Media Center Interviews
April 21, 2018
Third Round Interview with Zach Johnson
Q. Zach, I got one word for you today: Patience. Veteran move, good job.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I think you said it. Different wind today early on, misjudged some numbers, misjudged some wind, made some bad swings, all of the above. But truthfully, I mean, my short game was actually pretty good, my putting was great. I missed some putts, but I hit some really good ones, hit some lines and I gave myself opportunities especially on the back side.
Q. The wedge game seems to be just a little bit off?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah.
Q. 100 yards, you hit it 15 feet. For you, that's got to be a little frustrating?
ZACH JOHNSON: On 17 there? Yeah, that was a half shot, whatever you want to call it, 75 percent shot, I was in between clubs. Good contact, crisp contact. Just misjudged the number. We had it a little bit more in than what it played probably, the wind seemed to die down the last few holes. But I can't complain, I had 15 feet from 103 yards. It wasn't like it was 30 feet. But I had a makeable putt and didn't execute there. But good wedge shot on the last.
Q. Meteorologist whiffed this one today, no rain and it's pretty warm. Go have some fun tomorrow.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I'm glad they whiffed it, it was nice out there.
Q. Zach Johnson, you've won a lot of titles with that trusty SeeMore putter. How nice was it to make the birdie on 18 as you chase your third win in this championship?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, it was nice. I didn't really look at the boards much. Heard some roars here and there in front of us but nothing significant. So once I gathered myself and I took a look at it, it was good being in the last group. You always want to know what you have to do on Sunday. The putter worked well, it's been doing all right this week as a whole. Good wedge shot. I mean, you're talking about a SeeMore putter, I'm talking about a PXG wedge. That's what put me in position to make that, which is all you can do. Specifically, you know, you've got to control your distances out here. I didn't do that on 17 but on 18 I made up for it.
Q. You talked yesterday about going head to head against the young guns, keeping your foot on the gas pedals. You're going to get that opportunity tomorrow against Andrew and Trey. How much are you looking forward to that?
ZACH JOHNSON: Oh, I mean, Trey's a good buddy. Shoot, I knew Trey when he was in college. So yeah, he's a really good kid. Fun-loving, happy-go-lucky kind of guy. Andrew just played solid. I don't think he made a bogey today. As a matter of fact, I'm not so sure he even came close. Very solid all-around game, that's evident. But I've heard that, you can tell. He's confident, he's feisty and it's going to be great. That's what you want, you want to have to go out there and perform and you have to play your best.
Q. Not to jump too far ahead, but that's what we do sometimes. You've done a lot in this game, a two-time major winner, but this would be your third victory in this tournament joining Arnold Palmer and Justin Leonard as the only three-time winners. Pretty impressive company. Have you thought about that magnitude?
ZACH JOHNSON: I haven't until you mentioned it, but I've got 18 holes to get to that point. So a lot of work still left, but a lot of work I'm going to enjoy. You mentioned two names that I hold in the highest regard. Obviously the King is the King and Justin is a very, very good friend, so two of my favorites that ever played this game.
Q. Mr. Johnson, the birdie on 18, how important was that to kind of get some momentum going into tomorrow's final round?
ZACH JOHNSON: I mean, I think I had momentum regardless. I didn't put myself in position to birdie 17. Well, I did, but I just missed the putt. I was in a great position. So getting one on 18, a nice five-, six-footer there and getting in that last group is nice. It's not imperative. I assumed we were going twosomes so to me it felt like a bigger putt to get in the last group. I guess we're going threes. But good, great momentum going into tomorrow, that's all you can ask for.
Q. Overall assessment of the entire play for today?
ZACH JOHNSON: Sure. A lot of patience early on, very average play early on, but also some nice saves and, you know, just keeping myself in the tournament, which was nice, specifically in kind of the middle there. A couple mishaps, one really bad swing that cost me on the second hole, but other than that it was okay.
Q. Finally, what do you need to do tomorrow to come away with another victory?
ZACH JOHNSON: Sure. I've got to do exactly what I did on the back side and that was give myself opportunities on every hole. I'm putting great, I'm seeing the lines well, my caddie's reading the greens well, so it's just a matter of committing and executing down the stretch.
Q. Zach, you own the course record at La Cantera. Did you see a 62 out there today?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I could see it. I mean, you say that because it's happened, right? But the wind wasn't nearly as difficult as the last couple days were. I don't know who shot 62.
ZACH JOHNSON: Trey Mullinax did? Okay. Yeah, I could see a guy that hits it hard, which he does. He hits it really, really hard. I could see that because the par 5s kind of become par 4s to some degree with this south wind. And you've got to putt, you've still got to hit good shots and putt. 62's ridiculous but you can see it.
Q. Do you see him often at Sea Island?
ZACH JOHNSON: He lives in Birmingham.
Q. So you don't see him.
ZACH JOHNSON: No, sir, I do not.