Highlights Tours Team USA

2023 Ryder Cup: Xander Schauffele, the Olympic champion on Team USA

The 29-year-old American Xander Schauffele is currently the third best American in the world rankings. In the past season he was not able to win, but due to permanent strong performances he secures a place in Team USA for the Ryder Cup 2023 in Rome. In 2021, he was already part of the team that is currently the reigning Ryder Cup winner thanks to a historically high victory.

Xander Schauffele at the Ryder Cup 2023

Without missing the cut in the past PGA Tour season and with ten top-10 finishes, Xander Schauffele is currently one of the best golfers in the world. Thanks to these achievements, he was one of six players to qualify for the 2023 Ryder Cup via the points ranking. In 2021, he traveled with the team as a captain’s pick; this year, he is a seeded player.

Schauffele did not manage a victory this season. He just missed his eighth PGA Tour victory at the Wells Fargo Championship, finishing second. But his consistency made him stand out, not missing a cut in the 2022/23 season. A total of ten top-10 finishes, including the Masters and the US Open, prove his strength. He finished in the top 20 at each of the other two major tournaments. 17 top 25 finishes in 21 tournaments is a statistic that is more than respectable.

Xander Schauffele: A team player at the Ryder Cup

When Xander Schauffele made his Ryder Cup debut the year before last, he won all his matches with his team partners and earned important points for his team. He was only defeated in the singles match, but that was against none other than Rory McIlroy.

He scored his first point together with his teammate and also member of this year’s team Patrick Cantlay, against McIlroy and Poulter in the foursome. On the same day, he competed again, this time together with Dustin Johnson in the four-ball against Casey and Wiesberger, and earned the second point for Team USA. He had to admit defeat against Rory McIlroy after 16 holes. A promising statistic for the Ryder Cup 2023 in Rome.

Xander Schauffele’s greatest achievements and prize money

Schauffele joined the PGA Tour in 2017. In his debut season, he won the Greenbrier Classic and his supposed biggest success, the Tour Championship to close the season. It was an introduction to the PGA Tour that made an impression. He repeated his performance the following season, winning the Sentry Tournament of Champions and the World Golf Championship, two tournaments again. He then had his most successful year in the 2021/22 season in which he claimed a whopping three victories. The Genesis Scottish Open, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and one of the most prestigious tournaments, the Travelers Championship. In addition, he won the gold medal for the USA at the 2020 Olympic Games.

In the past season, he won prize money of around 8.5 million dollars, in addition to 6.5 million for second place in the final tournament, the Tour Championship. In his entire career, he has finished in the top 10 50 times in 160 tournaments, 37 of them in the top 5, and with a total of seven victories on the PGA Tour, he has won almost 40 million dollars in prize money.

A look inside Xander Schauffele’s bag for the 2023 Ryder Cup

The reigning Olympic champion will be using the latest models from his sponsor Callaway at the Ryder Cup. The drivers and woods of the Paradym series are also convincing for the American and he gets the Triple Diamond models in his bag. This variant is designed especially for high swing speeds and is intended to generate that little bit of extra length. In addition, he supplements the long game with the Callaway Apex UW Hybrid as an option for hitting from the fairway. For irons, Schauffele relies on the Callaway Apex TCB. The 2021 Cavity Back Players irons get the most out of Schauffele’s shot with a cavity behind the face. When it comes to wedges, the American then uses a smorgasbord of different brands and models. With 52 degrees, the Callaway Jaws Raw are represented, for the sand wedge he relies on the Titleist Vokey SM6 and as a lob wedge he also uses the WedgeWork Lobwedge from Titleist. The Toulon putter in a prototype version completes the bag. As a playing ball, he chooses the top model from Callaway and thus relies on the Callaway Chrome Soft X.

Highlights Tours Team USA

2023 Ryder Cup: Patrick Cantlay as world number 5 in portrait

Although Patrick Cantlay remained winless in the 2022/2023 season, he consistently delivered performances at the highest level and is in the top 5 of the world rankings. With this performance, he will be an important component of Team USA at the 2023 Ryder Cup. He already gained his first experience at the continental competition in 2021 and achieved a remarkable record of 3-0-1 (win-loss-draw).

Patrick Cantlay at the 2023 Ryder Cup

After Scottie Scheffler as number 1 in the world, Patrick Cantlay is the second US American to appear in the official golf world rankings. With a consistently convincing performance over the course of the season, the 31-year-old climbed up to 4th place in the meantime over the past weeks and months. In doing so, he earned one of the six team places that are automatically awarded and did not have to rely on the favor of team captain Zach Johnson.

Although Patrick Cantlay is not among the winners of the 2022/2023 season, his record over the last few months is impressive. The American, who has a German father, has made the cut in 18 of the 20 events he has played and has finished in the top 25 15 times. These top finishes include three of his four major starts: with two tied 14th places and one tied ninth place, he proved his ability in what are probably the best tournaments of the year. Thanks to these consistent results, Patrick Cantlay enters the competition as a safe bet.

Patrick Cantlay has not yet allowed himself a lapse at the Ryder Cup

This will be Patrick Cantlay’s second appearance at the Ryder Cup. In 2021, he made his debut at the popular event and actively supported Team USA on its way to victory. With three wins and a draw in four rounds played, he collected 3.5 important points for his team. Cantlay did not suffer a defeat.

