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May 12, 2021

Tyler Strafaci

McKinney, Texas, USA

TPC Craig Ranch

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: We will go ahead and get started. Tyler Strafaci, thanks for joining us for a few minutes. You're making your pro debut this week.

Just a couple of opening thoughts on being here at the AT&T Byron Nelson this week.

TYLER STRAFACI: Yeah, I'm just extremely thankful to be here. It's always been a dream to be a professional golfer, and I'm making my professional debut as a PGA TOUR event, so glad to be here and really looking forward to the opportunity and what's to come.

THE MODERATOR: Just some thoughts on have you had a chance to get out, any experience with the course, just how you anticipate it might be setting up your game this week?

TYLER STRAFACI: Yeah, so I went out yesterday for nine holes. Just had gotten in from the Walker Cup, so it was raining so it was pretty soft and pretty tough conditions. But it seems like a really good layout. Kind of straightforward, and got to hit your irons good because it's relatively open off the tee.

It's long, so if you hit the fairways you're going to have to hit it close with the mid to long irons. So it's a good test and I'm looking forward to it.

THE MODERATOR: And taking you back to the Walker Cup last week, I know there was some issues for a little bit. You're in good shape now?

TYLER STRAFACI: Yeah, it was a struggle for three or four days. I spent a couple days in and out of a hospital. Lost 20 pounds, so I'm still kind of recovering from it.

But I feel good. I'm starting to get my appetite back, keep food down, which is kind of -- I know, you don't really think that would be an issue, but it was a tough few days for sure.

THE MODERATOR: Okay. We got a couple questions for you.

Q. Doug just hit on a few of them, but what would you say is your lasting memory of competing in the Walker Cup going to be?

TYLER STRAFACI: Winning the event. It was so cool just kind of finishing the round and being able to hug all the teammates and commemorate such a great week with great players.

Just the opportunity to represent your country and win the Walker Cup, that's the most important part of the week. I'm always going to be able to say I was on a winning Walker Cup team.

Q. Any story you can share from the celebration afterwards?

TYLER STRAFACI: Yeah, I mean, we had a few drinks but I was struggling. I went to bed pretty soon. It was just a long week. Everyone had nothing left in them, so we all kind of went to bed before midnight.

Q. Given what you went through, how close were you from deciding that maybe you needed to wait another week and withdrawing from Nelson?

TYLER STRAFACI: I mean, it's my job now. I've been looking forward for this moment for the last -- since I won the Am. I wasn't going to miss this.

I wish I would have been in a little better physical shape, but at the same time, I physically I feel better now. It's just all about shooting a low score, so it's all out in front of me.

Q. Can you share a little more of the upcoming schedule, what it looks like?

TYLER STRAFACI: Yeah, so I have this week, take a week off, and then I go to Colonial. Then I go straight to Memorial and then a week off and then play the U.S. Open.

It's one of those things that if I play well, hopefully get some more opportunities. If I don't, just kind of Monday qualify and try to get on that way.

So it's all out in front of me if I play well, and it's a great opportunity.

Q. What's the best piece of advice you've been given about turning pro, what you need to do?

TYLER STRAFACI: Just play to my standards. Don't get ahead of yourself. If I play like myself I'll be just fine. And the quicker I can start doing that the better.

THE MODERATOR: Just along the same lines, what part of your game as far as your confidence level goes are you most confident with?

TYLER STRAFACI: Yeah, I feel like my driving and irons are starting to come around. I struggled with what early on in the season. Just me and Todd Anderson are starting to work on some real good stuff and I'm really excited about it, so that's definitely on the upswing. Almost positive it's going to start clicking this week.

But I would say my short game and wedge game is really in a spot where I feel like I can be competitive now matter how I hit it.

THE MODERATOR: Last question is who are some of the guys out here on TOUR that you've picked their brains, that you trust and you like and appreciate the input and help you've gotten from some of the TOUR guys?

TYLER STRAFACI: Yeah, I've really appreciated -- Billy Horschel has been very instrumental probably since I start playing in tour events. He's just a great guy, great role model. Couldn't ask for a better person to have by my side during all that.

Roberto Castro is another with the Tech connection. Stewart Cink has been really good. Played some practice rounds with him. Matt Kuchar has been really nice, too.

So I've kind of got a nice group of guys I can lean on for some advice. I'm very thankful for that.

Q. With your grandfather's connection to the past, do you have a story -- you know anything about Byron Nelson through your grandfather or Ben Hogan?

TYLER STRAFACI: Yeah, I mean, he's played with all those guys back when he was in Miami Doral kind of running that tournament. So haven't really heard -- I mean, my dad's told me stories about just what a great human being Byron Nelson was from what my grandfather told him.

He kind of told my father that he's just someone to model your life after, someone you model how you treat your family, how your treat other people. So it's definitely just -- it's a complete honor to be here as a sponsor's exemption at the Byron Nelson, so I'm really looking forward to it.

Q. What's the difference in the loopholes in your belt after losing 20 pounds?

TYLER STRAFACI: I think it's two. Yeah, it was a tough one. I checked -- I was kind of worried to see how much weight I lost. Went in the locker room yesterday and I gained a lot of weight back after Augusta. I was back up to 175 and I'd been working out pretty hard, and I checked yesterday and I was 160 with shoes on.

So had lost close to 20 -- I mean, probably 17 or 18 pounds, so it's going to be eating a lot on the course and just keeping a level head and getting through four rounds.

THE MODERATOR: Tyler, that's all we got for you. We appreciate your time and wish you the best of luck this week and look forward to seeing you out there.

TYLER STRAFACI: Thank you so much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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