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May 8, 2024

George Bryan

Matt Atkins

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA

Dunes Golf and Beach Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: We'll get things started. We would like to welcome Matt Atkins and George Bryan here to the media center at the Myrtle Beach Classic. We're going to take it back a couple weeks to the Q at Myrtle Beach. Congratulations, Matt. Came down to the final stretch there. Just kind of want to get a recap of what it was like battling it out between you two.

MATT ATKINS: Yeah, I mean, it was a great day, great opportunity to earn a spot into here. It was definitely weird playing against a good friend. That was the first time that's ever happened where it was like a win-lose situation. Honestly when I was coming up the last hole in regulation, I said to my friend that was caddying for me, well, at least it's George because I honestly thought it was over.


MATT ATKINS: I ended up having a putt to get in a playoff, and I wouldn't rank myself anywhere near the top of the list for clutch putters, so I even was kind of surprised that it went in.

Got into a playoff, and --

GEORGE BRYAN: At that point you knew it was over. I knew it was over going into a playoff. I don't want to believe it --

MATT ATKINS: Maybe that's why you lost the playoff.

GEORGE BRYAN: It probably is.

MATT ATKINS: I just thought, fresh start. I kind of butchered 16 and 17 and thought it was over and found my way into a playoff and it was a clean slate.

My putter was not cooperating for a few months, and I had a really short tap-in --

GEORGE BRYAN: You weren't thinking about missing it, were you?

MATT ATKINS: When you missed your putt, I was like, good, I don't want to play this hole again.

I'm sitting here today thrilled that George is here, as well. That bittersweet moment on the 18th green at the Q is now just a sweet moment.

Q. George, what is it like battling out in a playoff with someone you consider a friend?

GEORGE BRYAN: Yeah, again, we've competed enough against each other over the years. Not as much with Matt just because he was on mini-tours then went to the PGA TOUR and Korn Ferry when I was kind of not there, so we hadn't had this many tournament battles, but we've done it enough with our friends. We play with a lot of friends, and it's just part of the deal.

So it was no different than a normal tournament, normal match out at Solina, wherever we are, but again, we're both competitors, so we went into the day, we each wanted to win, and I just had this feeling it was going to come down to whatever, Matt was going to win and I was going to have to play to catch him.

I turned it on in the middle of the round to tie him, and for us to go back and forth, neck-and-neck, I was like man, he's not -- when is he going to pull away? And he never did. But then on 16 and 17, he bogeyed 16 and 17 --

MATT ATKINS: They were terrible bogeys, as well.

GEORGE BRYAN: But he made a 20-footer for bogey on 16, which was like, why are you doing that. But I had a two-stroke lead, and I'm like, all right, George, this is mine now.

So I hit good shots on 17, made a great putt on 17, then go to 18 and just drive it right down the middle. I'm like, this is mine. It was cool to have that tournament mentality kick back in because the last tournament I played in was Bermuda, which was like five months prior.

Yeah, to get those juices flowing, I was excited. Then to just absolutely fall on my face kind of. I hit shots that were decent, but then chip it in the water and you're just sitting there like, what did I just do? I just hit a 30-yard pitch shot in the water, and had to regain myself going into a playoff.

Legitimately after I lost -- I mean, again, my job is YouTube golf. Pro golf is just kind of icing on the cake. But I still wanted to play in the first ever PGA TOUR event in Myrtle Beach, represent my home state.

I was sad for a week. I couldn't even go the golf course and practice a couple days because all I could think about was that 40-yard pitch shot out of the rough, downhill lie, and like, should I have laid up?

But then fast forward a few weeks when I got the phone call saying hey, what are you doing May 6 through 12, and I'm like, no freaking way, this happened. Because again, I thought everything -- my ship had sunk, whatever, March 1st or whenever we filmed.

I mean, it's just cool to be able to use our platform to be able to tell the story of the Myrtle Beach Classic, playing a PGA TOUR event in my home state, and doing it alongside Matt and Wesley being here, it's just a really cool thing. It's something that probably you're not going to really grasp for many years down the road.

