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February 21, 2016

Jason Kokrak

Pacific Palisades, California

Q. Fell a little short but talk about the experience of being in the final group on Sunday at Riviera?
JASON KOKRAK: You know, putting myself in position, week-after-week, is what I'm out here to do. I'm searching for that first PGA TOUR victory. I put myself in good position. Made a couple mistakes coming down the stretch but I hit good putts. Made a couple, nice up-and-down on 16, and just a few mistakes coming up 17 that I shouldn't make there because I know I can fly the bunker on the right.

So I'll learn from it, and you know, I played well. I can't take anything from it.

Q. What happened with the 3-putt on 15?
JASON KOKRAK: The 3-putt on 15, that pin is a very tough pin. I had two yards less than I did on 16, and I played a little like -- I pulled the 6-iron on 14 and it was basically the same shot, same wind and I should have known to just hit the 7-iron right in the middle of the green, leave yourself straight up the hill. I just didn't commit to the 6-iron and pulled it a little bit and it went right through the wind and hit it over the green.

It's a very difficult putt and I saw Chez's and Bubba's putts break left and mine didn't, so a missed opportunity there. I played well all day.

Q. Can you talk about the galleries --
JASON KOKRAK: Absolutely. We hit it a very same distance. We get along great. Had a blast. I played with Dustin yesterday. Similar crowd. I think Bubba was right in front of me or right there yesterday, so the crowds were about the same, a little bit bigger today.

Just one of those things you have to deal with and get used to playing with players like that, whether you play with Adam Scott, Rory, any of the big names. I was happy how I played, how I handled myself and I look forward to the rest of the year.

Q. After he made --
JASON KOKRAK: Well, I knew I needed to make birdie. I think he was making the get-go-it-in-the-fairway swing and I knew could I just take it down the right side and hit it.

Q. You talked about, you said you played very well and made a couple mistakes and we always talk about nerves and situations, were you nerves pretty good most of the day.
JASON KOKRAK: My nerves were much better today than they were yesterday. Down the stretch, yeah, I got a little nervy. It's just these greens give you a little bit more nerves than you really need, because poa annua, once it gets a little bumpy or the seeds start to grow, they get bumpy and you never know what kind of hobble or bump you'll hit.

I hit good putts. I made a nice putt on 17 to stay in position and got a great up-and-down on 16 and I try to judge how little jacked up I was. Came out of the 8-iron just a touch but it was just enough to putt it in the bunker.

Q. Were you quick on the drive on 17?
JASON KOKRAK: Yeah, definitely quick. I was trying to hit it hard but I was playing about a five-yard push little draw all day long, and really drove it well. Just tugged it off the tee.

Q. What did you do on 18?
JASON KOKRAK: I had 162 hole, ideal number downwind, just a little chippy wedge with that much wind. I've seen the putt a hundred times on TV, and I read it right center and it broke just a touch more than that. So I hit a really good putt. I'm surprised -- I knew I needed to make the putt, so I hit a great putt and I just missed it.

Q. Do each one of these things prepare you for the next time you get into a Sunday like this?
JASON KOKRAK: The wins I had on the Web.com I think go so far, and I think the PGA TOUR is a whole new animal. The more I put myself in this position, the more comfortable I'll be, and I'll look forward to it. I enjoyed myself today.

Q. You said you'll learn from this and move on. What's the biggest lesson you take from this?
JASON KOKRAK: You know, you've got to eliminate the mental mistakes. Hitting it in the middle of the green on 15 is just -- I had a two-shot lead at the time. I know that 16 and 17 and possibly 18 are all birdie holes for as long as Bubba and I hit it. I knew I needed to make par or better on at least -- and birdie 17. If I birdie 17 and par the rest of them, I take the tournament, but I didn't do that.

Q. Playing with Bubba, both of you hitting so far, is there a little game within a game?
JASON KOKRAK: I don't think so. We all hit it far. Everybody that asks me, I say the same thing: If he hits one good, he hits it further, but if I hit one good, I hit it further. It's just one of those things. I don't know if there's a little game; in a practice round possibly, but I don't think there's any real game. We're competitors and we're trying to beat each other.

And I never wish bad upon anybody. He played a great round of golf. Handled himself very well and made a couple nice putts on the back nine.

Q. What did he really do that impressed you?
JASON KOKRAK: He moves the ball so much from right-to-left, left-to-right. And it's just it's very impressive what he does and how well he controls his distances, how much he moves the ball with each club. I mean, he can play two- or three-clubs less and hit a big draw, or two- or three-clubs more and hit a big fade.

So it's very impressive, his distance control, as hard as he swings and as much as he moves the ball.

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