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July 2, 2022

Talor Gooch

Branden Grace

Dustin Johnson

Carlos Ortiz

Pat Perez

Patrick Reed

Portland, Oregon, USA

Pumpkin Ridge

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, guys.

Q. You had so many key moments during the round. Can you pick out some -- you had a birdie at the tough 13th, obviously the chip-in. Which of those moments seem to be the one that was the turning point?

BRANDEN GRACE: Yeah, I thought the birdie on 13 was huge. That hole doesn't suit me at all with my little fade. Going in there, the trees blocked me on the left, so hit a great drive down there, had a perfect number for a 3-iron, hit the 3-iron to about 20 feet and managed to make the putt. Then I thought I'm really in the tournament.

Carlos started off great and never made any mistakes. And then obviously the chip-in on 16. Didn't really think I hit that bad of a second shot and just came out a little hotter than I expected, and obviously hit a miraculous chip there and very fortunate it went in. Then just managed to hold on to the end.

Q. Branden, after some struggles perhaps earlier this year, can you maybe just take us through what the difference has been, if maybe you've gotten some inspiration out here or maybe what's changed?

BRANDEN GRACE: Yeah, well, started working with a new coach towards the end of the last year, and I really felt that at Valero Texas that the swing has come along and started playing some nice golf.

Obviously you need to get the low rounds to get the confidence, and I felt really comfortable in London, managed to have a good tournament today.

I had a great Sunday actually at London and took a lot from that into this week, and the form stayed there, played really well, and then obviously today was one shot after the other was just -- fell into place.

Didn't really do anything wrong, and that's been it really. Just a lot of grind, and obviously I've told everybody, it's almost that you kind of forget you're playing for yourself out here. There's three other guys on your team, and when you look at the leaderboards and you're always looking at what they're doing and how they're playing.

When you see a couple of them are struggling or something like that, you try to push yourself a little bit harder to succeed for the team, so kind of that's what it's been like, and that's what I like about this whole new experience.

Q. Branden and also for Pat. Branden, last year you went through a lot of personal tragedy, as well, your father passed away with COVID, and you were not playing that well. How did you make that turnaround? What really went into that process? I also wanted to ask you about that 65 again in London; how important was that?

BRANDEN GRACE: Yeah, well, listen, we all go through some tragedies in your life. Obviously mine just happened when things wasn't really going my way. You know, a lot of those decisions happened because of COVID. The PGA TOUR made some decisions that I don't think was really the best decisions at that stage. There was 18 guys that was negatively affected with the whole COVID thing on the PGA TOUR, and that was it. I was one of them, and so it happens.

You know, managed to get the win in Puerto Rico, which was good, and then came on and just kind of stuck with it. You have to carry on.

Nobody waits for you. If you don't get over the line and keep going, then that's just the way it is.

But on Sunday, I played with DJ at London, as well, on the Sunday and played really nicely, and just kind of found a groove. I've been feeling really comfortable. I've been hitting the shots that I see and things like that, and that's really important and gives you the confidence.

Today was nothing different. From the first hole I hit the ball great. I made a couple of nice putts when it mattered, and obviously things go your way when you win a golf tournament.

Q. Pat, I wanted to ask you, have you ever felt this happy after shooting a round like that?

PAT PEREZ: What do you mean "a round like that"? I played great today. (Laughter.) I had four sixes -- I think I had two birdies and four pars, I think.

No, never. You can't do that on other tours because normally on a Saturday it's your third round, if you shoot 80 you're gone, you're totally done. We were 7-over through 7, and that was it. We got the pom-poms out and we were rooting for the boys. Obviously I've got three great players on my team. I knew that coming into this anyway.

We were watching the boards and we saw it got close and then we just watched all day. It's just been an unbelievable experience for me. This is the greatest thing I've ever been part of in golf. Even though I've won three times, it doesn't matter. Like Gracey said, when you have other teammates and you're looking for your symbol, the A symbol on the deal and you see guys climbing, and obviously I'm not very good so I played terrible, obviously, but they played great.

It was so cool. It was so different. I've always wanted to be a part of a team, whether it was a captain or vice captain, whatever it was. It was one of those -- it's the coolest week I think I've had ever, and even shooting 80 literally I've forgotten about it. I'm so happy for those guys because they played great, and obviously my other boys, Gracey and Carlos and Patrick, finishing one, two, three, it's just incredible. It's been the greatest experience I've had in golf.

