Highlights Tours

PGA Championship 2020 Collin Morikawas victory interview

Collin Morikawa talks to the media about his first victory at a major championship after the PGA Championship 2020.

JOHN DEVER: Good evening, and welcome back to the 2020 PGA Championship here at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. We are really pleased to be joined by Collin Morikawa, who closed with a 6-under 64 today, finished the championship 13-under par with a four-day total of 267. Congratulations, Collin.

Emotionally, how are you processing winning the PGA in just your second career start in a major at the ripe old age of 23? I mean, that’s a remarkable achievement no matter what way you shies.

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah I don’t even know. I’m on Cloud Nine, I don’t know about you guys, but yeah, I’ve believed in myself since day one. I’ve said it when we sat down, I specifically remember at Travelers the fours of us, me and Wolff, Viktor and Justin Suh, and I just told everyone, all four of us and obviously we’ve all had some pretty good paths, Justin has struggled a little bit, but we all believed since day one that we can do this. I haven’t let up from that.

I feel very comfortable in this position. But it was going to take a very, very good round today, and I knew with the leaderboard the way it was looking and everyone out there, you just had to play well.

You either win or you lose, and I got off to a little shaky start. Made a putt on 1, and you know, went full steam ahead there.

Q. (By Steph Curry): Question for you, coming down the stretch in the back nine of a major, everybody knows that that’s the moment that you go take it. Are you a leaderboard watcher? Did you know where you were? What’s your mindset in that moment the last two and a half hours of your round?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Steph, you mind taking off your hat? No, it’s fun to see you. I saw you out there on 9, and my caddie is a huge Warriors fan, I think you heard him — I’m not (laughter). I’m an L.A. boy at heart.

But yeah, I do look at leaderboards. I want to know where I’m at. Why not? I don’t think it affects me. I think gets to know where you’re at. I don’t want to be coming down 18 knowing I need to make par, and trying to force a birdie or doing something stupid. You know, when I looked on 12, and there’s a party of us at 10-under, and someone was going to separate themselves, especially with 16, gettable pins, 14, 15, but you know, I knew where I stood stepping on 16 tee. I knew I hit a good shot — I had to hit a good shot, tied with Paul after he just made birdie.

You know, yeah, what a drive that was on 16.

Q. Quick follow-up. I’m free for the next three months if you need a caddie or replacement. No, J.J. is a great guy, but if you need me, I’m available.

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Perfect. I can’t wait. I want to see your game. Cam was talking about he played with you at Stonebrae.

Q. You upgraded his playing partner, so yeah, 100 percent. Congratulations. Can you take us through everything related to 16, what your game was all week and then just your mindset today and exactly where you were in your mind in the tournament when you got on that tee?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, by Wednesday night, I had no plans on going for 16 at all. I told Colt Knost, he saw me Wednesday afternoon practicing on there, and he asked me if I was ever going to go for it. I told him a quick no, it’s too much into the wind, why go for it. I didn’t think the pin was going to be where it was.

You know, my caddie, it was like 278 to the front, and just a good drive for me. It was going to land just short of that in this weather; it’s going to bounce on up. He looked at me, he counted off and asked me what I wanted to do and I told him, let’s hit a good drive. And I counted back from 14 at Muirfield. What’s different from 14 at Muirfield and this shot, similar numbers, wind was a little left, kind of into me, but I knew I had to hit a good one.

And stepped up, you know, and those are moments I’m always going to remember. Hit it, J.J. actually walked in the tee and he never does that and he was talking to the ball a bunch. I don’t really talk to it too much, but we were both screaming at it to get a good bounce, and we obviously got a very good bounce, and you just have to capitalize on those shots.

Q. You got in trouble early on 1, spun back into the bunker and made the long putt to save par and on 6 you were trapped in the left side in the trees to the other rough on the right side and then saved par. What were you thinking when you made those par putts? Did you feel like this might be your day? Even when you were in trouble you were able to get out?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, those are huge, especially for me when I make a putt like that, I feel like I can make anything on the golf course. So for me it was just like, let’s get the ball on the green and give myself a chance for a putt at birdie or par or whatever it is.

1 was huge. 6, yeah, it was big. But 1 was big because, you know, a bunch of guys I’m sure were making birdie on 1. I don’t want to start off with a bogey in the final round of a major championship, so I stepped up, I felt comfortable. Felt comfortable over the putter today, and rolled it right in.

Q. Can you describe the emotion of today? You talked yesterday about feeling more comfortable over these last couple months as you get in these situations. But not only did you end up in contention at a major on Sunday, but a major with seven guys tied for the lead and just sort of this very crazy, tense atmosphere. How much did you stay calm and how much does J.J. help that as a caddie who has been around before?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, this is the first time I’ve been around a leaderboard that crowded, so many guys out there trying to make birdies, we’re all tied for the lead or whatever it is, one back. Especially in the closing holes out here, they’re not easy. We got a little fortunate with some pin locations today coming down the stretch, but J.J. is huge. J.J., I am so lucky, I’m so happy to have him on the bag. Thank you, Ryan Moore, for not keeping him.

But not just as a caddie, a person I can talk to on the course and just keep it comfortable. He knows what to say, when to say it. He has figured out my game and what kind of player I am, what I need to know, what I don’t need to know, and it’s as simple as that.

I’m very lucky to have him. I brought him in for the last three holes, 16, 17, 18, to help me read them, and I think I’m going to do that all the time, especially coming down the stretch because it doesn’t hurt. He knows how my mind works and what we’re going to see together. He’s not just saying stuff just to say it. I’m very lucky to have him on the bag.

Q. On the tee shot on 16, did you hear anything? Were there any cheers, anything that gave you any indication it was close? And can you imagine what the reaction would have been on a green in normal times?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: I wish — this is the one time I really wish there were crowds right there. But no, so I was just praying for a straight bounce short of the green on to the green, and then after it bounced it kind of got behind a tree that we couldn’t see around the corner. So once it bounced, I was like, okay, I will take it anywhere it is, because it is on the green, whether it’s short, long, and I peeked around right at the tee and looked around the tree, and it looked really, really good.

So I heard some claps. Obviously not a ton. But you know, the claps could mean I’m on the green and I’ve got 50 feet. But walking up, you know, I knew it was right above the tier, and you had to make it. I had to make that putt. Two strokes is a lot different than one stroke coming down 18.

Q. This PGA will be remembered for a lot of things, your win of course, but also because it was played on a public course on the West Coast with those of us on the East Coast watching at night. Can you imagine a steady diet of public courses, PGA Championships on public courses on the West Coast?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, of course. I love the West Coast. I think there’s a ton of great public courses around. I grew up playing some public courses around the area where I grew up in L.A., and yeah, you know, you look at TPC Harding Park, and winning score is at 13, and I think everyone enjoys watching leaderboards like this that are bunched. You don’t want to see — yes, it would be nice to be on the other end of leading by seven, whatever it is. But it’s exciting.

You know, this is what fans want to see. They want to see who is going to step up, who is going to hit that really good shot towards the end coming down the stretch, you know, whether it’s 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, whatever it is. And Harding Park showed its teeth. It brought every range of player out here. You saw a lot of big hitters just bomb driver out here, still in the rough. But the rough was tough. This is some of the thickest rough I’ve seen for a while. So I had to get used to it.

