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May 19, 2017

Jason Kokrak

Irving, Texas

JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome the 36 hole leader of the AT&T Byron Nelson, Jason Kokrak after an 8-under par, 62 today. He equals the 36 hole record at this event, 12-under par, 128 and he sets a new tournament record with a 5 shot lead.

JASON KOKRAK: I had to get up and down on 18 for it. Yeah, I'm more than pleased.

JOHN BUSH: Get some comments on what went so well for you today.

JASON KOKRAK: All week, you know, I've been feeling better and better with the putter. Dave Stockton, Jr. and his dad have helped me out the last few weeks and things are starting to kind of go in an upturn.

The strokes gained putting stat has been on the plus side. I'm more than happy. Titleist has really helped me out with the driver. I was struggling with it a little bit throughout the year but, you know, hitting it better and better and, you know, hitting more fairways and putting a little better is going to go a long way.

JOHN BUSH: Let's get started with questions.

Q. Just talk about what it meant the 18th, the up and down and finish strong like that.
JASON KOKRAK: Anytime you can have a bogey-free round on any golf course on the PGA TOUR I think is awesome. You know, I made a lot of birdies out there but it was nice.

I missed the drive on 18. You know, the wind caught it and blew it over there and I hit a good shot but, you know, just keeping a clean card is always a goal of ours. It was nice to get it up and down. I didn't hit the greatest of chips but better putt.

Q. What was the discussion with the rules official?
JASON KOKRAK: Kind of a snack stand, beer, whatever else is there. I would have gotten line of sight relief from that but that would have been right behind the tree and it was a better angle for me to try to hit it over from where I was at instead of try to get relief and then go around it.

I just hit -- tried to hit it over everything.

Q. It's been awhile since you played here, you only had one start here and didn't go all that well.
Why are you playing here this week and what -- do you remember what you did, five, six years ago?

JASON KOKRAK: I don't really remember what I did that many years ago. There's so many tournaments throughout the PGA TOUR season. There's tournaments that fit your schedule and the tournaments that don't.

Memorial is one of them in my home state. I have a lot of friends and family. Never want to take that one off. You got to take off here and there.

I guess this one kind of fit in that schedule for me but, you know, not playing all that great this year, coming into this event, 120th or 121st on the FedEx, I want to give myself as many opportunities.

I could feel my game is getting closer and closer to something very, very good. So, you know, this week has proved that and putted well and driving well and hit -- doing everything pretty good.

Q. Jason, how much different was the course today than it was yesterday?
JASON KOKRAK: I don't think it was too much different. I think the cloud cover kept the golf course relatively soft. I played yesterday morning pretty -- well, 8:10, something like that, so I thought it was fairly soft yesterday and, you know, you're able to stop and hit pretty much any club you want at most flags, you know, excluding 3, 4-iron.

You know, I thought it stayed relative -- if it firms up out there even or if we get quite a bit of rain, which we're supposed to, that will dictate the score and the wind.

Q. Was there a shot or a hole where you felt I got to, I got a really great round going here that I can really go low today?
JASON KOKRAK: I played the front-9 pretty well this week. I think when I got up and down, made I don't know, 10, 12-footer on 10 to save par to get up and down there, you know, I didn't hit the greatest of wedge shots into that green and got it up and down, I knew after that if I can get another birdie -- I missed another birdie there I think on 11 but, you know, I gave myself a lot of opportunities, more than I did yesterday and I capitalized where I could.

I hit a couple pretty close, too.

Q. It's almost halfway, of course, but how do you feel, got a little bit of wiggle room going into the weekend?
JASON KOKRAK: I mean it's 36 holes. You got the No. 1 player in the world chasing you, you got X number of other players that are outstanding players that they're all chasing me.

Same game plan, just give myself birdie opportunities. I'm rolling the putter pretty well. Keep doing that and give myself as many opportunities as I can.

Q. Jason, if you wanted to get some advice tonight on how to play with a five shot lead after 36 holes and you wanted to call a PGA TOUR player, I don't think there's many on that list.
How do you think that's going to affect how you tee off tomorrow? Are you going same aggressive player you were for the first two days?

JASON KOKRAK: Yeah. I'm normally a pretty aggressive player. You know, I very rarely go away from the flags but I know when and where.

If a shot fits my eye or I see it, I like to pull the trigger but, you know, that's where I have a great caddie and he kind of holds the reins pretty tight and tells me to hit it to the middle of the green.

There's certain spots -- you have to pick and choose your spots to be aggressive and to where to hit it to the fat part of the green.

Q. Had a five shot lead after 36 at all that you remember?
JASON KOKRAK: No clue. Maybe on the mini tour a hundred years ago. I think I had a pretty sizeable lead down on the Web.com Tour when I won down in Miami. I don't remember how many shots I had going into the weekend. I never had this many shot lead going into the weekend.

Q. This is your, I think 146th start on Tour. Do you feel like you're getting antsy at all trying to get that first win or is it something you think about at all?
JASON KOKRAK: Well, I thought about it, yeah, everybody wants to win on the PGA TOUR.

But playing solid golf and having a job for next year I'm more than happy to be out here and doing what I love, hanging out with the guys I hang out with out here and being able to, you know, play golf and see the most beautiful places in the world. I'm more than happy doing what I'm doing but, yeah, I would like to get that first win.

JOHN BUSH: Anything else? All right. Jason Kokrak, thank you, sir.

JASON KOKRAK: Thanks, guys.

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