Q. With the Q you guys brought a lot of excitement to the week. What have been some of the positive feedback you've heard whether from friends or family members about this inaugural event?

GEORGE BRYAN: I think just a tournament like -- well, I grew up coming to play golf in Myrtle Beach like from age 5 or 6 all the way until 18, 19, 20 years old we came to Myrtle Beach. So when we found out a tournament was here, I was like, I want to play in this bad.

The Q came about, Joe and Play Golf Myrtle Beach they said, hey, let's do this thing, and I was like, yeah, this has to happen; how can we make this happen. To be a part of the Q, to be able to use kind of what we do now with YouTube and kind of bridge the gap or have a seat at the table with the PGA TOUR and be able to partner with the PGA TOUR to help tell the Myrtle Beach Classic story was something that was insane -- like one of the coolest ideas I've ever heard.

The feedback has been amazing. I think the video has gotten 900,000 views. It was the talk of YouTube golf for a week, and he was the topic of YouTube golf for a week because he took down me, and everyone is sad because --

MATT ATKINS: I was the bad guy for a week or so.

GEORGE BRYAN: But it's just cool because it's never been a thing where YouTube has had an impact into a PGA TOUR event directly, and this is the first time it's ever happened. So to be a part of that is something that's -- it was really freaking cool.

MATT ATKINS: Yeah, I mean, him and Wesley, they're used to getting stopped and talked to, like hey, I watch your videos or whatever. I'll appear in some of their videos and whatnot, and I play professionally for a living. There's some people who obviously are big enough golf fans to maybe know who I am over the years just in random stuff, but for the most part everyone has got their handful of guys that they think about when they think about pro golf.

But since the Q came out, there's definitely a few people, especially here this week, that, oh, hey, congrats, good playing in the Q, excited you're here. I'm not used to getting stopped by people that I don't really know like they are.

It's cool just to feel the support, and like he was talking about, Myrtle Beach, my golf story is much different than theirs growing up. I didn't grow up in South Carolina but South Carolina is my home now, but we vacationed here in Myrtle Beach, and this is where I would tell people, I just played golf on vacation, so this is where it was.

It's kind of a cool full-circle moment. Even though this isn't my first TOUR event or my first year playing professionally, just to be here playing in the first PGA TOUR event in Myrtle Beach is cool because this is where I kind of, I guess, learned how to play, even though I was just kind of whacking it around.

Q. Matt, you've appeared on their channels a lot. When did you guys first meet?

MATT ATKINS: I actually played with Wesley in a college event that he doesn't really remember. We played 36 holes. One of my good friends that I met at a college golf fellowship retreat played at Georgia Tech. His name is James White and he and I traveled and played some mini-tour golf together, and he had kind of looped Wesley into a practice round at an eGolf Tour event. So that's where Wesley first remembers meeting myself.

But it was just a normal practice round. I didn't think anything of it. Everything was cordial. Then the next week we were playing at the Country Club of South Carolina was it, and he came up to me on the range. I don't have his phone number or anything. He came up, and like knowing him now it's more funny because I know his personality, but he came up, and he was like, Dude, I almost died yesterday. I was like, what? I played a practice round with him, but he came up to me like we were tight, like we were boys or something. So that's kind of where our friendship kicked off.

But maybe, I don't know -- I couldn't even tell you if I got your number on the range or whatever. But we had stayed in touch and then I played at University of South Carolina got married in 2017, moved to North Augusta, South Carolina, and Wesley and his wife were in Augusta while she was there for school. So Wesley and I practiced, played together a ton, and I guess you had recently moved to Aiken, so we were on the same area. I played with Wesley a lot more than I did George just because of TOUR golf, practice rounds --

GEORGE BRYAN: And I didn't get invited many times.