But you can make courses like this that have really good routes, somewhat challenging greens here and there, and make them tough. You know, we’re not shooting 20-something under par, and it shows you that there are a lot of good public courses out there that still test us every single day.

Q. Could you imagine Rancho Park in Los Angeles being fixed up like Harding Park has been?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: I don’t have a really good recollection of Rancho Park, but no, I’m guessing.

Q. I want to go back to the chip-in on 14. First, what were you thinking about the iron shots that missed the green on 13 and 14, and did you think that that chip-in was a turning point for you going forward in the championship?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, 13, you know, I just didn’t hit it well. It was a really weird swing. It never really felt — I never felt the ball. I knew it was a bad shot. 15, I hit all right — or no, no, I’m sorry. 12 I hit all right. 13 — and then we go to 14 and on 14, I had 9-iron. Ball is a little above my feet, a little uphill stance, and when you don’t hit it out here, in the thick air, cold, windy, ball is even going to go shorter. I had to step on a 9-iron on that hole on 14 and never got a hold of it.

On the chip shot, yeah I think that was a huge turning point. That separated me. Going into 15, I had really good feels from it, especially from yesterday. I hit a really good 3-wood, I hit a really good wedge. So I knew I could hold up a 3-wood against a left-to-right wind. Felt comfortable it. Hit a good approach shot I would say and left the putt just short.

It was a huge turning point on 15, and it was one of those chips where I stepped over it, and I was like this is going in. This chip just feels like it’s going to go in, and actually when I hit it, I didn’t think it was going to go in. I almost started stepping forward because I thought it was going to be a little short right, and you know, you just get a couple extra rolls and there you go, you’re making birdie.

Q. You led the week in strokes gained putting. What’s behind the turnaround?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, my caddie gave me some advice after the second round last week in Memphis, and I think if you look at my putting stats, for me, normally if I’m putting around zero, I’m very happy. But the last two days at Memphis, I thought I made huge strides. This week, I just kept that going, and yeah, a couple little adjustments in the setup and that paid huge dividends for me. Just feeling a little more comfortable over the ball, getting my head where it should be, and just being able to putt and really react to the target from there.

Q. I have two questions. One, what was your number on 16? What was the actual distance with the driver there?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: I want to say it was 278 front, 294 hole. My ball went 291, exactly how I played it. Yeah, I mean, it just had to be a normal driver for me. I didn’t have to do anything special. Thankfully I don’t hit it 330.

Q. You had mentioned in the award ceremony, or right after it was over, that you’ve got a taste of this now. Can you expand on this a little bit, and are you prepared, which I think you are, for the scrutiny — not the scrutiny, but the spotlight that’s now on you, having three wins, two wins this year already and a major already at age 23?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, I mean, I love talking to you guys, whatever you guys say. I love hearing what you guys have to critique or whatever it is. It’s all for me to take in and filter out what I need or what I don’t need. That’s just kind of who I am.

Yeah, I feel very comfortable in this spot. When I woke up today, I was like, this is meant to be. This is where I feel very comfortable. This is where I want to be, and I’m not scared from it. I think if I was scared from it, the last few holes would have been a little different, but you want to be in this position.

And for me, like you said, like I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t stop here. I’ve got a very good taste of what this is like, what a major championship is like. I really do miss the fans. I know we all had to have some type of adjustment not having fans; when fans do start coming back hopefully at some point, it’s going to be an adjustment, but this is where I want to be. I love it.

The majors are going to be circled in, just like everyone else, but I’ve got to focus on every single week. I’m trying to win every single week. I’m not trying to come out and just win the majors. I’m 23. This is my first full year. This haven’t even a full year with everything going on.

But yeah, I love golf. I love every part of it. I love being in this position and I love just being able to come out here and play with a bunch of guys that love the sport, too, and that’s why I think I love being in this position.

Q. We saw you had your Cal golf on the yardage book cover. Can you speak to how living in the Bay Area helped shape you as a golfer and as a person?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: I think growing up in L.A. and coming out to Berkeley, especially where I grew up in L.A., very different, just different walks of life, everything, every part about it was very different and that was kind of eye-opening.

It just got me to open up and have some fun, and being out here in the bay, I was very fortunate with the coaches, with the people, the people supporting, the donors, whatever it was, everyone who helped me get to the point of graduating, I couldn’t be more thankful for them because they set that foundation for me to achieve my goals.

You know, one of those reasons, you look at guys like Max Homa, Michael Kim, Brandon Hagy, they were a big part of why I went to Cal, and what they did in that 2012-2013 season was special. Yeah, they didn’t win it, but for a regular-season team, I would say they are right up there being one of the best.

Yeah, San Francisco is always going to be my second home. I didn’t realize how much I actually missed this area. It’s very crowded; I don’t like the one-way streets at all, but being in this weather, being away from, you know, 95 degrees, 100 degrees in Vegas, 95 percent humidity with just sweating before you even get to the tee, yeah, I do miss it and it’s going to be very special, winning my first one here at Harding Park.

Q. Did you participate in the Berkeley commencement on May 2019?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, I was. I was there.

Q. And then two weeks later you’re in Canada debuting on the Tour?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, I’m pretty sure I went to graduation, and then I had my Ben Hogan Award at Colonial where I finished runner-up three years in a row, two years with the Hogan Award, and obviously what happened this year.

Q. If you can remember all the way back to Canada that far —


Q. What you expected of yourself, what you thought of yourself, it sounded like from some things you said, this was all possible already?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: They are not expectations, they are all goals. Expectations are what you put on me. That is what I filter out and what I don’t hear because I have set goals, and last year the goal obviously was to get some type of status and to learn from it.

I had dinner with Justin Thomas and I was very fortunate through my agent and everything to have dinner with him that week, and he told me, “If you’re good enough, you’re going to be out here at some point.” And I already felt good enough. I just had to have the starts. I had to have those opportunities. I was like, why not take advantage of these.

I was able to have one Korn Ferry start as an amateur and two PGA Tour starts as an amateur and I learned a lot from them. I actually learned more from my missed the cut than losing in a playoff on the Korn Ferry event, just because you’re able to learn so much in a short amount of time.

You know, I was very lucky to have those starts, but starting from Canada, obviously, J.J. was on the bag, it was very new for me. We had gone through sectionals the Monday before. We didn’t even know Canada was an option. He did not have his passport, so he had to come up Wednesday and end up caddying for me and I’m sure he was wondering what kind of player I was going to be.

Yeah, Canada from the start, I felt very comfortable, but there’s a very different sense of comfort now.

Q. Along those lines, we’re 14 months out of Cal, and you’re now three Tour wins, you’re a Major Champion, No. 5 in the world. That puts you among the elite. Do you feel like one of the elite players? Did you feel that way before you even won today, or do you even think of yourself in those terms?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, I think when I play my best, I’m able to compete and if not beat these guys when I’m playing really well.

You know, I think there’s like this brotherhood; there’s a family of professional golf. All these guys, you see their groups. You see the guys that they are playing their practice rounds with, and you know, yeah, I’ve got my young guys with Wolff, Viktor, Scottie, Cameron, Joaquin, whatever it is, but I wouldn’t say I’m as close to those guys as some of the other guys out here that have been able to play and travel for years on end now.

