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ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL PRESENTED BY MASTERCARD


March 19, 2015


Jason Kokrak


ORLANDO, FLORIDA

Q.テつ You come up with the eagle at 16th, birdies and that eagle.テつ That's a great way to start this tournament.
JASON KOKRAK:テつ It was solid.テつ There's really nothing to look down upon on this round.テつ I missed one, the one green on 7, didn't get it up and down but, you know, rolling the ball good and giving myself a lot of real good birdie opportunities inside of 15, 18 feet.
You know, that's what you got to do out here, give yourself as many looks as possible and you're going to make a few out here but, you know, just don't get yourself into any major trouble and you're going to be okay.テつ The rough is not as long either.

Q.テつ Tell us about that eagle at 16 because that's the shortest of the par-5s at 511 with the creek.
JASON KOKRAK:テつ It's a daunting second shot out there.テつ You got to hit the fairway.テつ If you don't hit the fairway it's a tough shot to go at.テつ I hit a driver right in the middle of the fairway, didn't go at it hard because I needed to get in it fairway and short of the left bunker.
Forget what we had in but I hit 6-iron to about, I don't know 8, 9 feet and poured it right in the left center.テつ Wasn't a strenuous birdie but it was pretty picturesque.

Q.テつ Great finish last year in this tournament, positive forces last year working this year as well?
JASON KOKRAK:テつ Absolutely.テつ I played with Matt last year in the final round and I struck the ball well last year so good vibes coming into this week.

Q.テつ NCAA Tournament.テつ You went to Xavier taking on Ole Miss.テつ I imagine you're going to be in front of the television when that game starts?
JASON KOKRAK:テつ I think Xavier is going to take them down.テつ They're a tough team, got to keep the ball.

Q.テつ Some basketball analysis.テつ We like that.
JASON KOKRAK:テつ You never know.

Q.テつ Good luck to the Musketeers.
That was some playing.
JASON KOKRAK:テつ I got off to a solid start.テつ You know, nice to watch David get off to a fast start and that helps out the whole group.テつ You know, solid from tee to green and, you know, really kind of got a good round kick started on 16 with the eagle.テつ Hit a really good shot in on 18.テつ Missed a few short ones today.テつ Could have been a couple shots lower but one mistake on 7, missed the green left and pretty thick lie, didn't get it up and down.
Two misses with drives on 8 and 9 but hit good shots in there and gave myself a birdie opportunity on both of those so I'm happy with it.
Lot more golf, 54 more holes to go.テつ Just keep playing, keep hitting the fairways and greens and give yourself a birdie opportunity.

Q.テつ You like this place though, don't you?テつ What is it about the place you like?
JASON KOKRAK:テつ It's Arnie's event.テつ Just got that kind of vibe to it and I played well last year so good vibes coming from last year into this year and I'm comfortable.テつ I'm comfortable at this place.
I have a friend that lives here and stay at his house.テつ It's a pretty relaxing week.テつ Get to fish and throw a few lines.テつ I like the golf course.
The greens are a little slower than average but be a little more aggressive.テつ See a couple low scores out there.

Q.テつ I was going to say, the greens are getting some criticism.テつ How did you see it besides from the fact they're kind of slow?
JASON KOKRAK:テつ When I first got out here they weren't great but out there this morning they were rolling pretty good, pretty.テつ Slow for PGA TOUR standards but overall, you know, a decent pace and an aggressive golf course you can go out there and hit putts firm and not worry about it rolling 8, 10 feet by.

Q.テつ What's the key shot on the golf course?テつ Is it a driver's course, second shot course, putter's course?
JASON KOKRAK:テつ I think you got to keep it -- in I think it's a second shot golf course.テつ If you don't give yourself the opportunity to hit a mid to low iron into the green out there it's a tough golf course.
Obviously the greens are softer and slower than they have been in the past so you can actually be a little bit more aggressive with your shots into the greens.テつ You don't have to absolutely leave it below the hole to give yourself a real good look at birdie.
But, you know, try to hit as many fairways but I think the key is to give yourself as many birdie looks out here this week as possible because you're going to make a few, you can be aggressive with your putts so I think you go out there with the aggressive mentality and limit the major mistakes.

Q.テつ It does turn to a shootout everybody is going to make birdie.テつ Comes down to 16, 17, 18 on Sunday.テつ What are those three holes like?
JASON KOKRAK:テつ The pin placement normally on Sunday on 16 is really tough to get to but tougher to putt to, I think because it's normally extremely fast around that hole and at least it was last year.
They might move it this year but, you know, it's an eagle opportunity there.テつ You know, 17, you know, a mid to longer iron into the hole depending on the wind.テつ You can't miss it short or long, can't miss it right, you can't do any of that.
You can miss it left but you're going to have 25, 30 feet for your birdie.テつ But, you know, then 18 is just one of those holes where you just got to put up or shut up.テつ Can't -- you got to step up there and hit golf shots.テつ There's no bail out.テつ You can bail out left off the tee but there's no bail out to that pin on Sunday.

Q.テつ After a good first round what do you mentally have to do to keep the momentum going?
JASON KOKRAK:テつ The same mentality.テつ Play aggressive.テつ I started out pretty solid, solid golf tee to green.テつ Gave myself a lot of looks at birdies.テつ Few mistakes coming in but made good on my round and finished at 5 but, you know, few things to work on and always try to get better.

Q.テつ It's kind of the buzz around here that the greens are less than perfect this week.テつ What kind of mentality do you have when you hit the first tee knowing that?
JASON KOKRAK:テつ I mean I think you can just be a little bit more aggressive on these greens.テつ They're still rolling pretty good.テつ They're just a little slower than average, but they still roll pretty nice.
And you get the ball on line, it's going to go and got to hit it hard enough.テつ You can be a little bit more aggressive but in years past you couldn't be.
You have sort of the aggressive mentality going in as opposed to years past you got to hit it below the hole and have a uphill look.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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