BMW Championship interview: Zach Johnson

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September 12, 2013

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JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Zach Johnson into the interview room after a bogey free 7 under par 64. Great start to the BMW Championship. If we can just get some comments on your day.

ZACH JOHNSON: Well, I think you said it. It was solid. Hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, hit some close, made a couple putts, you know, that you probably shouldn't make or whatever. But it was a very solid day. I felt comfortable coming into the week. If anything it was one of those days where I'm just trying to days and weeks where I'm just really trying to remain patient because I've been so high on my game for so long that it's just a matter of sticking to that patience sort of attitude and mentality because I've been so close so often as of the last two or three months.

But I know it can switch, it can flip. So remaining patient, just trying to stick to my process each hole, each shot, and it's just one round, but certainly it was very solid.

JOHN BUSH: Just quickly recap the season. Slow start by your standards for 16 tournaments of the year, one top 10, but this stretch you've been on here in the last six is pretty good stuff.

ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, thank you. No, it was. It was a slow start. Very mediocre. Even when I had looked like I was on the board or doing something positive, I might hit a wall somewhere. I was off. I mean, I was off fundamentally. I think I was off fundamentally more than I cared to admit. But we went back to the drawing board, so to speak, and looked at some video of where I was when I was on, and righted the ship, and as a result it's gotten a lot better as of late.

But it was a matter of working at it, being patient, and letting it come rather than forcing it. I've been saying it for the last three or four months, probably even since June or late May, that I've felt like good things were coming.

A lot of it has to do frankly with my driver, and I feel like I've found the right well, I know I've found the right combination with everything. So I'm very comfortable with my makeup of my set, and obviously just playing golf.

JOHN BUSH: And that driver is the ...

ZACH JOHNSON: It's a Titleist 913 D2, but I've changed lofts. That's really what it boiled down to. I went back to my old shaft and changed lofts.

Q. It was kind of funny to look at the scores, I think it was the NCAA championship that was here and see you and Dufner and Kuchar. Do you remember anything specifically about playing the course that week and if anything has changed or any memories or anything like that?
 
ZACH JOHNSON:
Yeah, I remember my score cards, 81 69. I remembered I played it three weeks ago, the week of the Barclays, Friday of the Barclays, and I remember about one out of two, maybe one out of three holes. I remembered 17 and 18. I remembered a couple middle holes in the middle of the front nine, and that was really about it.

At that time in 19197, it was one of the best golf courses I'd ever seen. There was only so many courses like this that we had played. It was pretty intimidating back then. But you know, I mean, times have changed, technology has changed, the golf course has changed. This course will bite you, but it's not nearly as intimidating as a 37-year-old versus a 21-year-old.

All that being said, I mean, I have great memories because I was on a team that played in the NCAAs, and that was fun.

Q. Do you expect to have to keep going low? There are an awful lot of low scores today.

ZACH JOHNSON:
Right. I expected low numbers coming into the week, especially after my practice rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday. I think the numbers are going to be completely indicative as to what the weather does. The temperatures are going to drop, so the ball is not going to go as far. That's the obvious facts.

But if the wind stays this potent and potentially out of this direction, you know, it's not going to be that easy. But if we had 90 degree weather and minimum winds, we'd be way under par after four days.

It's going to be temperature and wind driven, but yeah, you're going to see low numbers. That's just the way this course sets up. I think the fairways are pretty generous overall. If we get any rain, it's going to make it even easier because it's going to get a little softer.

I was surprised actually at how well the greens held the last two days, considering we haven't had much rain and we had a shower yesterday during the pro am. It just makes for low scores. It's not quite John Deere, but it kind of reminds me of John Deere, TPC Deere Run, kind of the same attributes.

JOHN BUSH: And that's a good thing for you.

ZACH JOHNSON: I'm not complaining.

Q. You were talking about how close you've been the last couple months, really. What do you think might have to happen to get that win that you've been ...

ZACH JOHNSON:
Well, I mean, it's been close, like really close. You know, a couple things: This weekend it's not going to matter, but it's being on the good side of the wave. I felt like I was on the wrong side of the wave at the PGA well, I know I was, because I was tied for 6th, I think, going into the weekend and I was eight shots off the lead. Tied for 6th in my wave, eight shots off the lead, and I played awesome. I felt like I played really good, and I climbed the board on the weekend. So that was a big part of that week.

But more than that, that aside, this Thursday and Friday it's strictly about making putts on Saturday and Sunday. I shot 9 under on the weekend in Boston and it seems like it's kind of led into this week. I didn't play very good on Friday there and pretty average on Thursday, so climbed the board a little bit on the weekend, and it seems like we're kind of getting back on that track again hopefully.

I keep using the word patience, but that's really all it is. I'm not going to deviate away from what I'm doing. I'm close for a reason, so I'm not going to alter anything. It's just a matter of making a few more putts. I've hit it so good the last two or three months, two and a half months, since John Deere in particular, and I just feel like I haven't made the putts when you need to make them, whether they're five feet for par or 12 feet for birdie. You've just got to I'm not going to try to make the putts, but I'm going to I've learned a little bit, and I'm going to try to be athletic over it and hit solid putts.

Q. Have you given any thought to Presidents Cup pairings or partners or anybody you've have you talked to anybody about possibly playing together?

ZACH JOHNSON:
Sure. Well, yeah. There's probably about four or five guys on the team I've played with before, I've been paired up with before, namely Hunter and Duf. I want to say Friday or Saturday of Boston, Duf kind of got at me a little bit. He's like, what are you doing? I did my job. I'm playing hard, okay? It's not like I'm not trying. He kind of got on me. I'm pretty certain we'll probably play together. We want to play together. We played great together in the Ryder Cup. I think we were 2 and 1, with an asterisk because we had Poulter on Saturday afternoon.

Yeah, I would play with those two for sure because I know their games well. Kuch and I live two miles from each other. We've played a lot of golf together. I'd certainly love to play with Kuch. I think I could play with Jordan and Webb, Bill, if given the opportunity. I say all that, but I certainly trust our captains.

JOHN BUSH: Zach Johnson, thank you, sir.

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