Do I feel like I’m part of that group? Yeah. Do I feel like I’m going to start playing practice rounds with them just because I’m part of this group? No, I have my own group. I want to go out and have fun and do my own thing. Just because I’m sitting near the rankings with these guys doesn’t mean I’m going to start playing every single practice round with them.

It’s cool to play practice rounds with these guys because I learn so much, just how they think. I don’t have to ask a bunch of questions, but just watching even Steve Stricker this week, just how he goes around the practice round, how he chips, how he putts. I’m always trying to pick up on what these best players do and what makes them so great because who knows what I’m going to figure out; who knows what’s going to click in my head to work for the week or the next year or whatever it is.

Q. Was there a point where you felt your mind drift?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Beautiful Dodgers hat, even though they lost yesterday.

Q. They won today.

COLLIN MORIKAWA: They won today? Good. I love to hear that.

I think after the 16 tee, having whatever it was, six, seven — I had to make it. I didn’t have to make it, but it was one that was really going to turn the tables on everyone else in the field, and that’s why I brought J.J. in to add a little more sense of comfort. Did I feel nervous? Yeah, there’s going to be nerves running through there, but can I channel that into excitement, can I channel that into focus, and I think I did a really good job of that today coming down the stretch.

Having him come in to read the putt gave me a couple seconds to get in my own head and really focus on the putt, and talking things out sometimes helps. I was able to talk those out, what the line was, everything, how we were going to feel this putt, and yeah, I think touching on that, I think that’s something that I’m going to remember and use for the future coming down the stretch, whether I have a lead or whether I’m one back or tied for the lead is just being able to communicate. Because sometimes when you’re kind of stuck inside yourself, who knows what’s going on.

Q. Did you have a chance to look at a leaderboards, especially on the back nine, when at one point there were seven people tied for the lead? Did it ever cross your mind that, I have to do something to break out of this, or did you stick with your game plan all along?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: I think there’s a little of both there. I definitely looked at a leaderboard, I saw on 12, we were all having a party at 10-under. Who is going to break out? Who is going to be the oddball out to separate themselves? I hit a really good drive on 12, not a great approach shot, made up-and-down, hit a good drive on 13, and at that point, I knew someone was going to have to break out.

Does that mean I’m going to change my game plan? No. I went for 16 — was it Friday, I think they moved it up? So I went for 16. So it’s not like that game plan changed whether I was going for it, but you know, I had to step up and be fully committed that I was going to hit driver. Not be like, okay, if I hit driver, this could end up here, this could end up there, or we can chip out, make par, whatever it is. I had to be fully committed.

And you know, I think that’s why I played 14 at Muirfield so well is because I had to be fully committed. There’s water on the right. There’s a hazard on the left on 16, but that’s pretty far away. I just had to be fully committed, and J.J. asked me, you know, “Are you sure? Is this what you want to do?”

I’m like, “Yes, this is driver. This is perfect.” You know, stepped up, hit a really good drive and obviously it ended up where it did and hit the putt.

Q. This is really good news in Japan, because you’re part Japanese. I just want to ask what kind of relationship you have with Japan and what’s your history here, if you know?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, I’m actually half-Japanese, half-Chinese. My mom’s Chinese. My dad’s Japanese. I’m about a third, fourth generation on my dad’s side.

So family ties back to Japan, I really, unfortunately I can’t say I have many, if any. But being able to go back to Japan, I went with my family, I don’t know, three, four winters going, and then going back for ZOZO — yeah, this past fall, it’s special, and it means a lot. And going back there, I feel like this is just — it’s home. Even though it was never home for my dad and it was never home for my grandparents, all my grandparents and my cousins and everyone on my dad’s side, they all live in Hawai’i and they have been there for awhile.

But going back to Japan, I love it. My girlfriend loves it. I love it. Obviously the food is, I think, the best in the world, and man, am I hungry (laughing). I love my food.

But you know, I hope I — I’m able to go back to Japan again. Who knows when, but when everything’s safe. Yeah, yeah.

JOHN DEVER: You told us last night about the big dinner —

COLLIN MORIKAWA: She would know this, I had udon, which is a Japanese noodle.

Q. Only Rory McIlroy and Jack Nicklaus were younger than you to win the PGA Championship during the stroke-play era. What does it mean to you to join that list?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: It’s great company. You know, it’s been crazy, because this entire start of my professional career, I see all the things comparing to Tiger and doing all this and then Tiger is on a completely different level. I think we all know that. But any time you’re in the conversation of the greats, Jack, Rory, Tiger, no matter who it is, if you’re in that conversation, you’re doing something well.

So to know that, yeah, what I’ve done, what I did my four years in college, was obviously worth it, but there’s just that extra sense of feeling good in my heart, to finish out, get my business degree, graduate, come out here knowing I’m prepared, and knowing that it’s possible.

You know, when you feel you’re ready, you’re ready, but to be in the conversation with those guys, it’s very special and yeah, you know, I’m ready for the next.

Q. Just on that history theme. Harding Park has produced Byron Nelson, Gary Player, Billy Casper, Tiger, Rory, this great list of winners. How much significance is there in that history, and why do you think Harding has produced such great winners over the years?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, it’s really cool. I mean, look at the golf course. This is TPC Harding Park, is now one of my favorites in the bay. To be honest, through college, it wasn’t my favorite. I don’t think I played it extremely well. Everyone kind of shot around even and we drove back to the campus and got our night in.

It shows the quality of golf course, I think because no one separated, but if you look at the end leaderboard and the quality of players and the players that have won majors, that haven’t won majors, they are all there. It brings all the best players and who’s playing really well together, so it shows you this is a very good course, and yeah, I’m happy to come out on top.

JOHN DEVER: Last question for you. You just won the PGA Championship so we would be remiss if we didn’t ask you about your relationship with your coach, Rick Sessinghaus, how long you’ve been with him, the rapport between you two and what you focused on the last few weeks as you got ready for the first major of the season.

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, so I’m 23. I first started working with Rick I think around eight, so it’s been 15 years. I have been so lucky. He’s not just a coach. He’s a great friend. He’s a mental coach. But you talk about a person that knows what to say, when to say it and how to say it, he’s your guy.

Thank you, Rick, for everything. It’s been a crazy road and we have only been climbing up so far, and why not keep going up. I’m so happy he was here. He went home Friday. Him and my agent went home back to L.A. and they drove up early this morning. I’m very happy. I almost questioned why they drove up, but it’s really special to have him, you know, for 15 years, and there’s so much for us to keep learning.

I think that’s what’s cool is that I love to learn. He loves probably learning even more than me, but you know, what did we work on over the past month? It’s just continuing things that we’ve done really well and figuring out the things that we didn’t. You know, putting was huge. I credit J.J. a lot for what we changed in the putting.

