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April 25, 2018
THE MODERATOR: Here with Bud Cauley and Justin Thomas, who finished T5 here last year. Bud, I'll start with you. What did you guys learn from that experience last year you can use this year?
BUD CAULEY: I mean, we're going to stick with a lot of the same stuff as far as teeing off on what holes alternate shot days and kind of what balls to use when and stuff like that.
Obviously had some pretty good success last year. Just kind of do the same thing and hopefully to shoot a couple shots better.
THE MODERATOR: Justin, I got to ask about the song choice. You guys are coming out to, Circle of Life. Who made that decision? Were there any other songs in the running?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I really don't remember who made that choice.
BUD CAULEY: I think it was the team.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it was a team decision. It's hard to really pick a pump-up song or walk-out song for a shot you're hitting about a hybrid or a on 3-wood on.
Getting really pumped up didn't really do a lot of good, so we figured we would just have some fun with it.
THE MODERATOR: For both of you - Bud you can answer first - there has been a lot of talk in this room about chemistry, and both team we've had in here mentioned they got out their sorrys and apologizes out of the way before the competition starts. Are you in the same boat there? You don't want to be apologizing on the course?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I think we both know we're not going to get a sorry from one another. Obviously I know he's not going to try to put me in a bad spot. I don't think he will too often, so I'm not that worried about it.
If I hit one where I'm not aiming I'll just kind of give him a shrug and let him do his things from the trees.
THE MODERATOR: And, Justin, speak on chemistry overall, how important that is to you two.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it's very important. I think you see it every year in Presidents Cups and Ryder Cups or any team event, guys that have successful partnerships. You look at guys like P. Reed and Jordan. They just seem to mesh well when they're out there and playing.
Obviously Bud and I have never played a team match play event, but last year playing together -- we've played a lot of golf together, spent a lot of time together, shot a lot of games of pool together.
Unfortunately this isn't a pool tournament. Might like our chances more. No, obviously we want to play well. We're going to have a good time this week.
THE MODERATOR: Open it up for questions out here. Raise your hand.
Q. Just get your opinion on the format scheduling change with going with alternate shot on Friday and Sunday. What's your opinion on that?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I think you have to play two of them regardless. I would say you're probably going to see more movement on Sunday with alternate shot. Could make it more interesting last couple holes.
Yeah, that's about all I see.
Q. Do you think it'll be easier to catch up on Sunday?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Like I said, you can have more movement. If you're three or for back with two or three to go, you can make it up a lot -- you're a lot more likely to make it up than if it's best ball.
I would say that's pretty standard in terms alternate shot versus best ball.
Q. How will your games complement each other this week?
BUD CAULEY: I think we both strike the ball pretty well. Justin hits it a little farther than I do, so try to take advantage of that.
I can't believe I just admitted that.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I know.
BUD CAULEY: But, yeah, obviously he's a phenomenal player. My game is in good form of late, so I think we should go out there and play (indiscernible) game.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, same thing. We actually looked at it, tried to look at it kind of in depth last year in terms of stats. It makes sense that one person tee off one or the other, but with the par-3s - two of them being odd, two even, and then Par-5s, two odd, two even - didn't make a big difference. When both of us, when we're on with our iron play, I would put us up against anybody in the world.
You know, like I said earlier with the chemistry and stuff like that, we know each other's game enough to where -- obviously you have your caddie, but it's always nice to have another set of ears or another set of eyes to kind of look at something or have feedback on something if one of us needs it.
Q. Justin, with the NCAA championships coming up in a couple weeks, just curious your thoughts on your experience with college golf, and why college golf was so special.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, the whopping two years I was there it was a lot of fun. We had great teams. Easily could have won national championship both years, but winning it as a sophomore my last year was really cool.
It would have been cool if Bud and I could have played together. He made it one more year than I did. At least we got a degree between of two of us if you add us up.
It's such a special place. I would say both of us can agree it's one of our favorite places ever to go. We get excited to go. We have great memories and great friendships there, and it's definitely made us both better players.
Q. Curious when you guys first became aware of each other? Like how old were you? Do you remember your first impression of the other guy?
BUD CAULEY: I remember when I was in school Coach Seawell talking about Justin coming up, how he committed and was going to play. Obviously he's a phenomenal player. Like I said, or he said, it was unfortunate we couldn't play a year together. Would've been a lot of fun. I would've enjoyed that.
Just needed a (indiscernible) coming out high school, and coach Seawell was really looking forward to having him on the team.
Q. (No microphone.)
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I remember my first solid win was LSU game. I mean, I've always been a big golf fan and I've always followed golf. Having the opportunity to meet someone like Bud was really cool.
I remember going on the visit and going over to some of the guys on the golf team. They had a house. So going over there before the game and meeting Bud and some of the other guys.
Yeah, I don't know. I think obviously not being in school and him being in school, it's not like we really hit it off or anything like that. I was 16 years old, so our similarities or our things of interest are probably a little.
As I got into college and Bud would come back and visit, that's kind of when we started hanging out more and playing in tournaments and stuff like that.
Q. Today is\National Golf Day. Just wondering, what are your thoughts -- what attracted you to golf? What do you love about the game of golf?
BUD CAULEY: Today is national what?
Q. Golf day.
BUD CAULEY: It was my dad. Yeah, my dad never played very much himself, but always loved the game. He got my started. Go out and do it together. He didn't play, but he would come out and carry my bag and walk with me and talk about it.
Traveling to tournaments is always kind of something we could go out and do together. That made us a lot closer. One of the things I enjoyed about that was getting to spend time with him.
Ans as far as choosing golf, I always loved that it was an individual sport. I knew that if I worked hard and prepared for tournaments, I could hopefully play well and not have to depend on anyone else to succeed or have a good result I guess. It was all on me whether it was bad or good. I liked the ownership of that.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, same thing for me in terms of my dad. He's been a golf pro my whole life, for more than my whole life, so I think like any young boy who wants to grow up like their dad and do what they're doing.
I would get home from school when I was young and go out to the golf course and we would go play holes or go mess around and have chipping and putting contests. I have a competitive side to me, so we would have fun having little games.
Then as I grew older and was able to play in tournaments, same thing in terms for support. I was very lucky to have both my parents be very supportive. Never really pushed me to play the game. Obviously they wanted me to. Saw I had a potential to possibly play if I kept at it.
But they were always kind of big endorsers of we want you to do what you're enjoying and having the most fun doing.
Q. Over the course of an entire season, how exciting is it to have a switch up in terms of format?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I enjoy it. It's been getting to a pretty busy time of the season. We were both talking about today how we can't really remember the last time we played three tournaments in a row, and this is the first of three in a row for both of us.
Hopefully we only have to hit half the amount of shots so tat maybe helps in terms of the three in a row.
This is, you know, not the precision. You hope to get in contention and have a chance to win, but when you're playing by yourself and you're playing well and you're around the lead, it drains you. It mentally completely drains you. It wears on you. It's long days.
It's the same length of day, but this is more laid back, more fun. At least we thought that way last year. We played well and still enjoyed it. I mean, we had opportunities to poke fun at each other when we could, when the mood and the time was right.
At least I feel it's kind of a nice way to ease into a three-week stretch when the season is about it turn up a good bit.
BUD CAULEY: Yeah, I mean, just what Justin said. It's a change of pace from a normal week. You want to play and compete as well as you can, but it's just fun week. New Orleans is a fun town. We're staying in the same hotels and go have dinners and hang out.
Even just being able to talk to someone else about the course and our strategy. Our caddies are both good friends, too, so it's just a fun atmosphere out there.
Q. (Regarding walk-up music.)
JUSTIN THOMAS: We'll stick with it.
THE MODERATOR: All right, thanks for your time, guys, best of luck this week.
BUD CAULEY: Thank you.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports