Highlights Tours

Brooks Koepka: “I definitely wouldn’t have won today if that didn’t happen”

Brooks Koepka wins his fifth major title at the 2023 PGA Championship. He is the first member of the LIV Golf League to win one of the four most important titles in golf. But the long hitter has little interest in history. He prefers to enjoy the here and now. He made this clear at the press conference after the tournament victory. In addition, he openly reported how badly he was feeling during his injury break.

Brooks Koepka interviewed after the PGA Championship 2023

THE MODERATOR: Brooks, first off, congratulations, and how does it feel to have your third Wannamaker Trophy?

BROOKS KOEPKA: It feels damned good. Yeah, this one is definitely special. I think this one is probably the most meaningful of them all with everything that’s gone on, all the crazy stuff over the last few years.
But it feels good to be back and to get No. 5.

QUESTION. How much did that win in Orlando and now the runner-up position at the Masters set you up for this? Were those instrumental in the process, or is it when you’re back, you’re back?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I don’t know, I’ve been playing good for a while. I felt like I knew I was back kind of in January, just needed a little bit of some reps I think at the beginning of the year to get things going and feel a bit more comfortable.

But when I’ve been playing good, I feel like I’ve been in contention every week probably since Orlando. So I’ve just been playing good and very pleased with the way I’m playing and just need to continue it.

Q. Only 19 guys have ever won five. You’re 20 now. It means a lot more history. I know you at times have said, “I don’t care about history, I just care about the next one.” But I wonder perspective-wise, it’s a pretty big deal that you’re one of the great golfers of all time in a lot of ways. How does it feel to know that rare air that you’re in?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, it’s crazy. I try not to think of it right now. I mean, I do care about it. It’s just tough to really grasp the situation kind of while you’re still in it, I think.

I mean, probably when I’m retired and I can look back with Jena and my son and kind of reflect on all that stuff, that will be truly special, but right now I’m trying to collect as many of these things as I can. We’ll see how it goes.

Q. You seemed so calm and in control out there today, even smiling down No. 12 fairway. What was your mental game plan? What was your mindset going into today’s round?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Just keep doing what I’ve been doing the last three days. Just be aggressive and just go make a bunch of birdies, and I knew you’re going to make some mistakes today, but I made sure they were on the correct side of the hole.

Made some clutch putts coming down the back nine again, which I did yesterday, as well. So very, very pleased with the way the putter is rolling and just excited to win.

Q. What is it about that back nine? I think you were 7-under for the last three rounds, and all the birdies on the back side today, what is it about the nine that makes you feel so comfortable?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Well, the front nine is definitely a lot harder. That 6 tee shot — or 6, 7, 8, 9 are definitely tough holes. Maybe not so much 8, but 6, 7, 9 are definitely tough holes.

You know, even 4 is a tough driving hole because you can put it through the fairway, and if you do put it in the left side, it’s difficult. I definitely think there’s more chances on the back.

Q. Would you please share now what it was you learned after the Masters, and how did it contribute to the victory today?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I definitely wouldn’t have, I don’t think, won today if that didn’t happen; right?

Definitely take it and keep using it going forward for each event, each major, any time I’m in contention, but I’m not going to share. I can’t give away all the secrets.

Q. Have you heard from Greg Norman yet?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I called my wife, and that’s it. That’s the only person I’m really interested in talking to. I texted — my boys are here, and I’m just hanging with them and talking to my wife, and I can feel my phone buzzing even as we’re talking right now. Last I looked, I think there was 600 text messages. I’ll go through them.

Q. Without prying and trying to reveal, to follow up on that question, how big was it for you to use something that was — that some might consider a failure, to turn it into a positive? How important was that for you in this?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I’ve always learned more from the four times I finished second than, I guess, the five times I’ve won now.

I think failure is how you learn. You get better from it. You realize what mistakes you’ve made. Each time I’ve kind of made an adjustment. It’s more mentality than it is anything. It’s not really golf swing or anything like that. You’re going to play how you play, but mentally you can kind of figure things out, and I’m always trying to get better. Just trying to find that different little edge just to poke and try inside my head.

Really, I think the big key is just being open and honest with yourself, and if you can do that, you’ll be miles ahead of everybody else.

Q. Bryson was talking about how this not validates the LIV Tour but was an important moment for your tour. Can you appreciate that with your victory here?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I definitely think it helps LIV, but I’m more interested in my own self right now, to be honest with you.

Yeah, it’s a huge thing for LIV, but at the same time I’m out here competing as an individual at the PGA Championship. I’m just happy to take this home for the third time.

Q. That was actually pretty much my question. Obviously the first-ever and will always be the first-ever representative from the LIV Tour to win a major. Is there any pride with that? Obviously you’re playing individually, but is there any pride as a representative of the organization?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I think so. Look at it, I think I was the first guy to win two LIV events. To win a major is always a big deal no matter where you’re playing.

All it does, I just think, I guess, validates it for myself. I guess maybe if anybody doubted it from Augusta or whatever, any doubts anybody on TV might have or whatever, I’m back, I’m here.

Q. I guess Blake is officially running as a baby name now? Is that official?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I’ve caught to call PFT guys. I’ll call Big Cat and PFT when I get a chance, maybe on the plane. It will be a little later, though.

Q. Wonder what your celebration plans might look like tonight?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Probably pretty chill tonight. Just want to get home. Get back home, chill. I would say tomorrow with the Panthers game, it will probably be a large tailgate. A large, long afternoon.

Q. And Claude Harmon was talking earlier this week that during that final round of the Masters, you might have been letting a couple shots affect you a little bit too much more than they normally would. Is that kind of what was going on in your head?

BROOKS KOEPKA: No, that wasn’t what was going on. It was something completely different. It was something I took to the first tee.

