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February 22, 2012

Johnson Wagner


LAURY LIVSEY:テつ We would like to welcome defending champion Johnson Wagner into the media center.テつ You won here last year, and you've had a really nice start to your season this year, winning the Sony Open, and you're second in the FedExCup standings right now, and you just seem to top 10 a lot and get in contention.

Q.テつ Can we get some thoughts on your season so far and then thinking back obviously on the good memories you have from winning here last year?
JOHNSON WAGNER:テつ Yes, I worked really hard this off‑season to get ready for the beginning of the 2012 year.テつ Really happy with the way I started and couldn't be happier to be here at Mayakoba defending my champion.

Q.テつ Last year you came in and perhaps the field wasn't as strong as it is this year.テつ There's several players who have won majors, players who have been ranked No.1, past champions from here.テつ How do you size up the field?
JOHNSON WAGNER:テつ A lot of the guys that have won majors are a little bit older, and I'm playing with Greg Norman, which I'm very excited about.テつ I've got my first two tee times.テつ But the field is great.テつ Any week we play on the PGA TOUR, the field is good.テつ I try not to worry about who's playing and worry about my game.

Q.テつ How do you feel coming back to Mayakoba and playing alongside some of those players that maybe when you first started playing, you're playing alongside them, Greg Norman and other players like that?
JOHNSON WAGNER:テつ I'm very excited to play with Greg.テつ I've met him once before, never played with him.テつ Obviously I grew up watching him win golf tournaments.テつ And that's the great thing about golf; Fred Couples was one of my heroes growing up, and I think I've played with him in five tournament rounds now.テつ Golf spans generations.

Q.テつ The course is set up a little differently this year.テつ You're kind of maybe going to be jumping around a little bit.テつ Does that change your strategy, the way you're going to go out and play?
JOHNSON WAGNER:テつ I like it.テつ No.4, which is now No.1, was one of the toughest holes out here.テつ It's kind of nice to start on that hole now.テつ No.1 being the par‑5, now No.7, it's nice having it later in the round.テつ Being your first hole, it was always a hole you tried to take advantage of, but it's kind of nice to have a little bit tougher, more of a good par hole to start.テつ It's not going to change the way I play, but I do like the change.

Q.テつ Do you think we'll have the first two‑time champion at this event?
JOHNSON WAGNER:テつ I'm playing really good golf right now.テつ I'm so happy to be back.テつ My family is here.テつ I'm having a great week already.テつ Yeah, I feel like I've got as good of a chance to win as anybody.

Q.テつ You've won a tournament, you've had another top 10.テつ Do you feel that you're maybe playing the best you have throughout your career, and if so, how does this affect your outlook throughout the year, looking toward the Playoffs, the majors?
JOHNSON WAGNER:テつ I'm definitely playing the best I've ever played.テつ Like I said, I worked really hard in this off‑season in the gym and with my coach and wanted to have kind of a breakout year, possibly contend in majors and then play on a Ryder Cup team.テつ My goals are really high.

Q.テつ Last year you were maybe a little bit of a journeyman, so to speak.テつ You'd win a tournament, maybe miss the cut in the next.テつ What were those changes that you made to get you to be so consistent as you have been now?
JOHNSON WAGNER:テつ I think fitness has played a big role, getting in better shape.テつ I have much better stamina for a three‑, four‑week stretch in a row, and then just working hard with my coach.テつ The things we've been working on the last three years are finally starting to pay off, and it's just things to make me a more consistent player.

Q.テつ What's your coach's name?
JOHNSON WAGNER:テつ Bobby Heins.

Q.テつ What's it like having your face on a bottle of water?
JOHNSON WAGNER:テつ It feels good.テつ I've caught some heat from other players.テつ I don't think they like drinking water with my face on it.テつ But I sure do.テつ My son, who's three years old, he likes seeing it.
LAURY LIVSEY:テつ Johnson, thanks for coming in.テつ Good luck this week.

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