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August 11, 2018

Brooks Koepka

St. Louis, Missouri

THE MODERATOR: Good evening, everybody, welcome back to the 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club. Pleased to be joined by Brooks Koepka, currently leader after 54 holes with a three day total of 198. He is 12-under par. His 66 today included four birdies and a couple bogeys.

So Brooks, let's talk about Bellerive, the golf course, was the challenge out there today consistent? Was it the same at 1:30 when you teed off as it was maybe your last two or three holes, or did the course change during the day?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I felt like it was the wind was up quite early. I felt like the wind was pumping anywhere from about hole 6 to hole 12, 13. And then as you start to finish, the day gets a little bit later, the wind kind of calms down. We could really see it on 16 because we had that wait with Rickie, Dustin and Charl on the tee, and they hit clubs, and I can't believe they went long with them. And then we had to actually hit one more club.

So the conditions of the golf course are pretty good with the rain that we have had, very receptive, no mud balls in the fairways and the greens crew has done a pretty good job with the greens.

THE MODERATOR: You mentioned a couple names there. There's a lot of star power in like the top 10, 12 spots up there. As you grab a meal tonight, is that something you think about, do you think about who is up there with you, or are you concentrating on Brooks Koepka?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I'm just focused on me. I feel like, if I do what I'm supposed to, I should win the golf tournament. Yeah, there's a lot of star power, and it should be, it's a Major championship. You should see the best players in the world come to the top. And that's what you have, and that's what's going to make this event very exciting to watch tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Were you channeling your inner Arnold Palmer on your tee shot on No. 1? You hit driver there, and other guys didn't.
BROOKS KOEPKA: Oh, yeah, I mean, I don't see anything but driver. I don't know why everybody else is laying up. You see guys hit iron off the tee, and they have got 180 yards. Meanwhile we have got driver, and I think we had 80, 70 and maybe 90. I just don't see anything but driver. So this golf course, I like the way it sets up. There is quite a few right-to-left holes, but with Zoysia fairways the ball's not really going to roll out any ways, and especially with a wet golf course, you're not going to get a bunch of run. So all you have to do is put it in the fairway and you're fine.

Q. At the U.S. Open you said all week that you felt like this was your tournament, somebody was going to have to come and take it from you. Did you feel similarly confident this week, and do you feel similarly confident?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I felt like last week I played probably the best golf I played in a really long time, better than both U.S. Opens, just didn't putt very well. And then coming into this week, you build on that confidence, and I feel like I'm extremely confident. I like the way I'm hitting the ball, I'm putting much better, and my short game's on point this week. So when all those add up, I could see why I played so well.

Q. You're top-10 this week in the field in strokes gained putting and scrambling. How will those two elements be so important tomorrow for you to have success and win this golf championship?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, you got to be able to scramble. Any time you get in trouble, with this golf course, if you don't put the ball in the fairway, you're going to be struggling to make par. If you're going to miss these greens, you got to be able to get them up-and-down off this Zoysia. It's quite easy to chip off of because the ball sits up a little bit, but if you're in this rough, you're not guaranteed a good lie. We have had some bad ones, and you just got to get on with it and try to make the best of it. But you got to make those 5, 6-footers sometimes. That definitely helps the chipping stats.

Q. What can we expect out of this golf course tomorrow scoring wise, and especially with a lot of big names and pass Major winners near the top?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, with so many big names, you would expect two or three of them to really make a run, make a push to get off to a good start and challenge me, I guess. Everybody out here is so good, and you look at this leaderboard and it's just, they are names that I've grown up watching that everybody else loves to watch play, and it should be an exciting day tomorrow.

Q. You always look relaxed, like nothing impacts you when you're on the golf course. Can you kind of walk me through your mindset on 14 and 15 and then getting the bounce back birdie on 17.
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I mean, obviously, I think a lot of the time it's just I'm so focused on what I'm doing I'm not really, I never get upset, I don't get too high, but I'm so focused on what I've got to do. I'm there to do a job, play golf, and hit the best shot that I can, and for some reason, I can really tune in in the Majors and I have no idea why. They really get my attention. Every shot's so important out here, and you need to be able to play well, but 14 and 15, if you're going to miss the fairway you're going to be in trouble. I had a terrible lie on 14, left, and of course you're blocked out by the trees and you're just trying to hit the right side of that green and it kind of came out a little jumpy on me and went to the back bunker, but that's fine, you would almost, where we were, to have that look at 4, I would have taken that. And then on 15, I don't know how it got behind that tree with so many people on the right-hand side, like it was impressive that it ended up there. You would think it would have like hit somebody's foot and just kind of gone to the side. But I mean to go right in that little wedge of the tree, I don't know how it did that. But you just get on with it. You try to make the best of a bad situation and just keep rolling with it.

Q. You skipped over 16, I'm wondering how big the putt was for par to kind of stop it from three in a row and maybe then you're kind of really kind of fighting uphill almost a little bit again.
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, that was a big putt. I thought 12 was a big putt. I thought maybe I can kind of keep something rolling on the back nine. And then obviously to avoid making three bogeys in a row on 16 was very big. I want to say it kind of helped me go into 17, relax a little bit, hit that tee shot down the middle of the fairway. And to hit such a good iron shot on 17 kind of gave me a little bit of confidence. And then it's one of those putts where you hate to see three in a row and you hate to let it kind of slip away from you a little bit, but I mean, to make that putt was very big and, to be honest with you, it was really nice that it was uphill and like a right lip putt. Sometimes it's not so much fun when you got those downhill left-to-right sliders. But on these greens you can be very aggressive uphill and then right-to-left, all right-handers love that.