I think, I learned from it. I’m very pleased with what I took from it, and I’m pleased with the honesty I was able to dive into. My best friend, actually, my brother’s caddie, I think we stayed up probably most of the night just chatting about it, and he kind of ripped into me pretty good about it, so made sure.

He was texting me all last night about it and making sure that I wouldn’t fall in the same trap.

Q. 16 was obviously a pretty pivotal moment in today’s round. What was your perspective on what Viktor was going through? And you hit your shot maybe 10 seconds after he hit his. What was going through your mind in that moment?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I couldn’t see what was going on, but I had a pretty good idea. It was buried under the lip, which was unfortunate. Took a couple minutes to figure out the drop and just figure out what was going on.

I don’t know, I’m a pretty fast player. We had probably, what — probably took three minutes in total from the moment he, I guess, was preparing for the original shot in the bunker and the drop situation. We already knew the yardage and knew everything going into it, and the wind stayed pretty much the same. We talked about it for a good minute.

Q. When you hit it close, did you feel like, I’ve done it, this hole, this moment, I’ve made a huge momentum swing?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I thought so, for sure. Honestly it was a tougher put. It was so downhill, and it was kind of burnt out. I even told Rick before I hit it I was going to dive it and pick the high line. If it didn’t hit the hole, it was definitely going three or four feet by.

I’m just happy that one went in. I think it was a little momentum boost. Gave me a little ease going into 17, 18.

Q. I don’t know how much you were able to follow what was going on with Michael Block today, the hole-in-one, this whole weekend. Just to share this weekend with him, having him alongside the trophy ceremony, your thoughts on that?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, it’s been super cool. He is a great dude. He’s been fun. I didn’t really get to hang out with him until after the last round and just kind of chat with him.

But, yeah, I was walking up the par-5, 13, and we heard the roar. It sounded like a hole-in-one roar. We weren’t sure, maybe someone holed out on 14. It was kind of coming from the same area. I asked one of the camera guys, and they told me that it was Mike. I thought that was special. Me and Rick were laughing about it.

Yeah, drinks are on him, so run the tab up.

Q. And then you obviously start the major season second and first. How do you try and carry this momentum into what could be a pretty historic year perhaps?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Keep doing what I’m doing. It’s working so far. Back to having a chance pretty much every time I tee it up. So I’m very pleased with the way I’m playing. I like the way I’ve worked with everybody. It’s been a lot of fun.

Q. I wonder if moments like this are a good time to reflect on the injuries, all those years in Asia and Europe, how tough the journey is?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I don’t — it’s tough to kind of reflect in the moment. I think probably the best reflection comes like a day, a couple days later. Well, definitely not tomorrow. I won’t be sober.

Yeah, I’d probably give it a week on this one. This one will probably taste a little better, but I’m excited. It’s so cool to look back at where I’ve come, traveling. I remember back to The Challenge Tour days, going to Kenya, Kazakhstan, and all those cool places and getting to see the world.

Yeah, to be out here now and win five major championships is pretty incredible.

Q. Can you comment a little bit about Ricky Elliot and how he’s helped you get back to this place?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, Rick, it’s kind of funny because Rick, I forced him to come out when Dr. ElAttrache was doing surgery. No one wanted to come with me. My brother was playing The Honda Classic. My parents were staying there. Jena just had surgery on her ankle, so she couldn’t fly out there. So I made Rick come, and Rick spent probably 2, 2 1/2 weeks with me out in L.A.

Yeah, I feel bad for him that he was stuck with me there for awhile. He was tired of me; I was tired of him. I don’t know if he gets enough credit for being as good of a caddie as he is. Caddying is a lot about reading the people, reading your player, knowing what they are going to do before they even do it and kind of sense the moment of what to say, what not to say.

Honestly, I thought he’s one of the best for a long time, and I don’t think he gets enough credit, maybe even from me.

Q. Obviously we got a peek of you at bottom because of the show, and I just kind of wondered, at those times how much were you doubting, questioning, whatever, yourself physically versus yourself, like can I go do that again, like, me, the player?

BROOKS KOEPKA: It’s tough. It’s very hard to explain. It’s just, like, you can’t fathom how difficult it is just to get going. I mean, it was a lot worse than I let on to you guys, let on to everybody.

Like I said, I think maybe only five, six people really know the extent of it, and it’s just — it was hard. Cold weather, it was achy. The swelling didn’t go down until maybe a couple months ago.

I mean, so that’s almost, what, two years? It’s been a long road. But look, that’s who I am. I’m open and honest. I know I seem like this big, bad, tough guy on the golf course that doesn’t smile, doesn’t do anything, but if you catch me off the golf course, I’ll let you know what’s going on.

Like, I’m happy they got that side; right? That’s truly me, and some people might hate it, some people might dog it, but at the end of the day, it’s just me.

Q. Just to be clear, did you ever consider retirement?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I don’t know if I considered retiring, but I knew I wasn’t — if I couldn’t play the way I wanted to play, then I was definitely going to give it up. I mean, the thought definitely kind of crossed my mind.

Q. For those of us who have never felt the pressure of a major championship, what does it do to your body specifically? When you feel nervous, does your heart race? Do your hands do anything? Do you have to slow down, or is it not that different than just a normal round?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I don’t know. To me, it’s excitement; right? I’ve got to slow down, for me. I’ve got to start walking slower because my stride just wants to keep going. Want to be the first one to the ball and hit it and just play the quickest round of golf ever.

Yeah, I’ve got to slow down. I’ve got to take my time and really just kind of assess things, but it’s difficult to say. I don’t think my hands or my heart rate gets up. I don’t think about the next shot. I always just think about what’s going on. Like, if you walk down 16, I’m not thinking, oh, I’ve got to do this on 17 or 18. I’m just thinking, whatever the next shot might be and then until I run out of shots.

Q. Is that something that you’ve learned from over time of how to take that one shot at a time, or is that something that’s just kind of come naturally to you?

