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June 3, 2004

Zach Johnson


Q. We have Zach Johnson, 3-under. Zach, nice round on Thursday.

ZACH JOHNSON: Absolutely. That's the key on Thursday. Today was a pretty special day. This whole week is special, but to be able to play with a living and walking legend, I just felt like the luckiest guy out there. I just sat back every now and then and just started smiling. It was amazing.

Q. Was it hard to concentrate?

ZACH JOHNSON: Fortunately, it wasn't. I mean, at times maybe a little bit, but when I made a bogey, that was tough to concentrate.

You know, all in all, I felt pretty relaxed, just trusted in the Lord, and reading some scripture in my head and it got me through. That keeps me pretty patient and lets me just keep it one foot in front of the other and one shot at a time. Old cliches, but he's an amazing guy, and Freddie kept us loose. They both played probably better than what they shot, so it was a fun day.

Q. What will stick in your mind from today?

ZACH JOHNSON: You know, what's wonderful to see, what's encouraging to see, the man is 64, I believe, is he's fighting. He's grinding out there every shot. He wants to win. You've got to admire that. He doesn't get to play as much, unfortunately, and just seeing him never give up, keep fighting, making putts, hitting great shots, I think he played even better than what he shot today, as well. That's an encouraging thing to watch. He kept me pretty relaxed, as well. I mean, he's just a good down-to-earth guy. You know, it's fun to play with somebody like that where he's just encouraging and witty. It was fun, just an absolute blast. I want to tee up right now tomorrow.

Q. You found some places to score out there. It looked like a lot of guys were trying to make up ground.

ZACH JOHNSON: I played pretty darn good today, better than I scored, in my opinion. Granted, I made a 20-footer or 15-footer, but I missed a lot of short putts and didn't birdie a par 5 and had some other opportunities on par 4s. It may have evened out.

Usually my putter is one of the better aspects of my game and today I thought it was pretty average, at best. This golf course, granted, we're not getting any roll so it makes the tee shots a little bit easier, but it's playing longer. The greens are pretty receptive. If we get some wind, and I think the forecast calls for a little rain, it's going to get harder as the week goes on.

Q. Did you plug any tee balls?

ZACH JOHNSON: I plugged one on No. 2, and then every other tee ball I hit, I think my pitch mark was in front of my ball. I don't think I released forward, with the exception of par 3s or whatever. I was pretty fortunate. I think I only had one mud ball today, and it really wasn't that terrible when it came to the actual situation of the hole. I know Fred had a bunch. Jack, I know he had a couple, so I was pretty lucky. Unfortunately, that's the nature of the beast, and I got the better end of that deal.

End of FastScripts.

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