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


July 18, 2017

Brooks Koepka

Southport, England

STUART MOFFAT: Good afternoon. It's my pleasure to welcome the 2017 U.S. Open champion, Brooks Koepka to the interview room.

Brooks, welcome to Royal Birkdale. Obviously a great win for you last month at Erin Hills. How much are you looking forward to challenging at the Open this week.

BROOKS KOEPKA: Thank you. I'm really excited. Four weeks off. It was a nice little break. Not playing The Open last year was disappointing, so it's good to be back and play some links golf.

Q. Congratulations for winning the U.S. Open. And this Open you were the winner of the Open, and second-place man, Matsuyama, is going to be in the same group. What do you think about Matsuyama playing with you?
BROOKS KOEPKA: I love it. I enjoy playing with Hideki. He's a good player. I've thought for a long time he's one of the best players out here. So we have a good time. He's an unbelievable player, good putter. So it will be fun to watch him play. Anytime you play with Hideki, you know he's going to play well. Sometimes you can kind of feed off that and hopefully it does this week.

Q. You said you had four weeks off. Have you made any tweaks or changes to any of the equipment in your bag to prepare for the challenges that links golf faces compared to over in America?
BROOKS KOEPKA: No, when I was over here for the first two, three years of my career, I kept the same bag. So there's no adjustments. I've got everything in there I like. I can flight it myself, and I can adjust the clubs. It's something pretty simple.

I don't think it's going to be too windy this week, so it shouldn't be that big of an issue. But this golf course is mainly off the tee. And you're hitting a few more irons than you are drivers.

Q. Can I ask, you play with the Mizuno JPX-900 iron, 4-iron, and you carry a Nike 3-iron. Can you explain the reason why you sort of don't stay with the set through to the 3-iron, and what do you get different with that sort of larger cavity back 3-iron?
BROOKS KOEPKA: It's been one of the favourite clubs that I've had. When we were first tested, those 3-irons, those utility irons or whatever, and it was a club I fell in love with. We put it right in the bag, and it's not going to leave the bag for a while. It's one of my favourite clubs. I'm not going to get rid of it if it's something I feel very comfortable. It's not going anywhere.

Q. Is it a ball-flight thing or more of a forgiveness thing?
BROOKS KOEPKA: It's a little bit of both. Obviously there's a little bit more forgiveness, but the flight on it, it goes the distance we want it. It's got the correct spin on it, correct flight. And that's exactly what you want from a golf club. I'm very pleased with it.

Q. Can you give us a flavour of what you've been up to the last four weeks, and why you feel you can be competitive this week after having four weeks off especially coming to links golf?
BROOKS KOEPKA: I'm refreshed. I was playing the entire time. It didn't have anything to do with the win. I planned to take some time off and kind of regroup there in the middle of the season, just to kind of finish the back half of it off. I thought it was important.

So as far as what I've been up to, I was home there the last week, got over on Friday. I've been ready to prepare for this and get back into it. I'm kind of excited to get back inside the ropes. Four weeks off is quite a long time, so I'm excited.

Q. How did your early days as a pro over here shape your development as a player, things it did for you? And you how much of a taste for links golf did you get?
BROOKS KOEPKA: I love links golf. I think it's the best kind of golf you can play. So much imagination that goes into it. You can play ten different shots from the middle of the fairway and I think that's so cool. You've really got to be creative. It's not just a stock shot like it is in America. You just fly it pin-high and hope it stops. Over here you can run it up, you can fly it there, too, if you want. But you can be so creative, and there's so many different shots. The way my mind kind of works, it benefits me. I think that's why I look at the last -- what was it, St. Andrews was the last time I played. I played well there. And playing over here for two years, you play a lot of links golf and you learn to love it and I have.

Q. Playing over here, did it do more for you on the course, off the course, maturity-wise, what did it do for you?
BROOKS KOEPKA: I think it was a maturity thing. Coming over here was important for my career. I needed to get over here and just play, play golf for four rounds, and not trying to get over on Monday and qualify. It was the plan all along to come over here, and obviously it worked out pretty well. I enjoyed it. I had the best time I've ever had being over here, playing the Challenge Tour, doing things like that. We had four guys packed in a taxi, trying to go from place to place, from the airport to the golf course, which is pretty fun. The camaraderie over here is pretty unique and special. I love that. I thought it was really cool.

Q. Was there any point during the last four weeks that you felt antsy to get back into competition or was it pretty easy to disassociate yourself from the game?
BROOKS KOEPKA: I found it pretty easy to get away. It's not some -- I was kind of not looking for a break but I kind of needed one, more mentally than anything. And it was nice to have a few weeks off.

But last week I started getting into it and getting antsy to get back out here. I would say last week after July 4th it was kind of like, okay, I just want to get back out here, I want to play, I want to get inside the ropes. I'm really getting antsy.

So it felt good to get out here Saturday and play some holes and actually feel like you're back in the normal routine.

Q. Just about this sequence of seven first-time major winners, do you feel that major weeks now it feels like it's anybody's to seize, and do you agree with Rory McIlroy's view of the year of one dominant player is over?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I agree with Rory. There's so many good players now. The younger generation, you look at how many good players there are. You look at how it was at Erin Hills. Everyone up there hadn't won a major up there pretty much. Rickie, Justin, Hideki, they haven't won majors, and I think everyone in this room knows they're going to win one. It's only a question of when, not if.

So there's so many good young players. And even in the college level, even the guys that are coming up, I mean some of them are going to win majors; you just know it. It's kind of like the Tiger effect, I guess you could say, growing up watching them.

Q. Can I ask you for your thoughts on the Birkdale course and how it's set up this week.
BROOKS KOEPKA: I love it. I think it's probably one of the best ones in The Open rotation. There are a lot of options off the tee. You can be aggressive off the tee or you can lay back. It kind of depends on the wind. That's an Open Championship. But one side of the golf course you can -- off the tee, you can't miss it. And then the rough's down on the other side. There's always one side you can miss it on and be fine.

But as far as the green complexes are pretty simple, actually. There's not many runoffs into bunkers around the greens. The greens are relatively flat, which is links golf. I like it. I think it fits my game really well.

Q. Typically in practice, how many drivers have you been hitting?
BROOKS KOEPKA: I'd say maybe four or five, four or five drivers. It's not too many. But like I said, it all depends on the wind direction. I think it's supposed to come out of the west or northwest or something like that, where it's been the last few days. Today I think it's different. But if it sticks in that wind direction it should only be about four or five.

Q. The way Chase has been playing on the Challenge Tour, may not be too long before another Koepka wins on that circuit. How pleased are you to see him doing well, and how often do you talk to each other?
BROOKS KOEPKA: It's exciting to see him play well. He's starting to come into his own. He needed to come over and grow a bit, same as I did, more maturity. Learn how to do all the things as a professional. That's important. That's kind of how I learned it. He's learning it now. I think he's got a lot of room to grow. He's just coming into himself right now, I think. He's playing well. I talked to him Saturday and Sunday after he got done, and he's playing really well. Hopefully he keeps it up and he can get his European Tour card.

STUART MOFFAT: Brooks, good luck this week.


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