What they said: Dustin JohnsonJanuary 08, 2013
MORE INTERVIEWS: Hyundai Tournament of Champions transcript archive
JOHN BUSH: We welcome Dustin Johnson after 7‑under par 66. Great way to finish the round with eagle on 18. Take us through that hole and also your round.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, 18, I hit a good drive. I just hit it a little too far right but it actually had a pretty good angle. I had 228 hole, hit 6‑iron and I thought it was going to come up a little bit short but ended up fine, just perfect, and rolling down there pretty close to the hole and made it.
JOHN BUSH: Talk about your comfort level right now.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, I played here a lot. So I was comfortable coming into it. I came out early just to get some practice in and get some rounds in, because I took a couple weeks off before I got here.
Q. What was the craziest shot you hit out there?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I hit 9‑iron from like 100 yards, which usually don't ever do that. A couple 9‑irons from 10 and then like sand wedge from 160, which, you know, that doesn't happen very often, either.
Q. Full sand wedge?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Not quite full, but hit it pretty good.
Q. How many times?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I hit it probably five or six times, a couple times on 13, a couple times on 4; 3.
Q. You've won the past two 54‑hole tournaments, so do you feel that's a coincidence or do you feel it favors you in any way?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Just happened to win those two events. You know, I've still got 18 more holes of golf. It wouldn't matter if it was 72 holes or 54. Tomorrow is still the last round and there's 18 holes to play, so got to get the job done.
Q. Just talk about 36 holes today and how difficult was it; were you tired? You obviously played better the second round.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, I wasn't tired at all. We had not played any golf, so I was ready to go, first round of the year, play 36 holes. This course is a tough walk and it's really windy out there, but I'm in pretty good shape. I can handle it.
Q. Curious what kind of shot you had on 9? Looked like you were just left of the pin. Were you in the rough?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: On the third shot?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I hit it just over the green. It actually wasn't too bad. You know, with the greens being slow, just kind of hit just a normal chip shot.
Q. And also, wanted to ask you, on the back‑‑ on the front nine, on the back side, in the opening round when you 3‑putted three times, how did you get your head straight?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Obviously I was frustrated. I was pretty frustrated. You've got a putt downhill, downwind and you leave one four feet short and miss that one; and then the next time you've got one downhill, downwind from the same distance, you hit it eight feet by. Just it was more frustration.
But luckily it was my last couple holes and I was able to make birdie on 9, and then I ended the day on a good note.
On 8, I had the same situation. I had just 3‑putted 3. I made a good birdie on 4. Three putted 5. Missed a short one on 6. 3‑putted 7. And then on 8, I hit it on like the back of the green, and that pin was front left, and I had like a 6‑ or 7‑footer for par there. I was going to be really mad if I would have 3‑putted that one.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: We all knew started out we were playing 36 holes and it's been a long day. You know, for me, I played really good from start to finish. I hit a lot of greens. I think I maybe missed three greens all day. These greens are big, but still with the wind, they are really tough to get close to the hole.
Q. After everything you gained in the practice rounds‑‑
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I didn't really come out to‑‑ I knew the course already. I came out more just to practice for myself. I had new equipment, new driver, new irons, so needed to play with those. I just needed to play because I had taken two weeks off.
Q. (What was the key to your round today? What were you doing well)?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I drove it pretty well‑‑ I did everything pretty well. Drove it well, chipped it well, hit my irons good. To shoot the score I did today, you've got to do everything well, other than my couple 3‑putts.
Q. What did you shoot in your practice rounds‑‑
DUSTIN JOHNSON: I don't know. I didn't keep score. I was playing with my brother‑‑ wasn't taking money from myself. (Laughter).
Q. You had a bunch of really good years, but are you here to have a really big year, win four or five tournaments? How important is the opportunity to start off in Maui?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Obviously it's the first event of the year, but I think for sure that I'm due for a big year. I think that I still can‑‑ I haven't achieved everything that I can. I haven't played to my full potential yet.
So you know, maybe it will happen this year. I still have got a lot of things I need to work on and improve, and if I do that, then I think I'll have a very good year.
JOHN BUSH: We appreciate you coming in, good luck tomorrow.