Q. Two-part question. Do you think the year you're having makes you a notable?
BROOKS KOEPKA: I would hope so, with winning one major, I can't remember if this is my 11th or 12th event this year with the injury, but I would say so. I mean, I have no idea, I feel like --

Q. That used to piss you off.
BROOKS KOEPKA: I use it as motivation. You can't hide when you're on the top of the leaderboard. You can't hide my name. So just try to get to the top of the leaderboard and work from there.

Q. Do you check the odds of your winning before a tournament starts like this?
BROOKS KOEPKA: You know, I don't. I don't really pay much attention to it. I feel like I'm I know I was playing good, so I knew I was going to have a pretty good chance. I mean, I'm pretty sure I kind of had like odds in my own head maybe my odds were pretty good this week, the way I hit it last week.

Q. What would you have given yourself? What would your odds have been?
BROOKS KOEPKA: I have no idea. If I had to give my odds? I don't know. 10 to 1, 12 to 1 maybe. I don't know. Something like that. I mean, I felt like I was playing really good, I liked the way I was hitting it, especially driving the ball. We had a cracked driver when we got here and I had to switch drivers, driver heads anyways and put that in and then it's worked really well this week. So I'm pretty pleased.

Q. You kind of mentioned it a little bit on 16 with the crowds, how does this compare to some of the past majors with the St. Louis area coming out here for the past few days?
BROOKS KOEPKA: There's more people here this week than I think I've ever seen at a major championship. I don't know how many people have actually come through the gates, St. Louis is a great sporting town. They're very energetic, which all of us love. I can't tell you how many people we saw Friday, Saturday, especially when you're making that turn, even watching it a little bit on TV, I was amazed at how many people were out here in the morning. I know there's Tiger Woods, I get that, but it's still impressive how many people came out.

Q. One of the by-products of playing this well is you get a lot of time to kind of hang out tomorrow morning. Do you have any plans for what you're going to do, watch a movie or do something to take your mind off it?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Tonight just go home. Chef's probably got some dinner waiting on me whenever I get home. So be excited to eat that. And then tomorrow morning, do the same thing, probably wake up about 6 o'clock, have breakfast, wait a little bit, chill, and go to the gym. Same routine I did this morning. By the time -- the gym's kind of like a little getaway for me, especially when you got these late tee times. Because you got so many hours to kill it's not good for you to be sitting around for -- I mean if I'm up at 6, waiting around five hours, sitting on the couch or laying in bed doing whatever. And to be honest with you we just chat, there's five of us in the house, and we're all just talking about random stuff. It's actually quite enjoyable and really helps pass the time.

Q. What kind of gym is it?
BROOKS KOEPKA: What's that.

Q. Public gym?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah. Yeah. We just go to Life Time. Go in there. All week. Just go in there, work out and then leave. Come back.

Q. Are you recognized?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, every once in awhile. Maybe two or three times. Today I was in there with Dustin and everybody wanted a picture with Dustin. They were talking about him as we left and I was just standing there laughing. They were like, did you see that No. 1 player in the world was here. It's like, yeah, okay. I don't know what to say to that. It was like, all right.


Q. Scoring has been pretty low for a lot of players this week. For you the front or the back nine, what feels more gettable out there this week?
BROOKS KOEPKA: I think the back nine's actually more gettable. Even though, what did I shoot, 1-over on it? I think there's a lot of wedges. This golf course, I don't think we have really -- I mean, other than the par-3s, I don't think we have hit more than a 7-iron into anything. That whole front nine you can really take advantage of my length, especially if you're in the fairway. But if you're not in the fairway you're going to be in trouble, scrambling trying to make pars. But I think the back nine is definitely gettable. And with 17, it kind of really shapes, suits my eye visually left-to-right. And then 18 is, I like the way to finish sets up, let's put it that way.

Q. What kind of workouts are you doing on a major Sunday?
BROOKS KOEPKA: I have no idea what they have planned. I did back and tri's today. So we're in the gym for probably an hour and a half, rode the bike for 15 minutes, did back and tri's for about an hour. And then tomorrow I'll probably say total body, just to make sure my body's up and going, moving, moving right. That's that will be my guess for tomorrow. Total body. But I have no idea.

Q. Is it heavy though? Do you push some serious weight?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, yeah. Tomorrow, like a total body day, we'll push it like every other day. I don't get sore. You don't -- if you're working out every day you're not going to be sore. But then if you take two weeks off, a week off of being in the gym and then come back, you're going to be sore. But doing it every day, you're not going, I don't get sore.

Q. What do you bench?
BROOKS KOEPKA: What do I bench? It's not that impressive.

Q. Yes, it is.
BROOKS KOEPKA: Like Sunday at the U.S. Open I did 225, 14 times. I know that's not that impressive. But I can get 315. So, it's all right. I don't know. I guess. Yeah. Compared to some guys, you watch, if you go into these public gyms, and you see these guys, I mean, they have thrown up 350, no problem. And you're just like, all right.

Q. (No microphone.)
BROOKS KOEPKA: I definitely can bench more than him. His legs are actually really, really strong. He can squat a lot. Yeah, he's actually really impressive with his legs, his low body, the way he moves. It's some serious weight. But I can't touch him on legs.

THE MODERATOR: Okay, Brooks Koepka, 12-under, we won't ask you to flex or anything for us tonight so. Enjoy the rest your evening tonight.


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