home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


February 19, 2016

Jason Kokrak

Pacific Palisades, California

MARK WILLIAMS: Like to welcome Jason Kokrak to the interview room here at the Northern Trust Open. He's finished 36 holes at 10-under and currently leading, or tied for the lead I guess right now. Just give us some assessment of your day. Obviously a great start on the first hole.

JASON KOKRAK: Yeah, I got off to a great start, 3-wood, 7-iron. I actually flew it a little past the hole high, but hit a really good shot and kind of set the tone for the day. Hit a lot of good mid-iron shots but you know, made a couple putts.

Had a couple kick-ins, but this golf course makes you stay patient and you know, there's hard holes and there's easy holes. So if you can par the par 3s and a couple of the key par 4s, the par 5s are definitely gettable for me.

MARK WILLIAMS: Was there a certain spot in the round on any hole where you saved par or kept the momentum going?

JASON KOKRAK: Even yesterday, I putted really well yesterday. Strokes gained putting was above normal for me, but you know, hit it very well. So I haven't had too many big par save opportunities, two yesterday. Making the turn, I made a really nice up-and-down.

But it's just one of those golf courses you're going to miss a couple greens. You're going to have some tough up-and-downs and some difficult putts. But give yourself birdie opportunities inside of 20 to 25 feet and you're going to be okay.

Q. You said you hit a lot of good mid-irons. Those are traditionally ones that can bounce a long way here. Did they not go as far because of the softness of the green?
JASON KOKRAK: Definitely. With all that rain before Thursday's round, it rained pretty much all night. But I had a tough time getting it close. You're spinning back 7-irons, even 6-irons out there.

But today, the golf course definitely firmed up a little bit. Still spinning back but those mid-irons are just kind of hitting and stopping in the middle of the green wherever it hits within a few feet.

So you can definitely be aggressive, even with the mid-irons, 8-, 7-, 6-iron. But the greens are definitely soft. I'm interested to see how much them firm up through the weekend.

Q. You stuffed it in on 15, which is normally a tough one to get close. What did you hit?
JASON KOKRAK: I hit a 7-iron. I had 172 adjusted. We knew the wind from the hole before. I had a little bit longer. I think I had 180-something and I hit just a little chippy 6-iron and then the next hole, I hit the 7-iron and flushed it and it was the perfect number.

Q. You and Bubba and Dustin are among the contenders, but there's a couple players that obviously are not as long off the tee. Just how much of an advantage is having length here?
JASON KOKRAK: Having length is an advantage I think on most golf courses. You can't hit driver on certain spots but a lot of the long par 4s, you've got to hit driver on. A couple of those longer ones are into the wind but the par 5s are all gettable. 1 obviously; I hit just a 4-wood into 17. They are long par 5s, but for us, we can get there in two, as some of the other guys can't, just depending on where the pin is.

But you leave yourself short-sided or a difficult up-and-down, it's very difficult to get it up-and-down around here.

Q. So you're not really surprised that the big bombers are kind of at the top of the leaderboard?
JASON KOKRAK: Well, yeah, No. 4 is a long par 3. So we are able to hit a long iron into there where some of the shorter players might have hybrid or even more depending on the wind. But some of the other holes, like 8, I hit 3-wood, 9-iron -- or 3-iron, 9-iron in today. They are not overly-long holes but you can play a little safer off the tee and with a club that you normally hit straighter.

Q. I noticed that in your previous trips here, you had not exactly burned it up. But what's the difference this week?
JASON KOKRAK: Yeah, I definitely have -- it's been a struggle to learn how to play this golf course. It's old school. It's very hard.

But you know, it's right there in front of you. There's no tricky shots. It's just it's a good tough golf course, good test.

I came in the Saturday, Sunday last week, and was hitting it okay but really hit it well last week on the weekend. It's continued this week. If I can hit the driver a little bit straighter and keep it in the fairway, it's a huge advantage for me.

But you know, I putted it really well the last four or five rounds out here on TOUR. But I think that's the biggest key for me is if I putt well, I'm always kind of close to the Top-10, Top-20, if I putt well.

Q. I know you've won a couple of times on the Web.com. How much will you recall on that experience over this next 36 holes in terms of trying to get it done for the first time on the PGA TOUR?
JASON KOKRAK: Well, you just have to put yourself in position. You definitely can call upon past experiences. I think I've put myself in that position enough times that I can go out there, stick to my game plan, and you know, just hit golf shots. It all comes down to making putts out here on Saturday and Sunday, and if I can get a few to drop, we'll see where we're at on Sunday.

Q. Most people hate walking up those stairs after 18 to the clubhouse. Do you always bound up the stairs like you did today, or is that just a product of your round?
JASON KOKRAK: Well, I want to get -- it's a little bit of a product of the round. But you want to get the stairs out of the way, so two at a time makes it pretty easy.

Q. I just wanted to follow up on Helen's question. Did you see this coming? 64s aren't, like, you know, they are not out there all that often here at Riviera. Could you sense that something special was going to come today?
JASON KOKRAK: Well, I don't know if I sensed it, but I was hitting it well, and you know, the kick-ins on 14 and 15 definitely helped. So I only had like three or four inches on 14. But the par 5s, you've got to get off to a good start, and if you can birdie 1 and par 2, that's a pretty good start on this golf course. 2 is a very difficult hole. But the way I hit it on Saturday, Sunday at Pebble, I can definitely see something special coming, but I just put myself in position, just like I'm going to try to do the next couple days and see what happens.

MARK WILLIAMS: Thank you for your time, Jason. Good look luck on the weekend.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297