BMW Championship interview: Zach Johnson

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September 11, 2013

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Q.  What's your sense of Conway Farms?

ZACH JOHNSON:  Oh, it's good, yeah.  I played here in 1997 at the NCAAs, and I remember it being phenomenal then.  I hadn't played many courses of this stature at that point.  But it's good.  It's matured a little bit since then.  It's a Fazio.  Typically you see big greens out of Tom, but these greens are not very big, quadrant‑like, and I think it's going to be a good test.  It's all based and conditions and weather, but it's going to be a good test.

Q.  Are you one of the guys who follows the weather?

ZACH JOHNSON:  I think everybody does.

Q.  Do you get the sense that it's going to shift?

ZACH JOHNSON:  I don't think it's a sense, I think it's going to.  How dramatic that shift will be, I don't know, but they're talking substantial change.

Q.  Do you like this track better than Cog Hill?

ZACH JOHNSON:  Yes.

Q.  What's the difference for you that makes it more comfortable?

ZACH JOHNSON:  I just think it's a better golf course.  Tee to green, et cetera.

Q.  What's the approach?  Is it more fun for you when you've got a tournament like this where you know you're going to have to make birdies, then when you were like at Augusta and you know like par is a ‑‑

ZACH JOHNSON:  Yeah, it's going to be condition based, and the greens are firm and fast, so I mean, par probably isn't going to be ‑‑ especially if the wind doesn't pick up.  Par is not going to be a great score come four days.  But we're used to that.  Making birdies is part of it.  You know, the next week we play in Atlanta, hopefully I get there, par is a premium.  There's different attributes to courses that just make it difficult, and this has got some teeth, it's just a matter of ‑‑ it's going to be based on wind.

Q.  How does it set up for you?

ZACH JOHNSON:  I don't know, I think the fairways are pretty easy to hit for the most part, and that's not good for me, and the rough isn't exactly treacherous.  Given that, I think the greens are the defense here, and you've got to stay below the hole.  You've got to hit it in the right quadrant.  I mean, it doesn't matter what course we play.  If you're playing good, you're playing good.  Saying that, there are some courses that suit my eye better than most.  I've played well on courses where par is great and won tournaments or been in the top three or four, and then I've won tournaments where you've got to shoot 20‑under.

It's just one of those things, you just hope your game is on because everybody can play here.  It doesn't matter who you are.

Q.  Is it more fun chasing birdies, though?

ZACH JOHNSON:  I like the challenge of both.  I don't know if one is more fun than the other.  I like the challenge of having to hit the ball in the fairway, having to hit it on the green and trying to two‑putt.  I mean, I don't mind that.  And then I also like, okay, I've got to be aggressive here, I've got to get after that flag.  It's nice having variety.

Q.  Do you have a lot of ticket requests this week?

ZACH JOHNSON:  I've left nine packets at will call.

Q.  How many per packet?

ZACH JOHNSON:  Well, that depends on ‑‑

Q.  So nine different groups?

ZACH JOHNSON:  Yeah.

Q.  And is that because it's in the Midwest ‑‑

ZACH JOHNSON:  Yeah, friends and family.

Q.  You've won in the Quad Cities.  A win in Chicago would give you the "Illinois Slam."  What do you think about trying to close that out?

ZACH JOHNSON:  That sounds like a good idea.  Last time I was in Illinois it didn't pan out the way I wanted it to in the Ryder Cup, so hopefully this will be a change.

Q.  Presidents Cup, you obviously have said all along you wanted to play your way onto the team, and you did so quite dramatically making a birdie at the last at Deutsche Bank in the same group with Webb.  How satisfying is that feeling?

ZACH JOHNSON:  Well, it was extremely satisfying once I got a text from Freddie that said that Webb was on the team.  It was very satisfying.  There was no way for me to know.  I mean, I had zero indication as to that putt mattering.  My mental process was just trying to finish the day.  More than that, I didn't know how many points or whatever you want to call it he was ahead of me, so in my mind teeing up on Monday the final day with him, I'm thinking I've got to shoot 10‑under, he's got to shoot 2‑over to get to a difference, where it's going to make a difference.  But I guess ignorance is bliss in that regard.  I had zero, zero idea.  Damon said, when I made the putt, "That might have done it."  I said, "Cool, done what?  Top 30?  What are we talking about here?"  I had no indication nor an idea.

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