BROOKS KOEPKA: A bit of both. I think I’ve definitely learned. I probably learned the most the last time I was here in 2013 when I played with Tiger on Sunday. That was interesting. I spent nine holes watching him. I’ve done that my entire life. Grew up watching the guy, and didn’t — took me until 10 — Ricky’s first week caddying for me, he told me to stop watching him.

But it just natural what you do; right? I grew up in the Tiger era. I loved watching the guy. It’s just naturally what I did for the first nine holes and then it got better.

Q. Is there a moment that sticks in your mind when you thought having that trophy again or another major wouldn’t happen?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Oh, for sure. Yeah, a couple years ago. Just lost. Didn’t know where any golf swing was; didn’t know physically if I was capable of getting back to where I was.

But, I mean, a lot’s transpired, working with Pete, working with Claude, working with Pierce on putting, and then A.C. has done a phenomenal job in the gym. Ara, Mike they are all behind the scenes and don’t get enough credit but they have definitely revived my career. A lot of credit to those guys.

I think Ara said it best a couple months ago, that if we couldn’t get the swelling out of my knee, everybody was fired. They did a great job and I wouldn’t are here without them.

Q. What’s the shot you’re going to remember most from this week?

BROOKS KOEPKA: That’s a good one.

I don’t know, I’ll have to get back to you on that one. Right now, I still have to think. I’m trying to think. Probably, you know what, probably that chip-in for par on 11, I think the first day.

Q. Why that one?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I mean, I could have made double. Saved me. Usually when you make double, you don’t win a major championship.

Q. It’s kind of impossible not to hear certain things that get yelled in a round. Ricky might throw a fan a little stare down and things like that. Does any of that get to you? Do you hear any of it?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Oh, I hear it all. I just don’t care. I mean, that’s sports, right. You’ve got to be mentally tough not to, I guess some lady was chanting some stuff and another guy was shouting out some stuff. But you’ve got to be mentally tough not to deal with it. It happens in every sport.

I’m pretty sure when Tom Brady was playing, I’m pretty sure when he walked into — when he was playing the Jets or the Dolphins, he wasn’t exactly cheered upon when he ran in the stadium.

Q. You seemed to get a little emotional as you were walking from the 18th green to the scoring tent. Was that relief? Was that suddenly realizing what you had accomplished? Just curious?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I think it was definitely what I accomplished. Pardon my language, but it’s all the fucking shit I had to go through. No one knows. No one knows, I think, all the pain. There’s a lot of times where I just couldn’t even bend my knee.

Yeah, it felt good. It felt really good.

Q. What do you think about being a dad soon?

BROOKS KOEPKA: It’s going to be wild. Yeah, it’s crazy. I feel like these last, I don’t know, five, six months, have flown by. Our life’s even started to change already, and I can only imagine when he gets here.

But I’m super excited. I’ve kind of wanted to be a dad for the last few years. This will be an exciting time for our life, and I can’t wait for it.

Q. Would you want to see the PGA Championship coming back to Oak Hill and you playing in it one day?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Like I said, I love New York. It’s treated me pretty well. But three of the five have been in New York, so I’ll come back any time (smiling).

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Brooks, congrats again.
(Transcript by asap sports)

Highlights Tours

Celebrity champions: R&A plans special event ahead of 150th British Open

The time has come again in mid-July. With the British Open in St. Andrews, golf fans are in for an exciting and thrilling week. On the occasion of this year’s 150th anniversary of the Open, the R&A is organising several special events before the top-class field of participants s tarts the official tournament.

Open week kicks off with Champions event

One of the special events kicks off on Monday of tournament week, 11 July 2022, with the Celebration of Champions seeing former Open, Women’s Major, male and female amateur and handicap winning golfers compete in a 4-hole tournament on the St Andrews Links Course. The 1st, 2nd, 17th and 18th holes will be played by a field of 48 golfers and this will also be broadcast live on

“We are bringing together the biggest names in golf with current and future stars of the sport for a unique event on the Old Course,” said Martin Slumbers, the R&A’s chief executive. In addition, Slumbers added that the R&A Celebration of Champions will be a real highlight of this special and eventful week. Among the 48 golfers, current Open champion Collin Morikawa will also be competing at the event, with the American feeling very honoured.

British Open to take centre stage in upcoming golf documentary

The 150th British Open will be the focus of the Netflix-produced golf documentary and golf fans will get to see insights about the proceedings of the anniversary week. Particularly from the pros’ point of view, there will be some footage worth watching that has not been revealed in this way before. There will be special coverage of Collin Morikawa’s mission to defend his title, but also of Major winners Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and numerous other pros. In addition, the world’s number one amateur Keita Nakajima makes his Open debut and offers the viewers interesting insights in the process.


Brooks Koepka, the new “Slim Shady”? Fans can’t help but comment on his new hairstyle

Brooks Koepka shocked his fans twice on Twitter. Koepka profile picture captured all the attention, but just if that was not enough, the American golf star surprised everyone with his new hair colour. The responsible of such a news is Philly “BarberKing” Garcia, the barber who gave Brooks a chic new fringe in the 2000s Eminem look. White blonde from roots to tips, Brooks Koepka hairstyle is on everyone’s lips now, and how he presents himself to his fans. “Blondes have more fun” is his credo for the new hairstyle.

The new “Slim Shady” Brooks Koepka

Koepka himself underlay the video for the new hairstyle with The Eminem classic “The Real Slim Shady”, so it’s no surprise that his fans are providing the comparisons to arguably one of the most famous rappers of the 2000s.

“You must have lost a bet!”

Of course, there is also wild speculation as to why Koepka has gone among the blondes, at the forefront of which is, of course, a lost bet. Could it be that his colour change is not going down well with the fashionistas of the golf course?

