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July 20, 2013

Johnson Wagner


Q. Your observations of what you saw?
JOHNSON WAGNER: He played a little bit slower than me, and I feel I played pretty fast. We kept up with the group in front of us for most of the day, and the group behind us waited a little bit on the front when we were waiting. And they never waited on us from the 11th hole on. I thought it was a bit -- I understand, I'm a fast player. I don't like slow play, either. But given his position in the tournament, and given the shot he faced on 17, laying it up out of the fescue over gourse and pot bunkers, I don't think he took too long. I think he executed a really good shot and under the situation, I think it's tragic, and I think The R&A should use better judgment in the penalizing of it.

Q. What's the rationale?
JOHNSON WAGNER: He took two minutes and 12 seconds. They said they gave him extra time. But his caddie had to pace all the way to the fairway, a hundred yards to get his carry number. There's no yardages from there. And he was playing a great round. I'm as against slow play as anybody, and I respect everything everybody is doing, but, man, the kid was playing great today. We played the Masters together last year and he's a great kid, and I think it's terrible that he got penalized. Hopefully he'll go out tomorrow and rip it up and put himself this contention again, but I think it's terrible.

Q. Did he seem frazzled after that?
JOHNSON WAGNER: We were both frazzled. We had four officials walking with us. It was extremely frazzling. I'm not going to claim that it caused me a bogey on 16, but it certainly didn't help, feeling like I had a tough, 10-footer for par and had to hit it within 55 seconds or I was going to get a penalty. I've been an advocate for penalizing guys for slow play, but I think a little bit of judgment needs to be used, especially when the group behind isn't even waiting on us.

Q. Did you interact with Hideki soon after or during the process?
JOHNSON WAGNER: I was in the right fescue on 17 rushing to play my shots, and we met up on the green and I just looked at him and gave him (indicating), this is ridiculous, I'm sorry, look. And he was like, I know. We don't really speak the same language, but we know what we're talking about. Like I say, I love The R&A and I'm all for fast play, but I think a little better judgment could have been used.

Q. Was there any chance from the time that they first approached to the time you left the scoring area that you thought maybe you it would be revoked?
JOHNSON WAGNER: I pleaded in the scoring area for five minutes. I feel like I let the official know how I felt about it as gentlemanly as I could, but it infuriated me that he got a penalty. If they had tried to penalize me, I would have gone ballistic. So I tried to represent Hideki as good as I could, and couldn't get it changed.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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