The then 29-year-old scored his first point as a duo with his friend and teammate Xander Schauffele. After 15 holes played, they beat Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter in the Foursome. This was followed by a draw in the Fourball against the European competition consisting of Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland. In Saturday’s Foursome, the Cantlay/Schauffele duo was again victorious – this time against Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick. Cantlay also showed strength in his final round, the singles competition, scoring his third full point for Team USA against Shane Lowry.

Patrick Cantlay’s most remarkable career

Born in California as one of four children, Patrick Cantlay developed into a promising golf talent during his childhood and youth. After a successful amateur career, he was ranked No. 1 in the world for over a year, he turned professional in 2012 after dropping out of college. Here, over time, he became a dangerous competitor, diligently collecting victories and now has eight PGA Tour successes to his credit. Even as an amateur, he gained his first experience in team competitions with his participation in the Palmer and Walker Cups and has already been part of the Presidents Cup twice. The earnings of his entire golf career now amount to over 42 million US dollars.

Ryder Cup 2023: A look inside Patrick Cantlay’s golf bag

Like his Team USA colleagues Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay relies on Titleist. With the driver and the 5-wood of the TS series, he gets the predecessor variant of the new TSR models into his bag. His long game is complemented by the 915F 3-wood from 2015 and the brand-new T200 Driving Iron from Titleist’s 2023 T-Series. For irons, Cantlay relies on the 2017 AP2 irons from Titleist’s 718 Series. With a few tweaks, the irons impressed with their sporty cavity-back design and the precision Tour players crave when they were launched six years ago. When it comes to wedges, Cantlay also brings Titleist’s popular classic into the bag. With the Vokey Spin Milled 7 wedge in 46-degree and 52-degree versions, as well as the Vokey Spin Milled 9 wedge with 57- and 61-degree slopes, he has four all-rounders in his bag. Finally, Cantlay is on the greens with a Scotty Cameron T5 prototype. His playing ball is the Pro V1x, the same model used by many of his teammates.

Highlights Tours Team USA

2023 Ryder Cup: Brooks Koepka and his outstanding record

Brooks Koepka is the only player on Team USA who does not play on the PGA Tour, but moved to the controversial LIV Tour last year. Nevertheless, he is one of the top players in the world, which he proved at the major tournaments for which LIV players are also eligible to play. He made the cut in all four tournaments, finishing second and winning one. For Koepka, the 2023 Ryder Cup will be his fourth appearance on Team USA.

Brooks Koepka at the Ryder Cup 2023

Brooks Koepka is one of captain Zack Johnson’s captains picks. Last year he was victorious in Orlando on the LIV Tour and became the first active LIV Tour player to win a major tournament. As one of the year’s four major winners, the choice to take him to the Ryder Cup was almost mandatory for Zach Johnson.

Brooks Koepka is a man of major tournaments. He won the PGA Championship this year for the third time in his career. At the Masters, he finished joint second with compatriot Phil Mickelson. He made the top-20 at the US Open and also made the cut at the British Open. Another win on the LIV Tour confirmed his current top form. His form, combined with his many years of Ryder Cup experience, make him one of the strongest players on Team USA.

The fourth Ryder Cup for Brooks Koepka

Brooks Koepka’s Ryder Cup record shows his strength both as a team and on his own. In a total of twelve matches, he lost only one and won six times. In singles matches, he won two of his three matches, right on his debut with an emphatic result. He shared the second singles match in 2018 with Paul Casey and in the last Ryder Cup he beat Bernd Wiesberger.

Another factor in his selection as a team member for the 2023 Ryder Cup is that he has already been victorious several times in European tournaments. Of these, twice in Spain and once in Italy. This proves that he can cope perfectly with the weather conditions and climate in southern Europe. His confidence will also be a big help for the USA team.

Brooks Koepka’s greatest successes and prize money

His PGA Tour history speaks volumes. He is a man of major tournaments. More than half of his tournament wins have come in major tournaments. He is one of the few players who managed to win both the US Open and the PGA Championship in the same year. The 33-year-old has already won a total of nine titles and five majors in his career. He won both the US Open and the PGA Championship in two consecutive years.

On the LIV Tour, he captains Team Smash GC and has already won two of the tournaments since joining the LIV Tour in 2022. Unlike the PGA Tour, players on the LIV Tour receive guaranteed prize money, which in Brooks Koepka’s case now stands at $69 million. In his PGA Tour career, he earned $43 million in prize money. That makes him one of the best paid golfers in the world.

Ryder Cup 2023: A look inside Brooks Koepka’s bag

The Major winner continued to experiment with his equipment over the past week and months. In addition to various companies, Brooks Koepka also tried out different models from different manufacturers. For his driver, he finally ended up with the ZX5 Mk II model from Srixon instead of the ZX7. With a weight in the back of the sole, the ZX5 helps create a straighter swing path and a bit more launch height compared to the ZX7. For the fairway wood, Koepka looks back to TaylorMade’s 2017 model. The M Series was the predecessor to the current Stealth models and seems to have taken a liking to the American. The M2 wood currently lands in his bag. For the irons, he again relies on Srixon and the blades of the latest series. The ZX7 Mk II irons impress with their slim design and offer Koepka the possibility of different flight curves.
He also relies on Srixon and sister company Cleveland for the wedges. The RTX Zipcore wedges hold up in his bag and seem to have gained his trust around the green. In addition to a Scottie Cameron putter in the Newport 2 Tour variant, Srixon Z-Star Diamond golf balls make it into Koepka’s bag.

