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January 19, 2014

Zach Johnson


Q.  We said golf's a funny game, anything can happen, you got out there today and just got all red hot.
ZACH JOHNSON:  Yeah, I got red hot at the end.  I played really good early, missed a couple putts, but I made a bunch at the end.
So, I guess it probably all evens out.  Yeah, you just can't quit in this game.  That's the bottom line.
I don't like to assume, but I assume it's not going to be enough.  However, I'm happy with the way I finished and proud of the way I fought through the last couple days and it's a good way to end my three week stretch.

Q.  You birdied the last five, how getable was that closing stretch?
ZACH JOHNSON:  There's a couple that are getable.  Certainly 18's a par‑5, 14's par‑5.  Those two are getable.  And you got some wedges in your hand if you get a ball in the fairway.  So, wedges in your hand, you feel like you can be aggressive, you feel like you can put yourself in a position to make a putt.  And I made two nice putts, technically three, but that's all you can do.  Maybe I was just ‑‑ I didn't make enough early on in the week.  That's probably what it's going to come down to.  But it was good and every now and then golf hams and it got me the last two days.

Q.  This punctuates a heck of a run.  I know you're going to take a little time off in the next couple weeks, but you got to feel good about how you played.
ZACH JOHNSON:  Oh, it feels awesome.  I just ‑‑ I like taking time off, I know it's a necessity, I know it's good for me, it's good for my family, but I'm also hesitant because I'm playing well.  So hopefully I can maintain where I'm at, maintain my posture and my fundamentals, and that sort of thing and come back out here in Tucson ready to go.

Q.  Low round of the week.  Good playing?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Thank you.

Q.  Did you sneak any looks at the scoreboard?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Yeah, I don't remember when, but I saw ‑‑ I saw it early on on the back nine.
It was one of those where I'm assuming I have no chance.  Still I'm assuming that.
I would love to finish inside the top‑5 with today's round.  There's going to be guys that are going to make some more birdies coming in.  Potentially an eagle.  You never know.
So, but, yeah that's all I can do.  I did ‑‑ I played great.  I've got zero regrets on today.

Q.  You going to lament the Nicklaus Course score a little bit?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Yeah, that one certainly.  My emotions got the best of me in that round and I finished well on that round, but I shot 5‑under my last nine holes and gathered myself there.
Yesterday, I got off to a decent start, kind of hit a wall then and my emotions, once again, got the best of me and then I finished strong again.  There was two stretches in there that I wish I could have back.  I'm not saying that that would have been the difference by any means, but I wish I could have them back.

Q.  Emotions getting the best of you, what do you mean?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Well, exactly that.  I like to play aemotional golf.  I like to take it out.  The outcome should be irrelevant and the only thing that is relevant is what I can control, and that's the way I walk, that's the way I breathe, that's the way I pick out my target, that's the way my rhythm is and my routine.  And I got away from that a little bit.  I was probably too focused on where the ball should end up rather than just trusting it and hitting it.

Q.  What are the plans for the next four weeks off then?
ZACH JOHNSON:  It's amazing, once you schedule four weeks off how open it is and how quickly it fills up.  I've got just a week from now, so this weekend technically Thursday or Friday, back at St. Simons.  I got my entire foundation board essentially coming in and we're going to have a board retreat, so good work there, good times, get some work done, get ready for our fourth event this coming summer.  Outside of that, hanging out with the kids, certainly, and I know I got some other obligations I got to attend to.

Q.  Was the break just a matter of courses that didn't fit you?
ZACH JOHNSON:  That's a huge factor, yeah.  If I were to pick it apart and find another tournament and/or golf course that I would probably play it probably would have been Phoenix, just because of the greens.  But it's one of those things where I live on the East Coast and to fly out here for one week, I got three young kids, and nothing against Phoenix, that's a great tournament, but I just didn't think it was a smart play.

Q.  What about Torrey?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Poa annua.  I mean I can putt good out there and I can't make anything.  Its just frustrating for me and you know I just ‑‑ you're talking about arguably one of the most beautiful courses in the world, certainly a hard one, but I don't mind difficulty, it's just I just never putted really well there.

Q.  We saw you look at the scoreboard way back, on a scale of one to ten, when did you become aggressive and what's the number?
ZACH JOHNSON:  When did I become aggressive?  I became aggressive on Thursday, my first hole.

Q.  You didn't change it up at all?
ZACH JOHNSON:  No.  I really didn't.  There was nothing ‑‑ there was no deviation from that the entire week.  If anything, there may have been a little bit of over aggression, over aggressiveness, and that's probably what got the best of me in those two stretch I mentioned.  But, just because I got frustrated and missed some putts and 3‑putted here and there, that kind of thing, but, I stayed ‑‑ I had the pedal down essentially the whole day.

Q.  Patrick was sailing through the first three days and then things sort of turned early and he's been struggling most of the day?
ZACH JOHNSON:  Well, he had three unbelievable rounds.  To back one of those rounds up is difficult, to back two of them is really, really hard, to back up three, I never been in that position.  That's the honest to God truth.  Granted, I haven't because he shot the lowest 54 hole record.  So no one has.
That being said, it's just not easy.  You try to stick to your, what you do, and what you can control and what you have been doing and there has to be‑‑ there's a balance there of conservative aggressiveness, you know?  And I know that's kind of an oxymoron and hard to compute, but I think that's the way you got to play.  My guess is that if he's got to turn it on, he can turn it on.  I don't know what he had, what did he have a six, seven, eight shot lead?  I don't remember.

Q.  Seven.
ZACH JOHNSON:  Seven, okay.  That's a nice cushion.

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