John Deere Classic interview: Zach JohnsonJuly 14, 2013
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DOUG MILNE: Zach Johnson, thank you for joining us for a few minutes. Another great week overall at the John Deere Classic. A little shy on the back end. With that, I'll turn it over to you for some comments on the week.
ZACH JOHNSON: Okay. A great week, you know, not many negatives at all. I made four bogeys. That's pretty good. I had my chances on the back side in regulation. I mean, I hit some really good shots and just didn't make anything. Obviously, a two putt on 17, but I didn't make a putt on the back side. Which, you know, it's not like I hit it three feet. I mean, they were 8 to 20 feet, 8 to 15 feet. Then I had my opportunities, obviously, in the playoff too. Well, one in particular, but all in all, a great week.
Again, I love this place, as you all know, and I'm just appreciative to be able to play and represent this tournament. You've got to tip the cap to Jordan.
Q. Playoff hole number 1, did you think at all about having to play it(No Microphone)?
ZACH JOHNSON: I did not. I mean, I did after, but I did not. Second guess, 20 20, hindsight, maybe it would have lipped out harder, who knows.
Q. How about the second time you played it in the playoff, on the right edge, were you looking for a little break there?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, exactly. I got to be honest; I hit my lines in the playoffs. I hit my lines every putt. Evidently, I misread that one. I certainly misread the one on 16, very much so. Then I saw Jordan on 17, and it looked like it went straight to right and mine broke left. So, once again, a misread.
Q. Can you talk about 18 in regulation. A little bit of a bailout to the right and then the chip shot?
ZACH JOHNSON: I was shocked that my ball actually got to the trap, first and foremost. I thought it was in the middle of the fairway. We both did, Damon and I both thought it was perfect. But I had a pretty good lie in there. I dug my feet in and they just sank, and I stepped out. You've got to go right back in where your feet are. So they were a little deeper than I wanted. Not exactly an excuse, but a pretty poor shot.
I mean, I was hitting 7 iron. It was a pretty stock 7 iron, and I bailed it to the right. My pitch jumped on me. Just too much grass between the ball and my club, and obviously, it released a little too far.
Q. You had a great week. Are you going to think about a shot here, shot there?
ZACH JOHNSON: Well, I mean, I can certainly do that. I probably will. I mean, that is natural. But I can also think well, I made that putt, and I made that one and I made that one. So, there is not a whole lot more I can do. I felt like I had some really good opportunities on the back side in regulation.
Clearly, all I needed was a par on 18, so that was very unfortunate. I feel like I'm really strong in those situations. At least I have been in the past. I'm not saying that I won't be in the future, but there are significant more positives than anything this week.
I mean, I hit the ball solid. The shot that's I hit, with the exception of my tee shot on 18, the very last playoff hole, I hit solid shots. I hit solid putts. Just, you know, that's golf.
Q. That putt on 14, is that the one that got away?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, that's one. That was all of what, eight or nine feet, probably? I pushed that one and missed it right.
Q. You said yesterday it was going to be a day that had you to be patient, find your opportunities. Did your patience get tested there toward the end?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I think so. It definitely got tested. But what's positive is I hit great shots. I mean, I hit solid shots coming down the stretch. I'm trying to think where I missed a shot. Hit a great shot on 12, two good shots on 15, missed the putt. My drive on 14, no embellishment, two yards to the left, I'm probably putting the first time that we were able to reach that green. I hit it 4 yards left to where I hit it, and it kicked left to the left side of the bunker. So it's a fine line right there. But I had an opportunity to make that putt.
Hit two great shots on 15. That's a tough hole, and I had a great opportunity on 16. Obviously, two putted 17, so solid tee shot on 18. The bunker shot is what it was. I mean, I hit great shots. I just didn't score the last nine holes.
Q. (No Microphone)?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, he's mentally strong. This is the most I've played with him. You know, it looks like he's pretty gathered. He's confident. He hit some great shots, obviously, and he had a couple of good saves too. Those putts he made on 18, forget which time it was. The second time, maybe?
Obviously, made a good par putt on 17, strong, you know? His ball was 4 yards right of mine on 18. He hit a clear shot, and I was stymied, but that's golf. It's just golf.
Q. You've probably seen enough of 18, haven't you?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I don't need to see that many more times.
Q. What about the thought process on that last shot?
ZACH JOHNSON: It jumped, and when I say it jumped, it popped up higher I had it in my head the 9 iron shut. I had to hit a little bit of a draw. I had to get it up and hit it low. Out of the rough, that's just not easy. It's almost like pop it up and hit it low. I mean, I had to give it a shot. Jordan had the clear one, so.
I could have used the 9 iron, but I could have hit the tree right in front of me with an 8 iron. So, yeah, it is what it is. I hit the tree.
Q. Were you going for the green with that shot or were you trying to lay up in front of the green or what?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, if it gets there, it gets there. If it doesn't, it doesn't. I'm just trying to hit a low punch. But I've got to hit it high early and hit it low. I mean, you know, the tree was almost my follow through. So it wasn't like a routine shot.
Q. TV said the ball hit another tree and ricochetted left. Did it hit something and ricochetted or not?
ZACH JOHNSON: I don't think it hit a tree. It couldn't have gone that far if it hit a tree. I hit my tee shot the furthest left of the three guys, if that makes sense.
Q. What's the British Open come down to in four days? How much of a challenge will it be to put this behind you, make the trip, make the adjustments?
ZACH JOHNSON: I'm not too worried about it. I feel like this is my profession, and the one thing you have to be is resilient. So, I mean I'll get over it pretty quick, get over the fact that I didn't win the playoff. I hope I keep the fact that I'm playing well and ride it out, but I'll be fine.
I'm not looking forward to the flight, necessarily, but I'm going to be fine. As long as Damon doesn't snore too much.
Q. Will you sleep?
ZACH JOHNSON: Oh, I'll sleep fine. I don't have any issues in that regard ever.