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September 30, 2012

Zach Johnson


Q.  Did you know what was going out on the course and what were your thoughts over that putt on 16?
ZACH JOHNSON:  The first part of the question, I glanced at the board here and there.  It certainly looked like it was a lot of blue early and it kind of leveled off in the middle.  Frankly I haven't seen it in probably four or five holes.  I'm not too sure where everything is at right now.  Yeah, the putt on 16 was massive.  I didn't make many putts today.  Frankly I didn't make many putts this week.  But that was the one that was pretty important just to get the halve at least.  Obviously 17 speaks for itself.

Q.  At a time when every point is absolutely crucial, sum up what it means to win yours.
ZACH JOHNSON:¬† Well, that's exactly what it is.¬† I can only control my point to an extent.¬† It feels great.¬† I came out here to get a point for our country, to get a point for Davis and our team, and I'm playing a very formidable foe in Graeme, who‑‑ we know what his story at Ryder Cup is, and a good friend more than anything, he and Kenny, his caddie.
It was hard, but those two guys are as classy as it comes, and I feel very fortunate to come out with the win.

Q.  How aware were you what was going on elsewhere?
ZACH JOHNSON:  I was kind of aware.  I knew it was tight because of a lot of the early matches.  There was a lot of blue on the board.  That was very evident.  But not very surprised.  Good teams rise up.  We rose up in 2010 early on, and the European team rose up in 2012 early on.  I don't know what's going to happen from here on out.  You never know.  But as it is, it seems like the last so many odd Ryder Cups, it's going to be pretty close.

Q.  Well played out there today, picked up a point for the U.S. Team.  How tough was it out there?
ZACH JOHNSON:¬† It was very tough.¬† I mean, early on I felt great, one foot in front of the other, just going in a good rhythm, and just hitting solid shots that kind of put some pressure on him. ¬†I didn't have to make putts to win holes, which was nice, but also it kind of got me towards the back nine when some of those putts were crucial.¬† But the putt on 16, I hadn't made a putt all day‑‑ frankly I don't feel like I made a putt all week, but that was huge.
I just tried to do my part, and regardless of what happens I'm proud of this team.  Certainly pretty stout play by the Europeans early on.

Q.  How long was that putt on 16?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Eight feet probably.

Q.  Any movement in it?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Just barely outside right edge.

Q.  Three points out of four this week and excellent play from you.  How proud do you feel of your own efforts and those of your team so far?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Yeah, I feel good how I've performed this week.  I came into it confident, I came into it trying to get points, and I had a good partner in Jason Dufner.  We ran into a buzz saw in Ian Poulter yesterday, but yeah, I feel good about the overall mental preparation and certainly the mind frame I had this week.  I think our captains and certainly Davis in general really kept us loose, and we were ready to go.

Q.  Talk about what was going on up ahead of you.
ZACH JOHNSON:  I know it was close.  I mean, I wasn't looking at the board too much.  Frankly it's irrelevant.  I knew where my match was, and that's all I could control.  I say it's irrelevant, but what I can control is my match, and I tried to do the best I could.

Q.  Do you feel like you let too many get away early on the back nine?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Absolutely, absolutely.  I can think of three or four shots, four or five shots, three or four shots that were kind of gifts, but at the same time he gave me some, too.  I didn't have to putt until the last five, six, seven holes, and that was difficult.  I'm not saying it shouldn't matter, and frankly it doesn't matter.  But it kind of got to me.

Q.¬† Just the sense of relief when that seven‑footer went down on 16?
ZACH JOHNSON:¬† Yeah, I missed‑‑ I mean, I hit some really good putts earlier that didn't go in.¬† It's not like I putted bad, it's just I hit good ones that didn't go in, high side, misread.¬† And then 13, 14, those two putts in particular.¬† You've got to look at 13 and 14.¬† I think I misread 13, and then 14 there were shadows there, and I might have pulled it a little bit, but I thought it was going right and it went left.¬† Misread and just a bad stroke.

Q.  For you finally getting a point on home turf, can you describe what the experience has been like?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Phenomenal, phenomenal.  The fans, the team, the camaraderie, the chemistry, everything about it has been phenomenal.

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