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Studio Host: It's a big week for junior golf this week. It's the third annual Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship, that kicks off today. 90 boys and girls from six different countries, ages 13 through 18 are teeing it up in a 54 hole stroke play tournament. Let's go back out to the Dustin Johnson World Junior Championships courtesy of Myrtle Beach Golf Trips where Brian Bateman recently caught up with the man responsible for the event.
Brian Bateman: All right. Thanks. Glad to be joined now by our tournament host and world golf number one, Dustin Johnson. Dustin, great having you here. Thanks for having us.
Dustin Johnson: Thanks for coming.
Brian Bateman: TPC Myrtle Beach, weather, can't complain.
Dustin Johnson: It is nice, yep. It's beautiful weather this year for the tournament, so excited about that. Golf course looks good. Got a lot of really good juniors here, so it should be a great week.
Brian Bateman: I was going to ask you because it's the third year of the tournament, Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship. What an opportunity for these players, from all over the country that come here, your name is on the event. They get to compete with the best players in the world at their age. It means so much to them. What does this tournament mean to you?
Dustin Johnson: It means a lot, especially talking to some of my friends that have kids here actually. Hearing what the juniors say about the tournament, saying, it's the nicest tournament that they play in. That always makes me feel really good and proud to host this event. Our team that puts this event on, does a world class job. I'm very proud to be a part of it.
Brian Bateman: Let's talk about this golf course. TPC Myrtle Beach. Tom Fazio design. Of course, you know very well, course record matter of fact, 63. What advice would you give these juniors that are here this week, the keys to success to play this course well because they're going to need it.
Dustin Johnson: It's a golf course, I mean, every golf course is all the same if you hit the ball well and where you want to, you're going to play it good. You just got to figure out each hole because they're all a little bit different. They all got their own kind of unique toughness about them. It's definitely a driving golf course. If you can drive it well, generally you can post a pretty good number.
Brian Bateman: Here we are on the range, right to the back of the range here, so not just tournament duties as the host, but a new learning center that you have to be excited about to add to the facilities here at TPC Myrtle Beach. What can we expect from that once it opens?
Dustin Johnson: I'm definitely excited about that. I got my golf learning center going up. My foundation will be in the building too. That's where the office is for my foundation will be. It's going to be great. I mean, this is a place where I've spent a lot of hours, practiced a lot of hours here. To have a world class facility going up on the back of the range is great. There's really nothing else like it around here.
Brian Bateman: You don't have any shortage of commitments, obviously. You're a busy guy, on and off the golf course. Just explain why it's so important to you to support junior golf here in the Myrtle Beach area. With everything that you have going on in your life, you still spend a lot of your time, a lot of your money trying to promote the game in this area.
Dustin Johnson: This area is special to me. I kind of went to college here. I lived here for a long time, so I consider it kind of home for me. I'm South Carolina born, so it's a special place to me. Anytime, I could help the game of golf, like help grow the game, especially with juniors, and in the state of South Carolina, it's something really dear to me. I just love seeing all the kids that come from all across the country come here, and they're very talented kids too, playing in this event. It's really cool.
Brian Bateman: Before I let you go, six weeks from Augusta, you were playing the best golf of anyone in the world this time last year. You'd won three consecutive starts on tour leading up to Augusta. Unfortunately, had to withdraw. We're six weeks out. How excited are you? How anxious are you to get back to the Masters?
Dustin Johnson: It's definitely something I'm looking forward to. Augusta is one of my favorite events of the year, especially growing up on Columbia, right down the street. I'm definitely looking forward to getting back there, after last year when I was playing the best golf of my career. Unfortunately, I didn't get to play. So this year, yeah. I'm excited to go back.
Brian Bateman: Do you feel like you're swinging the same as this time last year, although, that's probably hard to do? Is your game right now, where you want it to be for this trial run going into Augusta?
Dustin Johnson: It's getting there.
Brian Bateman: Yeah.
Dustin Johnson: It's getting there. It's pretty good, but it's not as good as it was, not yet.
Brian Bateman: That's still pretty good. Well, look, thanks as always. I know you're busy. Thanks for spending part of your day with us. Congratulations and this wonderful event and for providing this opportunity for these junior golfers from all over the country. And congrats again on the new learning center.
Dustin Johnson: Thanks you. Thanks for having me. Thanks for coming up and supporting it.
Brian Bateman: Yeah, absolutely. Back to you guys.
Studio Host: Yes, wonderful things that DJ is doing to grow the game.