But Rick, you know, just to keep things — I had him come at Workday. I saw him right before I left for the first event back at Colonial, I had him come out at Workday, though, and it was the first week he was out and it was feeling all right. We went to go hit balls Wednesday afternoon I finished practicing, and I normally don’t do that, and that’s when things clicked. He said one thing about just the way I turn and rotate through my backswing that I had done before, and that’s what you need as a coach. You need something that — he knows what to say, you know, things that maybe he’s said before, but maybe I just need to hear it again. Every week is different. You remember things; you don’t remember things, so it clicked, and it’s still working.

JOHN DEVER: Well, this week clicked, and we appreciate you being with us on a really memorable PGA Championship, and enjoy the spoils.

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Thank you so much. Thanks, everyone.

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

Team Ireland

PGA Championship: Rory McIlroy after his second round

JOHN DEVER: Good afternoon. Welcome back to the 2020 PGA Championship here at TPC Harding Park. Pleased to be joined by Rory McIlroy, who posted a second round 69. He is 1-under here at the 36-hole mark.

Rory, a lot of birdies today. One unfortunate hole. Overall how was your round today?

RORY McILROY: You know, better. I got off to the perfect start birdieing the first hole, and I hit some loose shots after that on 3, on 4, on 5, a bad drive. I think what turned it around, I hit a good drive on 7 and made birdie from there, and then made birdie on 8 and 9, the two toughest holes on the course. That gave me a nice little bit of momentum going into the back nine.

Then, you know, played the 10th hole well, and was feeling good, 3-under through 11, and then that 7 just sort of stopped me in my tracks a bit. From there, when you’re 3-under par, especially with the way the leaderboard is looking, you’re thinking, okay, get another couple and you’re right into this tournament going into the weekend and all of a sudden you make triple and you’re like, I just need to be here for the weekend. It went from thinking I’m right on the cusp of getting into contention to just making the cut.

I was happy how I responded after that 7 and made a birdie coming in and played pretty solid, and that’s all I could really ask of myself after that.

Q. On No. 3, your ball was stepped on?


Q. And you placed it and it was too good; you elected to place it down?


Q. What was your thinking there?

RORY McILROY: I just wouldn’t have felt comfortable. I placed it, and the rule is try to replicate the lie. No one really knew what the lie was, but if everyone is going around looking for it, it obviously wasn’t too good. So I placed it, I was like, that just doesn’t look right to me. So I just placed it down a little bit and sort of — yeah.

You know, at the end of the day, golf is a game of integrity and I never try to get away with anything out there. I’d rather be on the wrong end of the rules rather than on the right end because as golfers, that’s just what we believe.

Yeah, I would have felt pretty wrong if I had of taken a lie that was maybe a little better than what it was previously.

Q. I know 7 is going to leave a bad taste in your mouth, but that birdie run, does that give you confidence going into the weekend knowing you can flip it around that quickly?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, that was nice, especially the holes that I did birdie. 8 and 9, especially, I hit a really nice 4-iron into the 8th hole, and to make it through there is really good, and to birdie 9, as well, two really tough holes. I took care of the easier holes on the course. The first hole, you know, I birdied one of the par 5s, birdied 16 coming in.

So there is birdies out there, but as you saw on 12, you know, danger isn’t that far away, but it was nice to see some birdies because even last week at Memphis, there was a lot of pars, a lot of sort of not really getting on runs, and it was nice to get on a little run like that today.

Q. How bad was that lie on 12, and then from there what happened?

RORY McILROY: It wasn’t that — it didn’t look that bad. I’ve had worse this week, and been able to hit better shots from them.

So it was okay. If anything, I really tried to get on my left side with those shots, and usually the bad one squeezes right rather than goes left on me. So I’ve had a couple this week that have sort of squeezed out to the right, so I was maybe just guarding against that and clubface just turned over.

But that wasn’t really the problem. I mean, I guess taking 4 from over the back of that green, that was the real — that’s unacceptable, really, and that was really the cause of the 7.

But out of position off the tee. You miss — I’ve missed that fairway the last two days in a row and I’ve paid for it. I’ve played it in 4-over par.

Q. You’ve played with Tiger many times now. Is it a little easier to deal with without the commotion?

RORY McILROY: 100 percent. (Laughter.) It’s like, it’s so much easier.

Yeah, I’m happy to be drawn with him every week until fans come back.

But yeah, like you can see, even the 12th hole, the tee box there alongside the road, Tiger gets on the tee and everyone goes crazy and you have to wait for them to settle down. The fact that we don’t have to deal with that and the fact that he doesn’t have to deal with that every week is sort of nice.

But not saying — I still want crowds to come back and fans. It’s much better to play in front of them. But it does make it easier.

Q. Cameron Champ said earlier that he believed that Tony Finau was by far the longest driver on Tour. Wondering your take on the 10 or 12 statistically longest drivers went out to a range and really bashed away, who do you think is the longest?

RORY McILROY: I think it would be between Cameron and Tony. They have very easy speed. Even Cameron, I mean, Cameron has such easy speed. He doesn’t look like he even swings hard at it and the ball speed is up in the 190s. I think it’s between those two guys for sure.

I think there’s a couple guys on the Korn Ferry that might compete with them I’ve heard, but from who I’ve seen and who I’ve played with, I think that the two guys that have the most potential to hit it the furthest are Tony and Cameron.

Q. Given three decorated players in that group, all having their own travails, you, Justin and Tiger, what was the conversation like among you guys about how difficult, cold, windy and not as easy as maybe three great players like you could play at Harding Park?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, once Tiger and I got our tee shots off 18, I just gave him a look like, phew, glad that’s almost done.

It was tough out there. We all didn’t really have our best. We were grinding just to be here for the weekend. But thankfully all three of us made it to the weekend and we all have an opportunity to go out tomorrow and post a low one and get ourselves back in the tournament.

Source: ASAP Sports

Team USA

Tiger Woods still believes he has a chance to win the PGA Championship

Q. Thoughts on the day and what a battle it is out there?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, you know, I drove it great today. That’s one of the things I wanted to clean up from yesterday. I didn’t do as good a job yesterday of driving the ball as I needed to. Today was different. I drove it great. Missed a few irons on the short side. Didn’t get up-and-down.

And I really struggled with getting the speed of the greens today. They looked faster than what they were putting. They were firm coming into the greens, but they weren’t putting as fast as they looked, and then as the day wore on, they got a little more fuzzy and got even slower, and I struggled even a little bit more hitting the putts hard enough.

Q. Some guys were saying the putting green didn’t quite match up —

TIGER WOODS: Oh, they haven’t all week. The putting green is faster than the golf course. It’s been like that all week. Again, but some of the pins were up on crests so you’re putting into the grain early and then you go past the hole, and it’s downgrain. I didn’t want to make the mistake of blowing it past on a few of those holes and I left them short and on the low side.

Q. Can you still win here?


Q. Is it the type of course you can see some big swings on the weekend?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, absolutely. This golf course is — with the dots for tomorrow, they’ve got them in some tough spots. Tomorrow I’m going off early and hopefully I can get it going, drive the ball like I did today, hit my irons a little bit more crisp and be a little bit more aggressive on the putts.

Q. Will a big key be just the speeds, getting that early and getting into a rhythm?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, as I said, for me they looked faster than they were putting. That’s always the toughest combination I’ve always found, making that adjustment. You give it a run, but it just — it’s just not rolling out. Early in the round I had a couple putts that were downwind and the wind was blowing the putts a little bit. J.T. got affected a couple times today with the wind gusts, and I did on one hole pretty badly. Again, if I can get myself in position where like I did today off the tee, I think I can have a really good weekend.

