q. To be there and think everything that's taken place on that space of land?
ZACH JOHNSON: I mean you play some of the other courses here, especially in the Northeast, then you go over there and you really see how old it is. I mean it's just awesome. I mean St. Andrews itself is just like a park. There's little roads here and there. I mean it's beautiful.

Q. Thanks, Zach.

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