Q. Carlos, as a fellow skinny boy myself, do you have any tips on hitting a longer ball besides eating more and going to the gym?

CARLOS ORTIZ: What do you mean skinny?

Q. I apologize, actually.

CARLOS ORTIZ: No, I honestly don't -- I just hit it. I don't know. Swing hard. I honestly --

DUSTIN JOHNSON: He's got to dance in the shower to get wet.

Q. I also noticed that you keep your index finger on your right hand pretty straight on that grip. What does that do for you and why will I be copying that for the rest of my life?

CARLOS ORTIZ: I don't know, it give me a callus right here. Other than that I don't know what it works for. I've done it my whole life. I honestly don't have a clue whether works or not. I don't know.

Q. Dustin, Branden and Carlos, what was it like being on 18 today? What was that experience like for you guys?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, I felt like the fans all week were absolutely amazing, but today it was packed. The fans were electric from start to finish. I mean, there was a ton of energy out there, obviously coming down 17 and 18. Would have liked to have been a little bit closer to Branden finishing, but obviously he played unbelievable today and deserved everything with the way he played. But I thought the fans and the crowd were absolutely amazing.

BRANDEN GRACE: Yeah, like Dustin said, from start to finish. Like I said before, I'm no Tiger, but that was as close as I'm going to get to feeling what Tiger feels like. Coming down the 18th with everybody just surrounding you, chanting your name, it was amazing. I've never experienced anything like that.

It was just nice that whether it was myself or Dustin or Carlos, whoever made a bogey, they were going nuts, and that what it's supposed to be like. People are out there, they want to see you put on a show, and I feel that's what we did pretty well today.

CARLOS ORTIZ: Yeah, I mean, they were unbelievable -- I didn't even know there were that many Mexicans in Portland. They were cheering, "venga cabrĂ³n," and I was like, what? It was unbelievable. I haven't had that many opportunities to be in final groups maybe like DJ, but it was crazy from the beginning. Both sides of the fairway were full of people, until the end, putting the ropes behind us. It was great.

Being able to fight it out with Gracey, we were kind of in there until he decided to just keep going and left us behind. It was awesome. We had a great time.

Q. Patrick, you and I were talking up front a while ago about your fan experience. Can you share that with the room?

PATRICK REED: It was unreal. I might be moving to Portland sometime soon, so many fans on my side. I'm like, this is amazing.

You know, it was awesome from start to finish. I mean, just the start of the week and just the -- really the first couple days with having no fans and just seeing how electric and how pumped up all the guys were getting, it felt like I was playing a team event back in Ryder Cups, Presidents Cups and events like that where everyone is just all in.

I think that's the biggest thing, everyone is all in. It doesn't matter if it's the first day you arrive you're playing nine-hole practice rounds or whether it's the final round of the event. Everyone is cheering for everyone, everyone is playing their heart out trying as hard as they can.

To go ahead and eagle 17 and start throwing fist pumps today, I haven't done that in God knows how long. Just that energy felt amazing. Being able to chip in on 18 and see the crowd just go absolutely insane and then come back and watch these guys finish up, seeing fans just pile in behind them, we don't get that every week.

To think that we're going to be able to do that 14 times a year every single year, it's going to be unbelievable, and I can't wait for the next one.

Q. There's been a little bit of a narrative that because the money is so big, the purse is so high, guaranteed contracts, that you guys might lose some motivation or you might actually lose --


Q. You might lose motivation --

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I'm just wondering what kind of question that is.

Q. I'm just curious --

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I've got more motivation.

Q. Seriously, if you could speak to that and how you put that aside to keep working as hard as you have previously.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: For me I've got more motivation to play well and work hard. I've got -- obviously now we have a team, so want to play well for them, not only for myself. But yeah, we are playing for a lot of money, and I want to win. Not just to win the money. I want to win the tournament.

We still have world-class players out here, some of the best players in the world. You have to play your best if you want to win. I mean, just like today; got off to kind of a rough start, got it back, but obviously Branden played really well, but I did get it back to where I was within one with six or seven holes to go, and then he decided to go on a little tear there birdieing every hole coming in.

You know, but it's still felt really good to get back in the mix, and obviously the juices were flowing. I was super excited about the position I was in.

