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June 28, 2022

Brooks Koepka

Pat Perez

Patrick Reed

Portland, Oregon, USA

Pumpkin Ridge

Press Conference

MODERATOR: We have Pat Perez, we have Brooks Koepka and we have Patrick Reed with us today. First question is for you, Pat. We talked the other day about the vibe and the environment out here and how special it is and different it is. Can you share a little bit with them about your experience here so far?

PAT PEREZ: Yeah, I've been here a day and a half. It's been incredible, way different from the PGA TOUR vibe where everybody is on their own and everybody kind of keeps to their own camp. It's been amazing, seeing guys I've seen for a long time, been on the TOUR a long time, but to be able to hang out -- like the three of us hung out the other night and had some drinks and some laughs, and we've never done that before, so that was kind of cool. It's just a whole different vibe. It's amazing, though. Everybody's happy to see each other. You know, you got music on the range. It's just a way different deal. I couldn't be more excited to be part of it.

MODERATOR: Thanks. Brooks, next question is for you. You are a team captain this time, and I imagine your brother is going to be playing on your team would be my guess. Can you talk a little bit about your strategy as a captain and how you're going to be coaching your brother.

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah. It's really cool. It's cool for me, cool for my family, cool for my brother. I mean to get to be able to play, you know, we've played some of the same events over the last couple of years together, and it's always been special for me, but to come out here and new fresh start, it'll be exciting, and it will be fun, and I think we'll be ready to go.

MODERATOR: Awesome. Patrick, you are a Ryder Cup star, famously referred to as Captain America. You obviously thrive in team environments. So how excited are you to be playing on a team all season, and do you think that's going to give you a little extra motivation out there?

PATRICK REED: I'm really excited. Anytime I can bring that team aspect and go out and play for something other than just myself. I'm out there playing not only for family and everybody like that, but I'm also playing for my teammates. And for some reason that gives me a little more of an edge, a little more of a drive to go out and play even harder. So having 14 opportunities to do that throughout the year is unbelievable. I can't wait, and honestly, for me it's going to be a lot of fun.

MODERATOR: Great. We'll open it up to you guys. Go ahead.

Q. Brooks, throughout this whole process, you were vocal in your support for the PGA TOUR in the past. What changed?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Just my opinion, man. My opinion changed. That was it. You guys will never believe me, but we didn't have the conversation till everything was done at the U.S. Open and figured it out and just said I was going to go one way or another. Here I am.

Q. Did the facts of the decision change or what changed from when you said that you were happy on the PGA TOUR, to now?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Like I said, opinions change. And I feel very comfortable with the decision I made. I'm happy, and I did what's best for me.

Q. I was wondering if all three of you could run through the factors that went into your decision and what the most powerful were, whether it's the schedule, the money, the format or other guys going beforehand, maybe conversations you had. Like what were the most influential factors in arriving here?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I think definitely speaking to guys that played definitely helped. But for me, it's, look, what I've had to go through the last two years on my knees, the pain, the rehab, all this stuff, you realize, you know, I need a little bit more time off. I'll be the first one to say it, it's not been an easy last couple of years, and I think having a little more breaks, a little more time at home to make sure I'm 100 percent before I go play in an event and don't feel like I'm forced to play right away. That was a big thing for me. And talking to guys. Everybody that came back that I spoke to, D.J., my brother, Phil, everybody was very -- had nothing but great things to say. So take it from their word, and the schedule. There's a lot of things that we want into my decision. I'm sure these guys the same thing.

PATRICK REED: For me it was there's a ton of things that I was looking at. It's not only just schedule wise, but being the guy who's played 30 to 35 events my entire career and basically living through Facetime watching my kids grow up. I wanted to spend more time with my children. I wanted to be a dad. And to have an opportunity where I can play with some of the top players in the world and on top of it have an opportunity that I feel like for me is more suitable to see who the best player is that week, because everyone starts at the exact same time. There is no such thing as a drawer anymore. Now you're on the golf course the exact same time. Whatever the weather is that day, that's what you're playing. And I just feel like it's more of a family environment out here. I mean, just these past couple days being around these guys has been unbelievable. Getting calls from D.J. and some of these guys telling me how amazing London was, it's something I feel like I wanted to be a part of. And now being able to hang out with my little ones who are eight and four already, now I get to spend a lot more time with them. And for me that's huge, and that's really everything for right now.

