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July 18, 2013

Dustin Johnson


MIKE WOODCOCK: Dustin, you weren't very close in 2011 in The Open. You've made a great start with a 3-under par 68. How do you feel, does that give you a springboard for the rest of the week?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I feel really good about my round. I obviously got off to a great start on the front nine, 4-under on the front. And then had a couple of looks on 10 and 11. And then hit a good shot off the tee on 12, and then just hit a really poor approach shot and made bogey there. Three-putted 15 and 16, just missing really short putts. But I felt like my speed was really good all day. You have a lot of 30, 40-footers out here. I did very well getting those up right around the hole and just missed -- just missed two really short putts on 15 and 16. But came back and made a nice eagle on 17.

Q. How far did you hit the 3-wood on 17?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I don't know. I had like 215 front, or something.

Q. You had 7-iron, 215?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I had 230 hole, yeah.

Q. Nice start, Dustin. Talk about the conditions. Are you surprised at the way they are right now? And what kind of an advantage is that for you, if it stays like this for the rest of the way?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I'm not surprised with the weather. It's been hot and sunny for the last five days I've been here. This is the most sun I've seen in Scotland. But the golf course is really firm. It was firm when I got here on Sunday morning. It's just getting firmer. And it's getting faster. The greens are a lot faster than they were early in the week. With the sunshine and the wind they're just going to get quicker.

Q. Is that an extra advantage because of your length, though, do you think?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, it's nice because off a lot of these tees I just hit a 3-iron. On even the long par-4s I'm hitting 3-irons off the tee. The ball is going so far once it gets on the ground. So just a little low 3-iron is going further than a 3-wood up in the air.

Q. How far?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I hit a couple today that were around -- probably went 290, 280.

Q. Two questions, Dustin: Bubba out there said that they put you guys together for the fifth time the year. You guys only hit about one driver each?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Bubba hit one driver. I hit one driver. Nick didn't hit any.

Q. Where did you hit driver?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I hit driver on 5. And Bubba hit one on 9.

Q. Were you tempted at all to tinker with your bag, knowing how dry it was going to be this week?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No. I mean, I tried a 2-iron for a little while, but -- on the range, and it lasted for about five minutes. But I hit it on the TrackMan. And a 2-iron versus my 3-iron was like 7 yards difference.

Q. Was St. Georges the last time you hit 2?

Q. It was the last time you had it in your bag in competition?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yes. And it will never go back in. If I wouldn't have had one in there, it might have been a different story.

Q. Do you need a driver in your bag, at all? Is this any advantage, the three of you in your group were all big hitters, is there any advantage at all for being a big hitter around here or not?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, it's nice to be able to hit 3-irons off these tees, because you're trying to keep it out of the bunkers, and obviously links golf is all about placing your tee shot in a certain spot. So my 3-iron, I would think, is a lot easier to hit to where I want it to than somebody hitting 3-wood or driver. So that's definitely an advantage. I can hit more drivers, but I just choose not to.

Q. Do you think somebody who is not a long hitter, maybe somebody like Luke Donald, who is not renowned as that, might do well around here, someone with a shorter game?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: You know, you've got to play well, it doesn't matter how you hit it. No British -- it doesn't -- length or guys being short, that doesn't matter. You've got to play well. You've got to hit the ball in the right spot. You've got to hit it in the right spot on the greens and stay out of the bunkers is the main key. So you'll see all the guys this week doing whatever they can to keep it out of the bunker.

Q. How often do you get misrecognized for Zach Johnson?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I don't think anybody has ever misrecognized me for Zach.

Q. Do you ever get his mail or anything?

Q. No one ever calls you "Zach"?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No. My first couple of years on Tour I got "Jeff" a few times.

Q. Did you think a short hitter like him would be leading The Open?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No. This golf course, I think it's going to favor the guys who are playing really well, no matter if you're hitting it long or short. That doesn't matter here. It's just going to favor who is playing good golf. You've got to hit great shots. You can't fake it around here. And there's nothing tricky. But you've just got to hit good golf shots.

Q. You didn't hit drivers today, but when the three of you do hit drivers, which one do you think is longest?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: It just depends on who hits it the best. Whoever hits it the most solid.

Q. You're all the same?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, we all hit it very similar.

Q. I'm just curious how much fun it is for you to play this kind of a golf course and how that suits your eye?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I always enjoy playing links golf, no matter what golf course it is. It's a lot of fun to play one that's really fast. I'm enjoying it. You've got to be really creative off the tee and coming into these greens. It's just a lot of fun.

Q. You have this terrific record in Majors, do you think this is maybe the one you would get first?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I don't know. If I play four good rounds, probably.
MIKE WOODCOCK: Dustin, thank you very much for coming in. Best of luck.

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