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April 14, 2019

Brooks Koepka

Augusta, Georgia

THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to welcome Brooks Koepka to the media room.
Brooks finished tied second with a 12‑under par 276, rounds of 66, 71, 69 and 70. Today's round featured three birdies, 2, 8 and 15, and an eagle on 13.
Can you talk us through the eagle, Brooks, on 13.
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, obviously was a little annoyed that I had just made double on 12 and kind of knew that I had to make something happen if I ever wanted to give Tiger or whoever was in the lead at that point, because I think there was about four people tied for the lead, if I wanted to give them a run. So took an aggressive line off the tee, hit it down there, hit an 8‑iron in to about 20 feet and was able to sneak that in, which I thought was extremely big at the time.
You know, glad to build some momentum after that double.
THE MODERATOR: On Wednesday night, you shared the stage jointly being honored with Tiger Woods. Can you talk us through what it means to be sharing the stage again with him today?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, you know, Wednesday night was a special night, special honor, and you know, to have both of us there, and then come down on this leaderboard and the both of us are there is pretty special. It's pretty cool.
You know, I'm happy for Tiger, after everything that's gone on, and it's cool to see.

Q. When you were on the 17th tee box, and just everything kind of ensued around you, the fans would jump and you heard the noise, you stopped; did you get a look at Tiger's ball rolling in? What was going through your mind at that point?
BROOKS KOEPKA: I backed off because I saw‑‑ I just wanted to see where it was pitching and just kind of know what I had to do, and I saw where it pitched and I knew it was going to be close. I think they were still‑‑ the fans were still yelling when I was hitting.
You know, I mean, that hole, you leave it up top like I did, you're just trying to make par, but it's really a birdie hole. You know, especially if you're going to hit it off the slope like he did, and it looked like he probably had a good chance of making it.

Q. Did you think you had made the putt on 18?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I thought I hit a good putt. Poults's putt fooled me. You saw Tiger's do the same thing; it hung out there.
Poulter looked like he hit it and it looked like it was going to go right in and then it went right. And I read it a right‑lip putt, and then I just tried to hit it straight and hit it firm, and then mine broke. I thought I hit a good one there. I thought I hit a good one on 17. 17 is a tricky hole. Almost seems like it wants to go up the hill there.
But the one on 15, I really thought I made.

Q. As you finished 15 and Tiger was about to play his second shot, there were five people tied for the lead. Were you aware of the exact situation, and what was the buzz out there? Tiger alluded to it in his interview that it was an incredible intensity on that second nine.
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, that was probably the coolest back nine in a major championship I've ever been a part of, or just in golf in general. I think with so many guys going up and down, the lead's kind of changing hands, depending what hole you're on.
I don't know how it looked on TV, but it was amazing to be a part of. It was quite fun. And I mean, I watch the leaderboard all the time to see where guys are at and what they are doing, and to see Tiger, what he did down the stretch was impressive. And we already knew he was back, but I think he put the exclamation point on it.

Q. The Tiger roar, how much do you hear that and do you pay any attention to it, knowing that he's doing something special?
BROOKS KOEPKA: I mean, I've heard it. I heard it at the PGA. You hear it here. You know any time he does something good, the fans are going to get excited and they are going to be loud, and that's the following that he's created.
It's cool to see, if you take a step back while you're playing. It's fun. I mean, you watch him walk down after he won on 18 there, I mean, it's just a monsoon of people. It's incredible.

Q. Just curious what club you hit at 12, and was it more just a mis‑club than a mis‑hit, I've got to assume, than with the wind or anything?
BROOKS KOEPKA: No, it wasn't anything. I hit it exactly how I wanted to. Hit 9‑iron. If anything, maybe I just hit it a little further right than I wanted. You know, I knew it was slightly in and then all of a sudden it's down, but we all know that hole, the wind direction changes by the second, and you could see mine just kind of floated a little in the wind.
I think we saw that with the last, what, two or three groups. There's quite a bit of balls in the water. It's just once it gets above those trees, it's just a guessing game.

Q. As you allude to, you were one of many guys waiting for him outside scoring. Curious how you would put it in perspective, what this means for kind of historical purposes and for golf, a lot of the guys were saying it was one of the greatest comebacks they have ever seen?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, this is definitely probably one of the greatest comebacks I think anybody's ever seen. 81; 15; I think 18 is a whole lot closer than people think.

Q. Growing up, you alluded to watching Tiger. A lot of people saw Nicklaus win in '86 who were young coming up, and they just said that was the most amazing thing that they had seen, when somebody who you have idolized and emulated and watched growing up, wins at this time at this age when they haven't before, in your presence, how would you describe that?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Absolutely incredible. You just look at the last five years and what he's had to go through; I mean, to come back, get back playing and back to where he was, get his body back in shape. You know, it's one thing to do it on the range; one thing to do it when you're practicing, and then to be able to come back out here and have the Tiger of old back‑‑ as a fan, I love it. I think it's awesome. I'm glad he's back. It's probably one of the coolest things to be a part of it, even though you finished second place, you know, you're a little bummed out.
But I wouldn't want it any other way. You know, you want to play against the best to ever play. You want to go toe‑to‑toe with them, and you know, I can leave saying I gave it my all. He's just good, man (smiling) (laughter). I don't know what to say.
THE MODERATOR: We are done. Brooks, congratulations. What a wonderful week. Well played, second place in the 2019 Masters.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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