Travelers Championship

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Cromwell, Connecticut, USA

TPC River Highlands

Brooks Koepka

Press Conference

DOUG MILNE: We will waste no more time. Brooks Koepka, thanks for joining us for a few minutes. About to make your fifth start here at the Travelers Championship, Top 10 coming back in 2016. Some thoughts on the decision to come back and play this year and thoughts on what you've seen so far.

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I've always liked this place. I think it's a fun golf course to play. There are so many birdie opportunities. You can really run the score, and it's fun. Travelers does a great job treating the players well, the caddies well. And I think that's why you can see it with the fans. I feel like this tournament has an unbelievable turnout with the fans, so it's a fun event for everybody and definitely enjoyable.

DOUG MILNE: And coming into the week in good form. Top 5 finishes I think three of your last six starts. Couple of runner-ups, most in big tournaments and coming off top 5 last week, U.S. Open. Just some thoughts about how you're feeling about your game heading into the week.

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I thought last week I had my moments where I played well and moments where I played pretty poorly.

Overall, I had a chance there with three holes to go, but don't bogey 16 and I putt on 17, if that falls, it changes. It is what it is. I was trying to make the best of the situation. I thought four might have been the number when I was playing the hole, but I'm pleased with the way it went. I'm definitely satisfied. Any time you got a chance to win a major you're doing something right.

DOUG MILNE: Questions.

Q. Just wanted to ask you if you can talk us through a little bit last year when you had to pull out, what that was like, what your emotions were, what that whole thing was like for you. And then maybe contrast it with your feeling this year that things are much closer to normal.

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I just felt bad for my brother. I don't think people really understand how hard it is to Monday into a TOUR event. I've said it multiple times. I think if I went out and tried to Monday into every PGA TOUR event I might get two or three of them.

It's very difficult. It's very demanding. You play 18 holes on Monday and you got to come here and play 18 on Tuesday because you're not playing the pro-am. So not getting the best prep that you normally would. I just felt bad for him. He was playing so good, too. I watched him on Monday and then we played nine holes together on Tuesday, so I just felt bad for him.

Travelers was nice enough to give him a spot back since Rickie and myself I guess kind of took him out of the course with the contact tracing and all that stuff. It's nice to be back and good to have my brother here, and hopefully he can put together a good week and somehow find his way into contention.

Q. Just curious if you could detail some of the little things that Travelers gets right. I know Andy Bessette is out on the range at other tournaments trying to recruit and bring players into the field. What do they do did that stands out compared to a couple other events?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I just think how accommodating they are to the players. They listen to us. At least we feel like think listen to us. You can see year after year that they make tiny changes that players, the input we've had on different things. And not always on the golf course. How the tournament is run, setup.

I think another big thing which you don't see at some of the bigger events is how well they treat the caddies. The caddies at least have an area to go and hang out where I think some other events they're asked to leaving even if it's raining under a little awning just because people don't want to see them there.

It's an unbelievable golf course. They do a great job. Travelers, what they do for the community too is unbelievable. So all around it's just a fun event for us to be a part of and play.

Q. And going off that, the 15th and a half hole and some of the initiatives that they do to not only raise money, but to bring in fans, thinking back to last year without fans, being one of the first events back, how welcoming is it to have fans on site again, have the celebrity pro-am back, some of those small things?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I think the fans up here are so supportive. I think it's one of the best atmospheres for a regular PGA TOUR event we can play, and you see that with everything that they've got going on.

It's fun to play in front of them. This golf course, it lends a lot of birdies so we can hear a lot of applause and kind of know what going on around the course. They do, like you said, a great job, and it's fun to play in front of them up here.

Q. You mentioned on the Sports Center interview that you feel like this whole beef thing started because of Bryson. What do you feel like was the genesis of that back and forth you guys have?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Like what actually started it?

Q. Yeah.

BROOKS KOEPKA: I thought it was just interesting when he walked up to my caddie and told Ricky that if I had something to say, to say it to his face. I thought that was kind of odd. Don't walk up to my face, say it to my caddie.

When we had that conversation we agreed on something and he went back on it. So, you know, if you're going to go back on your word I don't have much respect for that.

DOUG MILNE: Brooks, looks like you're off easy. Have a great time this week. Have a great week.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
109153-1-1041 2021-06-23 16:24:00 GMT

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