MATT ATKINS: We would invite you, you would just say no. But I played the 2018 season, Wesley and I played pretty much -- every week we were together we played a practice round. We've been friends long before -- like between their trick shot YouTube and where their YouTube is now, we were friends. All we'd do is they asked me to come play while there's a camera there. It's not any different than us playing like we always do.

For a while there, it was hey, it was you orchestrating the filming and playing. You would come over to Lexington, film 1-v-1 against Wesley, and then me, Scott, Will and Wesley would play, and you would just not stick around to play with us. You didn't like us, I guess.

GEORGE BRYAN: I had to get back to edit at the time. I had to film the whole thing, because Wesley wasn't coming to Aiken to play back then, and I would have to go back and edit videos. That's why I didn't stay, and my golf -- truthfully my golf game wasn't as good.

It was frustrating because I feel like I couldn't compete with you guys because y'all were pretty solid and I just was annoyed that my game wasn't quite solid enough to get into gambling matches and feel great about it, so it was like mostly editing, but the problem was like, I just didn't feel good to go play a non-filming round of golf, which is nothing. Not the case, but --

MATT ATKINS: I feel like your game is always --

GEORGE BRYAN: That's the thing. The whole thing about Matt and a lot of the guys that we played with, they've told me that even though my game was garbage in my eyes, like Dude, you're good enough to be on the PGA TOUR. Like what are you talking about? I just shot 74 at Lexington. But he kept saying, and guys like Matt and Scott and the guys we played with, they're like, George, you're good enough to be on the PGA TOUR. So part of that, they're part of the reason why I played as well as I did last year, got into Bermuda and made the cut in the PGA TOUR event as a YouTuber guy that doesn't --

MATT ATKINS: Doesn't play competitive golf.

GEORGE BRYAN: So it was cool because they helped instill confidence in me when I had zero confidence.

MATT ATKINS: You're the beast.

Q. Matt, I feel like the first time a lot of people heard more about your story was last year at RSM and seeing you Monday qualify and make the cut and play well. You talked about getting noticed a little more after the Q, but what the response has been like since that week and your progression with your golf.

MATT ATKINS: Yeah, so amongst players and caddies, they all think I'm some Monday king or something, which is like -- it's like, dude, I Mondayed into a couple events. It's more of like I guess a recency bias thing. But definitely some more people. I think it's just a mix of everything between Bryan Bros stuff and kind of getting involved more with their community and communicating with their community.

But yeah, the RSM I was down to no money and wasn't -- I was okay if I had to quit and go do something else. A lot of prayers for clarity and discernment, and a lot of things got answered that week. I got interviewed there and they're like, are you normally emotional like this, and I'm like, no, definitely not.

Yeah, that was a big week for I guess my career as far as continuing to play, but I definitely had people reach out. When people ask me questions in front of a camera, I didn't think -- I just said whatever I was going to say. I didn't think about anything.

So it was cool to see that it had mostly a positive impact for people.

But yeah, there's been a lot of people that I think -- when you're out here and you're playing and everything, not everyone -- there's a lot of surface level conversations. It was cool to see some of the other players and caddies just kind of congratulate me on that week or just come up and be like, oh, man, that was really awesome to see just because, like I said, there's maybe not as much depth in the conversations as there needs to be, so people don't really know what everyone is going through out here.

Q. George, what do you think about seeing your friend experience that?

GEORGE BRYAN: That was insane because I was with him the week before at Q-school, and it was where he played awful all week. He just scored bad. He was still playing fine. He was like, I've got a Monday qualifier next week, and I was playing extremely well at Q-School, so it was a weird dynamic, having to -- I knew how much this was -- like yeah, this was his last run at things, and seeing him play bad and not get through, it was like, dang, this stinks, but I'm playing well, so it was this weird dynamic.

Again, I knew he's a great player, so I knew he would have a chance going into that Monday, but I was locked in on that Monday, like following his round, and when I saw he got through, it was one of the cooler things because I knew his story before everyone else did, and I was just like, you can't make it up. You can't script it any better or any crazier.