PAT PEREZ: For me it's real simple. I'm 46. I've played 515 events. I've been on the road since 1998. Okay. I mean, I've been on the road longer than Matt Wolff has been alive. I have an almost four-year-old. I missed my son's birth last year. August 18, I get a call my wife's going into labor. I'm in Jersey. I'm getting ready to start the FedEx playoffs. I'm 116 on the list. I can't leave. I can't miss it. I can't get back. I can't get there and back without spending 150 grand on a private flight. I'm not doing that. So I had to suck on it and I had to miss my son's birth. And, you know, fortunately I made the cut and I moved up my status by playing all right, but it still sucked. I have to tell him one day why I wasn't there. And, you know, once again, I'm a 30- to 33-week guy. Every year I've done it and now I don't have to. And I get to be with them. I get to be with my family. At my age this is an absolute golden opportunity for me. I get to play. D.J. is my captain. I get to play seven this year and whatever else in the future. It's a no-brainer for a guy my age that's been on the road. I just had three weeks off. I feel great. I couldn't be more excited about this, and that's the bottom line. You know, the bottom line is I'm tired of being on the road every day, and I'm just -- I don't have to do it now. And that's -- this group, this opportunity has been it's like winning the lottery for me. It's incredible. I couldn't be more excited.

Q. Brooks, what was your reaction? What did you think when Rory basically said that you went back on your word? He used the word duplicitous.

BROOKS KOEPKA: Look, I got respect for Rory as a player. He's good. He's phenomenal. I'll be honest with you. I didn't see it. I didn't hear about it until basically like a day ago. So, look, he's entitled to his opinion. He can think whatever he wants. He's going to do what's best for him and his family, I'm going to do what's best for me and my family and can't hate on anybody for that, and like I said, opinions change, man.

Q. Brooks, you've played -- made 40 something starts since 2020. Do you know how many of those you actually felt 100 percent? And with this schedule will you change your approach to working out or anything like that?

BROOKS KOEPKA: No. I'll still have the same approach. I'll still have the same, I guess, the days are the same. I mean I'll still go to the gym, still come out here, still play, do everything I need to do. I was actually saying to these guys a couple minutes ago, it's been -- yesterday I got done and I must have been out here for three hours, and I felt like I didn't know what to do with the rest of my day, because usually when you're playing a practice round, it's four hours for nine holes, fighting for a spot on the range, fighting for a spot on the putting green. It's quite tough. And out here we cruised around, I was done in three hours and I was like, man, I got the rest of the day. My schedule, I'm going to play every event I can out here. That's the goal. It's just, like I said, my body broke down a little bit, and I'm correcting that and making sure it doesn't do it again.

Q. Would you consider yourself 100 percent right now?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I never you're never 100 percent. I mean, I got a surgically repaired knee. I mean, how can you be 100 percent?

Q. Just quickly for each of you, are you still PGA TOUR members or have you resigned? And, specifically, for Patrick and Brooks, are you at all concerned about your access to the majors going forward? I mean, obviously, Brooks, in your case, PGA for life and the U.S. Open for quite a while. But the other majors, that's going to come due and there's the whole issue of world ranking points. Thank you.

PATRICK REED: I mean, really, yes, I have resigned from the PGA TOUR. But when it comes to the majors, they're obviously going to -- we don't really know where they all stand, obviously. And being a past champion at Augusta and having a green jacket, I would think I'd be able to play there for the rest of my life. I mean, at the end of the day, that's going to be up to them, but for what I saw in London and how well this event was run and for what I've seen just in the two or three days I've been here and then also seeing how miraculously the purses now all of a sudden went skyrocketing back up on the PGA TOUR, it just shows that they obviously believe that this is not only a true threat, but a great tour as well if they're going and copying what we're doing. So for me, I believe when time comes, we'll have world ranking here. This is going to be a tour that's going to be around forever, and at the end of the day, you play well, you're in the big events.

