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April 5, 2012

Zach Johnson


Q.  You seemed especially pleased with that little putt?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Yeah, I hit a lot of really good shots coming down the stretch.  Well, obviously 13 is where it started.  After that I really didn't miss a shot.  I made a good putt there.  Hit two really good shots on 14, two good shots on 15, hit a bad chip.  16 hit a good shot.  You know, it was just a tough 2‑putt.  Then 17, two great shots.
18, that was probably the best drive I hit all day and I got mud on my ball for the fourth time.  It influenced it a little bit.  I hit a good shot and it went left, low and left, like the mud says it should.  It was just a good save.  I didn't hit a very good chip.  It should have been a 5‑foot chip instead of whatever that was, eight to ten feet probably.  It was just nice to get that to drop so I could continue on with some momentum for tomorrow.

Q.  What four holes did you have mud balls?
ZACH JOHNSON:  I had a mud ball on 1, 6‑iron on one that went dead left.  I'm lined up ‑‑ I can play it there and I was lined up 20 yards right of the hole, 25 yards right of the hole.  My divot was 25 yards right of the hole and it landed left of the hole and rolled down the hill.  I managed to hit a really good chip there.
I had one on 8, which wasn't that significant because it was a 3‑wood.  But it took it dead right.  I still had a wedge.  I hit a wedge to 6 feet and missed it.
I had one on 9, in the intermediate cut on 9.  It took it right.  I didn't play it on 9 because you have to miss that shot right and I had a chip that was more than (inaudible).
And then 18.
Those are the ones that I felt ‑‑ I had a mud ball every fairway, but those are the ones that affected shots.

Q.  Is that why nobody has really broke through and had that great score today?
ZACH JOHNSON:  I think that's part of it.  I think the other part is there was actually some very good pins today.  They didn't move the tees up on many holes, either.  Not saying they should, they just didn't.  They have options.  It was great.  I thought the course was set up nicely.  It was just hard.
I would be very reluctant to say that no one got affected by mud today.

Q.  Since you laid off so much in the past on 13, what made you decide to go for the green from 2 there?
ZACH JOHNSON:  I had a great number and I had a great lie.  Almost like the farther up you hit it in that hill, just short of it the ‑‑ I don't want to call it rough, whatever the secondary cut is, it's flatter.  It's a flatter lie almost.  It wasn't ‑‑ if it was a hanging lie ‑‑ like Poulter's lie was very difficult.  He was a little bit farther up.  You know, he was much more severe and it took it left.
Mine was much more playable and I just had to hit a stock shot.  I mean, that was ‑‑ I obviously made a good putt.  That's my first eagle here, so I get crystal.

Q.  I was going to ask you that?
ZACH JOHNSON:  I think it is.  I don't have any crystal, so there you go.

Q.  I couldn't get close enough to accurately gauge it, how long an eagle putt was that?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Good question.  I'd say 25 feet, plus or minus.

Q.  And what did you hit in there?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Hit a 5‑wood.  But I had like two ‑‑ upwards of 235 to the hole, 238 to the hole.

Q.  How was it going the first 12 holes?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Good.  You know, I hit some good shots.  Had some nice saves.  I chipped it nice today, I think, for the most part, with the exception of 15.  That was a really poor chip.  Obviously good save on 1.  That was a chip I'm trying to hit like 6 feet near the hole.  I hit it perfect and it came up 2 feet short.
Good chip on 2.  Really good par on 3, frankly.  I hit it down the right side in the intermediate cut.  I had to hit a low cut wedge.  I don't know if that's anybody's forte.  Certainly not mine.
I hit two shots today that I was not pleased with.  One was the tee shot on 4 and the other one was the tee shot on 12.  12, if I had the wind that I had when I walked up here, it's probably in the middle of the green.  Just died.  Just a tough shot and there's not a whole lot of green.  But I hit a really good sand shot on 12, too.  Then a good putt just didn't go in.  I hit some really good shots.  Overall pretty pleased.
My driver came along nicely starting on 11.  Right?  Yeah, 11.  It went down the middle there.  I was like man, that feels better.  Maybe a slight adjustment on my hand sort of thing.  After that I didn't miss a drive.  I hit it really good on 18.  So it was nice to get the driver going

Q.  Pretty good feeling into the evening?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Yeah, yeah.  I mean, you know, you certainly can't win it on Thursday.  I don't know if you can really ‑‑ you can lose it, but you would have to play quite poorly.  I shot 2 under ‑‑ I mean, if I shot 2 over, I wouldn't be out of it.  But I'd rather be sitting at 2 under.
This course, you just never know.  Guys can get hot, get their putters rolling.  We saw it last year, Charl birdied the last four holes.  I'm in position to have a good run tomorrow.

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