Open interview: Brooks Koepka

October 11, 2013

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THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Brooks Koepka into the interview room after a 7‑under par 64 today. He sits 11‑under through 36 holes.

Brooks, sort of an up and down start for you but a very good day overall. If we can get some comments.

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, like you said, got off to a little bit of a shaky start, a couple bogeys early, but hung in there and played really well. Just had a little bit of a slip up on 6. Made bogey.

Other than that, real good round. Can't complain.

THE MODERATOR: Okay. Questions.

Q. Break your game down a little bit today. What were the things you were really excelling at?

I really putted well. I hit some good golf shots in there. They were about 15, 20 feet. Holed a bunch of 15‑, 20‑footers. I thought my speed was real good. Drove the ball really well.

I think that's why I made a couple bogeys early on. I wasn't driving it very well. But it worked towards the end.

Q. Looks like a day for low scores. Everybody is going low. Pretty exciting stuff out there. Do you pick up on the vibe that it's going lower and lower?

Yeah. The golf course is in great shape, very good conditions, very scorable. So to get off to a good start was key and just kind of hang in there and keep playing well.

But, yeah, there will be some low rounds today. It's perfect weather. You can't complain about anything.

Q. What's your level of pressure this week?

There is no pressure. I don't think so. Just enjoying it right now. You know, be looking forward to the weekend. I don't see any pressure.

Q. In terms of what this week could mean...

Yeah, it would be big. Obviously be nice to win and get status over here.

But you play good, everything kind of takes care of itself.

Q. You been to 15 different countries this year?

Yeah, 15 different countries, so it's been a long run.

Q. What are some of the interesting things you've done or seen and gained from all that travel?

Learning how to travel, that was a big thing. I think coming out of college you don't play many events, maybe 10 during the year or something.

But week in and week out playing, how to handle yourself, things like that. Just not even golf related, but cultural. Seeing all these different places and things like that. Just hope you grow as a person, too.

Q. Can you describe your path from Florida State and how you got from there to the Challenge Tour?

Yeah, I didn't have any status coming out. Didn't play any Palmer Cups or Walker Cups, anything like that. So I went overseas to play. That was my opportunity over there, and I took advantage of it.

Q. What's your schedule like setup for this year?

This year we go to China in two weeks for BMW, and that's really it. That's all I have right now. Looking for a couple invites over here.

Yeah, I have no status or anything, so it would be nice to play over here a little bit.

Q. Of the countries you have visited, the 15 countries you've been in, are there any good stories, any kind of weird travel tales that you might have?

This year in Kenya. I think I arrived at like midnight and I was taken on a little journey, about a three‑hour road trip. It was a bit scary, I'll be honest.

But then I've got so many good stories. I mean, just going to Switzerland, one of the most beautiful places in the world. I've been in the U.K. quite a bit, and Scotland. Scotland is a little special because I won there to get on the European Tour and things like that, so it's kind of special to me.

Q. Was that trip in Kenya supposed to be three hours?

No. It was supposed to be about 15, 20 minutes. Took us on a little journey. I was with another player, George Murray. We went down some streets and stopped and he wanted to stop and things like that, but I don't even know. It was crazy. I was freaking out. But it worked out. I got to the hotel safely.

Q. What did you shoot that week?

I think I finished fifth, so it wasn't a bad week. Kenya is awesome.

Q. When you didn't get out of I assume first stage or second stage...

Second stage.

Q. That was least year?


Q. What were your options?

I went back over. Played final stage European Q‑School. Didn't play very well over there. I think I missed a cut in Q‑School over there, too. So just played Challenge Tour.

Q. Before you went over and didn't get your card in Europe, did you consider anything else but Challenge Tour? Did you think about Hooters or...

No. Just thought Challenge Tour. Challenge Tour is the reason I'm here.

Q. Why did you go that route?

I think you're traveling the world at 23. That's good. And it's a good experience playing overseas. I think you'll see a lot more guys do it. With the changes to Q‑School, I think a couple guys will go over there and start playing over there. I think they had a record number sign up for Q‑School this year.

Q. For Europe?

Yeah, over there. It's good learning experience playing over there. I think everybody wants to be a worldwide player. At least for me, that's what I want to be able to do, play the European Tour and the PGA TOUR.

Just need to get established over here a little bit more.

Q. Does a week like this seem easy then because you're not adjusting to a new culture?

Yeah, yeah, it's nice. You know, the travel wasn't too bad. It was only like a five‑hour flight. It was kind of nice for me coming from Florida. Didn't seem like it was too long.

But it's nice getting here. The way everything is run here it's unbelievable. It's first class. Makes it a lot easier.

Q. A lot of people say California is a different culture...


Q. When you went over there you won pretty early. Did you imagine you would be over there that long, or was it you won and you got status and the win extended your stay?

No, I wanted to be over there. That was the plan when I got done with school, was to go over there. I was lucky enough to win and just make sure I had my card and on the Challenge Tour for that year, the next year.

Then this year played well enough to get on the European. Things just kind of worked out really well, to say the least.

Q. If things were to work out in whatever way, either this week, next couple months, and you're able to get status over here, what would you think about for next year?

I would be playing both. I would try to go back and forth. I mean, every week over here is unbelievable, but play some tournaments over there still.

You know, I think my game needs to be well rounded. I want to compete in British Opens and things like that. Going over there I think allows me to.

Q. You qualified the day after you won Scotland, right?

Yeah, yeah. So qualified there. That was a trip, too.

Q. Where were you before you got here? Home?

Yeah, just at home. I got back from the Dunhill. Just spent five days back home and just kind of relaxed. Didn't really do anything. Took three days off and worked with my swing coach and got things done.

Q. Why were you looking forward to this week?

You know, playing in America. I think that's awesome to be able to play. My family and things like that, they haven't been able to see me. I'm sure they were watching.

It's nice for them see, because they got to wake up so early and things like that. And then it's just the comfort of being over here. It's just a lot more comfortable, knowing where to eat and things like that.

Q. Television.

Yeah, yeah, exactly. So just the little things. It's hard to explain. But good bed, things like that. You learn to appreciate that.

Q. Any weird dishes?

Yeah, well, last year we had horse meat in Kazakhstan. Saw Borat, too.

Q. Just some details on clubs and birdies if you don't mind.

10, just a little wedge in there. I think it was like 56‑degree.

Then the par‑5 I hit a little pitching wedge in there to about 15 feet.

ThenI don't remember. They're all running together.

Q. 15.

15, trying to remember what we did there. I don't remember. Yeah, we hit 5‑iron in there to about 12 feet or so.
The par‑3, actually got away with one. Hit a bad shot on the par‑3. It just hit the front of the green. Got a good kick up to about 12, 15 feet and made that.

Then what was the next one?

Q. No. 18.

18, hit a good drive down there and just a 56‑degree to maybe 18 feet.

What's the next one? They're all starting to run together.

Q. No. 2.

No. 2, just a pitching wedge‑‑ no, gap wedge, sorry. We actually thought it might have gone in for a half second. You know, about four feet; tapped that in.

What's the next one?

Q. 5.

5, actually made a bomb there. Made about a 35‑footer I would say, 30‑footer.

Q. What are you hitting off the tee there?

I hit hybrid today. It's kind of an awkward hole for me. Kind of sets up for a draw, things like that.
Then what was the next one? Bogeyed 6. Kind of got on my feet.

But then 8 actually rolled in like a 25‑footer, so that was nice. Kind of in between clubs there. Then hit a 9‑iron and then a 5‑iron to about 12 feet on 9.

Q. Disappointing birdie?

Yeah, if there is one, that was it.

Q. Was there any‑ trying to think of a way to put this‑ with your ability, which is fairly obvious, there are a lot of guys even at that level just don't make it out of second stage and it becomes a long are run back. Was there ever a not a "Why Me" moment, but frustration level before you looked at a broader road?

No. I understand that it's a long process. A lot of guys don't get out here until late. You can't expect like Jordan Spieth. He has an unbelievable year. He did the same thing.

I think we both missed by two or three. So there are always options or ways to get out here. Good golf takes care of itself.

Q. Always. But in the case of Jordan, was there ever any moments in those long layovers or flights that your mind wanders and says you should have tried to or got through a few Web.coms could've been...

Yeah, couple times that went through my mind. Did two six‑week stretches in a row and it kind of got to me where like, Man, I kind of want to be home.

You just got to stick through it.

Q. Did you have to do six in a row?

: Kind of got in a weird spot. Yeah, just to try to get into the Race to Dubai and things like that.

The six week in a row on Challenge Tour I ended up winning. So seemed to work out. Everything has worked out pretty well this year.

THE MODERATOR: All right, Brooks, we appreciate your time. Play well this weekend.