BROOKS KOEPKA: I haven't resigned, no. I'm still a member. What was the other part? The majors?

Q. Are you concerned about your access? Obviously you've got a great record in the majors. Are you concerned about your access to them a couple years down the road?

BROOKS KOEPKA: You play anywhere around the world, you'll be just fine. You'll get into them. I made a decision. I'm happy with it, and whatever comes of it, I'll live with it.

PAT PEREZ: Believe it or not, I'm 107 in the world, I'm not worried about the majors. (Laughs). I'm not worried about anything, really. I have not resigned from the TOUR. I'm not going to. I don't think I did anything wrong. Plus, I want the money that I burned from this year. I played 20 events. So I'm still entitled to my FedEx money and whatever this other money that we're talking about. I'm not resigning from anything. For me, if I were to do this for 40 years and I wanted to go back to the Champions Tour at 50, I don't see why I wouldn't be able to. I'm not affecting the Champions Tour in the least. If I took four years off and I still made the money that I'd made, I'm still eligible and exempt for the Champions Tour. So if that was a thing that came up, why would they stop me from playing? I'm not affecting one Champions Tour player. If anything, the guys that are behind me that could pass me on the Money List would help that number go up. So I'm actually keeping the number down. Seeing as I'd move in the Top 50 on the Money List now because the TOUR pulled a bunch of guys from the Career Money List. Some inside the Top 50. So I guess I have that status left for now. But, nonetheless, I'm not resigning. You know, if something went south for me and this was a deal, I don't know why I wouldn't be able to play the Champions Tour. Even at 55, I want to go play the majors, I'm still exempt. I don't know why I wouldn't be able to. I think that's what Greg Norman has pushed. You want to be able to play anywhere you want. And you should be able to play wherever you want. We should be able to do whatever we want. We are independent contractors. The TOUR has tried to strong-arm us all year and come with bans and suspensions and all that, and how'd that work? Look how many guys are here. That didn't work at all. So the top threats and all that kind of stuff. And how many major winners do you have here compared to John Deere? It's not even close. The TOUR wants to keep talking about strength of field and all that kind of stuff, the strength of field is here. So whether everybody wants to talk about it or not, that's what it is. Facts are facts. Major winners and that kind of stuff, that's how I see it, but no, I'm not resigning. My hope in the end is this all can come together. I think that's what Greg Norman, LIV Group wanted that in the first place. TOUR didn't want to go that route. I think in the end, they may have to. So I think it would be nice for them. Greg Norman tried this way back in the day. All of a sudden now I saw the thing on the Golf Channel where all these tours are coming together. That's what everybody wanted anyway. So I don't understand what took so long to get all this. Maybe the threat of this great tour. But that seems to be the common theme here.

Q. It's been reported by people that there is a -- your signing bonuses versus the draw, meaning what you win comes out of your signing bonus or vice versa. That's supposedly in your guys' contracts. Can you confirm if that's actually true or not?

BROOKS KOEPKA: That's not -- no. No.

Q. Just to confirm, Brooks, you're saying it's not the case?

BROOKS KOEPKA: No. I don't know -- it's irrelevant.

Q. Okay. And the rest of you guys?

PAT PEREZ: (Shook head).

Q. The only reason I ask you is because both Keith Pelley, Jay Monahan and you can name other people keep saying that we're miss- reporting stuff all the time, and the reason is is because every time we ask a question we can't get answers or people don't want to talk about the specific issues. That's why I'm asking.

BROOKS KOEPKA: I heard that rumor on Monday morning at the U.S. Open. I also heard I was in London on Saturday or Sunday before. I mean, that was on Monday. Just saying. You can't believe everything you hear.

Q. Right. That's why we actually ask, hopefully. The other question is is what could the TOUR have done, if anything, to have stopped you guys from making the leap to this tour?

PATRICK REED: Listen to the players for once.

PAT PEREZ: Could have at least taken the call, I think, from the LIV Group. I think at least take a meeting, see what it's all about. Monahan just shut it out from the start. Didn't want to listen, didn't wanna take a meeting, didn't wanna listen to anybody that maybe would have been interested, maybe would have been a little different, I think. I think that's in the end. But -- and he doesn't listen to the players. Somehow the TOUR they keep talking about, oh, yeah, we work for you, we work for the players, we work for the players. It's the opposite. Seems like we work for them. We don't have a say in anything.

