Team USA

PGA Tour: Brooks Koepka Revisits Disappointing T47 Finish at The Arnold Palmer Invitational

PGA Tour professional Brooks Koepka speaks with the media following a disappointing performance at the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational in which he managed to shoot under par in only one round, leading to a T47 finish

PGA Tour professional Brooks Koepka speaks with the media following a disappointing performance at the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational in which he managed to shoot under par in only one round, leading to a T47 finish

PGA Tour: Brooks Koepka talks to the media following conclusion of The Arnold Palmer Invitational

Q. How would you quantify the difference between today and yesterday just condition-wise?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Condition-wise it’s a lot easier today. Today’s definitely way more gettable. It was starting to pick up there on 16, 17, 18, but it wasn’t, I mean, it’s not nearly as bad as it was yesterday. Yesterday was probably one of the harder rounds I think, definitely in the top 10 you played, I played out here.

Q. How did you play today compared to yesterday?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Still shi*t. Still sh*t. Putting better.

Q. You probably can’t say that on the podium.
BROOKS KOEPKA: Well, fine me.

I found something with my putting, so my putting, the touch is back. I feel very confident with that. But still close on the swing, sometimes it’s there and then sometimes it’s not.

Q. What did you find?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Just putting? Just a little bit maybe rhythm, I think. My speed’s been terrible, that’s why, I don’t know, I’ve 3-putted every — you saw it on 1, it just wasn’t — I felt good yesterday. I felt good leaving the golf course putting and then 1 just a little hiccup there. But I mean, other than that I felt my pace and line were pretty good, which I haven’t seen some putts go in, like 16 like that putt hasn’t been going in so it’s nice to see a few of them drop. And I’m pleased the way I’m putting it, short game’s good. I just need to figure out the long game.

Q. Do you like this idea of what you’ve got going schedule-wise, playing week after week?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Not really. No, to tell you the truth. I mean, I would never play more than three weeks in a row. But obviously sometimes things happen and the only way I see getting through this is playing. That’s my way of trying to grind and work it out and figure it out. I mean, every year we have come — I don’t know how far back, to 2016 all the way through the Match Play has been terrible. So I don’t know what it is about these first three months of the year but I struggle quite a bit.

Q. Is there any concern of playing golf out there when you don’t want to be out there? Is your head not there?
BROOKS KOEPKA: No, I want to be out there. I definitely want to be out there. I mean, listen, after I’ve played here I’ve gone to Nona and gone and beat balls until it was dark. We were hitting, Rickie had the camera phone out and was shining it about 2 feet above the ground just to, the depth perception gets off when it’s so dark. And every day we’re grinding, practicing, trying to figure it out and eventually all the hard work’s going to pay off, it’s just a matter of how quick it’s going to turn.

Q. Do you remember much about Innisbrook, Valspar?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I played it, I think once out here on TOUR but I played it, I mean, growing up in Florida we played a bunch of tournaments on it. Junior amateur stuff. So I’ve played it quite a bit. I know it. It’s a tough golf course. That’s also why I wanted to play this week. I thought it was going to be tougher. Scoring is not going to be very high or very low, I guess, and that’s kind of one of the reasons why I wanted to play. I felt like — I play my best golf on tough courses, so I thought maybe I would find it there.

Q. Do you take something away from the week that you build on? Other than the putting part, are there things you can just see?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Listen, it’s coming together piece by piece. So the way I see it, the putting hasn’t quite been there, the touch hasn’t been there, but now that I found that, I found a little bit of rhythm there, just build on that. I think I’m very pleased with short game, very pleased. And that was kind of the part that’s been, that felt really far away, where this week it was kind of a flip-flop. Long game, I don’t know, it feels so unorthodox and, but it will come. It’s only a matter of time.

Q. Can you make a lot out of little sparks when have you a run of golf like this?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, it’s amazing. I’ve been through a spell like this and I remember, I can’t remember if it was 2017, I think it was, at Match Play, and I, one swing and it was like, boom, off and running. You find that one feeling and sometimes that’s why I think it’s important to play or to get out there. You can stand on the range all day and do it, but when you get out there and start playing is when — I don’t want to say it was messing around today, but it was more of just trying to feel shots and feel different things and, okay, is this working, is this not. Not so much an experiment but kind of, if that makes sense, just to see if different shot shapes, what, am I hitting a little controlled fade, my little fairway finder, it’s a lower fade. High draw. Trying to figure out what shot shape feels good and go with that.

Q. Can you remember what shot it was?
BROOKS KOEPKA: It was during a practice round. I think it was the year — I don’t know what year I made it, maybe ’15 during the quarters or something like that. I just remember in the practice round, was it 16, the par-5? I remember that on the tee, just it clicking, whatever it was, and just found it and built a pretty good year off it. I think it was ’17, I don’t know. But, yeah, it’s amazing. Just one swing sometimes.

Q. How important is it getting back to No. 1 in the world for you?
BROOKS KOEPKA: I mean, yeah, it’s important, you would like to, but if you play like this, you got a long way to go.

Q. All the talk about distance, roll backs, all that stuff. What do the last two weeks say, given the scores and the difficulty about that whole belief?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Listen, they can roll the ball back all they want the long hitters are still going to be the long hitters. The way I see it, I remember Nicklaus hit a, I don’t remember what year it was, but he drove the green at St. Andrews at 18. Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. So how much further has the ball gone?

Q. But the difficulty down here I mean was it —
BROOKS KOEPKA: What I’m saying is, if he was able to drive the green, yeah, he probably got a good bounce and it rolled on, but still at the end of the day, I mean, we’re on that back tee with no wind and pounding drivers and still come up a little short. So I don’t think the issue of rolling the ball back — I think long hitters are going to be still long and the short hitters, you know, no disrespect to guys like Fred Funk or stuff like that, but you don’t, guys don’t have a hundred mile an hour club speed anymore, everybody’s got a 120. So obviously it’s going to go further. They roll the ball back, I think if you want to grow the game you’re not going to be able to grow the game. I mean that’s, as a little kid, trying to be interested in the game, that’s all you want to do. The reason I started playing was because you see it go 60 yards, 70 yards and, wow, this is cool I’m actually hitting it far. Because you watch your parents or you watch your friends or whatever it might be, they’re bombing it out there and as a little kid you want to feel like you’re hitting it far. But if you’re only hitting it 30 yards it’s not very fun.

Orlando, Florida

March 8, 2020

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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