MORE INTERVIEWS: Crowne Plaza Invitational transcripts
Q. Zach, that's one heck of a title defense you put up and who knows it may still be good
enough for you to come in, and you birdied two of the last three, very impressive?
ZACH JOHNSON: Thank you. You never know. At the same time knowing how well those last two guys, particularly, Boo, strikes the golf ball, it's going to be very unfortunate for him if it goes that way. I don't see that happening. I played well, that's all you can do and whoever wins, tip of the cap.
Q. Tell me about this ball mark that's missing.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yes, I got it back. I found it. The first round I didn't have it. So I only shot 1-under, maybe that's why. I found it. My wife made me a ball marker back in 2003. It's got a little saying on both sides and a couple of different scripture verses that I particularly like. It just gives me great perspective out there. It kind of calms me down, gives me some peace. Fortunately it's back in my pocket.
Q. I will let you know I watched you very closely on the 18th hole, 72nd green, no problem marking the ball this year?
ZACH JOHNSON: Clearly that was the focus. I feel very fortunate that I didn't have to go through that whole debacle again. I actually had to move my mark a couple of times today. But I got my system and it seems to be working.
Q. Stick around, you never know what happens down the stretch, and a great defense of your title today?
ZACH JOHNSON: Thank you, Fred, I appreciate it.
Q. All told, of all of the guys in the Top-10 right now, your round is fantastic. It was one of the best. It may not be enough. Tell me what your pride is about the way you went out and played today.
ZACH JOHNSON: I played solid. What I did today was I gave myself a number of opportunities. It seems like almost every other hole I had a really good birdie look. I left some out there, but I also made some putts, so it probably all evens out. My one bogey I hit one of the best tee shots I probably hit all weekend. I just didn't catch the wind, what have you, that's Colonial. There is a lot of elements that are going to fight you. You know, I feel good. I posted 4-under today on Sunday. Any day on Sunday that's pretty good, especially at Colonial?
Q. What's the one thing that maybe was different this week than a couple of past years when you won?
ZACH JOHNSON: It's hard to say. I don't think I got off to a great start more than anything. I made two bogeys the last two days, and I made 3 the first day. I just didn't gets off to a good start. I made four birdies that first round but just a couple of poor mishaps and, you know, bad shots in the middle of the fairway. That's really where it cost me. You know, would have, could have, should have. Who knows what would have happened if I would have had a better round that day, maybe I wouldn't have played well over the weekend. I just like where my game is at. I like the direction it's going. Hopefully I can keep this momentum.
Q. Is that the kind of direction that can lead you to winning U.S. Open?
ZACH JOHNSON: Let's hope so. That's certainly somewhat of a focus, but I've got another tournament next week up at Jack's place, and we will just go from there but I'm excited about Merion.
ZACH JOHNSON: I didn't really hit a very good approach shot. It wasn't that difficult of a shot. You know, I got zero regrets. I fought. I actually hit a pretty good putt on 18, maybe pushed it, I can't recall. For the most part it was a really solid day.
Q.What is it with you and Colonial ? You play here great.
ZACH JOHNSON: I don't know, she seems to like me. I just like these grounds. I like what this golf course demands. I like firm, fast fairways. I like Bentgrass greens. You can be aggressive out of the fairway. Sometimes you could be aggressive out of the rough, which is not normal on TOUR. I think it requires every club in your bag, every shot in your bag. You got to hit it left-to-right. You got to hit it right-to-left. You got to hit it high, hit it low. And, you know, the thing is I feel like I'm playing really well right now. I played really well this week. You put me on any other golf course I'm still going to play pretty well. I just haven't played this well this year. It's starting to come.
Q. There is a possibility that you could become the only player not named Ben Hogan to
win this thing three times. What would that mean?
ZACH JOHNSON: It would be fantastic. It would be a remarkable honor. If it isn't this year, I hope it's next year.
Q. Thanks, Zach.