Q. So there's been a lot of complaint from politicians, some club members who've resigned, 9/11 survivors, about Saudi involvement in golf and whether the golfers should be participating in this. Do you have any concerns about that you are being supported by a country with a really bad human rights record?


Q. Could you explain, please?

PAT PEREZ: I don't have any concerns.

BROOKS KOEPKA: We're playing golf.

PAT PEREZ: I'm playing golf. This group has provided me an opportunity to play golf and have a different schedule, and that's my only concern. So, yeah, I mean, I understand the topics you're trying to bring up, and they're horrible events, but I'm here to play golf. That's my deal. I've got an opportunity to play golf, and that's it.

BROOKS KOEPKA: Pretty much spot on what Pat said. Same thing. I mean, we're here to play golf. We're excited about it. We're going to go out there, go put on the best show we can put on, and hopefully one of us is up here on Saturday with a win.

Q. Brooks, you said that your opinion changed. At what point -- and you had the conversation after the U.S. Open. But at what point before that was -- your brother going, Phil and D.J. going that you kind of started thinking about it and thought this would be an alternative here?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah. I think 2018 or 2019 when this whole thing was brought up. So it's been -- it might have been 2019. So the conversation has been going on for a while. What's that, three years? So I mean it's been around a lot longer than you guys have figured it out or when you guys first heard about it, there was a bunch of stuff going on. And all of a sudden this became real. This is a whole different thing when it became real. And like I said, my opinion changed. I'm allowed to have my opinion change.

Q. I was curious what you guys think of the golf course. Have you been on it? Have you played at all? What do you think?

PATRICK REED: Golf course is pure. I've never played it. I've heard about it, and yesterday and today, yesterday I played the back. Today I played the front. And it's in immaculate shape. The greens are nice and fast as well, and that always helps my short game. I love fast greens. And really for me it gives you so many different opportunities. There's so many different shots you have to hit, and you have to be creative around this place, and I really can't wait for the event to really start, especially with playing on that team side. Come on that last day you have a chance to win but at the same time you're trying to win for your team as well, and I just see this place having fireworks towards the end.

Q. Patrick, you said "listen to the players for once" for what the PGA TOUR could have done. What were some of the things that you felt like you weren't listened to on?

PATRICK REED: Basically everything that this tour has done so far. We have a smaller schedule. We actually have an off season where not only can we get healthy, work on our bodies, but we're basically allowing ourselves throughout the year to, you know, try to peak at the right times is when you're playing rather than feeling like you have to play every single week. And on top of it, just the quality of life for us as players now, you know, having less events, being able to spend more time at home with the family, if you have kids, being able to spend time with your children, and not sitting there and having to play three, four weeks in a row, then have a week off, and during that week off you're preparing trying to get ready for the next week. You're able to actually now set out a schedule, go out and put all you have in every single event. You're not having to conserve energy ever. You're out there that one week, you're putting everything into it. And on top of it we're going out and the reason why we're able to do that is because our purses are higher. We're able to play and sustain not only financially for your family, but also you're out there playing and being able to play harder, and I think that's the biggest thing for me. I'm able to play harder every single week rather than sit there going I got five weeks coming up in a row or I got four in a row and then you're leading into a major or World Golf championship. Now you can treat every single event like a major and World Golf championship and you'll be physically fine throughout the year.

Q. Did you feel like you had to do that because just the way the FedExCup was set up?

PATRICK REED: Oh, for sure.


PATRICK REED: I mean, if you took off any period of time because you needed it for your body, you're behind now. Everyone is going to pass you in FedEx. It was forcing you to have to play, and that's not doing anything for you mentally and physically. That's wearing you down, and you do that every single year and no wonder why guys are injured in their 30s and why guys are mentally tired and you just see the grind on them because they're having to grind every single week.

Q. Do you feel the same, Brooks?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I was just like the burnout, the burnout part of it, yeah.