Source: ASAP Sports

Top Tours

PGA Championship 2020: Co-Leader Jason Day interview after 1st round

Co-leader Jason Day talked to the media after his first round at the PGA Championship 2020 at TPC Harding Park.

PGA Championship 2020: Interview with Jason Day

JOHN DEVER: Welcome back to the 2020 PGA Championship. Pleased to be joined by 2015 PGA Champion Jason Day. It’s been five years, but today you opened with a terrific 65, 5-under, no bogeys. Tell us about the no bogeys and how you saw your round go today.

JASON DAY: Yeah, it was good. I got off to a great start. Got a little bit lucky between the bunkers on 10, but got to take the luck when it comes by.

Today I drove it really nicely, and when I was out of position, I left myself on the right side of the fairways to be able to at least get somewhere around the greens, and if I did miss the greens I left it in the right spot.

Yeah, pretty sound the whole way around. I hit a lot of good-quality iron shots coming into the greens. Wasn’t overly aggressive. And there was a couple of shots on 9 and 17 where I hit it pretty tight, but overall it was very solid.

Q. Do you feel some momentum coming in, and then can you take us through the birdie at 9, what you hit in?

JASON DAY: Yeah, so there was definitely a lot of momentum coming in off the previous finishes that I’ve had, three top 10s, which has been nice. The game feels like it’s coming around. I’m pleased with it.

I’m not like excited — I shouldn’t say I’m not excited. I am excited to come out and play every day, but I know that I can improve, and mainly my putting can improve a little bit more.

I feel like I’ve been working very hard in the off-weeks and especially when I come to a tournament to be able to get my putting back to where it is because it’s always been a strength of mine, and I feel like the game is slowly coming around, the confidence is coming around because I’m starting to see the results, which has been good.

But getting back on 9, I hit a nice drive down the left-hand side, had 211 yards, and there’s a black triangle tower at the back of the green, I was trying to go at that, and I kind of just blocked it a little bit, but it was a 5-iron from 211, landed it pretty much on about 203 yards and then bounced up to the pin, and it was a very dead straight putt, so it was very hard to miss that one.

Q. I’m just curious your thoughts on the challenges of the rough. I know it’s patchy in certain areas. Could you talk about the challenges of playing from the rough here.

JASON DAY: Yeah, I mean, fortunately I wasn’t in too much of it today, and then when I did hit into it, I got lucky. Like you said, it’s very patchy. Actually when I was doing the interviews, I was watching Xander hit up 9. You obviously can tell how hard it is, and he was just off the fairway.

Looking back on it, on today, I think — I would think that the shorter guys would have a little bit more trouble out there just because if they just miss the fairways then they’re laying up, whereas if you can just kind of get up there and bomb it as far as you can, you can gouge something up towards the green. But it is very thick and patchy in some parts of the golf course.

Q. We spent a lot of time talking early in the week about Tiger and his back and the cold weather and everything. You’re kind of in a similar situation. The first three days when it’s cold, and everything that’s going on, are you a little bit more cautious?


Q. And then when you see the sun come out today do you kind of smile a little bit?

JASON DAY: No, it’s still pretty cool. I mean, obviously it was nice to be able to have the sun for a change. I mean, it’s been kind of overcast and gray here.

But it has been cool — you’ve got to be careful. It is a lot colder; 50 degrees pretty much to be precise from last week. So it was nice to play in the hot weather last week and then this week you’re always cautious of doing certain things, bending over.

But I pretty much lather up in Deep Heat and I go — I mean, I try and burn the skin off my back, to be honest. And I feel pretty good, so I’ve been fine.

Q. Sorry, lather up with what?

JASON DAY: Deep Heat.

Q. Any examples of how strange it felt in a major to not have fans? An introduction? When you made birdies? Was there any moment where you thought, where’s the noise?

JASON DAY: Yeah, I mean, it’s — I think we’re on 11 — sorry, hold on. We’re on 12 —

Q. 12 is by the road.

JASON DAY: Yeah, 12 tee, and they’ve cut the blue tarp or the actual screen that we have up, and they’re watching through the actual fence. It is unfortunate that we can’t have fans.

I actually miss playing in front of fans because you obviously work off that, especially in a major championship. You work off that energy. Usually it’s buzzing, and it happens from Monday all the way through to Sunday. It’s just a lot of people here. There’s a big buzz going around the golf course.

And today, we’re used to it by now, but it’s still not the same. I know that we are playing the PGA Championship. It’s a major championship. It’s the first one of the year. It’s still just not the same.

Q. Is it more awkward in a major and not just a regular event?

JASON DAY: You can definitely feel the difference in intensity. I know the intensity, it was a little bit more quieter on the range than it has been in previous starts that we’ve had on the Tour, and guys know that, but it just doesn’t feel right.

Q. You talked about your confidence and gaining that, but how happy are you to actually have your mental strength back, because clearly that’s out there now.


Q. 9 is an example. You missed the putt on 8 —

JASON DAY: Missed the putt on 7, missed the putt on 8 —

Q. And then you came out and did that on 9.

JASON DAY: Once again, I finally had enough of feeling sorry for myself, and it’s easy to do that in this game because it is so mentally tough. You can start blaming everything else but yourself. Sometimes you’ve just got to pull your pants up and just move on, you know.

I feel like the momentum that I’ve had over the last three starts has kind of seeped into this week. I’m excited about — the funny thing is that every day I’m excited to go back to the golf course and play, whereas before I was struggling to get up and going, oh, do I want to kind of put myself through this again. To be honest, I’m excited to get out and play every week now.


Defending champion Brooks Koepka goes for the three-peat

Good afternoon, everybody. 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, you’re back with us in good form with some history on the line. Does all this talk of a three-peat, Peter Thomson, etc., do you look at it as a hindrance or helper for you as you go into the championship?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I don’t view it as either one. I’ve already dealt with it at the U.S. Open going into Pebble. I feel like I know how to handle it and I played pretty well there. I just got beat. My game feels like it’s in really, really good shape right now. I like the way I’m hitting it, and feels — putting it really, really well. Every day is a lot more comfortable.

I’m excited. This is a big-boy golf course. Got to hit it straight and put it in the fairway. It’s going to be quite long. I think it kind of plays into my hands.

Q.  What was the best thing you saw in Memphis that you were waiting to see, and what’s the importance of bringing momentum into a big event like this?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Just to be in contention I thought was nice. I hit it well, or a little bit better at 3M, and you know, we went back, we worked on some things over the weekend and it started to click and you could clearly see what was going on. I wasn’t getting on my left side. Now that I’ve got — it was nice to see Pete again, get more work with Claude on what’s going on and then Phil now. I feel great, but I think it was more about getting in contention again and just having those feelings back, which felt good.

Q.  I see you’re playing with Shane Lowry in the first two rounds of the tournament. Just wondering what kind of relationship you have with him; you played with him a little bit, I think, during the lockdown, and what do you make of his game generally?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I like Shane. He’s a funny guy. He’s a character. I enjoy playing with him. I played a lot with him at the Floridian during lockdown. Got to play with him and another buddy, Stephen Grant, maybe six, seven times. It was fun. I enjoyed the competition, trying to battle into something for being off for three months.