The best comparisons

Apart from various speculations on how Brooks Koepka hairstyle came about, fans did not miss the opportunity to compare Koepka’s new look with the fashion icons and faux pas of the past decades. In addition to Miley Cyrus and P!nk, there are numerous boy band members and sitcom actors who were fodder for comparisons.

Gunther from the sitcom “Friends”

Koepka as a 90s boy band member?

Or the new Justin Bieber lookalike:

I wonder if Brooks would have survived long in Game of Thrones. In any case, the hair colour fits in perfectly with House Tagaryen, the white-blond dragon lovers from Westeros.

While we’re on the subject of fantasy epics, the comparison with Harry Potter’s teenage nemesis is not far off. Brooks Koepka as Draco Malfoy’s older cousin? Koepka, with his new hair colour, would fit in really well with the family of the spoilt blond creep from the wizarding saga.

And the political satire “Don’t look up” is also drawn on for gloating about Koepka’s new top coat:

Mixed feelings about the new look

Some fans see Brooks Koepka’s new hair as an upgrade, although not directly for his style:

Some (former) fans must have been very upset by the new hair colour and resorted to harsh words. There are only few things worse than the words of this Twitter user:


Brooks Koepka is off the market and joins Srixon/Cleveland-Team

Brooks Koepka, one of the world’s top golfers is off the equipment market. After five-plus-years without an equipment-sponsor “Brooksy” joins the Srixon/Cleveland-Team just a week before “The Match” against his nemesis Bryson DeChambeau. After Nike stopped their club production in 2016 Brooks Koepka, a four-time-major-champion was a wanted man. Just like his former Nike-colleagues Rory McIlroy or Tiger Woods, who quickly joined other Brands. The signing was teased by Srixon in a highly cryptical Twitter post earlier this week.

Brooks Koepka is in good company

Koepka joins Masters Champion Hideki Matsuyama, Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell in the Srixon staff. “I’ve been an equipment free agent for the past few years,” Koepka said in a release, “so it will be fun to be involved with a company on a daily basis and be able to contribute to the development of their future equipment.”

He starts his Srixon/Cleveland journey with the Srixon ZX5 driver, ZX7 irons and Cleveland RTX ZipCore Tour Rack wedges. Along with the Prototype of a new Srixon golf ball, the Srixon Z-Star. He will carry a Srixon Tour Staff bag as well, known for being one of the biggest marketing spots for tour pros. Other than that, there is no more information about Koepka’s future paychecks and financial details.

Srixon’s vice president Rodney McDonald said, “We’re extremely proud to have Brooks come on board as our newest staff member.” He goes on, “Brooks is one of the best players in the world and brings his major championship pedigree and validation to our brands. We’re excited for Brooks to join the Srixon and Cleveland Golf family and look forward to supporting him out on tour.”

Not so big changes for Brooks Koepka

Although Koepka needs to get along with a new driver, new wedges and a completely new golf ball he is comfortable using the ZX7 irons. He started playing these in January and got along quickly, proving the equipment decision right by winning the Phoenix Open 2021 two weeks later.


Bryson DeChambeau gives a first warning to Brooks Koepka hitting a 521-yard driver off the top of a casino

The European Tour and the LPGA Tour seasons ended last weekend in the 21st of November, 2021. The PGA Tour still has one last event before is over. However, there is one more off-season show in between. Every golf and drama lover has been awaiting for this battle since October. Last month, two of the most controversial golfers on Tour, Bryson DeChambeau(28) and Brooks Koepka(31) announced their 12-hole match to square off their differences.

The drama started years ago over the social media, and it turned into a very loud topic within the golf world. Due to the teambonding at the 43rd Ryder Cup, the audience witnessed them waving the white flag of peace, and finally shaking hands. The duo will face each other on November 26th at the Wynn Golf Course, the only golf course on the Las Vegas strip.

Bryson DeChambeau shows off the gains

It is not new to find DeChambeau on social media working on his long-driver skills. When the yardage seems like reaching the human limit, he surprises his followers. The power and the speed of his swing were such that the TopGolf range fell short. The the 2020 U.S. Open champ was just casually bombing balls over the net.

The 521-yard driver that is shaping up to be a smash hit

In case that the TopGolf show was not enough to get in the nerves of his opponent, DeChambeau decided to get up to the roof of the Wynn Hotel, and hit a 521-yard driver. The target was the venue of their match, at Wynn Golf Club, stting just 650 feet below the rooftop tee box. This video was shared as a preamble to The Match, showing DeChambeau is coming on strong in the Black Friday Battle.

After trying out some hockey swings, Bryson embraced that club, and prepared to break the ball into million pieces. Koepka had set a target that caught DeChambeau out of guard at first. Little did he knew that DeChambeau was just warming up.

He finally blasts his ball and hits the perfect line. It went so far that it bounced after the target, rolling over to the fairway behind. Not to risky to say that his opponent’s mouth dropped open within the next second. The result of the upcoming match is still a mystery… Nevertheles, facts are that Koepka is going to have to sharpen up his short game.

Live PGA Tour

Brooks Koepka brings the good from the Ryder to the Shriners Children’s Open: “I like where my game’s headed.”


October 6, 2021

Brooks Koepka

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

TPC Summerlin
Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: We would like to welcome Brooks to the media center here at the Shriners Children’s Open. Brooks has five starts at the event previously, including two top-5s. So Brooks if we could just get an opening comment from you ahead of your sixth start here.

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I’ve always liked it here. I think it’s always been a good course for me. I’ve kind of either been right up there with a chance to win or it’s just been two days and pack your bags. But I feel like my game’s trending in the right direction, I like how everything went at the Ryder Cup I feel like I finally saw the turn because I thought this whole year after the injury was pretty poor. I just like the way it’s trending. I like where the game’s headed.

THE MODERATOR: Making your first start of the new PGA TOUR season, you picked up your 8th PGA TOUR title last season at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Goals you’re looking to accomplish this season as we start with a clean slate?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, just want to keep winning. I think that’s the goal. That’s what I’m out here to do is to win, to win multiple times and then probably stay healthy is probably a good goal.


Q. With the news yesterday coming about The Match, curious how that came to be, when discussions started for that and what your thoughts are on that.

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I mean I think we’re excited. So it’s going to be good, you’ll see it, what, the day after Thanksgiving.

Q. When did discussions for that begin, when did that sort of conversation start?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I don’t know. You can ask Bryson.

Q. You said the key is staying healthy. How do you do that? I know you’re playing every season but what will the steps after what you’ve been through to try and stay healthy?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I’m still looking for that answer, man. I don’t know. I think part of it maybe realizing — I mean I still in my head I still think I’m young, I still think I’m like 22, 23, 24 in my head, but realizing that my body can’t do the things that I used to do, tend to take it a little bit slower and just be more cautious, I think, whether it be in the gym, at home doing certain things messing around. It’s just not, I’m not as mobile as I was years ago. So just be a little more cautious and watch it. Some things you can’t avoid, you’re always going to be a little, I don’t want to say dinged up, but a little bit, you feel something. But it’s just part of the game. You don’t feel a hundred percent every week and you’re not going to. But just really trying to minimize the big stuff.

Q. Distance has always been important on the PGA TOUR from Nicklaus to Daly to Woods to yourself and others. But now with what Bryson is doing seems like there’s a new spotlight on it. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind with his embracing of the long drive philosophy and what potential impact and influence do you think this will have on the TOUR?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I think it will be a big impact. I think you kind of saw it maybe coming out of COVID. I think you saw even other guys trying to hit it further. Swing a little harder, trying to maximize their distance. I think it’s going to change the game of golf forever, personally. But if you’re going to hit it that far and you find a couple fairways, it’s tough to beat. It does get very difficult when you got wedge into hole where guys got 6-iron. Your odds are going to be in your favor. That’s what he’s done. It’s impressive to be able to actually change a body, change the way you swing and but yet still compete out here action I think that’s probably the most impressive thing. It’s one thing to do it and then just kind of mess around with it at home but not bring it to an actual tournament. So the fact he’s able to do that, the fact he did at the Long Drive, I don’t think anybody really thought he was going to get that far, but the fact he did was quite impressive. So I think and it’s one of those things you’re seeing all these younger guys, they come out of college — and I remember hearing about Cameron Champ from Sean Foley for probably about two years before he was out here. And I think you’re just going to continually see that type of distance come from the kids that are in college or high school now that will be out here in five, six years.

Q. I would think rest would help with your injury situation, so I was curious what your philosophy is about playing these fall events and how many you plan to play and if you wish there was a longer off-season.

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I mean, I always try to take my breaks. I like playing, if I can play, play a couple weeks in a row. Usually my first week out isn’t very good, that’s why I try to play as much as I can in between or right before a major. My second, third week out is usually the better of it and then at four it doesn’t work for me, I don’t play that well in the fourth week. So just trying to manage it and the fall schedule, I’ll play these two and then Houston as well, helping design that golf course. So it’s one of those things where I felt like I need reps so that was one of the things why I want to play. I need more competitive golf. Because I felt like, I don’t know what, I can’t think of the results, other than playing decent at the PGA, but I felt like I didn’t play that well. I know I had the injury, but it was just, it wasn’t up to my expectations. So kind of turning that corner now of all right I can starting to see some things, especially at the Ryder Cup I thought that was a big thing for me. And just stay healthy, because then I can, I don’t have to worry about rest.

Q. Speaking of next week, you’re playing in a course nobody’s really ever seen before. What’s your philosophy going into a tournament like that where it’s a brand new venue?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Really doesn’t matter. I’m pretty sure there’s been guys that have pitched up to — I mean, we did it all junior golf, colleague, amateur stuff, you never played the golf course and go play. So I personally don’t think it’s a big deal. I think sometimes it’s made a little bigger deal than what it is. Done it our whole lives or especially more when we were younger, not so much when we’re on TOUR. But it’s fine.

Q. Do you know anything about the Summit Club?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Nothing. I know it’s in Vegas, that’s about it.

Q. You talked about you like where your game is trending and you saw some good things at Whistling Straits. Just curious what did you kind of see in your game there, what were the shots you were seeing that were really encouraging?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I thought I drove it a lot better, I thought for obviously I didn’t drive the ball as well this year. I didn’t have, we call it, me and Rickie and everybody kind of on the team, we call it just like a little fairway finder where it’s a little bit lower flighted, cuts a little bit more than a normal shot for me. And I just couldn’t put, I just couldn’t find the fairway with it, it just kept leaking and then I kind of had the both-way misses with the driver, but that was more swing related than anything. Just the scoring clubs too. Making quite a few bogeys with wedges in your hand where, to be honest with you, I tried to play too perfectly is I think maybe the best answer for that and tried to play perfect golf. Sometimes when you are trying to be so perfect it ends up backfiring on you. Just trying to be a little bit more patient. I think I was getting a little bit more frustrated, impatient, all those things and really kind of had to take a step back and just realize, all right, like I’m not playing as bad as I think I am and I’m just putting more internal pressure I think than anything. And then as far as putting goes, it’s just been I struggled, it wasn’t the fact I was lining up wrong or the stroke was bad, it was my green reading. So I’ve kind of gone to my putting coach, Jeff Pierce, we worked a little bit on AimPoint, I started to use that, Ryder Cup was the first time I used it and I thought that was a big thing, it’s just using it kind of more as a not the answer, more of the double check or having an idea where to, this is the region where it’s, this putt should be breaking, then get behind it, bend down, look at it, do my normal thing, okay, they both work, just a double check system. Plus it takes a little bit off of having to bend down all the time on the knees so it’s a double added bonus.

Q. I was going to ask you, we also had Scottie Scheffler in here a couple minutes ago, I’m sure you got a different window inside looking at him through the Ryder Cup. Just curious, he went out Sunday, gave you guys a huge point. Curious what your thoughts were on him as a young player and just the way he carries himself and his game.

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, we have the same agent, Blake Smith, so it’s I’ve known Scottie for a long time. Even when he was an amateur golfer, you knew he was going to be out here, good player, very solid, very consistent. I think he’s going to be, he hasn’t won yet but he will and it’s going to be very quickly. I think to being apart of this Ryder Cup and winning important points and being in that atmosphere, for me it was the same way, I felt like I had the most confidence after 2016, it really kind of propelled me. I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens to him. If you look at all these big events, the major, the WGC’s over the last few years, that’s where he plays his best, it seems, the bigger tournaments. And he’s a big-game hunter so I wouldn’t be surprised if he pops off a major win very shortly, but that win will come and it’s going to come pretty quick, I think.

Q. I was interested what you said about Bryson at the Long Drive. Do you think he’ll ever be able to unload to that extent in a Regular Tour event and if it hadn’t been for the injuries, is that a route you would have followed, looking for extra distance?

BROOKS KOEPKA: To the second part, no, I wouldn’t. Look, I played the same way for, I’m 31, to probably maybe 20 years, I would say, pretty consistent of what my game is. Don’t try to do anything I can’t do. I don’t try to press the issue. But what was the first part of that again?

Q. It was whether he could unload to that extent in a proper TOUR event or will conditions always be against that?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I mean, he could. I think if conditions are right, wide enough fairway, not that he’s spraying it, but if you get something that looks like a pasture out there and it’s a long hole, I mean, I’m pretty sure he could if he wanted to. I think he could, without a doubt. If he’s done it out there in the Long Drive, he can do it out here, it’s just a matter of how tight the fairway is, where the miss is, all those things kind of go into play.

Q. I know your little brother didn’t make it through Q-School a couple weeks ago. As someone who has played on the Challenge Tour and all these different levels and you’ve played a lot of golf with Chase. How small is the gap between the guys who are struggling to get there and the guys you’re going to be playing against this week?

BROOKS KOEPKA: There’s a very minimal gap. I played with guys outside my brother, including, even including my brother, where you’re trying to figure out how they’re not out here. Just comes down to playing well at the right time. It’s more difficult to get out here than it is to stay out here, I think. Once you get that actual — I mean, you got to play well one week a year, Q-School and then you got to have a year on the Korn Ferry to get out here. It’s not like it was back in the day where you could have one good week and then you’re out on the PGA TOUR.

As far as my brother goes, he was down there with us before the Ryder Cup and I watched him play, he’s plenty good enough to be out here, just needs to put it together at the right time and kind of find his way. I think he’s doing a lot better job of that, just from talking to him over the last couple weeks and I think he’s really kind much I don’t want to say found himself, but he’s doing — I’m impressed with what I see. I know it didn’t work out for him, but he’s definitely going in the right direction and I’m proud of him for that.

Q. I had one follow-up on you working with the AimPoint. I don’t know ifs hard or easy to learn, but at 31 does it keep the game fresh that you guys are always kind of learning stuff and discovering nuances and different little things in this game?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, it’s kind of funny. Yeah, I don’t probably use the AimPoint as the AimPoint people would like it, it’s just like a rough guess, I just, is it a 1, 2, 3, 4, what ever it might be, I don’t try to get too specific with it and just kind of have a ballpark region. So to go with it. But, yeah, it was refreshing because we were talking about it on the course today of like growing up when I was little my dad taught me pretty much the game and we were talking about plumb bobbing it and that was always the way to read it. But it’s actually the most, it doesn’t work (laughing), as much as people might think it does, it all depends on where you stand. And I just learned that today, so I was kind of fascinated by that. But it’s interesting with all these new, we have so much technology now, you think about it, I don’t even, 10 years ago I don’t know if Trackman existed, I don’t really use it that much, barely ever. But there’s so much technology there, where if you want information you can go get it and if you don’t, I’m probably on the less information side of guys out here, and there’s some things where you got to keep improving year after year. You look at it, traditionally 30 or 35 is when guys have their prime out here and I’m just kind of starting that prime at 31. So hopefully that holds up true. But you got to find a way.

I’ve fallen off, to be completely honest, I’ve fallen off of going to world No. 1, injuries, all this stuff, and I haven’t been where I expect myself to be, so I think that’s been the disappointing part, so it was a, kind of kicking myself and trying to figure out how to get better and that was just one of the ways. So I like where this information is coming, because it’s definitely helping and I think having maybe an open mind to certain things is key out here.

Interview Transcript by ASAP Sports

Fun Professionals

Black Friday Battle Between Brooks & Bryson

It’s on! Finally, these two will dish it out on the green and only one will come out on top. No more social media scruffs or side eyeing each other at tournaments. The duo will square off in a 12-hole match on November 26 at the Wynn Golf Course, the only golf course on the Las Vegas strip. 

Bryson Dechambeau (28) and Brooks Koepka (31) are both pro American golfers who are stars on the PGA Tour. With their recent success at the Ryder Cup, all spectators have their eyes on these two. However, not only for their golf game. Fans have been sitting on the edge of their seat to see where the drama will lead between the two men. Is one golfer truly better than the other? Is this a fight over skill or over fame? Where did it all begin?

The Beginning

The feud began in 2018, when Koepka criticized how slow DeChambeau was playing. “I just don’t understand how it takes a minute and 20 seconds, a minute and 15 to hit a golf ball; it’s not that hard,” Koepka said at the time. DeChambeau hit back by digging at Koepka’s physique, claiming he didn’t have any abs.

