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June 13, 2019

Brooks Koepka

Pebble Beach, California

Q. When you had a shot like you had on 18, your second shot, does your mind ever go to the injury, did that even flash in your head?
BROOKS KOEPKA: No, it never flashed in my head. I was thinking how am I going to put it in the fairway. I feel like I've done enough work, done enough rehab, I mean, I put my hand in a bucket of rice for about a month straight trying to strengthen it. And sometimes you're going to get awkward lies. I don't think that's -- that hasn't been the first one. I think right away when I came back, I thought about it a couple of times, being up against a root or something like that.

Q. For such a fast start, 4-under through 6, how much of a battle was it after that?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, it's a battle if you're not going to hit fairways. If you're not going to hit greens, it's going to be tough. I'm actually quite pleased. I don't know how many fairways I hit from 8 on in. I didn't hit many. And didn't hit many greens. The up-and-down I made on 16, had a good chance on 15, but sometimes those greens are so slopey, and you've got a four-footer and you're playing it with what feels like two feet of break. It's going to happen.

Q. Pleased in your fighting qualities that came to the fore there?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, you know this golf course you're going to struggle on when you miss it. And to grind out a couple of pars and really not make the big mistake was nice. I happened to squeak one by on 18.

Q. Would you rather hit off the cart path than if it had gone a few feet left and it had gone in the grass?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, the only reason I didn't drop it is because the ball would have been on a downhill slope and my feet would be on the cart path. I know it's flat and my feet were above the ball. It seemed easier to put it in the fairway from where it was lying than if I had to drop it.

Q. It looked like you switched clubs on 16 and 17. Is the wind tricky then (indiscernible)?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Not really. We knew where it was, it came from the same spot all day. It's coming off the ocean.

Q. Do you feel there could have been a lower number out there, you're content with the 2-under?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I would have liked to have shot a couple more. But considering how I hit it coming in, I'm pretty pleased. 2-under, I didn't shoot myself out of it. I'm right there. I feel like if I get off tomorrow, get off to a good start, I'm right back into it.

Q. Rickie was talking in his press conference, talking about the mindset of when you get out there, pretend it's like a regular Tour tournament. Just to not let the grandeur of it get to you. Is it the same for you, especially going for the three-pete?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I treat it just like every other major. It's nothing different.

Q. Speaking of just like battling, Graeme said at the PGA that you're able to get to a place mentally that they haven't seen since Tiger. Can you speak to that? How do you do that? I think he's talking about the ability to will a good score when you aren't hitting it well, things aren't going your way. This could have been a high number --
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I try to find some positive and try to spin it, even when something negative happens. 18, how lucky that was.

Q. That it didn't go out of bounds?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Spin it that way, how lucky it was to stay in. I should have made birdie there. Even when I hit the lip in the bunker, okay, five, it's not going to kill you. You just need to keep grinding. I don't know, it's hard to explain my thought process. I don't take anything -- don't get too upset, don't get too high. It's like the will to want to -- if I'm two in a row, get to three, four, five, keep going up.

Q. With every major you win are you even calmer?
BROOKS KOEPKA: You definitely get more comfortable. And I have a lot of confidence, there's no doubt of that. It's becoming easier and easier as I keep playing them.

Q. What are your thoughts on the hat?
BROOKS KOEPKA: I like the hat. I wouldn't be wearing it if I didn't like it.

Q. Graeme said earlier he was a little surprised at the greens, seemed a little easier than what he sees at a U.S. Open. Did it surprise you at all?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Not really. You know what you're going to get at Pebble. I think it's going to be a lot of rough around the greens, around the fairway. So if you miss it you can be in trouble. The putting surfaces are as good as I've seen them. Probably the best poa I've putted on. And they might firm up as the week goes on, I'm assuming they will. And from -- even if they do it's not like they're overly firm right now, especially with the fog and mist coming in in the morning. I think it's going to be just fine.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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