Highlights Tours Team USA

2023 Ryder Cup: Justin Thomas – The controversial Captains Pick

Justin Thomas was named by captain Zach Johnson to the squad for the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome. This has caused quite a stir as he has not played a good season. Still, his Ryder Cup history speaks for itself. In the past two Ryder Cups in which he has taken part, he has suffered only one defeat in nine matches. In the Dream Team with Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas is also one of the mood setters and pulls the whole team along with his passion.

Justin Thomas at the 2023 Ryder Cup

It was a very mixed season for Thomas. He failed to make the cut in three of the four major tournaments. He was unable to win a tournament and failed to make the FedEx Cup Playoffs at the end of the season for the first time since he started his career in 2013. His best finish was fourth at the World Cup Phoenix Open.

So why would Zack Johnson give one of his captain’s picks to Justin Thomas, who is in a slump of form? Zack Johnson trusts “JT” because he has the skills to compete against the best players in the world. This is also proven by his Ryder Cup statistics, he won six out of nine times and only had to admit defeat once. Over the years, Justin Thomas has earned an outstanding reputation for his consistent performance and team spirit in the Ryder Cup. His contribution to the victory of Team USA 2021 and his commitment to the competition have made him one of the most respected golfers in the prestigious tournament.

Justin Thomas the conqueror of Rory McIlroy at the Ryder Cup

The 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome will be the third of JT’s career. Two years ago, he contributed to the overall victory of the USA with his victory in the singles match against Tyrell Hatton and with his victory in the foursome, together with Jordan Spieth. In the previous Ryder Cup 2018, the USA had to admit defeat, but Justin Thomas was victorious in four of his five matches. The highlight was undoubtedly his victory over Rory McIlroy in the singles match.

Captain Johnson chose Thomas not only for his skills, but also for his passion and character traits. In previous years, he already pulled the entire team along with him and constantly ensured a good mood and motivation with his heart and soul. In an interview, Johnson said, “You don’t just leave JT at home.”

Justin Thomas’ greatest successes and prize money

Thomas’ track record is reflected not only in his victories, but also in his impressive prize money. Since entering the professional golf scene, he has earned around $55 million. Throughout his career, he has claimed some of the most prestigious tournaments on the PGA Tour, including the “PGA Championship” in 2017, where he secured the title for the first time and earned major-winning glory as one of the youngest players in history. His fearless style of play, combined with a precise stroke technique, has allowed him to stand at the top of the world rankings and win the PGA Championship for a second time in 2022.

A look inside Justin Thomas’ bag – this is the equipment he wants to use to shine at the 2023 Ryder Cup.

Justin Thomas also joins Brian Harman in his choice of equipment. Equipped with the latest models from Titleist, the recently stumbling Major winner wants to score points at the Ryder Cup 2023. Thomas will be using the TSR3 driver, one of the latest additions to the Titleist Speed Project. He also relies on the TSR3 series for his woods, in this case a 15-degree 3-wood. For the irons, the American uses the latest variant of the T100 irons as a 4-iron, and from the 5-iron onwards he relies on the Titleist 620 MB Players irons. Thomas also uses the Vokey Spin Milled 9 47 degree, 52 degree and 57 degree wedges. In addition, a Lob wedge from Titleist-Wedgeworks completes the bag. For the putter, Thomas switched back to the Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 Tour in July. The model is inspired by his prototype and features a short slant neck. As a playing ball Thomas chooses the Pro V1x from Titleist.

Highlights Tours Team USA

2023 Ryder Cup: Collin Morikawa travels to Rome as Captain’s Pick

At the age of 26, Collin Morikawa will be competing for the American team in the Ryder Cup for the second time. He made his debut in 2021 and made the team again in 2023. His season performance was mixed, and Morikawa did not earn an automatic spot through the world rankings. Nevertheless, he has convinced captain Zach Johnson and takes a place of the six “Captain’s Picks”.

Collin Morikawa at the 2023 Ryder Cup

Collin Morikawa has had a mixed season. After the young golfer experienced a veritable whirlwind start in recent years, sprinting to third place in the world rankings within a very short time, things went up and down for him on the PGA Tour in the 2022/23 season. At the time of his nomination, he was ranked 19th in the world rankings. At the start of last season, around the turn of the year, Morikawa was still collecting some very good finishes and just missed out on victory at the Sentra Tournament of Champions. This was followed by an alternation of solid finishes and missed cuts. Most recently, he delivered very good performances in the playoff tournaments. While he missed the cut at the Open Championship, he placed T26 or better at the three remaining majors.

At the end of the season, his performance was enough to convince captain Zach Johnson of his merits. Collin Morikawa is still considered one of the best iron players on the tour and after this season is ranked second in the “Strokes gained” statistics. Not least his performance at the last Ryder Cup speaks for the young up-and-coming talent.

