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April 10, 2019

Jovan Rebula

Augusta, Georgia

Q. We were wondering how you say your name.

Q. Jovan, I'm doing a story on the amateurs, what it takes to get here to Augusta. Everybody's got the big bank accounts, the pros do, but how did you do it? How did you pay to get here?
JOVAN REBULA: So I won the British Amateur, the Amateur championship out in Royal Aberdeen in Scotland.

Q. Right.
JOVAN REBULA: And, yeah, I mean traditionally the winner of the British Amateur, the U.S. Amateur, the Latin America Amateur and Asia Pacific Amateur get a spot and then obviously the Mid‑Am. So, yeah, that's how I got here, I won the British Amateur Championship.

Q. How did you finance it? How did you like ‑‑ you know like did your, did somebody help you out or finance it, expenses?
JOVAN REBULA: I mean we obviously get a little bit of help from Golf RSA, they are the head body of golf, they take care of golfers in South Africa and they have got a squad system there and I'm fortunate enough to be on the squad. And then obviously we get a lot of help from Mr.Johann Rupert, he funds the squad for the most part, and he's had a huge influence on us in Golf RSA. So they have been having a good bit of help getting us over here and that ‑‑ I cannot tell you how thankful I am for them a hundred percent.

Q. I should know, how are you related to Ernie?
JOVAN REBULA: So it is my mother's brother, so he's my uncle.

Q. Did he give you any advice today?
JOVAN REBULA: Yeah, so he actually, he actually called me the last night he gave me a phone call and just talked about the experience over here and stuff like that and then this morning he actually phoned me while we were having breakfast and he told me to get my yardage book out and we went through each and every hole some piece of advice that he would give me and I got it all down in there, so hopefully that will work out here because you need a lot of information out on this golf course for sure.

Q. Driving down Magnolia what was that like for you?
JOVAN REBULA: You drive down Magnolia Lane and your heart just skips a beat for no reason. It's unbelievably special with the tradition that it has and that this whole place has, Augusta National has, it's really special and truly an honor to be able to drive down Magnolia Lane with friends and family.

Q. When did you first dream of playing here?
JOVAN REBULA: Well I knew I could get here as a pro one day, but to be able to be here this early in my career as an amateur is something really special. So obviously during the week of the British Amateur you play that golf tournament every year and I got to play the U.S. Amateur a couple times, you know what comes with a win over there, so to be able to pull that off is really something special.

Q. What would it mean to make the cut?
JOVAN REBULA: It would mean the world. No, I mean we are out here to compete for the Low Amateur Award and that's something that's been on my mind for awhile, but at the same time you want to, me personally with the competitiveness that I have everywhere I tee it up you try and win a golf tournament.
So we can‑‑ we set high goals for this week but I think the highest goal is definitely just to go out and enjoy every part of the experience.

Q. How much family were you able to bring with me?
JOVAN REBULA: So my mother and my sister came over. My mother flew in from South Africa on Thursday and got here Friday morning early. And then my sister is studying in Michigan right now at the University of Michigan right now, so she flew down on Friday night and then got here and we all drove up here to Augusta.

Q. Pretty special for you?
JOVAN REBULA: Unbelievable. Every opportunity, with my family being back in South Africa and me being over here, every opportunity I get to spend with my family is very special.

Q. How old are you now?

Q. Did you ever imagine, like you said‑‑
JOVAN REBULA: No, I mean to be able, to be standing here right now is truly just an honor, definitely.

Q. Why did you choose to play here? Did you just want to play the par‑3 because you wanted to experience everything?
JOVAN REBULA: Yeah, I mean the main reason‑‑ I mean, everyone has to play the par‑3 if it is your first time here, you just have to be part of the tradition and everything. But I had one of my very good friends on the bag today, Angus, who grew up playing golf with me and came from South Africa too. So I had him on the bag so he could get a little bit of a taste of this too and also make the trip worthwhile and I'm pretty sure he enjoyed it. He actually hit a shot on nine and stuffed it to about a foot and made birdie. So I guess he'll be taking that back home with some good memories.

Q. Did you stay in the Crow's Nest?
JOVAN REBULA: I did not stay, no. I was, yeah, I was just trying to spend as much time with may family as possible.

Q. Did you have a lot of relationships with other South Africans, have you spoken to Louis?
JOVAN REBULA: Yeah, so I got the chance to play with Branden and Charl and Justin Harding on Monday we got to play nine holes together. I haven't seen Louis yet, but the other guys they're more than welcoming over here, they have been really good to me and when it comes to preparing for this golf course and stuff like that. So, yeah, I mean I'm just very thankful for the way that they treat me as an amateur over here, it's something that I'm really thankful for.

Q. Did Ernie give you any tips for the first hole, for the green?
JOVAN REBULA: Just hit it in the middle of the green, don't look for anything after that. It can bite you. I'm not going to bring that score up with Ernie, but I'm aware of that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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