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October 2, 2013

Zach Johnson


Q.  What's the mentality going into tomorrow?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Mentality?  We've been there before.  We know what we want to do.  We know what we want to do in each format.  We play a pretty simple game as far as our game plan goes.  I'm not going to reveal much more than that, but I can tell you that we are confident in how we go about our process.  We are excited to play, nothing more than that.

Q.  What's your health?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Way better than what it was yesterday, and significantly better than what it was on Monday.  Teeing off I felt great, and by the third or fourth hole, which was in the back nine, I guess 12, 13, 14, to try to get a little energy drop, if anything, a little discombobulated, slight dizziness, but I'll be fine.  I think it was just good to get a sweat, quite frankly, and my appetite is back, which is huge.  Been hungry all day, so I guess that's good.

Q.  So did you‑‑
ZACH JOHNSON:  More or less I did.  I didn't hit every shot but we kind of played alternate‑shot on the front, but yes.

Q.  Do you feel like, you've played here so many times, wonder how you look at the 14th hole, and the strategy to try to play that, that temptation‑‑
ZACH JOHNSON:  Yeah, I can interrupt you, there's no temptation for me.  It's not even an option.  It's an iron and then a wedge regardless of where the pin is for me.

Q.  Is the light‑heartedness‑‑
ZACH JOHNSON:  Oh, I didn't see it.  I played with him‑‑ he hit his ball in the water?  Yeah, he hit it right‑‑ oh, his third shot.  Yeah, I mean, practice rounds, you're just kind of getting used to things and just trying to, it is competition, but more than that, it's just trying to get more familiar with the golf course, familiar with each shot, each wind, club selection, that sort of thing.
Yeah, have fun.  That's the bottom line.  He was playing a match against Phil, so I don't know what happened there.

Q.  How is the course different now?
ZACH JOHNSON:  I was talking to the guys, some played on Monday and yesterday, and I asked what the difference is.  They said there wasn't much and I would have to completely agree.  Rough is slightly down, maybe.  Greens are still fast.
If anything, the greens are better because I think the poa is kind of, for the most part, vanished.  The rough's a little bit down, and then obviously the new tee box on 18.  So I mean, I'm not seeing any differences other than that.
It's still thatchy.  It's still one of those where it's still hard to judge because it can sit up, and is it going to jump and is it going to fluff out of there.  The ones down you've still got to pay attention.  It seems like in June, there's not much of an option.  If you're going to hit more than a 6‑iron out of there, 6‑iron or more out of there, you've got a fantastic lie, and that's rare.  So more times than not, seems like you're chopping out with a wedge, 8‑, 9‑iron.

Q.  Jack said that by slowing the greens down, you'll see more birdies‑‑
ZACH JOHNSON:  It's hard to say.  I can't tell if they are any slower.  They are certainly holding.  They may be more ‑‑ they may be saturated.  They may be watering them.  I can't answer that.  They could be a little bit slower, but the guys were saying, once again, this is the first time I've been on the course this week.  The guys are saying that they have gotten faster each day, so I'm probably not the one to ask.

Q.  The charitable aspect of this tournament, very important to you and all the players, and getting to designate where a donation goes, what's your charity of choice?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Well, we are still trying to figure all that out to be honest with you.  Part of the proceeds will certainly go to my foundation and the beneficiaries which we are trying to help.  We have two initiatives, the primary one being called Kids On Course, and the other one is called Birdies That Care.
The Kids on Course helps the children of Cedar Rapids, and the school system there, just giving kids opportunities and life experiences that will carry them on as they get into adulthood.  There's no limitations; we are just trying to help kids and families that need help, nothing more than that.
Now, going back to your question, that's the key ingredient as to why we play golf.  That's the key ingredient to each tournament, so there's no reason why The Presidents Cup should be anything different, and you know, hats off to the PGA TOUR for making that their initiative.

Q.  You're not playing for a paycheck, but then there's also that aspect‑‑
ZACH JOHNSON:  Representing our country, representing our captains and representing our peers, you know, and once a year, that's more than sufficient.

Q.  You're paired with Dufner.  Can you share any experiences you've had with him in the past, what makes him unique?  Obviously personality is unique, but what about playing with him gets you interested in winning?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Well, I'm a guy that doesn't like a lot of hoorah out there.  I like to keep it pretty stoic.  I like to play what I call a‑motional golf, which essentially has zero emotion, whether I'm playing good or bad, I try not to get too caught up in outcome.
As we have witnessed, Jason is a guy that‑‑ I mean, if I've got no emotion, he might be borderline dead.  So I think we are a good pairing in that regard, just because we just don't get caught up in a mistake or even a great shot.  We just keep plugging along and keep doing what we're doing, because we know that's the only way we can play golf and rise to the top.
We don't need a whole lot of emotion to play well.  We don't need a whole lot of emotion to make a comeback or maintain or whatever.  We just go out and play, and kind of, you know, the old simple, boring, one shot at a time.

Q.  Different in this format, crowd is a little more engaged and louder off the tee and get behind you a little bit; is there any chance that you think you two would ever get caught up in that or feed off of that somehow?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Well, I can't speak on behalf of him.  I have no idea.  But I mean, I feel it.  I certainly feel it.  But honestly I try to put it to the side and just, hey, where's my target, where he is the wind, what are the factors and let's play.
If I get caught up in that kind of thing, I go astray.  I know what works for me, and from what I can tell, that's kind of how Jason goes about it.  He just‑‑ his cares are minimal.

Q.  How is the camaraderie‑‑
ZACH JOHNSON:  Oh, I love it.  It's one of the most fun weeks we have, just because our wives are a part of it; you have a team atmosphere.  It's such an individual game, and you incorporate team into it, it just makes it that much more special.  Playing with some of my best friends that I try to beat week‑in, week‑out and now I'm on their side and they are on my side, is a very unique experience.
I think the bottom line is the fact that we are representing our nation and our country.  So it doesn't get any more special than that.

Q.  Do you like match play competitions back then‑‑
ZACH JOHNSON:  We didn't have any match play competitions, sorry.  I like it just because it's different.  It's not the normal medal, monotonous play that we play week‑in, week‑out, so anytime they incorporate something different, I'm all for it.  If we play match play every week, you know, medal play would be that much more fun.

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