Shane is a good player. Drives it really well. He hits a tight little draw. Great short game, and he’s going to be right there come Sunday.

Q.  Given the kind of year you’ve had with three months of knee injury, three months of pandemic, PGA approaching, I don’t want to use the word panic, but was there any kind of impatience in wanting to turn things around, and did your confidence start to take a little bit of a beating?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I mean, you always want to turn it around. Even if it’s a couple holes, you’re trying to look to turn it around.

It gets frustrating. I felt like I was playing a little better. Wasn’t seeing the results, but piece by piece, it was coming. So I knew it was eventually going to be there. But as far as confidence, I got frustrated. I think anybody would. Nobody likes playing bad.

But at the same time, I knew it was only a couple swings away. Once I got the feeling, I’d be off and running, and here we are.

Q.  What’s the one thing Pete brought to you?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Pete? Just stay in the ground. I’ve done the same four things with Claude for, I don’t know how long we’ve been together, seven years, and Pete’s the same thing. Pete tells me two things. You know, sometimes it’s just a different delivery between Claude and Pete, and all it takes it a little bit of — we saw some information on one of the body tracks or whatever where it shows your weight, I forget what it was. It was pretty obvious.

So once I saw that, you know, everything made sense with what Claude was saying and Pete, and it just clicked.

Q.  Can you give us your impressions of the rough, and I guess how deep rough needs to be to be significant if you have a short iron or a wedge for an approach?

BROOKS KOEPKA: It all kind of depends. The rough out here is pretty thick. You can get some pretty juicy lies and not advance it very far. But it all depends. Is it going to be wet? I think it will be, especially in the mornings, so it could be quite tough to control your distance, spin, things like that.

But I don’t think it’s overly bad right now. Come Sunday, might be different. Might grow two inches, who knows, an inch. Anything could make a big difference. I don’t think it’s bad, but it’s not the worst I’ve ever seen.

Q.  Given the fact that there aren’t any galleries these days, there’s not going to be any galleries this week, are you going to have to kind of maybe convince yourself that this is a major and a major atmosphere, or does that sort of thing really matter?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I mean, it’s pretty obvious it’s a major when you pull in. Yeah, I don’t know how else to answer that. It’s pretty obvious it’s a major. It’s a big boy golf course. Tough place. Tough setup. I mean, I know it, so that’s all that matters.

Q.  When you want to hit driver especially hard, do you have to think of an aggressive thought?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, just hit it hard. That’s the only thought. I don’t think — my mind goes blank. I kind of, I guess, blackout a little bit sometimes while we’re out there. I don’t think of any swing thoughts. Don’t think of anything.

I don’t do that in practice while we’re at home but out here, just go out and hit the ball. Try to — whatever shape you’re trying to hit, just see it and go with it and swing it.

Q.  You always said in majors past that you mark these four tournaments on the calendar in terms of peaking for these events. What’s the challenge been like for this year peaking for these events, given the pandemic as well as your knee?

BROOKS KOEPKA: It’s just been a lot of patience. I had to — a lot of sitting around and waiting and doing rehab, and just trying to make sure we’re ready for this week. Yeah, I mean obviously things didn’t get off to a good start this whole year; basically from Korea till 3M wasn’t the start or play I was looking for.

But at the same time, I felt like I was progressing. So sometimes the results are a little bit slower than what I would like. I expect so much of myself, almost too much sometimes, and that can be annoying.

But at the same time, you’ve just got to — I knew this week was a couple weeks away, so I had no other option other than to find it.

Q.  I have two questions. One is as much of a sports fan as I know you are, do you enjoy — with regard to the No. 1 ranking, it kind of bouncing around a little bit? You had it for a stretch; Rory; Jon had it for a few minutes and now J.T. has it. How much do you enjoy having that in the balance, and do you burn to have it back?

BROOKS KOEPKA: That’s the whole goal. The goal is to be the best player. If you’re not trying to do that, then I don’t know what you’re doing. I’m not out here to just try to compete and have a good time. I’m out here to win.

You know, winning means being the best and being No. 1, so that’s the goal. And I enjoy it. I enjoy — right now, you’ve got J.T., Jon, Justin, myself, DJ all right there. So it makes it fun. It’s exciting. As a fan, I’m sure it’s exciting.

Q.  As a follow-up, when you come here or any tournament, do you walk into this place feeling like you’re the best player on the planet and that you’re the guy to beat?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I mean, I feel very confident in myself. I don’t know — I think when you start saying it like that, I think you’re putting expectations. I don’t put any expectations on myself. Just go out and go play golf exactly like I know how, and if I do that, then yeah, I probably should win.

Q.  You talk about the whole goal of being No. 1; that’s the whole idea of being out here. You held that post longer than anyone last year. What’s the sense of accomplishment in that?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, that’s a big accomplishment. That’s the goal every time you set the goals for the year, to be the best player in the world. I felt like I got unlucky with the knee and then wasn’t swinging it right because of my knee. It happens.

But also at the same time, it can make you a little hungry to go out and prove yourself, and that’s where I’m at right now.

Q.  You obviously seemed to enjoy majors. It’s been over a year since we’ve competed in a major. That’s the longest stretch since the 1940s. What does it mean to be able to compete in a major again?

BROOKS KOEPKA: It’s fun. I love it. I love the fact that it’s probably the toughest test of golf you’re going to play all year with — setup-wise and then mentally it’s exhausting.

I enjoy when it gets tough. I enjoy when things get complicated. You can really — there’s always disaster lurking, I think it something I enjoy, where every shot really means something. Every shot is so important and you can’t — you can’t lose focus on one and I think that’s something I’m really proud of myself that I can always just hang in there mentally and hit the shot that I need to hit at the right time, and don’t let off the gas pedal.

Q.  Last year at Bethpage, you said that these were the easiest tournaments to win. I don’t know that you put a number on how many guys you had to beat; if you still feel that way; and how many guys do you have to beat this week?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I still feel that way. I think I said it last year. The way the golf course sets up eliminates pretty much half the guys, and then from there, you know, half of those guys probably won’t play well, I think is what I said. Then from there, I feel like mentally I can beat them, the other half, so you’ve probably got ten guys. That’s the way I see it. If I can do what I’m supposed to, then yeah, I should.

I think that’s why I’ve played so well is I break things down very easily. I think for some reason, people make golf a lot more complicated than it should be. Worried about where shots go, results, you know, putting more emphasis on this week or the major weeks, when to me, it almost seems the most relaxing week of the year. I feel like Monday to Wednesday, conserving energy mentally, I’ve got a good routine, nine holes pretty much every day or less, and I leave the golf course feeling pretty refreshed, and then by Sunday, I’m mentally drained.

I think it’s more mentally exhausting where things — where things will take it out of you mentally before physically with a major. I think that’s one of the strengths of my game.