So it's just a testament to kind of who he is. He's a grinder. Like he believes in himself when he maybe on paper shouldn't. Getting through that Monday, making the cut and then going to this year, getting through some Mondays and playing like he has, it just shows you, you believe in yourself, how powerful the mind is and staying positive.

But yeah, it was one of the coolest -- that was one of the highlights of the year is seeing Matt do that when he needed it. It was crazy.

Q. Matt, you mentioned some of the emotions that you had qualifying. Obviously you're carrying some of that emotion today coming into this event, as well. What can the PGA TOUR do better to bring more of the Korn Ferry guys up, give more of those guys a chance in your eyes?

MATT ATKINS: As far as playing?

Q. How can we restructure to get more of your stories and more of that emotion up?

MATT ATKINS: I think the season-long stuff is fine as far as how many cards are given out and stuff like that. I think it was cool to see the PGA Championship give Tim an exemption. He won two, won back-to-back weeks on the Korn Ferry TOUR. The Korn Ferry TOUR is definitely more of a PGA TOUR overflow than it is a developmental Tour at this point. A lot of great players that can compete out here on a weekly basis.

So I don't really know. Maybe in these opposite field events or whatever, maybe having some sort of category where the current season -- whatever threshold is may be, five, ten guys, whatever, but then again, you're also going to keep five or ten guys from this tour off, and Wesley finished solo second in the Dominican, and on paper or what's been going on the last couple years, people would be like, why is he playing or be like a shock to them that he played so well.

But I think that's just how professional golf is. A lot of guys are capable of playing great any week. You see Camilo win last fall.

But yeah, I think as far as the Korn Ferry, it's maybe like the future generation of players, guys like Scottie Scheffler and these Coody brothers, like there's a lot of great players. I don't think there's anything that is super wrong with the system, but I think more so even just telling people's stories, whether they get -- whether the playing opportunities are different or not, but just maybe more exposure on who everyone is. You kind of don't really know until they do something great out here.

Q. You referenced it earlier. You guys came down here to play a lot as kids. I think you were maybe six years in a row at the George Holliday during Thanksgiving. Can you talk about your connection to Myrtle Beach, both you guys, and how that led possibly to this current agreement you have to represent Myrtle Beach and what this agreement with Myrtle Beach Golf Tours and Solutions, what that agreement entails?

GEORGE BRYAN: Yeah, so shout-out to George Holliday. It was my first ever big junior win. I was 12 years old, playing -- I shot 66, beat Jesse Speirs from Bangor, Maine, in a playoff, and he was like two years older than I was.

But it was a tournament that age division can win the overall championship. So I was a 12-year-old that won the overall title against like 18-year-olds and 19-year-olds. So it was a tournament we came to play here in Myrtle Beach every year, every Thanksgiving.

Again, played the Carolinas Junior here. I think it was at Wild Wing a couple times. Played at Myrtlewood back in the day. So yeah, Myrtle Beach golf is basically part of our DNA.

Fast forward to now, to be able to partner with Play Golf Myrtle Beach and be able to play a part in telling their story and using our platform to show people how great Myrtle Beach is as a golf destination, as a coming here with the family -- my family is on the way right now.

Yeah, it's a cool thing because that was 24 years ago. I mean, to come full circle, to play in a PGA TOUR event home state, it's somewhere -- which I just now thought about. It's my first-ever win. It's really special.

Q. Can you expound a little bit also on the agreement you have with Myrtle Beach and what your relationship is and the possibilities within that?

GEORGE BRYAN: Yeah, they just want to come along and come be a part of what we're going -- what we've got going on on YouTube on social and just use us to help tell their story and tell people about Myrtle Beach.

It's been one of the coolest partnerships we've had because they truly believe and want the best for us. They don't just want, hey, we want to use you guys to use your platform. They want to join together -- we want to help Play Golf Myrtle Beach win and they want to help us win. Yeah, it's just exciting times. We had an event last night, first ever mini golf championship at Pop Stroke. It's just been a fun week so far.

Q. Matt, excluding George and I, I'd like to know your dream YouTube golf foursome.

GEORGE BRYAN: That should be pretty easy. Grant Horvath --

MATT ATKINS: I played with Grant in the Q.

GEORGE BRYAN: That's one.

MATT ATKINS: I think Pat Perez. I didn't get to play with him.

GEORGE BRYAN: Good choice. Bobby Fairways has to be in there. Him and Pat Perez together, those are two that you've just got to play --

MATT ATKINS: Maybe it's just me and the Bobdo Sports Group. It's pretty simple because I already played with Grant and Micah and those guys. I played with Quan when he was out on the Korn Ferry -- just the whole group.

GEORGE BRYAN: Shout-out to Bobby Fairways if you're watching this.

Q. George, you have so many comments on your latest YouTube video of fans saying I'm looking at plane tickets, I'm looking at how to get there. What is your message to the fans that are just going so far to try and come to see you play?

GEORGE BRYAN: It's cool that -- again, I read all the comments. That's an exaggeration. I go through a lot of comments, DMs, and I just scour because, A, they're taking the time to write something on a YouTube video or Instagram post. I want to take the time to read it and be intentional.

I think it's a testament to what we've built, and it's not just me and Wesley. It's like we've built a community of golfers that we're all a part of. I feel like you can feel that in the comments section because it feels more like a family of golf sickos that we're a part of it, not like oh, we have a channel that you guys are commenting at and we just see you guys' numbers. It's cool because I want that to be the case. I want people to feel like they want to come be a part of the story because they're just as much as a reason I'm here playing in the Myrtle Beach Classic as anyone because the message of them encouraged me, hey, you're good at golf, you're great, keep at it. I feel that, and I want them to know that, hey, come and hang out. I want you to get to know me, as well. I enjoy, appreciate you and getting to hear their stories, and again, what we built in Discord further amplifies that. We have a community of a few thousand people in there that we talk golf every day, and it's building a family that me and Wesley are just I guess the center of, but everyone is branching off and forming relationships other than just me many there which is cool because I want us to build a positive platform where people can come talk life, talk golf, but it's all in a very positive light, showing people or bringing the good of golf, being the glue of these relationships. It's cool to see that for sure, and I feel it, and we all feel it, Matt feels it, Wesley feels it.

Q. Pop Stroke last night, how was that being right there on the course with the fans?

GEORGE BRYAN: It's cool, because again, most of the time we just have -- our interactions are through YouTube videos, so to actually get face-to-face interactions with people that watch our videos and support our channel, it's cool because they're taking time out of their day to support us and watch our videos and find us entertaining or insightful, whatever it is, and it's cool to just get to talk and hear their story, interact with them, and to see like a physical representation, even though it's just a small glimpse of what we've built, it's very humbling. It's just like, wow, they're going all this way, driving from Columbia to come be a part of -- a two-and-a-half-hour drive to come do a putt-putt thing with us is really cool, and it's something that me and Wesley really enjoy.

MATT ATKINS: Yeah, I was going to say, I've been on the road doing a bunch of qualifiers this year, and I've been to a few cities, and I've actually stayed with some of their subscribers. He was talking about the Discord community, and what's funny is I Mondayed into the Mexico Open at Vidanta on the PGA TOUR this year, and I didn't even know the qualifier was happening, but somebody in their Discord was like, hey, are you or George or Wesley going to come play in the qualifier. It was at his home golf course.

So I looked it up and I signed up and I ended up qualifying. But I've stayed with a few of their subscribers, and like he said, it's a real positive community and a family, and they've all supported me by allowing me to stay at their place, use a vehicle if I needed it, whatever it may be.

I've had people caddie, multiple people caddie for me. Yeah, it's been great.

Q. Has observing this positivity and being a part of it made any part of you want to start a channel or have they tried to get you to start one?

MATT ATKINS: No, I'm pretty comfortable with where I'm at as far as just being a little extra character. No, because like George was saying, on their community aspect, everybody feels like a tight-knit group and family, and for me, I just feel like the Bryan Bros are George and Wesley. I am friends with them and I have been a part of their journey in the absolute smallest way.

But I feel more just a part of the Bryan Bros golf even though I'm not a Bryan or anything like that.

GEORGE BRYAN: And I've seen his camera work, so it's --

MATT ATKINS: Well, that's why you have Carney now.

Yeah, I've had no interest in doing my own thing. I'll be there whenever they feel like they need me.

Q. George, are you attacking this golf course any differently than your brother, or how do your games compare?

MATT ATKINS: I'll answer that one. George is attacking this golf course from the fairway, and Wesley is attacking it from not the fairway.

GEORGE BRYAN: Yeah, it's pretty -- traditionally I hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens and just make pars and birdies that way. He misses a lot of fairways, it's crazy, makes a lot of birdies, makes a lot of bogeys, but his short game, wedges bail him out. But now I feel like he's kind of turned into like a good golfer and a good driver the last few weeks. He's hitting a lot more fairways and playing it a more traditional way. But for the most part, the way he plays is a very --

MATT ATKINS: Aggressive.

GEORGE BRYAN: Aggressive because he knows his short game is elite, he knows his wedges are elite, so if he misses a green, he's like, I can get up-and-down from anywhere, so it's a freedom to play golf in a different way. Where me, short game is a little different, so I've got to attack a little more conservatively in spots where he might, if he short-sides himself he doesn't care, and he doesn't care about anything on the golf course which is what makes him a winner out here, a very good player because if he makes double or triple or bogey he forgets about it. It doesn't bother him.

But yeah, traditionally he's going to miss a lot of fairways, some crazy punch shots and get up-and-down.

Q. George, in 10 years of Bryan Bros, was there ever a point that you questioned if you would ever get the opportunity to play in a PGA TOUR event after working at it so hard, and how do you feel sitting here now in your second event in one year?

GEORGE BRYAN: Yeah, it's crazy because we started Bryan Bros, the ultimate -- the cool backstory of what we did, we started it because I ran out of money playing pro golf. We needed something -- I needed something to do and maybe this turns into something that can fund my professional golf journey. Well, it did that more, just my game never panned out the way I thought it would. Wesley's did.

We got half of the objective complete. I was like, I'm never going to -- I played some Latin Tour. I played okay, but my game wasn't there. I was like, it's probably never going to happen, but I was fine with that. I was married, was going to start a family, and was completely at ease, but at the same time there was something deep down where I was like, I want to see what my game can be like on the PGA TOUR and what it can do.

But I knew. I was like, it was never going to happen. But then last year the game starts getting better, the channel starts growing, and that thought kind of does creep in my mind, like what if someone reach out, do you want to play in a PGA TOUR event.

Yeah, so getting into Bermuda to make the cut and to prove to myself that hey, whatever happens from here on out, I've made the cut on the PGA TOUR, 100 percent made cut, 100 percent made cut percentage --

MATT ATKINS: You're putting that on the line this week.

GEORGE BRYAN: Yeah, I am. So it's cool to now be here in Myrtle Beach in a PGA TOUR event in my home state playing and teeing it up, not just coming to film Wesley and be outside the ropes with a camera filming. It really is something I get emotional a lot thinking about it because you never know how many more I'm going to play in, or heck, what if I win and I'm now a PGA TOUR player.

But at the end of the day to say I've played in two PGA TOUR events when basically all hope was lost five or six years ago, that dream was embedded in me deep as a kid. I wanted to play on the PGA TOUR. I was like, it's never going to happen, that's fine. I'm okay with that. But to check it off the list and do it is something that you really can't describe.

MATT ATKINS: And I can't say this enough times. You're not just Wesley's brother. You're good enough to play. Just do that. Just play your game, and you're great.

GEORGE BRYAN: See? He's part of the reason why I'm out here playing at a decently high level, because he actually would tell me these things daily. You hear it enough, and you start to believe it.

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