July 12, 2018
Q. Just talk about 2-under. Like Steve said, it was a lackluster group, lackluster round for everybody out there today.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I blame my playing partners. Absolutely. There wasn't a whole lot of anything that was very positive out there. I mean, I got off to a poor start and brought it back a little bit, but considering how I felt going into the day, it was frustrating.
I didn't have many positives going on early with the exception of the very 1st hole. Probably got what I deserved in that regard. Feel like I hit a lot of good putts that didn't go in, which is frustrating. But, Hey, if I keep hitting those, there is a chance they can fall.
Q. What were you scuffling with early?
ZACH JOHNSON: My ball striking, and then it kind of overlapped into my putting unfortunately. I had some -- both left and right misses, which is not easy.
But I figured out. I missed a couple shots early on in the front, specifically on 1. I'm like, Okay, that feels better. Then I started hitting really quality shot, solid shots. Even if they didn't pan out solid, they were really good shots.
I mean with the exception of 7, I didn't mis any shots I don't think on the front nine. Had a couple mud balls; 5 and 8 was unfortunate, but you're going to get those.
Q. You've been trying to put four rounds together this whole year and it's kind of been a struggle.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah.
Q. Do you think this is maybe the odd one out and better to get it out of the way early?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I hope so. I hope this is the one that I can look back and smirk at, you know. But, I mean, I can't take this course for granted. That's the one thing I don't ever want to do. Just because I've had success here or I've had low rounds here, doesn't mean it's just going to happen.
I've got to go out there and execute and I've got to go out there and make putts. You know, I think what's a little ridiculous is the fact that I made it look that easy over the years because it's really not.
Q. What do have to do tomorrow to grind out that number?
ZACH JOHNSON: I got to continue what I did my last nine holes I think in particular. Get up and down if need be. Certainly just give myself opportunities.
I mean, if I keep hitting solid putts, whether that's six feet or twenty feet, I mean, some of those are going to fall at some point because the greens are so good.
This is a John Deere tournament on really quality grass in the Midwest. So they're pure. It's just a matter of execution.
Q. How does the grass course conditions compare to the last few years today?
ZACH JOHNSON: That's a great question. I mean, I would say to the eye it's probably a little more brown, but I would venture to guess - and I don't like speaking on behalf the my peers; they probably like that as much as I do -- you kind of want to see the brown. It tightens the golf course. It shrinks it in a sense that it's more difficult to hit fairways.
The greens are still really receptive; they're very soft but they're. Pure. I don't know how they do that. Soft and pure is not normal.
Conditions are similar with the high humidity. They've got to keep watering because of the humidity and temperatures. But, I mean, this place, I can't remember a year it was in bad shape.
ZACH JOHNSON: I'm not a superintendant, so I don't want to guess. I don't know. Oh, I see where you're going there.
ZACH JOHNSON: Next question. (Laughter.)
Q. Speaking of this course, the 18th hole is one of the most difficult on the TOUR.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yes.
Q. Can you talk about how you approach it and your mentality?
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah. Ideally you hit it in the middle of the fairway instead 25 yards left. Hitting the fairway is the first feat, and after that you have to hit a quality shot just to give yourself a chance.
Very deep green, and a green that requires typically probably some sort of draw because of the water left. I think it's one of the better holes on the PGA TOUR, let alone finishing holes.
I would venture to say the 9th hole is right up there, as well.
Q. I don't want to get too far ahead, but can you take a look at an example like when Jordan won I think the second time. After the first round he was tied in the 100s. Can you imagine that? Anything can happen the next day that you're back in it in a sense.
ZACH JOHNSON: Yeah, that's any given week, any given Friday. I mean, that's the PGA TOUR. You play great, you still got to continue it. It's one day. You play poorly, you got to go out there and execute. You can right the ship and bring it back.
So, yeah, I mean, I'm not out of the golf tournament. I know that. Shoot, I almost won golf tournaments making the cut on the number. You never know.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports