Dallas

Scruggs: Brooks Koepka Is My Pick to Win 2019 Byron Nelson

Koepka is a three-time major winner and finished second at the 2019 Masters

Here's my pick to win the AT&T Byron Nelson: Brooks Koepka.

He is a three-time major champion.

Brooks is making his fifth start here at this event.  Had a runner-up you finish in 2016 and also the current highest FedExCup ranked player in the field.

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Koepka is making his fifth start in the Nelson. He had a runner-up finish in 2016. He is currently the highest FedExCup ranked player in the field, but he has never played Trinity Forest Golf Club.

Here is some of his media session in Dallas on Tuesday.

Q. Brooks, obviously this is your first start since the Masters. When you look back at the Masters now, do you look at it from a get a boost out of that being so close or is it one of those kind of "what if," because now that you've got three majors in your pocket, getting those chances look back, how do you evaluate that Masters?

KOEPKA: I thought I played reasonably well. I thought I played -- I was pretty happy with how I played. Obviously I made a lot of mistakes. I made two doubles. It's tough to win if you're going to do that, especially at Augusta.

Second place isn't much fun, but you move on. I think Tiger made it look closer than it actually was with the final score.

All he had to do was bogey the last hole and I'm sure once I missed the putt on 18, you know, that was his thought process, how can I make it from the places that he hit it with the chip he left himself was -- that's what he was going to make, he was going to make five. If he's making four, great.  He took six out of play. That's exactly what he should have done.

You know, I missed a couple putts coming in on 17 and 18, just kind of misreads but it happens. Hey, second place, you're going to play good, but not great. You're not going to win. It's simple as that, especially in a major.

Q. Just curious, when you come to a course for the first time, how are your preparations different than going to a course that you've played before?

KOEPKA: I'll spend today just -- I'm just going to play nine holes and nine holes tomorrow.

The thing I'm focusing on is sight lines, where to hit the ball, where I can miss it off the tee. I think that's important.

From there, not really concerned with anything else other than if the pin might be in this position, where is the miss? I kind of work the hole backwards. That's kind of one of my things.

My caddy will walk the golf course. I know that. Kind of rely on him this week a little bit more.

But once you play it once, I feel like you got a good understanding of where it's at. But it's all about pin locations and angles. I think that's the best way to play it.

The pin is on the left, most of the time the miss is on the right. How am I going to give myself a better angle to the right-hand side of the green from the tee box? How am I going to approach it that way?

It's easier to kind of work your way back than standing on the tee and try to pick it apart and go from there.

Q. I know you told Rosy I think it was last month when you found out the event in California you got a text from Tiger saying now you're 1-1 regarding majors, the last two. What is that dynamic between the two of you going back and forth and how motivating is it for you to have him in the mix and playing well?

KOEPKA: Yeah. That's fun. That's what you want, you want the best players in the world playing well and you want to beat them and, you know, obviously I got the better of him at St. Louis and he got the better of me at Augusta.

I mean we don't talk too much. I don't text him very often. He doesn't text me. But that was -- I texted him on the way home on Sunday on the flight home. Just said, "Congrats." That was awesome, fun to see and, as you know, he responded with, "We're 1-1."

Hopefully we'll make that 2-1 very shortly.

Q. Obviously, Tiger is such a lightning rod, but you got three majors under 30. You feel comfortable or do you see your celebrity status and kind of have to be one of the guys carry the sport forward, things of that nature?

KOEPKA: I never looked at it that way. I think a lot -- I don't view myself as probably the person that people see me as. Like, I still think it's kind of funny when -- not funny, but it's kind humbling when you go up and you meet people and they're super nervous.

I just don't view myself as what people see me. I just view myself as a regular person. I'm just like everybody else. I'm not -- I wouldn't call myself a superstar but this person where everybody -- I'm inside the ropes, and, "Oh, man, that's Brooks Koepka."

I'm just like everybody else. I don't -- I don't see myself in that light but as far as trying to help grow the game, I think that's something -- it's very easy to do. You see it when you do outings and you're working with kids back home, charities, things like that and see -- when you see their faces light up, I mean it's probably the coolest feeling and whatever you say they kind of -- they listen to everything.

It's fun and, you know, hopefully, you can pass some advice to them because I mean you see it now on the kids that I've grown up with, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, guys that I've played golf with for the last 15 years, feels like there's 30, 40 of them out here playing on the Tour.

So you do have that responsibility as one of the best players in the world to kind of help them, kind of pass the torch, I guess.

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