Interview: Zach Johnson

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Zach Johnson: Best Open finish: T6, 2013

What’s your favourite part of Open week?
I love it! It’s my favourite tournament inside the ropes. It has been for a number of years. That kind of golf you don’t find here and I just appreciate it. Usually I stay with Stewart (Cink), I’ve stayed with him every week since 2004.

What do you make of links golf?
It’s my favourite kind of golf just because we don’t have it here in the US. If I played over there and I came over here I’d probably say that American golf or parkland golf would be my favourite, but we don’t have true links here. Anywhere.

How do you prepare for it?
You have to hit every shot – high, low, left, right, with every club in your bag. You’ve got to hold shots, draw shots… It seems you get a new appreciation once you go there for how the game was invented.

Do you know much about Hoylake?
I played there in 2006. I don’t remember every hole or every shot. But I remember it’s one where you’ve got to control your flight, control your ball. It’s a really good course.

If it’s hard and fast will you scale back on driver like Tiger did in 2006?
Everybody says you’ve got to hit it low, which you do, but you’ve also got to hit it high, especially downwind.

What do you make of British food and drink?
We’ve got it down now. We’ve got a routine where we go to two or three restaurants and keep going back all week.

Does the time difference affect you?
I’ve got used to it. It's not ideal but John Deere (the PGA Tour event the week before) is a big part of my family, and certainly a part of my golf family, so I’m going to play it. At some point it could change, but they do a great job of making it easy, putting on a plane. 

What do you make of British fans?
They’re great, very knowledgeable. That’s where golf was founded so they know exactly what’s going on. They can tell a good shot. Great shots are hard over there and they’ll applaud a good one.

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