What they said: Dustin Johnson

February 09, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am transcript archive

NELSON SILVERIO: We'll go ahead and get started. Dustin Johnson, thanks for joining us for a few minutes. Two-time defending champion here at AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

I know you're glad to be back. Obviously a great week for you here every year. You've played so well in the U.S. Open here last year, and 2011 off to a great start. Top 10s in your first two starts I think, and coming off a T29 last week in The Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Just some opening comments about your year and returning here.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, the year's been okay so far. Not really pleased at all with my start. I played pretty well at San Diego, but still struggling a little bit.

But, you know, starting to play a little bit better. You know, okay with the first three starts. Looking forward to having a good week here this week. I love this place. Courses are in great shape right now. They've had fantastic weather, so everything is pretty firm.

I haven't been out on Pebble yet, but from what I hear it's pretty firm and fast. Should be fun.

NELSON SILVERIO: We'll open it up for questions.

Q. (Question regarding the courses compared to previous years.)

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I think it's a little bit different. Last year I think I started at Pebble. This year I'm going to end at Pebble. So I'll play Monterey, Spy, then Pebble. We'll play a few holes this afternoon. Might go over to Cypress and play a few, too.

Q. (No microphone.)

DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, it's not. It's in my rotation.

Q. When you get back out on Pebble are the instant memories from the last Open or AT&T??

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, neither. You know, I'm just coming out to play the golf course. I love the golf course. It's still good, even though the last time I played it I struggled a little bit. But I'm still excited to get back out there and play. I'm always going to love this golf course no matter what.

So, you know, I'm just ready to get back out and play. Get a little redemption for the last round of the Open.

Q. From a psychological standpoint, when you come to a place like this where you've had so much success, especially in this event the last couple years, do the juices flow more? Do you resolve in your mind, Hey, this is a course that's pretty much mine?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, I'm very comfortable playing golf here. I enjoy playing out here; I enjoy the tournament; the format a great. You have a lot of fun playing with your amateur partner and the other pro and his partner. It's going to be a good week.

I'm playing with my partner for the last few years Joe Rice, and then Pat Perez and Kelly Slater. So we're going to have a lot of fun.

Q. What's the trick of getting through it??

DUSTIN JOHNSON: As long as you've got a good group and you enjoy their company, then you don't mind being out there for five, five and a half hours , whatever it is. We're pretty fortunate we kind of get to select who we want to play with.

That's a big deal when you come out here and you're going to spend a lot of time with 'em.

Q. (No microphone.)


Q. (No microphone.)

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I would imagine. It will be interesting.

Q. Could you talk about some of the things specifically about Pebble Beach that suit your game that you like about it??

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Um, yeah, I just like the golf course. It sets up very well to my eye. I'm very comfortable out here. I think, you know, I've played it a few times now. The more you play golf courses, the more you learn 'em and you know where to hit the ball.

I think I've got this course figured out pretty well. I tend to play it pretty well. Confidence is huge, especially playing golf. If you're confident you're going to play well on the golf course, most of the time you do.

Q. It didn't take you long obviously to feel comfortable on the golf course, because you almost won the first time you played here. Did that have anything at all to do with Bobby's familiarity with the place for a number of years having worked here??

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, Bobby didn't caddie for me the first time I was here. You know, yeah, he knows these courses pretty well. He worked here for a while. That definitely helps. But at the same time, I like all these golf courses. I'm very comfortable playing on all these courses. Only one I'm not too familiar with is MPCC.

But I like the golf course. It's a fun golf course to play. I need to probably get a few more rounds out there. I played it a couple times and I enjoy playing it. It's definitely a great addition to this tournament.

Q. You spoke before about learning from last year's final round. In what areas do you find yourself...

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, it's more -- you know, still in the first couple rounds I might get a little quick. It's more important when -- I probably need to do it more in the first, second, and third rounds than I do in the final round. The final round is when you're thinking and you're more conscious of what's going on.

That's when it's most important, when you're coming down and you're under the gun and when you got a shot to win.

Q. You still play quickly.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, slow for me is still pretty fast. To me, I try to go slower than normal. Because especially in a situation like that, the tendency is to get really quick. Quick with the golf swing, quick with everything.

To me, I've got to feel like I'm moving pretty slow, which probably isn't slow. Yeah, but I think so in my head.

Q. Last year it took until the 14th hole for you to pretty much shake it. Did you find that odd considering that Paul doesn't swing the club like you do??

DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, I mean, Paul has played a lot of the great golf in his career. He's a great player. I really wasn't playing that well that day. I was hitting it all right, but struggled a little bit on the greens. I think I three-putted a couple times.

So I think I was a couple shots back going into 14, but I knew I had plenty of golf left. Anything can happen on 14, as everybody knows. You can make a birdie on that hole or you can make an 8. It's a tough hole.

I knew I just needed to make a couple birdies coming in. Fortunately, I only had to -- I think I birdied one of the holes coming in.

Q. No one has ever won three times in a row. Were you aware of that??

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yes, I think I've heard that a few times.

Q. Any thoughts on that??

DUSTIN JOHNSON: No. Hopefully I'll be the first.

NELSON SILVERIO: Okay. Well, Dustin, we appreciate your time. Best of luck this week.