Collin Morikawa’s record at the Ryder Cup

Last year was Collin Morikawa’s first appearance in the continental competition between the USA and Europe. The then 24-year-old played four matches and posted a record of 3-0-1. Morikawa played his three team appearances together with Dustin Johnson. The duo remained invincible, earning three points for Team USA.

Collin Morikawa also put up a good fight in the singles match on Sunday. He did not manage a win against European Ryder Cup rookie Viktor Hovland, but the two shared the point. At the end of the day, the young Morikawa won the tournament together with the American team and will be part of the group again this year.

Collin Morikawa’s successes

In 1997 Collin Morikawa was born in Los Angeles. In his amateur days, Morikawa won numerous golf tournaments and led the world amateur rankings for three weeks in May 2018. His winning streak continued after turning professional in 2019. He survived the cut in 22 tournaments in a row. Only Tiger Woods managed more as a rookie, namely 25. This was followed by his first PGA Tour victory and, in only his second season as a professional, his first major win at the 2020 PGA Championship. In total, the 26-year-old now has two major victories, five PGA Tour wins and four DP World Tour victories.

WITB: Collin Morikawa’s equipment at the 2023 Ryder Cup

Collin Morikawa is all about TaylorMade. His equipment is made up of classics and current models from the brand. From the tee, he relies on the popular SIM driver, and he also uses the classic 3-wood. The 5-wood in the American’s bag is the brand’s latest Stealth 2 series. For the irons, Morikawa uses the range of high-performance Players irons. The 4-iron comes from the P770 series, irons 5 and 6 he gets from the new P7MC irons and from the 7-iron to the pitching wedge he relies on the P7CM model. In this way, Morikawa has put together an ideal combination of distance irons and spin enhancement in the short game. TaylorMade also provides the wedges for the top player. With the brand-new Milled Grind 4 models in various sole grinds, Morikawa can use versatile pitches and chips around the greens in Rome. He chooses the putter from the TP Collection in the “Soto” blade design and reduces the weights used from 10 grams each to 7.5 grams. As a playing ball, he chooses the TP5 5-piece ball from TaylorMade.

Highlights Tours Team USA

2023 Ryder Cup: Jordan Spieth – The Team Player

It was to be expected that Jordan Spieth will be one of the Captains Picks. He brings a lot of Ryder Cup experience with him and is hard to beat in a duo with his best friend Justin Thomas. So far, he has not won any of his singles matches, and he will be looking to change that this year. Although his season has been very mixed, it’s hard to imagine the golfing elite without him and he’s one of the best players in the world.

Jordan Spieth at the 2023 Ryder Cup

Jordan Spieth has been named to the U.S. team for the 2023 Ryder Cup as one of the six captain’s picks. It has been impossible to imagine the Ryder Cup team without him for many years. Rome will be his fifth appearance in a continental matchup between the U.S. and Europe. Spieth has not yet managed to win this season. He almost did at the RBC Heritage, but was defeated by Fitzpatrick in a playoff there.

In the current season he achieved six more top-10 finishes. His best major finish came at the Masters Tournament, where he finished T4. He was selected by Zach Johnson not because of his current performances, but because of his long experience and passion for the Ryder Cup. Spieth is comfortable in team competitions. His Ryder Cup statistics also prove that. Eight times he was successful in 14 matches played in fourball and foursome. He has only had problems in the singles matches, where he has not yet managed a victory.

Jordan Spieth: Hard to beat at the Ryder Cup

Jordan Spieth will certainly be playing together again this year with his best friend Justin Thomas, who was also included in Team USA as a captain’s pick. The two already played together successfully as a team at the last two Ryder Cup tournaments in 2021 and 2018. Four of the six matches they played together ended victoriously. Four more Presidents Cup appearances, all of which ended victoriously, make him a team play expert and a great asset to Team USA for the 2023 Ryder Cup.

He has won two of his four Ryder Cups so far. He would like to improve this record. A thorn in the side of the world number twelve is that he has not won any of his singles matches so far. Spieth is a player for the big moments and exceptional shots. In the 2021 Ryder Cup, for example, he played an incredible shot from an almost vertical slope one meter to the flag and still almost fell.

Jordan Spieth’s greatest successes and prize money

The 30-year-old can already look back on a successful career. So far, he has won 13 of the 259 events he has played, missed just 47 cuts and has finished in the top 10 86 times. Spieth has won three majors so far, including two in one year. 2014/15 was his showcase season. In addition to the US Open and the Masters, he won three other tournaments, including the Tour Championship.
He finished in the top 5 53 times and runner up 18 times. That earned the American quite a bit of prize money. His earnings from prize money alone amount to just over $60 million.

Jordan Spieth’s bag at the 2023 Ryder Cup

Like his friend and colleague Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieht relies on Titleist equipment. The Major winner has had the TSR2 Driver in his golf bag since August. The range of woods is supplemented by a 3-wood from the TSR3 series. For the irons, Spieth has chosen the manufacturer’s T100. The sporty Players iron with tungsten weights on the heel and toe of the club is designed for consistent spin and recently received a new version with an improved look. Spieth also relies on the Vokey Spin Milled 9 wedges from last year around the green. Together with a Scottie Cameron prototype putter in blade design, his golf bag is completed. Spieth also uses the Pro V1x as a playing ball, which should be a practical side effect, especially for a potential Foursome match with team-mate Thomas.