Q. Get to play more often to kind of stay afloat?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I mean, look, I came back to play three weeks after surgery on a knee where they're like you're not going to play for six months, just because I didn't feel like I was going to miss the whole season next season. It was just bad timing. Where now, I mean, got, what, seven more events to play? I mean, you're not doing a month on the road anymore. You know, life does go on even though when we're not playing golf. So being away from home for a month. I don't have any kids that I know about. So being at home is not really a thing for me, but life does go on. And like there's some things we miss at home, being friends, family, a lot of birthdays. It would just be nice to be home a little bit more. I think that's a big thing that everybody, every one of these 48 players will say the same thing.

Q. Brooks and Pat, I understood, I heard your answer on that we are golfers and that that's your concern this week, but the mayor of North Plains here, along with ‰ mayors of ten other of the surrounding communities came forward and said that this tournament does not align with their values. And I'm wondering how you, you know, what is your message to those people who are concerned about the connection to Saudi Arabia and the human rights issues?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, they're allowed to have their opinions. You know, we've heard it. I think everybody has. It's been brought up. But, look, like we said, our only job is to go play golf, and that's all we're trying to do. We're trying to grow the game, do all this other stuff. And we're trying the best we can.

Q. Brooks, to your point about we're trying to grow the game, are you concerned that you might be alienating fans given that you're associating with a country that does have a horrific track record on human rights?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Well, considering that the fact that there's more golf on TV, I mean, yeah, that's going to grow the game; right? More people watching. I mean --

Q. I don't know. I mean, do people want to watch if you're associated with this type?

PAT PEREZ: We haven't asked them. We don't know. You ask them. We haven't asked them. Go ask them.

BROOKS KOEPKA: The more golf's on TV, the more golf's in front of you, I mean; right? It's technically putting it in front of people, putting golf in front of people if it's on, what, half the time people are on their phones looking at Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, whatever it is. They'll catch clips from out here, clips from wherever. It doesn't matter.

Q. Patrick, I'm just wondering if the Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup dynamic of all this gave you any pause at all, because obviously those things are in doubt. Certainly the Presidents Cup is given that's already been set. Given that your interest and success in those events especially?

PATRICK REED: You know, of course, I've thought about it. Who wouldn't? But at the end of the day I felt like when my family and I we sat down and we just weighed all of our options, we felt like joining LIV Golf, especially with talking to some of the guys that played in London, that this was definitely the right decision, the right decision for us mainly mentally and physically just the quality of life, being able to spend more time with the kids because that's been the hardest thing. When I first was on the PGA TOUR Justine was on the bag my first two years through the Mondays and also the first full season. And then after that, once we had our first child, she was traveling at ten days old. We rented houses every single week. And I was able to watch her grow up. Even while playing the huge schedule that I always played because I love to compete. And once they started school, I wasn't able to -- they weren't able to travel as much, so now I'm going to an empty hotel room or empty house. It wears on you. It wears on you as an athlete, wears on you as a person, as a father, and this is for me, I feel like this is the best decision ever. I mean especially, I mean, what I've experienced just this first week but also with what I've seen, that now I can do everything that I want to do. Now I can compete at the highest level, but also prepare and get ready for every single event and be able to be home, and even though I'll be grinding at home getting ready, I'll be able to spend time with the kids. While they're in school, I'll be doing all my practice, and then afterwards I can be a dad, pick them up from school, go to the pool, play tennis, hang out, do the things I really want to do with my kids.

Q. Knowing the level of questions you guys are going to be asked this week after seeing everything that happened over in the London event, I'm curious how much media training have you been given in order to answer those questions about whether it's the human rights abuses or the things going on with the PGA TOUR or DP World Tour as well?


BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah. I mean, unless you want to do it yourself, yeah.

Q. I'm just asking.

BROOKS KOEPKA: I don't know. I'm just giving you an answer, man.

MODERATOR: I just wanted to address Alex's question earlier when you were asking about the prize purses and if they are in addition to the contracts. The prize purses are in addition to. There is no draw at LIV Golf on any finances.

PAT PEREZ: Chamblee was banging that drum the other day.

MODERATOR: We just wanted to, on the record, it's in addition to. And while you guys have, this is your first event, but you should know that from your contracts. You can attest to it. Thank you guys.

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