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Player interview: Zach Johnson

images: getty images; Pga tOUR

Q: Your career is hardly over, but do you have a favorite memory to date? JOHNSON: The first one’s always very special and there are many stories that coincide with my first win. The Ryder Cups and their competitive nature obviously have a lot of weight in my heart, too. Probably the first special memory—just the realization that I can win out there—was in Atlanta, at the (2004) BellSouth Classic. Two years prior to that, I had Monday qualified. I remember I four-putted the 18th green for bogey; I lipped out for birdie, I lipped out for par and then I made a bogey putt from 5 feet. And if I would have two-putted, I would have top 10’d and I would’ve got in the next tournament on the PGA TOUR. But I had to go back to the mini-tours the next week instead. And so, then you fast-forward two more years. I win in Atlanta; I’ve got my dad there. A bunch of the guys, the family or whatever you want to call them, the guys that started me in the game, for whatever reason, they were there. So, full circle, that one was really special. Obviously, Augusta was special, too. Obviously, the Open was special. ... John Deere was special because it was John Deere. So, there’s so many, I don’t know that I can pick one. Q: Whether it’s helping with the floods in Iowa or feeding schoolchildren during the pandemic or trying to level the playing field for post-secondary education, you and your w w w.P gat our.com

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PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan (right) applauds Zac Johnson on receiving The Payne Stewart Award at East Lake Golf Club.

“We feel that to whom much is given, much is expected ... That’s what true humanity is all about.” — Zach Johnson

wife have always had a heart for service. What drives this desire to help? JOHNSON: It’s just the right thing to do. There’s not much of a debate there. There’s not much of a decision there. It’s just a matter of, hey, if we can align things, what can we do that can make a big impact? And then when you talk about the game of golf, and the way my wife and I operate, we’ve got a pretty awesome platform. This game of hitting a ball and chasing it, if utilized the proper way, if you truly understand why you have success, then you can use it to the betterment of other people and to this world, this society, and that’s how we see it. We feel that to whom much is given, much is expected. We feel that the more we can structure ourselves from a giving standpoint and a stewardship standpoint, that promotes growth, and as faith-filled people that’s exactly what obedience is. That’s what true humanity is all about. I’m not suggesting we have it down pat but at the same time, I know I’m confident. And I can sit here and say wholeheartedly that it’s what we are called to do. That’s what the Johnsons are supposed to do. That’s what we’re trying to instill in our kids. It was instilled in me with my parents and certainly the people and individuals, and even, I would say entities that have surrounded me. I don’t know if that’s unique, so be it. But I just know in the depth of my heart, that it’s the right thing to do.  DECEMBER 2020 – MAY 2021 PGA TOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE

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04/01/2021 12:12

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