Highlights Tours Team USA

2023 Solheim Cup: Team USA ready for revenge

In just a few days, the 2023 Solheim Cup kicks off in Spain. After two losses in a row, Team USA will try to reclaim the coveted trophy at the Finca Cortesin Golf Club in Andalusia. Captain Stacy Lewis is relying on detailed data analysis to assemble the team for victory.

Team USA at the 2023 Solheim Cup in Spain

When taking a look at Team USA for the Solheim Cup 2023, one thing stands out immediately: Compared to Team Europe, the U.S. team is significantly younger and less experienced. An average age of 29 years and a total of 31 participations in the Solheim Cup by the Europeans contrasts with an average age of 25 years and a total of only 17 participations by Team USA. In addition, Stacy Lewis (38) is the youngest US captain ever. This makes the participation of an experienced player like Lexi Thompson, who plays a leadership role in the inexperienced team, all the more important.

There are five rookies competing for Team USA in this year’s Solheim Cup, Lilia Vu, Rose Zhang, Allisen Corpuz, Andrea Lee and Cheyenne Knight. But Vu and Zhang in particular have their work cut out for them: while Lilia Vu is ranked second in the Rolex Rankings after winning two majors, Rose Zhang qualified for the Solheim Cup just a few months after starting her professional career at the age of 20.

2023 Solheim Cup: Revenge thanks to statistical data?

The young rookies are joined by Team USA’s three most experienced golfers in Lexi Thompson (28), Danielle Kang (30) and Ally Ewing (30). Jennifer Kupcho, Megan Khang, Angel Yin and Nelly Korda – number three in the Rolex Rankings – complete the team. The deciding factor for potential success will certainly be which players captain Stacy Lewis pairs for the tournament. “As we get closer to the event, we’re starting to look into pairings, ’cause the data can, based on the course, simulate who’ll play well together,” Lewis said in an interview with

Statistical data in general plays a big role in the captain’s tournament preparation for the 2023 Solheim Cup, as she revealed in the interview, “When I was announced as captain, I started doing research and reading, including [Shane Ryan’s] book about the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. It talked a lot about analytics – what the guys do, the two different [analytics firms] the teams used.”

“Quirkly” golf course in beautiful Spain

The captain has an unusual opinion about the venue, the Finca Cortesin golf course in Andalusia: “Finca is beautiful. The resort is awesome. Five stars. So it’s gonna be great for players to stay on-site. The golf course itself is a little quirky. It’s got some funny holes, and you’re on the side of a mountain, so it’s hilly. It’s gonna be a tough walk for the players.” The question is whether the young star power around Lexi Thompson will be enough for Team USA to win the Solheim Cup on this course, or will the lack of experience prove to be a stumbling block?

Team USA

Bryson DeChambeau: Is he ready for his first major title?

JOHN DEVER: Good afternoon. Welcome back to the 2020 PGA Championship here at TPC Harding Park. Pleased to be joined by Bryson DeChambeau who posted a third round of 66. He is currently 6-under par for the championship.

Bryson, these days known for your length, but it was a lengthy putt that your day ended on. Kind of a good note there. Take about that stroke.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, I didn’t hit that great of a drive off the tee box. I thought the wind was more off the right and it just didn’t really help it back into the fairway. Got in the bunker. Had a really nicely. I just kind of chunked it a little bit. Came up a little short and you know walked it off, 96 feet. And I just said to myself, well, I think this line looks pretty good. We’ve been doing a lot of speed testing out there so I knew I had to hit it like 130 feet relative to all of our stuff and you know for me I just felt like I hit it 130 feet and I was able to start it on line and saw it kept going closer and closer to the hole and eventually dropped.

Those moments, you just have to look back and laugh and appreciate what the game is, because that stuff happens at random points in time in life, and this was a pretty good random moment to do it in (chuckling).

Q. Obviously it’s just an incredible leaderboard, logjam, you’re right there. I know this is probably a stupid question because of your love of math but I assume you’re a leaderboard watcher?


Q. Here with no crowds, is that something you’ll do more than normal because there’s no other way to tell what other people are doing?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, you’re absolutely going have to. For me I’ve always looked at leaderboards and wanted to know exactly where I stand so I can make the best decisions on the holes that I play, and I try not to let it influence me too much but for the most part certain instances, you don’t need to go after a flag if it’s a really difficult flag and you’re one shot ahead or whatever. You’re going to make adjustments and hit shots based on where you are for sure.

Q. Following up on that, do you think 16 is probably the hole on the back nine where a tactical decision could be influenced by that information?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: 100 percent. Even today, I was city thinking still hit 3-wood or driver up to the right and chip it up over there, but I just didn’t want to have a ball get stuck in the tree or behind a tree. I said, you know, been wedging it better, get one in the fairway and get one down there and I was lucky enough to make an 18-footer.

Q. You mentioned having a calibration system. How high does that go?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, went to 130 feet there I guess. It’s more of a feel and perception I have about how hard I’m hitting it. But it goes to 100 feet on my ruler and I practiced that this morning and so I kind much got a gauge off of that and got a sense of how hard I needed to hit it.

