"Like I said [at Augusta], there's a Zach Johnson roar and there's a Tiger roar, and they are vastly different," he reiterated.
Still, his world changed. It just hasn't altered him. He remains a grounded Midwesterner at heart.
"When it comes down to it, I don't try to dwell on the past," he said. "I stay in the present. I play Thursday for Thursday, and so on."
It didn't hurt that he won last month's AT & T Classic, in case anyone had already forgotten about him. He had to withdraw from the Memorial 2 weeks later after coming down with strep throat. But now he's rested and pretty much back to where he wants to be.
"I didn't have any expectations [about what would happen to him]," he said. "Even if I did they were completely wrong, after the fact. Just going to New York [to appear on "Late Night with David Letterman"] and that whirlwind was certainly hectic. But really cool. That 30-whatever-some hours we were there was awesome.
"That's not particularly me. But my wife kind of likes some of those things, so it worked out well. I don't care for the whole limelight deal. I'm more of a relaxed, hang out with family and friends."
He said the win at the AT & T at Atlanta validated "a little" what he'd done just up I-20 at Augusta a month earlier.
"Not that I necessarily needed to, but it spoke volumes," he said. "Just gave me the reassurance that Augusta certainly was not a fluke. Not that I ever thought it was. But you can, you know, get lucky at times. So Atlanta was huge in that respect . . .
"Augusta gave me the confidence to compete at a high level. The only sense of normalcy I've had for the most part [since then] has been inside the ropes. And I like it there. It doesn't really matter what the tournament is. Heck, it could be just playing at home with some friends. I still want to win. That's what drives me professionally.
"I feel good."
That's a reality nobody can dispute.
The 2014 U.S. Open has been awarded, as anticipated, to Pinehurst (N.C.) No. 2, where Payne Stewart won in 1999 and Michael Campbell won 2 years ago. *
The 2014 U.S. Open has been awarded, as anticipated, to Pinehurst (N.C.) No. 2, where won in 1999 and won 2 years ago. *