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THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP


July 21, 2012


Zach Johnson


LYTHAM ST. ANNES, ENGLAND

ZACH JOHNSON:  Yeah, it felt great, especially a couple chunked nine irons in the fairway on 16 and 17.  It was nice to hit a quality shot and actually hit it where I was looking.
It was a good way to end, but hopefully I can continue that and take the momentum from 18 into tomorrow.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
ZACH JOHNSON:¬† I do.¬† I had a couple of lip‑outs and a couple of short putts that I missed.¬† I also made some putts.¬† It probably did even out, but you're always looking for those days that it doesn't even out and it always goes in.
I figured there were some tough pins, some hole placements on some knobs, and I managed to put myself in good positions to make some putts, and fortunately I made a few.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
ZACH JOHNSON:  One, it's golf.  Two, it's The Open.  And I think, three, you have pretty high expectations, although I don't like expectations.  After a good round, you expect to go out there and do it again, especially after I birdied the first hole again yesterday.  You felt like, okay, let's do it.  And it's never that easy.  It's never that easy.
Today I felt much more relaxed, much more patient and never got too ahead of myself.  Had a great time with Thomas Björn, who I've really always enjoyed playing with.  And I just felt comfortable out there.

Q.  There's an appreciable difference from the first to the second to the third, how you hit it or maybe not so much?
ZACH JOHNSON:¬† Today I drove it as good as I've driven it this week, certainly, but probably for the year.¬† I don't know if I missed a fairway.¬† Well, I missed 18 by a foot.¬† And then I missed 7 by a foot.¬† I don't think I missed a fairway.¬† I mean whether it was a 3‑wood, a 5‑wood, 3‑iron or driver, I just hit fairways.¬† That makes this course so much easier, avoiding those pot bunkers.¬† There's been times this week ‑‑ I've hit a bunch of 3‑woods on the par‑5s, just to avoid ‑‑ knowing I can carry one but can't get to the next.¬† Other guys are pounding drivers and whatever.¬† If I can't get there in two, there's no reason to try to get after it.¬† I think I hit a 5‑wood on a par‑5 already this week.

Q.  What did you hit on 18?
ZACH JOHNSON:¬† I hit driver there, 7‑iron.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
ZACH JOHNSON:¬† Very similar.¬† Yeah, based on the forecast it may be a little bit warmer even.¬† Maybe the same amount of wind, maybe a little bit more.¬† You anticipate more.¬† I've never seen three days like this in The Open.¬† I was talking to Thomas about it, he's played a few more than I have.¬† He recalls one other week where it was kind of like this.¬† He thinks it might have been here.¬† I don't know if it was '02 or '01 or even '96.¬† So, who knows, but this is‑‑ not eerie, but it's just not what you expect at The Open.

Q.  Is there something in your round that got you going or kept the round going?
ZACH JOHNSON:¬† Well, 2 I made a bogey with a 9‑iron.¬† I think I hit 8.¬† I should have hit 9.¬† Just terrible, right in the middle of the fairway.¬† Bad yardage, bad club, and I made a horrible bogey, and I hit two good shots.
The next hole I hit a terrible lag putt from 30 feet, 8 feet, 10 feet by the hole and I made that coming back.¬† It just felt like‑‑ it was a double‑breaker, one that went left and went back right.¬† Then I hit it close on the next hole.¬† So those two holes there just kind of got me going.¬† I really started to relax a little bit, hit some quality shots.
Even the holes that I made pars were just solid, never really‑‑ I just never had that many opportunities of making a bogey, certainly not making more than a bogey.¬† I think I three‑putted 16.¬† Two three‑putts for bogeys.¬† And I never really sniffed making a bogey.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
ZACH JOHNSON:¬† Yeah.¬† I would assume so.¬† Yeah, I noticed it on 2 and 3 immediately.¬† So it was something‑‑ uphill it's still kind of grainy and slow.¬† But the downhill ones, over knobs and down these little crescent things, I don't know what you call them, bumps, seemed to roll out just another foot.¬† But no rain and you kind of expect that.¬† I think it was probably smart on their part.

Q.¬† Is 1‑under about as good as anybody can do out there?
ZACH JOHNSON:¬† No, I think I can be had.¬† I hit really good shots today, but I think I left some out there.¬† And I think, you know, got to be a lot of 2 understand, I assume, 1's and 2‑unders, and I can see 3 to 6.¬† I don't know, this tournament you never know.¬† When someone gets it going and just feels good about things, they can put a number up.¬† You're going to have to make some 8‑ to 20‑footers, whether they're for birdie or par.¬† You're going to have to make those.¬† And the pin placements are not flat, let's put it that way.

Q.  As well as you have been playing, you've had a nice run for quite a few weeks, would you rather see it get faster or a little harder for the sake of you having a better chance?
ZACH JOHNSON:¬† Yeah.¬† Yeah, I mean I like having to use the ground.¬† Obviously I don't overpower golf courses.¬† I put a lot of pride in the fact that I can hit fairways regardless of the conditions.¬† I mean wet, moist conditions, especially off the tee, that's not very ideal for me.¬† I like the ball rolling out, if that's what you're getting at.¬† But I can adjust to whatever.¬† We can all‑‑ it really doesn't matter.

Q.  Do you feel like you're going to need to play more aggressive tomorrow?
ZACH JOHNSON:¬† I don't think I could play any more aggressive than I did today.¬† I was even going into today, 1‑under.¬† 1‑under going into today.¬† I knew if I was going to get back in this tournament I had to make a move of some sort.¬† Granted, I wasn't thinking about that out there.¬† But I knew going into it, what if there's a pin or a putt, you just get after it a little bit.
I'm not going to‑‑ tomorrow, my approach tomorrow won't be any different, I don't think.¬† It's going to be just hitting solid shots and giving myself opportunities.¬† I'm hitting a lot of greens, and that's what I've got to continue to do.¬† If I can keep hitting greens, an occasional long putt to drop, you never know what can happen.¬† Scottie is at 11 or 12 right now, and he looks very much in control.¬† It wouldn't shock me if I'm down exactly where I started.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
ZACH JOHNSON:¬† No.7‑‑ no, 7 is a par‑5.¬† 8, No. 8.¬† I hit two good shots, I just putted really safe and had to be 30 feet, maybe 35 feet.¬† That was a long one for birdie, yeah.
I picked one up on 12, the par‑3, right pin over the trap, 201‑‑ there's not going to be many birdies on that hole.¬† I picked one up there.¬† I don't know how I did that, but I had a good read from Thomas.

Q.  What did you hit there?
ZACH JOHNSON:¬† I hit a cut 4‑iron, and I'm 15 to 20‑‑ probably 15 to 20 feet.¬† Closer to 20.¬† I'd say 20 feet.

Q.¬† Snedeker made a bunch of 20‑ to 25‑footers yesterday.
ZACH JOHNSON:¬† Yeah, I think you're going to have to.¬† You're going to hit good shots to 30 feet.¬† And occasionally when you have a wedge in, you're going to go at it from five feet.¬† I think to get where they're at, you've got to make a few 15‑ to 30‑footers, for sure.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
ZACH JOHNSON:  Yeah, it was a foot.  I didn't even mark it.  Actually I closed my eyes.  I've missed those, actually.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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