Q. And you mentioned talking about kind of laying back. Is that hard to do?


Q. Given how far you’re hitting the ball?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yes. Very hard. But it’s a major championship so you have to be more tack my Cal. I said this week I felt like the rough isn’t that penalizing; well, it is now. It grew and they haven’t cut it, so that’s a major, right. I’ve been a little more tactical certain areas but I just feel like I have to clean up my iron play. I made some really dumb mistakes with my irons, and if I get that under control and drive it like I did, putt like I did, I think I’ll give myself a chance.

JOHN DEVER: Forgive me for having this, but is that putt, 95, 90 feet, is that as long as you’ve made one on TOUR?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It’s the longest I’ve ever made in any competition, ever.

JOHN DEVER: That qualifies.

Q. You were just talking about dialing back, and to play smart and how difficult that is sometimes. Are you sometimes, do you have to guard against being seduced by your length? I look at like as an example, Memorial when you went with the 3-wood near the end, because you know how far you can hit it, is there sometimes where you have to maybe be a little conscious of that because it could get you in trouble?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Absolutely. It’s just weighing the risk for the reward in certain areas, and maybe you have bunkers and water where I’m hitting it; it’s not necessarily worth it. Like 16 today, I didn’t really feel like it was worth it. If I hit it driver and actually left over the bunkers, it’s in the water and I have no chance to get it up-and-down. If I had a chance to get it up-and-down, that may have been a different story.

But I felt like I could just hit a 4-iron down there and hit it on the green and make a putt. And that’s what I he mean by being a little more tactical out here. To win major championships, on this golf course, at least, you have to be tactical.

Q. More of a big picture note. This is really where you stand right now, probably your best spot in a major going into a Sunday. What’s your emotion with that and how exciting is that for you?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I’m proud of myself that I’ve been able to change my body, change everything, and give myself a chance to win tomorrow. That’s something that I think is difficult to do when somebody goes and changes themselves, there’s usually a little struggle with that. So I really am blessed and proud that I’m able to be healthy and have the ability to compete for a major championship come tomorrow.

I’d also say, too, I’m looking forward to the other ones that are coming up because this is going to give me a lot of confidence.

Q. There’s a fair amount of youth on the board, guys chasing their first major. What is the effect of not having a crowd tomorrow on the Sunday after a major? Do you think that helps you comfort level-wise?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I think you’re right in that regard. It’s not the crazy roars that sometimes we hear, and albeit I have heard that before. I think I finished close to Top-20 at Augusta, or like Top-25 I think at Augusta my first year out there. So I experienced a little bit of it.

But I think for those other guys, definitely. I think it will definitely be a benefit for them that there’s no crowds, no roars going on.

Q. Back to the majors. Curious how you have grown as a golfer and a person from those experiences to give you the confidence to compete for the championship tomorrow?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: You know, I’d say the other majors, I’ve struggled, whether it be my game, just driving it not well, iron play not well, putting not well or whatever it was. It was just something I wasn’t comfortable with in majors; higher expectations. Sometimes I felt like I was playing good going into it and would get there and something would go off and then I’d get penalized based off of just the conditions at hand and not having everything in tiptop shape and for me, going into this year’s first major, I would say I was a little more confident just because I had won three or four weeks ago, can’t even remember how long it was ago.

And I’ve also been able to hit it a lot farther. Putting’s really good. Had a lot of confidence, and to be honest with you, Chris and I have been working pretty hard on some golf swing stuff and they have really started to pay off for me and I feel really confident with that and excited to keep testing it. This is the first major with this new body, new swing. I hope it’s only going to get better.

Q. You mentioned the randomness, the point in time of the putt on the last. Curious if you can think of another circumstance, maybe in a win, or something where you had a similar kind of quirky moment earlier in the week. And then secondly, the importance of the momentum of that, or is it just, again, just randomness, I guess?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: No, there’s definitely momentum in this game. I mean, you can see it with any player that’s out here, even with me. There’s up-and-downs, and you try and be as positive and stable as possible, and you know, sometimes there’s just things that happen where you can’t explain it.

Give you one other instance. I didn’t win or anything but it was as Riv, not this past year but the year before. I holed out twice, once on 13 and once on 17 in the same day. I just kept making shots from around the green, and then the next day, I made one on 14 on the par 3.

So there’s some times, there’s weeks where randomness occurs, and it just keeps occurring in a weird way. It’s like flipping — I don’t even know if this is the right example. But the only thing I can think about is flipping a quarter, and having it land on heads 12 times or something, the percentage of that, whatever that is. Just sometimes there’s things in golf that happens really weird, and that’s why I love golf.

As much as I try and bring it down to a science, I love it because of the randomness, because I’m trying to figure it out and sometimes those weird things happen, and good and bad, and you’ve just got to laugh them off.

Q. Growing up in Clovis, what’s your experience with TPC Harding Park, and being a northern California guy, what would it mean to win your first major championship kind of in your backyard?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Can you ask the first question again? I was thinking about the second one, because yes, it would be amazing to win in my backyard. Ask the first one again, please.

Q. Your experience at TPC Harding Park.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, so I played here 2012 or 2011. I think it was 2012 or 2011 for a sectional qualifier for the U.S. Open near Olympic Club. What was it, 2012 I think? Yeah, Olympic.

