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October 15, 2013

Zach Johnson


Q.  Zach, do you want to the talk about the wrap‑around schedule this year as far as the change in points, the prestige and even the fields at this tournament seem to be much better than they have in the past?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Right.  Sure.  We've changed the I guess you'd say the makeup and/or culture of the PGA TOUR because what we're doing now, you know, starting the '14 season and '13, it certainly is the biggest change that we're going to experience out here on the PGA TOUR, but there's a change down through the Web.com that's going to enhance that tournament schedule and certainly that tour as a whole.
You know, it's going to take some time to get used to.  I think we're seeing the fields are probably a little bit deeper, a little bit better, but more than that, I think it's just‑‑ the benefit's going to be‑‑ you know, it's going to take a little time, but I think everybody is going to get used to it.  I think in the long run it's really, really good for the PGA TOUR.
You've got, you know, bigger, better tournaments for fans.  You got bigger, better tournaments for us players, and more than that, our title sponsors are happy with FedExCup points.  So I mean I think the positives are plentiful, and as a result you're seeing guys show up in the fall that don't typically play.  And you know, college football, pro football is a big deal, but so is golf this time of year.

Q.  Now, personally do you think this benefits you this year?  You ended the last season on an extremely great run.  What do you think that does getting off to a start right away in this season?
ZACH JOHNSON:  I don't really feel like I had‑‑ feels like I'm still playing in the 2013 season, which I guess is good for me because of where I came from in that season.  So I'm just going to try to continue doing what I'm doing.  I don't feel like‑‑ I know the numbers start over and the points start over and the lists start over, but my game is where it needs to be and I'm going to continue to play.

Q.  After coming off the Presidents Cup you had a week off.  Do you feel refreshed?  That was kind of a long week.
ZACH JOHNSON:  Yeah.  I mean I feel okay.  Kind of got a little bit of a crick in the neck right now, specifically speaking, but hopefully I can get that figured out and get back out there and start hitting some shots.
But yeah, you know, I love this tournament.  I certainly like what Shriners does.  I mean how can you not?  We're talking about kids.  And then more than that, I think the golf course is very good.  And the forecast looks great for the week, and I'm excited about that.  My last so many tournaments I've had too many rain delays.

Q.  I don't believe that's a problem this week.

Q.  Being a father of three, does the cause kind of hit home with you and your wife?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Oh, sure.

Q.  Because think how your kids are healthy, normal and fine.
ZACH JOHNSON:  Sure, yeah.  Those are the kinds of things that, I mean, actually as parents, you know, the health and the security and the safety of your children is paramount.  And you know, I'd like to say that I don't take it for granted every day, but you know, it's human nature to not think about that all the time.  You know, my constant prayer is for my kids and certainly for my family.
But knowing what this hospital does and how they go about doing it, the initiatives they have, the way they open their doors and treat and care for children, you know, it's hat's off certainly to the hospital, certainly this tournament, but more than that, I think it's hat's off to the PGA TOUR and what we're trying to do as a group and where our product can take things.

Q.  Was there something consistent with your game the last two that enabled you to play as well as you did when you look back on it?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Well, the consistency didn't hit me until probably July.  The beginning of the year was very average.  But it was‑‑ the beginning of the year was good.  I mean I learned a lot.  I learned a lot, certainly patience and trust and that sort of thing, but also technically speaking, I was off fundamentally, so I learned some things there, too.
You know, the summer months, my driver got really good, very consistent, and I started to make some putts.  And when you have that combination, add a little confidence in there and you can climb the boards.  And fortunately it showed towards August and September.

Q.  You were talking about rain the last few weeks that you played.  Did that help you develop some more mental toughness that you didn't think you had or did it just tax what was already there knowing that you gotta deal with it?
ZACH JOHNSON:  No.  I mean, yeah, I got lucky in some of the ways and was unfortunate in some of the ways.  It all evens out, I guess.  I mean I don't think it's a matter of mental fortitude or toughness.  I think we're used to it.  I mean it's not‑‑ this year was a little different in the sense it was just so much rain and so many weather systems, but we've had years like this, potentially even worse.  It's not anything out of the normal.  We know what rain delays are about.  We know about getting up at 4 to get back in position at 6:30, 7:00.  It's just, you know, it's tough for us.  It's really, really tough for our staff on the PGA TOUR, the rules officials and certainly the grounds crews at each event.  So hitting golf balls is not the hardest thing.

Q.  Well, the Saturday Presidents cup you gotta admit was a little bizarre.
ZACH JOHNSON:  That was brutal.  Yeah, that was brutal.  I feel fortunate to have finished my round on Saturday.  I got an extra two hours of sleep, me and Dufner.  But yeah, that‑‑ I was pleasantly shocked and surprised we finished on Sunday.  With that system and band of weather that was coming up, I was pleasantly surprised that we finished.

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