What they said: Zach Johnsontext sizeJuly 12, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: John Deere Classic transcript archive
Q. After a slow start, how pleased are you to battle back in the second nine and put up a good number??
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, very pleased. I mean, I actually had some good opportunities on my front side, the back nine, but just didn't capitalize. And then, you know, a couple errant shots.
The front nine, which is my back nine, had an opportunity on almost every hole. Apparently the chip-in didn't work, but three lip outs and I put myself in position to make putts and fortunately I got some.
Q. Mike Bender on the bag this week; how did he do on Day No. 1??
ZACH JOHNSON: He did awesome. I mean, he made two bogeys; I made five birdies. (Laughing.) Other than that, no, he did great. He did awesome. Just, you know, good to have someone to converse with, one of your best buddies, one that also knows the golf swing, knows how to caddie, knows how to play the game. That's pretty invaluable.
I wasn't nervous about it. Maybe he was. I have no idea. You have to ask him. I thought he did fantastic. He was always where he needed to be and always said the right things.
Q. Doing extracurricular stuff affects your game. That seems to be in the past. Now you've been contending for several years now. Do you feel comfortable in the whole scenario??
ZACH JOHNSON: I do feel comfortable. I think it's probably because I've had every outcome. I've played terrible here and still got great support; I've played great and still got great support. So, you know, when it comes to commitments and trying to fulfill every opportunity request that comes my way, I've learned how to do it this week.
Everybody here has been very understanding if I can't do something. Not that it's not worthy. I've gotten used to routine here, and that's why I like coming back.
Q. Coach Ferentz was out there every step of the way today. Said he's always wanted to see you play. He was there all 18 holes.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah.
Q. How does that make you feel that he made the trip to watch just you??
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, it's awesome. He's been obviously a big fan. He writes me letters every now and then. I've said it many times: I was born in Iowa City, so it's in my blood. Having a quality guy like that, a coach like that, that the state really rallies behind, it's not hard to be a fan of the team. It's certainly not hard to be a fan of him and how he goes about his business.
For him to come out here and watch my business is pretty special. Wish I could have had a few more birdies, but whatever. It's golf. It's not football, so he was probably ready to hit me with shoulder pads at some point our there.
Q. Nothing wrong with a 68, though.
ZACH JOHNSON: No, I'll take it after my front nine or back nine, whatever it was.
Q. Few putts got away that normally you make. Seemed a bit frustrated.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I hit a couple good shots in there and hit a couple bad putts, one in particular that wasn't great. Then I hit some really, really good putts and maybe misread 'em and just didn't put 'em in the right place. I mean, I made some, too.
Granted, you chip in once, you make -- I made some nice putts, especially coming done the stretch. I hit a really good one on 9 but misread that one, too, so ...
Q. When you're having some putts lip out like that, how frustrating is it and difficult is it to keep your concentration? And how rewarding is it on the last few holes when you saw it come together?
ZACH JOHNSON: Oh, very rewarding. Actually I made some putts coming into the green the last couple holes left to right even. You got to hit it really solid when it comes to those grainy putts.
Yeah, you know, the ones I missed -- I hit good putts. I can't be too upset about it. I lip out every week. We all lip out every week. Just so happens I lipped out three times on the back side. That means I'm putting myself in position to make putts, and I just got to keep doing that.
It was either last year or the year before felt like I did the exact same thing, but I still managed to score okay. So it'll even out in the end. May not be this week, but some week it'll even out made. I made my share this year.
Q. The putt on 4 that got away from you, you were standing on the side of the green just shaking your head. Was that disappointment? Frustration?
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, I don't know if I pushed it or not -- I mean, I hit the hole. My first read was actually straight to right-center and it actually broke right. I mean, I knew it was going right. Standing over it felt like it could go left, so I put it inside the left edge and it went all the way across the whole hole. Maybe a little bit of grain. Maybe a slight misread. I hit the hole.
The putts I missed today I was tapping in one handed or left handed or eyes closed, so my feed is good. Just got to get the right line.
Q. Did you know Coach Ferentz was going to be out here??
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah. Well, he's out here with one of my really good friends, Lon Olejniczak, who is an executive with Transamerica. Known him since I was probably in high school. He does a lot. He's pretty instrumental with the team and they've been trying to get out.
Obviously Coach Ferentz's schedule is as busy as mine if not -- probably busier. This one was a little bit more local and something he could do. Very nice of him to do that. There's a lot going on. It's a 24/7/365 sport, so I'm appreciative of that, for him to make the effort and for his wife to give him time off.
Q. You had a chance to see the basketball team. What did you like about their progress??
ZACH JOHNSON: A lot of Iowa questions. Talent. There is some talent.