Q.  What’s the one thing that you have to do well this week?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Drive the ball well. If you put the ball in the fairway out here, you’re going to do — there’s a lot of long irons into these par 4s, and like today, I think I hit — played nine holes and hit three long irons in the back nine in the flags and obviously it’s a little cooler, a little windy. But still at the same time in you’re in that rough, there’s no chance you’re hitting 4- or 5-iron into these greens. You have to drive it well and put it into the fairway. A lot of right-to-left holes, too, especially on the back.

Q.  Just talking about the length and adjusting to the weather, is that something you’ll do going on the launch monitor, or is that a feel thing with you and Ricky, getting a sense of the difference in how far the ball is going here?

BROOKS KOEPKA: No. I’m not going to be a scientist and go figure it out on TrackMan. I’ll do it out myself. Me and Ricky have a pretty good idea how far the ball flies in this weather. Played golf for probably 25 years now, so I know how far it goes when it’s a little cold. From there, it’s just slight adjustments. I feel like we’ve got it dialed in.

That’s kind of why I wanted to play in the morning. Usually you do the same routine as tomorrow, tee off the same time I tee off on Thursday, and play one late, one early, just to get a feel for how different the course can play, how the ball is flying and things like that.

(FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports)


Q&A with Tiger Woods – Press Conference at Harding Park Golf Club

Welcome everybody to the 2020 PGA Championship here at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. We’re pleased to be joined by four-time champion Tiger Woods.

Welcome, Tiger. This is your 21st PGA Championship, and you have a little bit of history at this golf course, winning in 2005, of course, and going undefeated in The Presidents Cup. Is it safe to say you have a good vibe with the course but also golf in northern California back to your college days?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I mean, I played it before the redo. They have come a long way since then, made it a championship site. I was fortunate enough to beat John in a playoff and then had a great Presidents Cup under Captain Freddie. This brings back great memories of coming up here playing, whether it’s here at Harding or SF Club, Olympic or Lake Merced. We used to come up here and do qualifiers all the time.

Q.  Four rounds since the restart. How do you feel coming in here?

TIGER WOODS: I feel good. Obviously I haven’t played much competitively, but I’ve been playing a lot at home. So I’ve been getting plenty of reps that way. Just trying to get my way back into this part of the season. This is what I’ve been gearing up for. We’ve got a lot of big events starting from here, so looking forward to it. This is going to be a fun test for all of us. The rough is up. Fairways are much more narrow than they were here in 2009. Don’t ask me for the routing because I’m still getting a little confused on the routing. Still trying to learn that part.

Q.  So many of your major championship wins were defined by just the energy of the crowd. Can you just talk about how weird it’s going to be playing a major without a crowd and how it will impact you coming down the stretch given that you’re someone who feeds off of that crowd energy?

TIGER WOODS: Well, that’s an unknown. I don’t know if anyone in our generation has ever played without fans in a major championship. It’s going to be very different. But it’s still a major championship. It’s still the best players in the world. We all understand that going into it, so there’s going to be plenty of energy from the competitive side.

But as far as the energy outside the ropes, that is an unknown. And hopefully I can put myself in a position where I can be in that position where I can feel what it feels like to have no fans and also coming down the stretch with a chance to win.

Q.  A lot different feeling going into the PGA this year compared to after winning the Masters last year. Can you sort of compare and contrast? I mean, is your game actually maybe in better shape now than it would have been then after all you went through winning the Masters?

TIGER WOODS: Well, after I won the Masters, it was a bit of a whirlwind. We got a chance to go to the White House, my family, and meet with our President. I celebrated winning the Masters for quite some time.

Came to Bethpage and played awful, and felt like, what, Brooks beat me by like 30 shots in two days. My game is better than it was going into that PGA and hopefully I can put it together this week.

Q.  You said last year that you were working on a book. I understand you’re working with the same writer who helped Andre Agassi and Phil Knight with their books. What’s the process like for you, and do you take any inspiration from what Michael Jordan did in “The Last Dance”?

TIGER WOODS: Well, it’s been insightful and one that I’ve enjoyed the process of looking back on some of the stories and been a lot of fun.

Q.  You talked about the crowd and the noise. When you played here in 2005, you described it as one ear was half deaf as you went back to the tee for the playoff. It was “electric” was I think the word you used. The contrast of no fans here at a public course where you’ve played two times and it’s been very loud; and my second question is just the Sandy Tatum statue and what you think of his legacy given your Stanford ties?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I knew Sandy before I even entered college because I played a U.S. Junior here up at Lake Merced when I was 14. Got a chance to meet Sandy then and knew the process when I was in college of what he was trying to do here. He is the one who single-handedly turned this golf course into what it is now.

What’s the other part of your question?

Q.  The noise.

TIGER WOODS: Well, considering that, one, it was a team event, where it was very bipartisan. It’s us against the Internationals, and you couldn’t have put two of the more, I guess, crowd-drawing people together in a playoff, myself and John Daly. So it was loud. The people were into it. It was a lot of fun. I still look back on it. I just didn’t want it to end the way it ended in that playoff; I think the way we were playing, we should have continued. It was just an unfortunate way to end it.

Q.  Obviously the weather forecast for this week, temperatures are cool. How does that impact you in terms of swing preparations and so forth, and just dealing with that in general versus normal weather?

TIGER WOODS: I think that for me when it’s cooler like this, it’s just make sure that my core stays warm, layering up properly. I know I won’t have the same range of motion as I would back home in Florida where it’s 95 every day. That’s just the way it is.

Talking to some of the guys yesterday, they were laughing at their TrackMan numbers already. They don’t have the swing speed or ball speed they did last week. It’s just the way it is. It’s going to be playing longer. It’s heavy air whether the wind blows or not, but it’s still going to be heavy. The ball doesn’t fly very far here. I’ve known that from all the years and times I’ve had to qualify up in this area. It’s always 20 degrees cooler here than it is down there in Palo Alto. We knew that coming in. I think the weather forecast is supposed to be like this all week: Marine layer, cool, windy, and we are all going to have to deal with it.

Q.  If you are concerned, what are you most concerned about your form coming into Thursday, and what are you happiest about heading into Thursday?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I think that more than anything, it’s just competitively, I haven’t played that much, but I am — the results that I’ve seen at home, very enthusiastic about some of the changes I’ve made and so that’s been positive.

Keep building. Keep getting ready and be ready come Thursday.

Q.  What changes have you made?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I’m not going to tell you that.

Q.  Okay, I took a shot.

TIGER WOODS: (Laughing.)

Q.  Every week right now there seems to be a new record on sports betting in golf. There’s more and more money going in every week. Do you ever hear stories from people about betting on you, and is it weird there’s this kind of money being thrown around now legally?

TIGER WOODS: Yes, the word you put up at the very end is different, “legally.” Sports betting has always been around. It’s been around, I remember players and coaches placing bets on players, whether the matchups they had or not.

But now, you can do it instantaneous and shot-for-shot. It’s very different. But that’s just the way the world has changed, and it’s more accepting now.

Q.  Throughout your career, you’ve made a science of peaking for the four majors every single year. Given how different this year has been, have you changed anything about how you’ve tried to build up and prepare for this one major this season?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I’ve been trying to prepare for the three. You know, trying to figure out my schedule and training programs and playing prep and the things I need to work on for each major venue. It’s just in a different calendar order and different time of year.

