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April 11, 2013

Zach Johnson


Q.  Thoughts on your round today?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Pretty solid.  It wasn't ‑‑ I mean, a couple errant tee shots that might have cost me there, but I got out of it.  And then one or two good saves.
But the back nine, I tapped in for par if I didn't make a birdie.  So that was nice.  I didn't put myself in a position to make a bogey ever.  A lot of solid shots.  I felt good about it.
The course is playing perfect.  Overcast, the greens are still a little more receptive than they can be.  There's no sun to bake it out really.  And plus the humidity is here.  Sounds like the calm before the storm, as they say.  But, yeah, it was a good day.

Q.  Other than playing your best, what's your goal for the first round of the Masters?
ZACH JOHNSON:  My goal for first round of the Masters?  Well, I think just to get into a good rhythm.  That's all it is.  It's not a sprint, it's certainly more of a marathon, like any tournament, that's not any, this isn't any different.
But you want to instill some confidence, get the speed down on the greens, and hopefully that carries into the rest of the week.
So I think it's the speed of the greens and then just have a good rhythm out there and obviously you want to hit solid shots, but that goes without saying.

Q.  Are you always conscious that you've won here when you're playing?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Well, sure, yeah, you're always going to have that in your memory bank.  I don't try to dwell on it, but certainly I'm going to maybe bring out some of the things that I remember that year, especially from a confidence standpoint.  But I'm not, I'm certainly not going to dwell on it.

Q.  Is it important to be under par when the course is fairly benign?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Well, yeah, you never know how the rest of the week's going to go, but you certainly want to get off to a good start.  You can't win it on Thursday, as they say, all the cliches.
But, yeah, I don't know if it's important, but I think it's nice to have a good round on Thursday to certainly instill confidence.

Q.  You were one of several players who bogeyed the first hole and went on to have good rounds.  Maybe it's all mental after decades of doing this, but how do you put that first hole out of your mind?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Well, it's a hard hole.  Today was probably a driver and an 8‑iron is all.  But it's still not an easy hole.  Frankly, that was probably the worst drive I hit.  It wasn't that bad, but I misjudged the wind and didn't have ‑‑ my second shot wasn't all that difficult.  It wasn't easy, but it wasn't that difficult.  I should have been able to get it on the green at least.

Q.  Where were you?
ZACH JOHNSON:  I was in the trap off the tee and I hit an 8‑iron and I hit it thin and pushed it and it kind of hit the right side and kicked right down there and didn't get it up‑and‑down probably 12 feet.  Hit a good putt, misread it, so.

Q.  When you show up at this place in April, does anything that's happened this season to date kind of just vanish?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Well, I would like to think that regardless of where I show up or regardless of what was in the past it's an advantage.  You know what I mean?  It doesn't matter what the week is.
Now, here, maybe a little bit more so, you might ‑‑ I tell you this:  I kind of like the fact that ‑‑ well, I shouldn't say, "I like," it doesn't upset me that I haven't played that great to date, for a number of reasons.
Mike and I have talked about it, but I haven't, I was off at the beginning of the year.  I wasn't off mentally, I felt good, my attitude was great.  My process was good.  Physically, I've been good, pretty healthy, very healthy, actually.
But I was off fundamentally.  So I can fix that.  There's ways to do that.  We have footage and video of me being on.  And I can get back to that.
So it's nice that I've been ‑‑ the work I've put in the last, I would say specifically over the last five, four to five weeks, is starting to surface.  It started to surface at Bay Hill two weeks ago and I've taken two weeks off to work on it even more.
So coming into this week it wouldn't matter if it was Augusta or Hartford or wherever, I just feel like my game's starting to go like this (Indicating).  So today was a good start.

Q.  There were a number of reasons, you said.  What were some of the other reasons that it didn't bother you?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Well, I think that I listed a lot of those, but, yeah, for the most part just the fact that I've never been one that gets too high with the highs or gets too low with the lows.
I was talking to Andy North about it, I don't know if this is entirely true, but you come here and if you feel really good about your game, you start being a little bit more aggressive maybe, when you know what you need to do, if you're just kind of playing okay, I mean 15 feet, 20 feet right of the hole, use the banks, that kind of stuff still, that kind of approach, that kind of game is still going to get rewarded here.  So you don't have to fire at pins here, even if you're playing well.  You just got to play Augusta for Augusta.  Does that make sense?

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