May 24, 2022
Fort Worth, Texas, USA
DOUG MILNE: We'll get started with the defending champion of the Charles Schwab Challenge. Thanks for joining us for a few minutes. Just taking you back to last year, opened with a couple of back-to-back 65s in route to what was a two-shot win over Jordan, and you had finished, I think, top 5 even the year before here. Just some thoughts on last season and being back here at a place that you've had so much success with.
JASON KOKRAK: Yeah, anytime you get to come back to Colonial or anyplace that you've had success, you get great vibes, you get some good mojo coming into the week.
Getting that win last year was an amazing feat, back-to-back 65s to open up. Didn't play my best golf on Saturday or Sunday, but this is a golf course that you tend not to have to go super low at.
Stayed patient, but when you're driving it well like I was last year here, drove it nicely the last couple days at Southern Hills and at the Byron, so looking forward to a good week here.
DOUG MILNE: I know it was a different season, but you went on and wound up winning again in Texas and Houston to start off a good season this season. How are you feeling coming into the week? Just give us a grade report on how you're feeling game-wise coming into the week.
JASON KOKRAK: Game feels pretty good. I played nicely. I did not take advantage of the par-5s at the Byron Nelson. Played nicely at Southern Hills, one bad round, kind of played in the tougher wave. But just a little bit off with the irons, but drove it really, really nicely. Things are looking up with the driver very nice, wedges have been good, putting it very nicely.
I'm looking forward to a good week here in Fort Worth. My cousin used to live in Houston and he always jokes that I should move to Texas because I've had so much success here. You never know; I might become a Texan later on in life.
Q. Ben Hogan is the only guy who's won back-to-back titles. What makes it so tough to defend? Is there pressure being the reigning champion, so to speak?
JASON KOKRAK: Yeah, any chance -- it's very, very difficult to win back-to-back events year after year. I think it's just a golf course that it's very tough to repeat at. It's a tough golf course to play from the rough. Weather depending, there's just so many factors that go into winning back-to-back.
Going into a week, you have more on your plate. You've got pictures of yourself all over the place, media days, just different stuff. There's a lot more on your plate than a normal week.
I think it's very difficult to do, but I think my game is rounding into form nicely for this week, and I'm looking forward to it.
Q. Any good stories with the truck or the power wagon that you can share?
JASON KOKRAK: Yeah. I do drive it quite a bit. I've probably got about 550 miles on it now. Picked my son up from school in it the day I left for the Byron Nelson, so driving up to the school, everybody is like -- they knew I was coming. They didn't know I was going to do it and drive the truck, but they were like, I can hear you coming in that thing.
It's pretty funny, people will stop in like the middle of the road when I'm stopped at a stop sign and take pictures of it, and you get the thumbs up all the time from the road crews and whoever is watching. It's been a really fun thing. Our Christmas card with me and my family was all based around the truck, and it was in the pictures there.
Something that I'll remember forever, and you never know, that Thunderbird might look pretty good next to it.
Q. I know you spoke on it last year a little bit already, but what was the biggest thing you learned about yourself in winning that tournament, just coming through in that environment a year ago?
JASON KOKRAK: You know, I think playing well here before -- I've been here a bunch. I know the golf course. But pretty hostile environment with Texas's own Jordan Spieth. He's an all-time great, won a bunch of majors. He's a tough competitor. Never out of it.
I think it was just a great duel. A lot of comments from the crowd, but relying upon the game and keeping your head down and just trying to focus on what you can control. You really can't control what other people are doing outside the ropes.
Q. Speaking of Jordan, y'all were paired together again at the Byron Nelson two weeks ago. Do you guys chat much off the course at all?
JASON KOKRAK: Yeah, we're competitors, but when we leave the golf course, we definitely talk about it. I think there's a little more chirping going on between Michael Greller and my caddie, David Robinson. But even driving in here this morning, parking in my parking spot or whatever, Greller is there and he's booing me as I'm getting out of the car.
It's fun, friendly banter, and I enjoy that.
DOUG MILNE: Have a great week.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports