TOUR Championship

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

East Lake Golf Club

Dustin Johnson

Press Conference

CHRIS REIMER: Thanks for stopping in after round two of the TOUR Championship. You take a one-stroke lead into Sunday, third round. A lot of the top guys maybe didn't have their best stuff today. How were you able to ground it out and stay in the lead as we head into the third round?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, it was a tough day on the course, but managed to scrape it around pretty good. Golf course is two different golf courses if you're playing from the fairway or playing from the rough.

Playing from the fairway you can attack the course. You can shoot a good score. Playing from where I did, it's not so much fun.

But I managed my game pretty well, and pleased with the score that I shot, especially the way I drove the ball.

Q. Given the way your day went off the tee, was that kind of a pleasant sensation walking down 18 to at least being able to see the entire golf ball in the grass?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yes, it definitely was. I mean, I knew the line that I hit it on was right on the edge, and I was correct, it was right on the edge. But yeah, obviously that's a big bonus being just in the first cut there.

Q. What did you hit in for your second there?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I hit a 5-iron.

Q. When you look at how well you played really the last two weeks leading into this, how different is your game off the tee compared to those two weeks? Is it really that close?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, it's definitely very close. I just worked on it on the range. Just was a little out of sorts there mostly just with fundamentals, just with setup. Setup was a little bit off.

You know, so I did just get some work done just now and feel a lot better with the driver. Everything else feels the same. I still feel like I'm swinging my irons really well. I'm putting and chipping it pretty good. Got a lot of confidence in that part of my game. I just need to get it in the fairway a little bit more here the next two days.

Q. Have you ever been in a situation like this where you're able to turn it around off a round, your driving specifically, where you've struggled and the next day you were fine?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, absolutely. You know, it's not like it's that far off. It wasn't like I was hitting drives that I've never seen before or anything. You know, just the setup was a little bit off. But this golf course, obviously the fairways are narrow. It's tough to hit them.

But if you can hit it in the fairway, the golf course is right there for the taking.

Q. You're hitting an iron off the tee on 10; was that at that point just trying to get something in the fairway before that sailed off to the right?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah. I mean, the pin was front right. I know if I -- my hand slipped off the club. That was the only reason I hit it out to the right. But yeah, I hit 3-iron and a 9-iron and it's a little into the wind. You know, where the flag was, I felt like if I could just obviously hit a fairway I was going to give myself a good look at birdie. That was the plan.

Q. You made it pretty clear at the start of the week that even with a two-shot lead you had four tough days ahead of you. Do you get that sense even more so now when you look at a board and see basically eight, nine guys separated by five shots and it's kind of a race to the finish, I guess?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, a little bit. But also, too, I feel like I got my two bad rounds out of the way and I got two good ones coming, you know, where the other guys, they've shot some good scores, but this golf course -- like I said, my game feels good. I've still got a lot of confidence in everything I'm doing. Just I've got to hit it in the fairway. That's pretty simple.

Q. How much do you take out of the fact that you did grind out a 70 today?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, it was good. Obviously from where I hit the ball off the tee, I mean, I still was able to control the ball enough to get it up to where I felt like I could save some pars. And even the bogeys I made, you know, a lot of them the putts should have gone in. I had one three-putt and then I had quite a few lip-outs, pretty substantial lip-outs.

All in all, yeah, I mean, the 70 was a good score, but it still should have been a little bit lower.

Q. Just out of pure curiosity, how did you hit it on the range when the round was over?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I hit it nicely. The first five drives were not very nice. It was much like I was doing on the course, but then after that I got it dialed in a little better.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
101229-1-1041 2020-09-05 22:44:00 GMT

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