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July 19, 2013
Q. How much of a grind was it?
ZACH JOHNSON: It was a grind. It was a grind from the
first shot to my last 3-, 4-footer, whatever it was, on 18. Just
trying to pick the right club, trying to pick the right target,
with the right shot was very difficult. You don't want to
overthink it, so you've got that going through your mind as well.
And truly, I mean, for the most part the entire day I'm
trying to two-putt from 15 feet and beyond. You're just trying to
pick the proper line, very conservative, play the wind on the
putts, especially the last, I'd say the back nine in general.
There's not many pins you can get at. So if you make a putt, you
just go to the next tee, you just get out of there.
Q. How frustrating is it? You know what you can do, but
it's humbling, this course?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, you expect it, though. Every Major
Championship can be humbling. I mean, to be honest with you, I
played pretty good today. I didn't hit that many bad shots. I
hit an errant tee shot on 1, an errant tee shot on 18, and maybe
one more errant tee shot. But for the most part I hit it good and
I putted it well for the most part. My lag-putting was suspect
off the greens, a number of three-putts in that regard. But just
much more difficult.
I hadn't seen this wind. That would be the big thing.
So I was accustomed to the west wind, Monday, Tuesday and
Wednesday. And I have not seen an east wind until today. I
didn't get in until Monday, and I guess they had it on the
weekend, but I can see how this wind is significantly more
difficult. Everything goes downhill, downwind towards the bay.
And that just makes it very difficult.
Q. A few of the guys said this is the toughest grind today
they've ever had to deal with. How do you respond to that?
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, I don't know. I'd have to go back
in any memory bank and think of something that was more difficult.
But it was very hard. When I shot 4-over, you know, getting it
back to even par with it five or six holes to go for the day, I
felt pretty good. And frankly on 14 I hit 1, 2, 3, 4 good shots
and made a bogey. I misjudged the second shot, hit it in the
proper line. Hit a great chip to about six feet. Hit a good
putt, misread it and tapped in for a bogey. It's one of those
things, you can hit a great shot and walk away with a bogey in a
heartbeat. And obviously 15 was a bit of carnage, when I'm trying
to two-putt from ten feet. That was just not easy.
Q. If you thought two days ago that you'd be, would you
think, okay, I'll take it.
ZACH JOHNSON: I don't know, I don't particularly like
ZACH JOHNSON: Thank you. Yeah, I was shocked. I hit a
great 4-iron off the tee about 280-some yards. And evidently I
should have hit a sand wedge. I tried to punch a wedge. I had
like 158 to hole. Wrong club, I should have hit a sand wedge and
got it over the bunker and accept it wherever it went. Hit a
great pitch. I actually misjudged the read. I thought it would
go more left and hit a great pitch to 10, 12 feet. It was
probably a two-ball outside left putt, but I played the wind. I
hit it left edge, just barely out. If I would've had the wind on
that first putt that I did the second the putt, I think I would
have made that one.
That went right, the first putt. And the second putt was
all three and a half, four feet, and it also went right. So, you
know, the pin is on something. It's not -- well, it was awkward.
If one side of the hole goes right and the other side of the hole
goes right, there's something not particularly normal there.
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, it's fair. I mean, the fairway
lines are fair. Certainly the run-ups onto the green are very
fair. These are just the fastest Open greens I've ever witnessed.
If I explain to someone back home The Open and what it requires,
it requires hitting quality tee shots, with trajectory control,
utilizing the ground. The same thing on your approach shot and
the greens are extremely slow. But with this wind and the speed
of these greens, they're the complete opposite. I don't want to
compare it to Augusta, because there's nothing like Augusta. When
you have to play the extreme high break and play wind, it's like
ZACH JOHNSON: Potentially. Yeah, when you're trying to
two-putt from ten-plus feet, just trying to two-putt, extremely
difficult. The thing is that the holes that are kind of open to
the wind are significantly faster -- 15, holes like 17, it's kind
of guarded there, much slower and greener, as a result. There's
some inconsistency green to green, but we know that. The more
traffic in the afternoon, certainly the faster they are. All of
what you'd expect.
Q. Has there been anything more open than this at a Major
ZACH JOHNSON: Oh, yeah. I feel like it's almost like
that every tournament/Major. There's very few times when someone
runs away with it. Louis at St. Andrews, Rory at the PGA, and the
U.S. Open. Those are just odd years there. But this is pretty
much what you'd expect. A leaderboard that's jumbled with a lot
Q. Your thoughts, you're right there, your thoughts as you
go through this journey right now?
ZACH JOHNSON: If anything I'm confident -- still
confident this the way I'm striking it. I hit a lot of great iron
shots today, on the par-3s. Very confident and nice knowing that
I got around with the east wind under my belt. That's a big
difference relative to yesterday. I probably would have shot
another 8-under today if I -- just kidding.
So it's just nice seeing where the ball is going to go
with this amount of wind coming from the east. And hopefully I
can continue just hitting solid shots because 2-putting and
getting up and down, eliminating big mistakes, specifically
doubles, are still going to be key.
Q. And you're in the mix?
ZACH JOHNSON: You're in the mix. You never know what
can happen. Remaining patient and keep doing what I'm doing.
Q. I always wonder, the fun factor. A lot of guys say that
if you can have fun it helps overall. Is it possible to have fun
under these conditions?
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, I enjoy difficult tests, I think
everybody does. "Fun," you've got to use that term loosely, I
think, here. What's fun about it is that we don't see this but
once a year. I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoy that. And that's why
I want to keep coming back.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports