What they said: Dustin Johnson

February 09, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

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

THE MODERATOR: Welcome, Dustin Johnson, to the interview room here at Pebble Beach. Dustin, a 63 to get started. What were the keys to your round today??

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, I drove it well which I've been doing the first few events. So I drove it to the fairway. I think I missed one fairway today. Then I hit a lot of quality iron shots.

Q. Can you talk about three??

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I drove it right in front of the green. I hit a really good drive down there just short of the green, like 20 yards to the front and pitched it in.

Q. Can you describe your eagle on 6??

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I hit 3?wood off the tee, then I hit a 4?iron on the front of the green and made about a 40, 45?footer.

Q. What are you thinking going 6?under through six holes? What is your thought process going to 7?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Trying to make birdie. It's only 90 yards, but it's still a tough hole. I hit it just a little bit too hard past the hole and made a good putt down there. But 7, that front pin is a little?? you want to land it short of that flag, but you also don't want to hit it in the bunker.

But I just hit it a little too hard there and hit it on the back of the green.

Q. You're kind of a forward?looking guy. Can you talk about whenever you get to 3, how long before that memory was gone? Do you still think about it?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, I told Bob, I could have used that in the U.S. Open. No, it's just funny. I laugh about it. No, I know, walking off the tee, I told him like, man, I could have used that drive.

Q. What is it like playing this in good weather? How much difference does it make?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, this is one of the best places in the world with good weather. Usually?? well, last year we had pretty good weather, too. So the last couple of years have been nice.

But the few years before that, the weather was pretty bad and cold and raining. It's not a whole lot of fun. But today out there, it couldn't have been any nicer. No wind, perfect temperature. The courses are in fantastic shape, all three of them.

Q. How are you feeling physically??

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Feeling good. No issues physically. We're all good.

Q. You win here twice and had a great U.S. Open for 55 holes, anyway. Is this a place you look forward to coming to and expecting to do the things that you do??

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, well, today I would have liked any golf course. I played well. But I love being out here. I love the courses. They all set up very well to me. I feel comfortable on them, especially off the tees.

You know, I've been struggling the last couple weeks. Not necessarily ?? it ended okay. I haven't been driving it that great, but I drove it really well today. Actually, I've been working really hard the last three days on the putter and the driver and it paid off. I'm starting to roll the ball like I usually do.

All these greens out here I'm really comfortable with reading them. I think I see the putts very well. This year it's the best I've ever seen the greens at Pebble.

Q. There is always a feeling when the weather is great that when you get a decent day at Pebble, you have to take advantage. Would you agree with that??

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah. For me, I've got to play the par?5s well out here, because I can reach all of them in two. I've just got to hit good shots. I don't want to hit it far off the tee. I've just got to drive it to the fairway. As long as I can hit it on the fairway, I can get home on all of them.

Hitting it in the right spot on the second shot?? because a lot of these holes are tough to get on the green in two. When you can hit it in the right spot, you've got an easy chip or an easy putt.

Q. Can you talk about 14 and 18??

DUSTIN JOHNSON: 14, I usually kind of go over it with 14, and I kind of cut it around the tree, so I hit 3?wood. I thought I was on the edge, the right edge of the bunker. It just went in the bunker and I nearly got up?and?down from the bunker. I will take it on the front bunker all day long.

18, I hit driver. I think I flew right it into the last little pine tree and it dribbled out left of it. And hit a 4?iron. I just hit it past the flag on the back fringe.

2, I hit?? No, I hit this little drive off the tee on the fairway, and 6?iron. But I hit it in the right bunker and got it up?and?down.

Q. (No microphone)?(No microphone)?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I thought it was going in. But it looked like it was going right in the middle and it just kind of hung. I was laughing. I made plenty of putts today.

Q. Of all the sports you've tried and played and played well, why did you stick with golf??

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I like golf. It's very challenging. It's all?? you rely on yourself. Golf's an individual sport. You shoot as well as you do. You can be the best player in the world in basketball, but if you have a not?so?good team, you're not going to win. So that's one reason I've really enjoyed playing golf. It's all up to you every day.

Q. I don't know if people are following you, but when you played that first round, were you kind of away from all that celebrity, big gallery type thing??

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I've got a good group. I'm playing with all really good friends of mine. Joe Rice, Matt Hardwick and Kyle Thompson, and they're all good friends and we have a lot of good fun out there. So that definitely makes it for a good day when you've got good people to hang out with. I hang out with them, not just this week, I hang out with them a lot.

It's fun to have your friends out here, especially because it's long days, even not playing in a celebrity wave, it's still a long day. It's nice not to be in that wave, I can tell you, because it takes entirely too long.

Q. The last couple weeks we've seen people go into final rounds with big leads and lose them. I'm wondering what is that like to just see that, even if you're on the periphery of it. You've all been there before.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I feel the pain. I've seen it a few times. It's just something you've got to take what you can from it, learn. It's learning situations. The guys that haven't been there that much, haven't had that big of a lead going into the final round. It's the first time for both of them. So you've got to take what you can from it. Learn from your mistakes.

Obviously, something went wrong there, so you've got to look back and kind of learn. Next time you're in that situation, try to do it a little different.

Q. What did you learn from the final round here at the U.S. Open??

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, I mean, I just got really fast. Fast with my golf swing, fast walking, fast with club selection, decision making, everything was going a thousand miles an hour.

When I get in those situations, I just try to slow everything down a little bit. Even though I'm still probably going fast, to me, I feel like I'm slow. Just try to take my time.

You know, today I was very patient all day. Never got quick, never pulled a club quick. I never felt like I got out of my rhythm today, which was, you know, one key to, for me, is playing well.

Q. Can you talk about going into that final round at the U.S. Open. When you tee it up here, do you get a special feeling that you might not get at another course??

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I like it. It's one place I feel comfortable. I've just really enjoyed playing golf here. It's gorgeous. The whole time you're staring at the ocean. Especially on days like today, you couldn't ask to be in a better place playing golf.

Q. (No microphone)?(No microphone)?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, that water's cold. I'm not a really big fan.

Q. How do you slow yourself down? Do you take deep breaths? Do you force yourself to walk? Time your steps? What do you do?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I just walk a little bit slower. Do everything slower. Do everything slower. I know it's going to be a long, slow day, so I take my time to make sure I go through my routine on every shot.

Sometimes I'll catch myself and have a club out of the bag too quick, so I'll put it back in the bag and go through my routine again. Just anything I can to stay consistent.

Q. Have you ever noticed when you're playing well and you're getting into a rhythm and starting to make some birdies that you start walking different? You start walking with a little bit of a swagger? Have you ever noticed that?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, when you're feeling good, usually if I'm pissed off, I'm probably not walking so happy. So, yeah, always. When you're in a good mood and things are going well, you feel good. You feel better.

Q. Take a quick look at the leaderboard??

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I saw it once or twice. I saw that the guys were playing well. On a day like today, you expect everybody to. Especially, like I said, the courses are in fantastic shape, so you expect people to play really well.

Q. Both Kyle and Spencer said in retrospect that they went into Sunday almost feeling like they couldn't wait for the day to be over. They almost echoed each other.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I know the feeling.

Q. Can you talk about when did you feel it at the Open here, if you felt that, and what do you think??

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I never really got?? even after three and then four, I mean, on the front I think I had three or four, five footers that like U?turned on me, and I missed a short one on 9 too, I think. But even through nine, after all the stuff that happened, had a bunch of lipouts and some little short putts, I was still in it. I knew if I could play a good backside I was going to have a chance to win. But it just wasn't my day.

Q. How did it feel to get the eagle??

DUSTIN JOHNSON: It felt good. I told Bob walking off that hole, I said this hole owes me a few more than just (Indiscernible).

Q. (No microphone)?(No microphone)?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: In a tournament? I don't think so.

Q. (No microphone)?(No microphone)?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, I played well at Barclays and I think after that I won Chicago. Yeah, but, I mean, I need to put myself in situations more often. But I've done very well, but I've also learned. When you're playing that good, it's really big, especially if you've got a lead, you've got to stay aggressive. You've got to keep doing what you were doing earlier in the week. You can't start trying to guide the ball and just make pars. You've got to swing it and hit the same shots you've been hitting all week.