As far as motivation goes, I have more motivation than I've had in a while to perform.

Q. You obviously see some good signs in your game at this point --

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Absolutely. I feel like the game is definitely trending in the right direction. It has been for a while. I'm starting to see a lot more consistency kind of throughout the whole bag.

The biggest thing for me is the wedges have started to come around. Anytime I feel like I've got a wedge from the fairway I'm going to hit it close. Unfortunately today I just didn't drive it in the fairway enough.

But when I was in the fairway and had wedges, I knocked the flag down and gave myself good opportunities.

I think that's the biggest thing for me, which is the thing that I'm the most kind of excited about or looking forward to is my wedge game is finally back to where I feel like it should be, and then the rest of the game is starting to kick in, too.

TALOR GOOCH: I will also answer that real quick. I played with him on Tuesday, and yes, the game is trending.

Q. DJ and Pat Perez, are you guys still playing in the JP McManus, and if so, what are you most looking forward to?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: We're leaving tonight and we're going to there to play, yes, absolutely.

Q. Pat, are you going, as well?


Q. What are you most looking forward to when you get over there to play?

PAT PEREZ: I heard it's an unbelievable pro-am. I haven't seen Mr. Manus in a couple years, so I'm looking forward to seeing him. My partner and I play Pebble Beach every year, Michael Lund, he's already there, so I'm looking forward to kind of seeing Adair Manor. I've been there once, but I'm looking forward to seeing what it does. I hear he raises a lot of money for charity and this whole thing, so I'm really excited to be part of that.

Right now it's kind of hard, I happen to be a part of everything.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I played in 2010 and JP does a fantastic job with everything that he does. Obviously in '10 he didn't -- he bought it a few years ago and put some money into it and made it a lot better. I heard the course is phenomenal. I haven't seen it since then.

I'm really looking forward just to getting over there, seeing all my friends. There's a lot of guys I haven't seen in a while, but just getting over there, hanging out, playing some golf. It's a great event. It's going to be a lot of fun. It raises a ton of money for charity, so just happy to be a part of it and looking forward to just seeing all the people over there.

Q. Patrick Reed, I just want to say great finish today; do you ever feel like you'll bring back the puka shell or are you past that phase of your life?

PATRICK REED: Oh, man, this is the one I always wear, the wave collection. That's the only one I'm wearing.

Q. Pat, I was just wondering why you unfollowed us.

PAT PEREZ: You probably fucked up. (Laughter.) It checks out. Only guys I'm going to unfollow are when they fuck up, sorry. But I'll give you another look. How's that sound? I'll give you another look.

Q. Patrick Reed, I think on Tuesday, one of the things you were talking about why you joined LIV is kind of the fun everyone said they were having in London now after guys are spraying each other with champagne on the 18th green, guys are coming up here with drinks. Did it live up, and is that something you're going to other Tour players and telling them about now?

PATRICK REED: This week was absolutely insane. It was so much fun.

PAT PEREZ: A lot of boys are missing out, I guarantee you.

PATRICK REED: Yeah. I'll be obviously telling guys truthfully what I felt about the week, what I felt about just how they run an event and everything. I mean, just the thought of having basically 14 team events like this, I mean, I can't wait. I can't wait for the next one.

I mean, just to see how many people came out, how excited they were and just how pumped up the people were, for me it's unbelievable. I know all the guys, the ones that do end up coming and the ones that -- the guys that do come are just going to absolutely love it, and the guys that don't, they're missing out. This is the best thing I've ever been a part of, and I can't wait just to keep on going and having some more fun with it.

Q. Branden, you turned professional in 2007. You've been grinding for 15 years. Can you tell us, what's this win mean to you, aside from a gigantic $4 million check? Can you put it into words?

BRANDEN GRACE: Exactly the same as what every other one meant. Listen, I'm playing here against the best in the world. I mean, I still have to play some good golf. Today was no walk in the park. I was behind a majority of the day. I had to work my butt off, try to make birdies.

At the end of the day I got chills when I got on to 18, the people chanting your name. I got nervous over the four-footer just like I do in any other tournament. We're out here, we're playing golf. This is what we're good at, and it's just nice to see that people actually realize and recognize you for what you are and what we do for the game.

Obviously this is creating more opportunities for everybody else, and like I said earlier up here, we're all excited and we're here to stay.

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