But this is a big run for us coming up here. I’ve been gearing up for this, and looking forward to the challenges of not only this week, but obviously the Playoffs and a U.S. Open and then the Masters.

Q.  Some players have talked about, I think Rory has mentioned it, that it’s been sometimes hard to keep your focus with no crowds around when you’re so used to having a different environment at your tournaments, especially in majors. Have you found that to be the case, and do you maybe have to keep reminding yourself this week that this is the PGA Championship; it’s a major and it’s not just the Memorial or another Tour event?

TIGER WOODS: Well, Rory has more experience than I do in that regard because he’s played more often in this part of the season. I’ve only played one time. And those four days at Muirfield was a bit different. It reminded me of sometimes on the weekend, you’d tee off Saturday morning and you’d just barely make the cut and you’re first off and there’s no one out there, but generally by the time you make the back nine, there’s thousands of people out there on the golf course waiting for the leaders to tee off. But that never happened. So that’s the new world we live in. We just have to get used to it.

As far as the focus part of it, I haven’t had a problem with that. Those four rounds, I was pretty into it. It’s different than most of the times when you go from green-to-tee, people yelling or trying to touch you. That part is different.

As far as energy while I’m competing and playing, no, that’s the same. I’m pretty intense when I play and pretty into what I’m doing.

Q.  Just two-part thing. What did you get out of those four rounds positive at Memorial? What kinds of things did you take back to Florida out of that?

TIGER WOODS: More than anything, I had not had the competitive flow. I’ve been competing at home and we’ve been playing for a few dollars here and there at home, but that’s so different than it is out here playing competitively in a tournament environment.

I had not played since, what, L.A., so it was a long time for me, and making sure that I felt the feel of the round and getting my feels organized early, and I got off to just a beautiful start. I birdied two of the first three. So I got into the flow of competing very quickly.

It didn’t help that the wind howled on my first day back and then Sunday it was brutally hard. Being patient is one of the things that I was real proud of out there, you know, fighting hard as I did to make the cut. I birdied two of the last three holes and made a huge par putt on nine. Those are all positive things I look back on. I didn’t quite feel my best on Friday and it showed, and the weekend was tough.

Q.  At a major championship week, when you look back at the Masters in 2019, did you know that week; is there a feel you have that week before, like, I got it, that kind of thing, and you know, how difficult might that be to manufacture this week with so much time in between playing?

TIGER WOODS: Well, there’s probably only been, what, two — maybe three times where I knew that all I had to do was keep my heartbeat going and I was going to win the tournament. ’97, I felt pretty good at Augusta and then Pebble Beach in 2000, and then obviously at St. Andrews the same year.

My game was clicking on all cylinders for maybe the week prior. The week of it got a little bit better and just had to maintain it the rest of the week. Those were rare exceptions. It hasn’t happened to me that often in my career, non-major or major, but those three weeks in particular, I just felt really good and had control of every single shot shape, distance, feels around the greens, putter. I had everything rolling.

Q.  Back in 2000, I don’t know if you said it in jest or not, you said one of your biggest regrets was leaving Stanford a year early, and obviously you have a lot of memories and nostalgia in the San Francisco Bay area, but what is it that makes this region so special to you personally?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I lived up here for two years. It’s the first time I ever lived away from home. And coming up here to Palo Alto and being in that environment, being around so many intellectually curious people and unbelievable athletes, and we’re all in the same bubble together trying to figure this all out for the first time, it was a very unique experience and one that I thoroughly miss.

And then coming up here, all the qualifiers that we had to play up here, whether it’s here at Harding or it’s Lake Merced or SF or Olympic, those were some great qualifying rounds. Coach would make us play in all different types of weather; if it was raining or not, go qualify and we had to qualify in our sport.

Those were great memories and great times, and ones that I thoroughly miss.

Q.  You mentioned how the course is different from when you played previously. Can you give us your impressions? It seems like not a typical major setup, old school with the trees and maybe not as long as some courses?

TIGER WOODS: It’s not as long. It’s a par-70; it’s not as long numbers-wise, but the ball never goes very far here. It plays very long, even though it’s short on numbers.

This golf course in particular, the big holes are big and the shorter holes are small. It can be misleading. They have; pinched in the fairways a little bit and the rough is thick; it’s lush. With this marine layer here and the way it’s going to be the rest of the week, the rough is only going to get thicker, so it’s going to put a premium on getting the ball in play.

I’m still a bit surprised that the surrounds are not as fast as they are and they’re not cut short and tight, but they are grainy. Into-the-grain shots, where the balls are popping in and rolling out. Downgrain you can spin pretty easily and you can spin it either way. It’s going to be a test, with the overhang of these cypress trees and the ball — there may be a couple lost balls here; cut a corner and ball hangs up there, that could happen very easily here and has happened and I’m sure will this week as well.

Q.  Have you had a ball in a tree here?

TIGER WOODS: Well, not here.

Q.  Any memorable moments?

TIGER WOODS: I’ve had a few at Lake Merced. That’s one of the tightest golf courses and most claustrophobic places that I’ve ever played. Yeah, I’ve lost a few there.

Q.  What chances do you give yourself this week? Can you win this week?

TIGER WOODS: Of course. (Smiling.)

(FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports)


Major investments at Dundonald Links

Ground has been broken at Dundonald Links Golf Course, as work begins on a new clubhouse and lodge accommodation as well as on improving the course.

Set amongst the beautiful Kyle Phillips designed course, the new clubhouse will be created from natural materials, blending seamlessly with the rugged Scottish landscape. The two-story building will be finished with local Whinstone, with a sloping dune grass roof, designed by NBDA Architects to be sympathetic to the surroundings and the environment.

The layout of the new clubhouse and lodge designed by NBDA Architects. (Photo: Dundonald Links)

The architects promise world-class panoramic views await from its first-floor balconies, all the way to the Isle of Arran. The planting around the house will include an array of pollen and nectar-bearing plants that will contribute to the Irvine to Girvan Nectar Network, a project led by the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

Improving Clubhouse and Course

Around £1 million (1.1 million Euro) of improvements will also be made to the existing golf course, host of the 2017 European Tour Scottish Open, in order to enhance the playing experience, which will be led by the original course designer Kyle Phillips and his team.

The new clubhouse is part of an ambitious £25m (27.5 million Euro) luxury golf lodge development, delivered over two phases. Phase one will see eighteen 6, 4, and 2-bed lodges developed, with three private practice putting greens on their doorstep. In addition, there will be 22 private rooms situated beside the clubhouse for ease of access to the restaurant and clubhouse facilities. Phase two will see further expansion of the lodge accommodation, with permission to build a further 79 lodges.

The construction work on the clubhouse has already begun. (Photo: Dundonald Links)

Ashley Pheasant, Head of Golf at Darwin Escapes said “To see ground broken on the new clubhouse is very exciting and is just the start of a major investment plan at Dundonald Links. The clubhouse is only one of a number of developments we have planned, in order to deliver a first-class experience for our golfers and guests.”

With construction work now underway, Dundonald Links will re-open to golfers from 1st May 2021, with clubhouse and accommodation expected to be completed in early Autumn.

We visited the course and took some photos.