Koepka then took to social media to retilate..

Then when Dechambeau was paired with Aaron Rogers  for “The Match” against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady, Brooks sent a “I’m sorry bro” tweet to Aaron Rogers.  Dechambeau gracefully responded with,

Meme moments

After that, everything came to a head when Koepka became a meme at the PGA Championship. Koepka broke during a post-round conversation with the media when DeChambeau walked past, making a point of making as much noise on the pavement as he could with his spikes.

No, there was no beef at the Ryder Cup.

The two were fortunately not paired and were able to focus on gaining the win for the US team. There were no side eyeing, no tweeting, and no one was called Brooksy. They even seemed to enjoy each other’s presence and sat next to each other during the press conferences.

KOHLER, WISCONSIN – SEPTEMBER 23: Bryson DeChambeau of team United States and Brooks Koepka of team United States attend the opening ceremony for the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 23, 2021 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Anticipating November

So whether the beef is over, was never real, or the two still hate each other, it could all get resolved this November. Hopefully they both don’t eat too much Turkey the day before and give all their best, regardless if they have abs or not.

Highlights Tours

Brooks Koepka: “I don’t care whether I like the place or not”

STUART MOFFATT: Good afternoon, everyone. I’m delighted to say that we’re joined by the four-time major champion Brooks Koepka. Welcome to Royal St. George’s. You’ve performed really well this season, two strong finishes in the last two majors. How confident are you of contending this week for The Open title?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I feel good. Coming off a couple good finishes. Felt like I was playing well. I’m pretty excited for this week. It’s a major, so I’ll be up for it, and excited to play this week.

Q. You said on several occasions that you find it so much easier to get up for the majors. I just wonder when that starts to kick in. Is it when you set foot on property a few days before or when you start making plans?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I mean, I don’t make plans, but it’s kind of more when I show up. I don’t know, it’s a different feeling. It’s just more focused, more locked in on what I need to do, no distractions. I don’t know, I just simplify everything, and it becomes a lot easier.

Q. How much do you enjoy coming to the UK? I appreciate it’s a very different year with COVID, but tell me about that and about the challenges of coming and playing links golf and taking part in an Open.

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I mean, I’ve always enjoyed coming over here. I came over here when I was a little kid. Actually here, watched Ben win. Me and my brother and my mom came. I must have been like 10 years old or something.

Yeah, I’ve always enjoyed playing links golf. I think it takes a lot of creativity and imagination. In the States a lot of times you just throw it up high in the air and the ball is going to stop, where you’ve really got to pay attention where the ball is going to bounce into the green. You might have 50 yards but you’ve got about six clubs you could play.

I think that’s fun. It brings out the creative side. It’s fun. I love it. I love it over here.

Q. I can’t use in the circumstances the word Pete Cowan used to describe what you said about not getting the job done at the U.S. PGA; you were rather annoyed shall we say. How would you sum up your feelings about not getting over the line in the last two majors?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, disappointing. PGA I started off with a double. Made a mental mistake there, so that drives me nuts. I don’t mind making mistakes, making a bad swing, but when you make a mental mistake — I kind of pride myself on not making a mental mistake during a major, and that was unfortunate.

At the end of the day, I just didn’t play good enough. I didn’t putt anywhere remotely good enough to win.

I didn’t deserve it, but still lost, so doesn’t matter.

Q. What do you think of the golf course? How does it compare to some of the other Open venues? And what do you think is its biggest challenge?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I only played the front nine. I don’t know, it’s not my favourite venue that we’ve played. I think Portrush and St. Andrews are definitely the favourites.

I haven’t seen all 18. I’ll see the back nine today. But a couple — quite a few blind tee shots, kind of hitting to nothing. Fairways are quite undulating. I don’t know, it’s not my favourite of the rotation, put it that way.

Q. How would you describe your performances so far in the Open, and do you feel the best is still to come for you in this event?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I think I probably haven’t played my best over here. I don’t know, I think over the last couple years — I don’t want to say it’s been a distraction, but I’ve won the PGA or the U.S. Open before, and I’ve enjoyed those weeks after a little too much.

I came over — Sunday was the first time I touched a club since Travelers. Maybe I always don’t have the best of prep coming into this. But I feel good. I feel my game feels solid. I like the way I’m hitting it right now, and definitely more comfortable than I’ve been in years past coming over.

Q. In this country we’ve been quite royally entertained recently by the back-and-forth between you and Bryson. Is there any kind of pantomime element to that, or is it the fact you just genuinely don’t care for each other?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I mean, there’s a story behind it, but I’ve already said the story. Like I said, we had a conversation at Liberty, and he didn’t hold up his end of the bargain and I didn’t like that, so I’ll take my shots.

Q. When you say it’s not your favourite venue and you explained why, how does that affect your confidence or your attitude towards going out there and trying to win the Claret Jug?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, it doesn’t matter. I’ve won on golf courses that I’m not a big fan of before. It has nothing to do with it. Still got to get up and go hit the shot and do what I’m supposed to do, so that doesn’t bug me.

I don’t care whether I like the place, don’t like it. You’ve still got to play good and go hit the shots.

Like I said, playing St. Andrews is probably my favourite place in the entire world to play. Portrush two years ago was — I don’t know, I love that place. I thought that was just such a good Open. A fun golf course to play. Really enjoyed that.

This one, it’s just not as exciting. I don’t know why. Whether it be a couple shots to nothing, a couple blind — I don’t want to say — a couple blind tee shots or shots in where you can’t really see much. I’m not too big of a fan of that.

Q. Is there a point considering that the Ryder Cup is coming up later this year that you have to start getting along with Bryson somehow if you’re going to be in the same team in September?

BROOKS KOEPKA: You realize it’s only a week, right?