I was close. I missed it by like two or three or something like that. So I played this golf course and I loved it. I thought it was a great golf course. Happened to be that we were playing it this year and I was super excited to come here and play well here again. And to win in my backyard would be something I could only dream of. Monterey and then I’d also say San Fran, this area, played a lot of NCGA junior tour events around here and there’s so many great golf courses. It would just be a tremendous honor to win. I don’t even know what that would mean to me other than more than the world, I would say. It would be really cool because there’s been a lot of people in NCGA that have helped me become the person I am, and it would be cool to go down there if it was to happen and bring the trophy down to Monterey and hang out with the guys that helped me get here.

Q. Mentally, emotionally, tonight and heading into tomorrow, as you go through the preparation, will you allow yourself to think about winning and holding that Wanamaker Trophy?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: No. No. I won’t, at all. That’s a great question. For me, it’s about the process, and I’ll be thinking about the shots and executing the right shots and putting myself in the right position to win. If I give myself a couple shots going into the back nine, being that close to the lead or even hopefully up at the top of the leaderboard, that’s the goal that I’m looking for, and it’s these small intermediate goals that every single hole is going to probably be changing, but then going back to executing every shot the best I possibly that. That’s really what I’ll be thinking about tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Team USA

PGA Championship: Brooks Koepka is looking for the Three-peat: “I feel very comfortable around the lead in the big events.”

JOHN DEVER: Good evening, welcome back to the 2020 PGA Championship here at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. We are pleased to be joined by two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka. Brooks posted a third-round 69. He is 7-under for the championship, two shots off the lead.

Brooks, kind of held serve today more than anything, but you’re still in a really good position going into the last day. Maybe talk about your play and your outlook.

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I thought I played a lot better than my score reflected. Really made one bad swing. But I left it in a good spot and just hit a poor chip. The other ones I was in the semi a lot, and I think sometimes in the semi, it can come out without spin or it can come with spin, and if you’re going to do that in the wind, it’s kind of tough to judge.

Maybe took a little bit too aggressive of lines on those out of the semi, but I just missed them in the worst spot possible, but they were good shots, so I felt like I played really well, putted really well, and the driver I hit great. It’s just sometimes they didn’t move with the wind, hit them too good.

Q. How big were those last couple birdies and can you carry some momentum from late today into tomorrow?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I think so. 16 was nice. I thought that was probably the toughest putt I had all day just because that wind, you’re kind of right there in that open area and the wind is pumping off the right. It was kind of a weird read where I felt like if you started it on the right edge, it would stay, but if you didn’t, it could snap. So to make that I thought was big and maybe just a little bit of a confidence boost in the putting for the last two holes. 17 I thought I made, and 18 just hit a good shot.

Nice to walk away with a birdie there and carry it over to tomorrow.

Q. There’s a few guys around you with one major, you’ve obviously got more. Was the second one harder to win?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Well, if you look at the top of the leaderboard, I’d say yes.

Q. What makes that difficult to make the second one?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I think expectations. I think — I guess it does become difficult if you think you’ve played good enough to win multiple ones. But you’ve just got to keep putting yourself there. I’m doing a good job of that. But the second one definitely is a little bit tougher, I think, as you can see from the top of the leaderboard.

Q. You’ve won majors from out front and from having to come back in the final round. How confident are you in your ability to get this done tomorrow?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I’m playing good so I like my chances. Just put the ball in the fairway a few more times and not in the semi. That would be all right, just not short-side myself. If I can do that tomorrow and not short-side myself, I’ll have a good chance.

Q. Given that you’ve won a few of these now, four of them, how different is your confidence now being in this position versus a few years ago, I guess the difference between those two?

BROOKS KOEPKA: It’s just a comfort level. I feel very comfortable around the lead in the big events.

Obviously we don’t have fans here, which I think plays a little bit — makes it a little different when they’re hooting and hollering, which it can be fun if they’re cheering for you, but if they’re against you it’s not so much fun. It’s going to feel completely different than any one we’ve ever played. I’m looking forward to it tomorrow. It should be a fun shootout.

Q. Just a quick update on how was the hip today?

BROOKS KOEPKA: It’s good. It’s fine. I told you it released the knot.

Q. It’s a bit of a reversal, last year you had the lead, DJ was the one coming for you. How do you feel about the reverse situation there?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I mean, I like my chances. When I’ve been in this position before, I’ve capitalized. I don’t know, he’s only won one. I’m playing good. I don’t know, we’ll see.

Q. You mentioned how it was different without fans at the majors. I’m curious playing ahead of the final group tomorrow how that will be different for you knowing that you won’t hear roars around the course?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Well, there’s probably about, I don’t know, 10 or 12 leaderboards around, so I’ll be able to see. All you’ve got to do is look up or look to your left or right and you’ll see something and figure it out.

Q. You talked about the birdies late; how much of a difference on this course and these conditions in a major is it being two back versus say four back?

BROOKS KOEPKA: To be honest with you, on this golf course I feel like anywhere from 4-under has a chance. I think that’s realistic. You can get off to 3-, 4-under very quickly through seven, depending on what they do if they move the tee up, it could be four or five, and then if you play 8 and 9 well and birdie 10, I mean, you’ve got a realistic chance right there.

