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August 20, 2004

Zach Johnson


CHRIS REIMER: Well, Zach, an up and down day. Do you play well in the rain.

ZACH JOHNSON: It's hard to say because we play in it all the time, so I'm not sure one player out here is more accustomed or better than the other. It seems like if you're in a drought, call the PGA Tour because wherever we're at seems to rain. You get used to it. I know we don't care to play in it, but we're so accustomed to it, that's just part of the game now.

Q. Were you at all surprised given yesterday's forecast that when you guys didn't finish you didn't go right back out instead of redraw?

ZACH JOHNSON: I was a little bit, but then I heard that based on their understanding, they were saying that the weekend is supposed to be awesome, so they feel with such a limited field that they can get us all in four rounds Sunday easily. I guess they like to re pair. I don't know if that's that big of a deal. We probably would have finished today, but at the same time, we're going to get done based on the forecast.

Q. How hard is it just to deal with you said you played in the rain and in rainy conditions a lot, but in terms of not getting distracted, talk about that.

ZACH JOHNSON: Well, I think it's just going in and out, in and out, in and out. You get relaxed when you're sitting in there. Everybody is kind of chitchatting. My eyes are getting tired sitting in there. As you can see, I'm a little lackadaisical right now.

But overall, it's almost just routine at times. You come in, get something to eat, go back out.

Q. How about on the course itself, the rain and what it causes you to do mentally?

ZACH JOHNSON: Well, I think the biggest thing is just the course conditions because especially Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday we didn't get water at all, and you're getting a lot of roll off the tee. You're getting 20 or 30 yards of roll while you're picking it up in the fairway and getting negative roll. That's the biggest thing. You're hitting clubs into greens that you're not hitting into, so it's a little bit different in that respect. That, and playing pitch shots around the green, things of that nature. The greens Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday were pretty hard and fast, and now I couldn't get a putt to the hole on the front nine. I felt like I was taking a full swing.

Q. Considering that, though, you should be pretty pleased with where you stand.

ZACH JOHNSON: Oh, absolutely. I played great. A few bogeys on the front nine, but really only hit probably one or two bad shots it seemed like. I'm sure that's how good the golf course really is. I mean, it's moist I mean, it's a classic. Par 3s and par 4s are tough. You've only got two par 5s. I feel good about things, yeah. There's definitely more positives than negatives.

Q. I'm sure you watched this tournament on TV growing up, and now that you're here, does the golf course live up to what you had seen on TV?

ZACH JOHNSON: Absolutely. One thing you can't tell on TV, and I think you can say that about most golf courses, is you can't really tell how hilly it is. My caddie and I, we do a lot of percentages as far as grade or slope, whatever you want to call it, and this would have been a course I would not have thought you would have to use that, but it's the complete opposite. Yeah, I enjoy this Midwest style of golf course. I grew up in Iowa, so this is a treat. I mean, it's just a good classic.

Q. Was there an NEC or world series of golf that you remember watching as a kid that stands out in your memory?

ZACH JOHNSON: No, not particularly, no.

Q. Or when you saw the Firestone ball, did that do anything for you?

ZACH JOHNSON: That's just putting things in your memory. I didn't realize there was two other golf courses here. Seeing some of those pictures in the clubhouse walking up into the locker room and stuff, it's awesome.

Q. What did you do the week of the Masters?

ZACH JOHNSON: The week of the Masters? I won the week before, so we actually had a trip scheduled with my in laws, family, to north Georgia, just to a mountain house, and we just relaxed all week.

Q. Given the thrill of winning, was it nice to have that week to

ZACH JOHNSON: Downtime, yes, absolutely. I knew going into the week regardless of what happened I could not play in the Masters. Really it was the first thing on my mind. If I'm not playing a tournament, if I take a week off, didn't qualify for a tournament, I watch a good amount, especially The Masters, so I watched mostly all of it, and I enjoyed every second of it.

Q. This is probably unfair to ask, but since you're the only one sitting there, I'm wondering we look at some of the scores today, and some of the ones down at the bottom, Vijay, Ernie after another close call, Mickelson after an exhausting year in the majors. Do you think there's any relationship there to having just come off a major?

ZACH JOHNSON: I don't have any idea where they're at.

Q. One is 8 and I think the other two are 5 over.

ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I don't know. I wish I could answer that question. I don't have any idea. I haven't won a major (laughter).

Q. I figured you won, so maybe it felt like one.

ZACH JOHNSON: In that respect, maybe, definitely. Vijay went through some serious in a playoff last week, probably emotional highs and lows, and coming over here and having to get back into a steep field on a tough golf course, you know, it's hard, extremely hard for the best players in the world. I don't know how they're feeling, but that would be my guess in my rookie knowledge (laughter).

Q. What would it mean to you and your rookie knowledge to win this tournament?

ZACH JOHNSON: It would be huge for a couple reasons. I think first and foremost, being a rookie and playing such a worldly event, and then second, the field. I mean, look who's here. It's the best of the best.

Q. Have you had to deal with some of the awe factor to be out there?

ZACH JOHNSON: That's a good question. I get that now and then. It hit me early on in the year, but now it's part of the territory. The way I can describe it is it's kind of like my workplace, and that's just part of the extra. I can't control it, and that's the way it is. It's a given. Does that make any sense? Basically when I go about it, I don't even notice it. Maybe I'm too stupid, I don't know (laughter).

Q. Probably the best way to be.

People have said Vijay has Player of the Year wrapped up; is there any hope for rookie of the year.

ZACH JOHNSON: I'm going to have to get on the horse. If I'm going to be there, I'm going to have to win at least once, probably twice, given the magnitude of Todd's wins. I mean, the Honda, that was a great one, as well. Obviously British Open is almost second to none, but top two or three wins in a year and then he wins the Honda, as well.

It's something that has come like icing on the cake. I don't really shoot for it, but if I continue to work hard and get better, I think those kind of things take care of itself. Todd has played awesome. I've played with him a few times. I've known him for a while, and he's awesome. It's not like a race or anything like that.

CHRIS REIMER: Thank you very much, Zach. Good luck.

End of FastScripts.

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