Q. But you are on the same team.

BROOKS KOEPKA: It’s only a week. I mean, look, I can put it aside for business. If we’re going to be on the same team, I can deal with anybody in the world for a week.

I’m not playing with him. I’m pretty sure we’re not going to be paired together; put it that way. I think it’s kind of obvious.

It doesn’t matter. I don’t think they’re — we’re not going to be high fiving and having late-night conversations. I do my thing, he does his thing. Yeah, we’re on the same team, but it’s not an issue at all. I don’t view it as an issue. I don’t think he does.

Like I said, I can put anything aside for a team, business, whatever, just to get the job done. No problem with that.

Q. Last month I think you quite rightly said that your rivalry with Bryson is good for the game. Do you think it would be good for the game if you two were playing in the final group on Sunday, and is that something you relish?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I would enjoy it. I would enjoy it. I’ll be close to the final group come Sunday. I always feel like I play well in the big events, the majors. I think it would be a lot more people tuning in, with everything that’s gone on over the last two years, something like that, three years.

So yeah, I think there would be a lot of people tuning in.

Q. Your experience as a four-time major winner, I think you’re the only one who’s won multiple majors in the last five years, will that be crucial going into that final day do you feel?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Maybe a little bit, not much. At the end of the day it just comes down to how well you’re playing. Are you going to make the putts, are you going to hit the right shots at the right time, avoid bunkers out here, keep it out of the rough? The rough is pretty thick out here, probably the thickest I’ve seen of the venues over the last five years maybe, six years.

So you’ve got to be able to drive the ball straight. That’s the big key out here.

Q. In addition to your wins, you’ve obviously contended in the Open and the Masters. Is the career grand slam something you’ve given a thought to going ahead?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, that’s a goal of mine. We were actually just laughing about it. It would be pretty cool to go back-to-back in all of them. I think that would be pretty cool, so that’s the goal.

Like I said, I just need to get the job done here. I love St. Andrews, so hopefully it’ll happen.

Q. Did I hear you say you came over here in ’03 when Ben won?


Q. That seems like an odd vacation for a Florida kid. What brought you here? What were the circumstances, and what are your strongest memories?

BROOKS KOEPKA: We got the opportunity — I must have been — I don’t know what I was in, fifth, sixth grade, something like that — just to come over here and play St. Andrews, Carnoustie, come watch I think the final round of The Open.

Me, my mom and my little brother, we came over I think a couple days early from when the whole thing was going to start, and just got to play links golf. I thought it was so much fun. That’s kind of when I fell in love with it.

It was cool getting to — I remember my brother at the time, he thought it was so cool. Tiger was playing on 13 and my brother had said something and Tiger said something back to him, and we thought it was the coolest thing at the time.

It’s kind of funny, I think with about three holes left, I remember Thomas took a few out of the bunker, and I think Ben was maybe a group or two behind him, but I ended up falling asleep right in the little pavilion to the right of 18 and didn’t even see the finish.

I remember getting yelled at by my mom, I didn’t bring you over here to fall asleep kind of deal.

But it was fun. We enjoyed the whole trip, and it was a cool family trip.

Q. How big a help has Ricky been to you in relation to plotting your way around links courses?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I mean, Rick is a help anywhere I go. I love that guy to death. I don’t think I would have the success I’ve had without him. He’s a crucial part of the way I game plan. He really understands how I play golf, how I go about things, and he keeps it light out there.

We have a good relationship off the course, good relationship on it. Keep things light. He knows I’m not going to take it too seriously. We’ve been together for eight years now almost, I think. He can pretty much tell exactly what I’m thinking, what I’m doing, and I think when you build that relationship so well on the course, off the course, good things are going to happen.

He’s been a big part of those major wins every win I’ve had, and even coming over to links, just — I mean, he’s grown up on it, so I don’t want to say I lean on him all the time, but he’s definitely got a better understanding of how to play links golf than I do, so it’s definitely been helpful to have him on the bag, and that relationship I’m super grateful for.

Q. Obviously the protocols here are a lot different than what we’re seeing at home, especially in the last couple months. What kind of adjustments did you have to make? Have you found it to be difficult at all to kind of go back to what we were doing maybe a year ago? How are you sort of getting along with the whole thing?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I mean, it’s different. I don’t have my full team here this week. I don’t have my trainer, don’t have my chef. The cooking definitely is not as good with me, Rick, my physio, and my manager, Blake. We’re trying our best, but it’s not as good as she would make it.

It’s not too big of a deal. Most of the times I don’t do anything anyway. I come to the course, I go to the gym, and I don’t leave the house.

It’s not too big of an adjustment for me. Obviously just missing those two would be the big thing.

I’ve just got me, my physio, my caddie, and my agent, that’s it, just the four of us. It’s quite fun. We’re all so close, and we enjoy — we’ve always enjoyed this week. It’s fun, the four of us getting to stay together because usually it doesn’t happen.

Q. When you explained recently the start of this thing with Bryson, you said that he went back on his word, which is why you sort of — did you explain what he did? How did he go back on his word? Apologies if you have said that and I missed it. What made you think he had gone back on his word?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, it was at — I said it a couple weeks ago. It was at Liberty. He didn’t like that I had mentioned his name in slow play, so we had a conversation in the locker room, and then I guess we said something else in the press conference but didn’t mention his name in it, and he walked up to Ricky, said something. It was, You tell your man if he’s got something to say, say it to myself. I thought that was ironic because he went straight to Ricky. Ricky told me when I came out, hit a few putts, and then just walked right over to him, we had a conversation. We both agreed we’d leave each other out of it and wouldn’t mention each other, just kind of let it die off, wouldn’t mention each other’s names, just go about it.

So then he decided I guess he was going on that little, whatever, playing video games online or whatever and brought my name up and said a few things, so now it’s fair game.

STUART MOFFATT: Brooks, very best of luck this week.

Interview transcript by

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


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)