It all depends what the weather does tomorrow, but any of those guys at 4-under I think reasonably have a good chance.

JOHN DEVER: Brooks, thanks so much. Have a good evening.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Team USA

PGA Championship leader Dustin Johnson is looking for his second major title

JOHN DEVER: Good afternoon. Welcome back to the 2020 PGA Championship here at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. Pleased to be joined by Dustin Johnson, who just is joining us after posting a 65, 5-under par today. He is 9-under par for the championship and is currently at the top of the leaderboard.

Eight birdies today on what probably would not be described as a vulnerable golf course. What part of your game was clicking? Tell us a little bit about that.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I putted really well. That was key. But I hit a lot of good shots to give myself some good looks because the flags are tucked. The greens are firm and fast. So I did hit a lot of quality iron shots.

Tomorrow I think I need to go — I definitely need to hit some more fairways, because it’s really tough playing this golf course from the rough. Obviously the bunkers, too, are very tough. A couple — had a few nice up-and-downs out of the bunkers, but also a few poor ones.

Q. You are here in a major championship again and you’ve been in contention many times, but this time, obviously no roars. A lot of people are within a few shots of you. What are you going to do tomorrow about looking at scoreboards, kind of trying to figure out what is going on as the day unfolds?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I’m going to try my best not to do that. All I can do is go out and play my game and shoot the best number I can. I’m going to just try and go out and shoot as low as I can tomorrow just like I did today. You know, just take what the golf course gives me and just keep on going because, you know, it doesn’t really matter what other guys are doing. All I can control is myself.

Q. Curious, you get that double-bogey on 9. What are your thoughts going to 10 tee knowing the back nine has really been difficult this week?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I should have never hit it in the left bunker, is what I was thinking. I knew it was a bad spot. I actually went down a club not to get there, and I misjudged the lie a little bit. I didn’t think it was going to come out very good, and it came out way better than I thought it was, and I hit it in the one spot I didn’t want to hit it in. It’s just one of those things.

The golf course is tough. You’re going to make a score — obviously a bogey would have been a lot nicer, but I knew I was playing good. I was putting good. I just needed to keep on going and put it behind me.

Q. We’re hearing reports: Did you lose your yardage book?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I did. I think — it’s got to be in the bottom of my bag but I didn’t want to take all my clubs out on the golf course. But AJ had an extra one, so we were fine.

Q. Following up on that, when did you realize you couldn’t find it, and what’s the difference, I guess, between the two books?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Nothing. I just used a regular yardage book. I use it more so I can get the yardages out of the fairway and where the flag is. But my brother had an extra one, so it was perfect.

JOHN DEVER: Thank goodness for brothers.

Q. Just to be clear, he had an extra one from this golf course, though, right?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, it was from last week, but it worked out well. (Laughter.)

Q. Wanted to ask you, you’ve had a number of chances going into the final round of a major. What’s the difference in how you look at the opportunity tomorrow compared with when you were younger, when you had a chance at either Pebble, Whistling or St. George’s or any number of other ones?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, those, I was definitely younger. I have been out here awhile now. I’ve been in contention a lot, and I’ve got it done a lot of times. Tomorrow, it’s no different. I need to be out — I’m going to have to play good golf if I want to win. It’s simple; I’ve got to hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens. If I can do that tomorrow, I’m going to have a good chance coming down the stretch on the back nine.

Q. Is it almost better that there’s about a billion people within two shots of the lead, instead of one or two?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, it really doesn’t matter. I feel like I have a chance no matter where I am on the leaderboard starting tomorrow. Obviously the guys, they still have quite a few holes to play, the guys behind us.

I’m going to be in a good position no matter what, and you know, tomorrow I’m just going to have to go out and do what I did today. Just get it done.

Q. You’re looking for your second major title. A lot of guys who are in the thick of this are looking for their first. How much can you use that to your advantage?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, yeah, I definitely have experience in this situation that definitely will help tomorrow. I’ve been in the hunt a bunch of times in a major. I’ve got one major, so having that experience is definitely going to be beneficial tomorrow.

You know, but it’s one of those things. Still going to have to go out and play really good golf. This is a tough golf course. Greens are getting really firm. They are fast. So I think the wind is going to blow again tomorrow, so it’s going to play difficult.

I look forward to the challenge, and you know, I will definitely be relying on a lot of that experience that I have.

Q. You’ve been asked a little about the back nine, which has been giving most players trouble. Looks like you shot 31 on the back. Curious your take on how much of a role that will play tomorrow and how difficult that can be, and specifically, 16, 17 and 18 to have a short par 4, windy par 3 and obviously the closing hole. What do you think of that stretch?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, the whole golf course is tough. I mean, you’ve got to put your ball in position, but yeah, obviously depending where they set the tees up tomorrow on 16 and the flag, it could be a hole where you could possibly make a two if you need to, or you know, but on 17, again, it’s a par 3. It’s not too long, but you still have got to hit a quality golf shot if you want to get it close to the hole. That green, it sits out there in the wind all day, it’s really firm. Obviously 18 is just a really good hole. You have to hit a really good tee shot into the fairway there if you want to give yourself any chance.

JOHN DEVER: Thank you, sir.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports