Charles Schwab Challenge

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Colonial CC

Jason Kokrak

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: We would like to welcome Jason Kokrak to the Charles Schwab Challenge media room. Congratulations, we are joined by our champion.

Tell me what you're feeling. You're a two-time champion this season, so has that been able to sink in after the second win?

JASON KOKRAK: I actually think the second one was harder than the first. I was a little more out of sorts today than I was maybe at Shadow Creek. I think I was more comfortable at that golf course.

But I tell you what, to win here, I finished third last year with a putt to get into the playoff last year. I've always got good vibes coming here. The people, the fans, the tournament, everybody in the clubhouse does an amazing job, and you know, I can't say enough about them that makes this tournament special, and I'm glad to be sitting here with this jacket on and all that comes with it and to get my name up on that wall.

Q. You alluded to it, but I don't know how much of a student of the game you are, but when you look at Colonial's Wall of Champions, what does it mean to put your name up there with some of the greats of the game?

JASON KOKRAK: It's very special, to put my name on that wall with so many greats, there's been so many championships here. It's an unbelievable golf course. It's always in the best shape. I know the weather didn't cooperate this week or the last couple weeks, but did an incredible job to get the golf course ready.

I was able to take advantage of hitting the driver well in windy conditions the first round and it's one of those golf courses, you can't make too many mistakes. But no big numbers, so I was pleased with that.

Q. Amateurs like myself, we struggle out of the bunker or whatnot. You had a couple of them. Just how do you stay in the moment and not let that affect you and kind of finish out what you were setting to start?

JASON KOKRAK: Well, I mean, as an amateur, I think anybody -- we make mistakes just like any other amateur. It's one bad shot. I think players that have a short memory are the ones that end up winning. So I knew the shot on 1 was just I misjudged the lie, an awkward stance.

But you have to take the good with the bad. If I hit the green and two-putt there and I hit the next shot on No. 8 to 30 feet and two-putt there, it's the same score.

Short memory and just take each shot for what it is and try to eliminate the silly mistakes.

Q. You talk about it being harder than the first victory. What do you think made it so hard?

JASON KOKRAK: I think playing a tough competitor, a local guy in Jordan Spieth made it a little tougher I guess. I definitely was not the favorite. I think the second time with the fans cheering Jordan on and a few comments, negative comments against me. I had a few fans out there.

But I've got a high school buddy and my cousin's friend was out here supporting me. So I had a couple people rooting me on. It's just one of those things. You stay in the moment and it's a golf course. You're playing the golf course. You're playing yourself. You're not really playing Jordan.

But for where we got to in comparison to some of the other players, I knew it was going to be a boxing match and see who was going to come out on top.

Q. How much of a difference did that make knowing that you really didn't have to look at the leaderboard or the scoreboard, you knew where you were and who you were against, how much of difference did that make?

JASON KOKRAK: We both didn't play well, but it seemed like we ham-and-egged it. He played a few good holes and then I played a few good holes. We never got too far ahead of each other. I think any time you're one or two behind, it's not the end of the world around this golf course, or same goes for me. But I just try to stick to my game plan. I hand it to D-Rob, you know, picking out good targets, and you've got to hit the fairways around this golf course. You can't -- it's hard. It's a very hard golf course to play from the rough.

Q. What's the biggest difference this season? Is it as simple as the putting or are there any other things you attribute to the success this year?

JASON KOKRAK: I've got to hand it to, you know, again, to my caddie, D-Rob reading the green, giving me a couple tips here and there. You know, Drew Steckel has been behind me for the better part of four years now. He's been keeping an eye on things. We're definitely working in the right direction and tightening things up. It's definitely not as tight as I wanted it to be on a Sunday.

I switched drivers back to an old setup that I had won with at Shadow Creek and it definitely worked. Shawn and Accra got the shaft right and the old sim head with TaylorMade, it made all the difference. I was comfortable with it and I hit the irons very well, the new GEN4s were great from PXG, and D-Rob reading the greens, I think it worked out well with the Bettinardi putter.

Q. You had to wait a long time for the first one. How does it feel to get the second one so quickly and where you go from here?

JASON KOKRAK: It feels really good to solidify that I'm not just a one-time winner on the PGA TOUR. Definitely is nice to get the second win, especially at an historic place like Colonial Country Club. Feels great. Looking forward to what's in store for the future, and you know, all I can do, and I tell everybody all I try to do is to get better every single year. It's not a flash in the pan. I'm a fairly consistent player. But I take one facet of the game and I try to elevate to the next level whether it's driving -- I've always been a pretty good driver of the golf ball.

I think where I need to get better is where the wedges, and I've been a good long iron player. The putter has been amazing. I owe a lot of that to Bettinardi and D-Rob reading the greens. I can't say enough about those guys.

Q. Seemed like the putt at 17 was big, two bogeys in a row and you got a 7-footer to stop the bleeding. How big was that?

JASON KOKRAK: It was really big. I misjudged the putt on 15. 16 was just a bad swing. A little bit of heat. Just made a bad swing. And got the ball started way left of where I wanted to, knowing I had not hit a good bunker shot yet, I was cautious with the bunker shot. Left the putt short but the putt on 17 was big. I hit a he a really good chip shot and said this is the time to do it. It was nice to roll that in.

The tee shot on 18, I misjudged a little out of the first cut but I always misjudge it out of the first cut.

Q. You may be in The Ryder Cup conversation. How much do you want to be and did today's experience with a fairly negative gallery going against you, how good was that experience for telling Steve Stricker you can handle the pressure?

JASON KOKRAK: I didn't really end it like I wanted to but you know, I think it shows that I've got a lot of grit and a lot of fight in me. Whether I'm in the conversation or not, I've had an incredible year; yes, to make a Ryder Cup or any team event has always been a lifelong goal. I missed out on a Walker Cup as an amateur and that's just something that's a lifelong goal and I would love to be a part of the team. Love to be in that team room. Anything that I can do to help out to bring the Cup home, it would be a great honor.

Q. Columbus, Ohio; you're not going to be here next year?

JASON KOKRAK: I'm taking the week off. I've begun getting a lot of flak or that. I took off Wells Fargo where I used to live in Charlotte I'm taking off -- I apologize for that. These days, you have things scheduled in life with the kids and the wife; it's part of the schedule. We have a long year all year long, and you know, it's just one -- I don't think I've ever missed the Memorial Tournament if I was in, and this is the one year that I'm going to miss. Unfortunately I'm going to miss this year but hopefully I'll see Jack next year.

Q. Are you in Hudson?

JASON KOKRAK: I'm in Hudson, Ohio.

Q. So you get a plaid jacket, big check and a big truck. Are you going to keep the truck?

JASON KOKRAK: I'm a big guy with a big truck with a big jacket and a big paycheck. So I guess everything's bigger in Texas, right.

The truck, I looked at it the entire week. It's a little small in that cab for me, but I'll tell you what, it is a cool truck and I think it's something that I'll keep for myself for a long period of time to commemorate that victory.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you for taking the time to join us and enjoy the second win.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
108139-1-1003 2021-05-30 23:32:00 GMT

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