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April 23, 2019

Sam Burns

Avondale, Louisiana

Q. I see you keep creeping up, almost inside double digits inside the world rankings, jumped up nine this week. How have things been progressing for you on that front?
SAM BURNS: Yeah, for me, it's kind of a byproduct of playing good golf. But for the last few weeks I've been trying to focus just on trying to get better each day, different aspects of the game, looking at stats and seeing what exactly I can improve on. Just kind of been working hard in those areas and hopefully it will start to pay off.

Q. What's the benefit of having a year under your belt on the TOUR? Are you more comfortable, I assume?
SAM BURNS: Yeah, absolutely. Anything just getting to the golf course and knowing where to go immediately -- last year I had no idea. You know, I think there's kind of little things like that that add up and make you feel a little bit more comfortable out here. I'm seeing golf courses not for the first time anymore, so that's definitely a help.

Q. What's your experience here on this course?
SAM BURNS: I've only played here once, last year in the tournament. I hadn't been here before that.

Q. Things came so fast for you at Barbasol and everything. Was it almost too fast for you?
SAM BURNS: Not really. I mean, the crazy thing about golf is you have -- you play well one week, and next thing you know things kind of change. But yeah, I mean, that's just kind of part of what I do is just play golf, and like you see guys like Corey Conners, for example, one day winning and he's playing in the Masters. Just stuff like that happens pretty quick.

Q. Top 10 last week, you were right in the mix, and I guess third round, too, right in the mix. How much does that add to it? Like I said, natural progression almost?
SAM BURNS: Yeah, getting to experience something like that, being in contention, you can't get that other than actually doing it. You know, it's always nice to kind of stick your nose in there and see what that's like and just learn from it, try to be better in that position the next time.

Q. What's the biggest thing you're working on right now? How is your game coming along?
SAM BURNS: Yeah, I wouldn't say there's anything really in particular. Just kind of trying to fine tune everything, and hopefully not get the cameras away this week and just let him play well and I'll try to help out where I can.

Q. Speaking of that, how was last year's experience, the first time maybe -- I know you've played some international junior events and stuff, but how did it work out last year?
SAM BURNS: Yeah, it's a lot different, obviously, but I think it's a really unique format. I think all the players enjoy it. It's something different we only get once a year basically. It's a really fun week, and just kind of try to pick your holes that you feel more comfortable on. Yeah, I mean, that's just kind of all it is.

Q. Have y'all figured out how you're going to do --
SAM BURNS: A little bit. A little bit. I think we'll figure it out a little bit more tomorrow after we play in the pro-am.

Q. Strategy session?
SAM BURNS: Yeah. I think we'll -- I guess we'd better know by tomorrow afternoon.

Q. Friends and family going to be here?
SAM BURNS: Yeah, I think so. My fiancé is coming down tonight, and my parents will probably come down tomorrow or probably Thursday.

Q. Do you have any friends from LSU?
SAM BURNS: Yeah, well, a bunch of my buddies are at SECs right now, playing in the SEC Championship. I haven't even looked at their schedule to see when that gets done or anything. But probably some other people from LSU would come down I would imagine.

Q. Did you get some fans here last year?
SAM BURNS: Yeah, a little bit.

Q. Tiger calls and stuff --
SAM BURNS: Yeah, it's always cool hearing that while you're out there.

Q. And you had a big off-the-course thing last week, right?

Q. Tell us a little bit about that, something in the works for a while?
SAM BURNS: Yeah, got engaged to my longtime girlfriend, Caroline. We started dating I guess right at the beginning of college, my freshman year, her sophomore year, so we've been dating right around four years. So I'd always kind of known, but just tried to figure out when to do it and all that, so last week just happened to be a good time.

Q. So you knew you were going to do it Friday night?

Q. How did you play Friday during the day?
SAM BURNS: Yeah, Friday was actually one of the toughest days because of weather, but I was pretty relieved to find out that I was going to have an early tee time on Friday so I could prepare myself after I got done.

Q. But it didn't bother you on the course?
SAM BURNS: No. No. As soon as I got done I was definitely thinking about it, though.

Q. So you got nervous when it got done?
SAM BURNS: Oh, yeah.

Q. How many hours were between when you finished and --
SAM BURNS: I played at 7:10 on Friday, so I had a good bit of time.

Q. You had a little time to settle down.
SAM BURNS: Yeah, a little time to kind of calm my nerves.

Q. How did you do it?
SAM BURNS: So her family and my family were both there. We had scheduled dinner for that night, so kind of nothing out of the ordinary. I was trying to make it a surprise. But Caroline and I walked to dinner before everybody, and then right before we went in the restaurant, I said, hey, let's go over there by the water, just see if there's any gators or something. I can't remember what I said. So that's how I did it, and everybody showed up right after that.

Q. Were you right at the course?
SAM BURNS: No, we were about 45 minutes away in Bluffton, South Carolina, yeah.

Q. Was there anybody around when you did it?
SAM BURNS: I think there was a couple people up at the top of the restaurant that saw it, but it was pretty cool.

Q. But your families didn't see it?
SAM BURNS: They didn't see it, but they were walking up as we were getting done.

Q. Were you nervous at all?
SAM BURNS: Yeah, absolutely. Very nervous.

Q. You never know, right?
SAM BURNS: Yeah, exactly.

Q. What can you compare it to nerve-wise, any tournament you've ever --
SAM BURNS: I don't know if I've ever been that nervous playing in a golf tournament. I can't think of one.

Q. Even when you were in contention at the Barbasol or anything?
SAM BURNS: No, no, nothing compares to that.

Q. Are you pretty much calm all the time on the course?
SAM BURNS: I would say I feel that way. Seems like --

Q. Nothing fazes you too much?
SAM BURNS: I guess not. That's one thing about myself, I guess.

Q. Have you always been that way, even as a kid?
SAM BURNS: Probably, yeah. I grew up with older siblings, so maybe that has something to do with that.

Q. Get your aggressions out before you get on the golf course?
SAM BURNS: Exactly.

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