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July 7, 2011

Zach Johnson


ZACH JOHNSON: I mean I played good, hit the ball really good. You know, left some out there. But you know, you can't win it on Thursday.

Q. Knowing that you left some out there but you're still right where you are, that's gotta make you feel good?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah. I'm encouraged. I've been playing like this for a long time, since like the last few months. Yeah, if I can just continue to put myself in position to make birdies, I'll be just fine.

Q. The sand save at 9, did that kind of get things going for you at all, Zach?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, that was obviously one of the better shots. It wasn't exactly an easy shot. So certainly maintaining anything I had, to get on some sort of roll, that was a big one there. I wasn't thinking like that. I was just trying to hit a shot, but I think the putt on 10 was probably the one that got me going the most.

Q. How important is it to not get too high or too low, you know, with the big crowds following you on day one, Round 1?
ZACH JOHNSON: Oh, I mean frankly, I'm used to it here. I mean it's phenomenal the support, people that come out. Every year it's like this. This was awesome. Granted the weather was probably a little bit better this year than it has been in the past, you know. Obviously no rain and then when we teed off, it was kind of dry, less humid, overcast. It warmed up during the back, but you know, that brings people out. So eastern Iowa really comes out to support me. It's great.

Q. I'm sure you're disappointed with the last putt, the chip-in on 15.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah. That probably evened out 18.

Q. Were you aware that was the Iowa Transamerica hole, 15?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yes. I was. Not before I hit the shot. But I was aware. I mean I didn't feel like I -- I didn't try any harder.

Q. I know. You played latter rounds over here. Is this your best opening round that you can remember?
ZACH JOHNSON: I have no idea. This is my tenth year here, so I don't have any idea.

Q. What do you do now to keep the momentum going?
ZACH JOHNSON: Keep continue doing what I'm doing. I mean I'm thinking properly. You know, like I said, put myself in position to make some putts.

Q. Knowing what this tournament means to you and you're right there on the leaderboard and Steve Stricker going for three, a terrific looking board as we head into Friday.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah. I mean like I said, you can't win it on Thursday. You know, every day is a new day. It's another opportunity, the way I look at it, rather than trying to, you know -- if things are going sour, you look at it as an opportunity rather than a burden. Those days are just opportunities. Tomorrow is not any different than today and it's not any different than Saturday.

Q. Is it any testimony to your experience to keep things going at 1-under and just kind of there and suddenly you get something go?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah. It's certainly a testament to just not giving up. I've never done that. I grind. That's how I play the game. I think I always have. You know, I think you treat it as if -- you know, I just like the stories where, you know, I'm not supposed to win, that sort of thing. So it's like my back's against the wall at times, so to speak, and I like it that way.

Q. A couple up-and-downs from the sand, the chip-in on 15. What can you say about that part of your game?
ZACH JOHNSON: It was fine. I mean the sand shot was not really that difficult. The one on 14 I was trying to make it. That one was pretty flush. The one on 17 wasn't as easy. It wasn't a great lie. It wasn't as easy, but yeah, my short game is in good -- every facet of my game's been great. I just like to see the ball roll in the hole quicker.

Q. Kyle Stanley is kind of a stable mate of yours, I guess. What can you tell us about him?
ZACH JOHNSON: He's young and talented, much like half the TOUR it seems. Hits the ball a long ways, a lot of speed, a lot of power. Works really hard. He's a grinder himself.
I mean he's a Clemson boy, so you know, knowing a lot of Clemson guys and then Jordon Byrd, Jonathan's brother, he's an assistant there. So they're tight, and as a result, you know, I've gotten to know Kyle a number of things, but he's a great kid, quality talent, and it's just one of those cliches it's just a matter of time with him.

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