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October 7, 2011

Bud Cauley


MARK STEVENS: We'd like to welcome Bud Cauley. Great round of 66 today at the Frys.com Open. Do you want to talk about your round and your thoughts going into the weekend and then we'll have some questions.
BUD CAULEY: Yeah, I got off to a good start today, hit some fairways which gave me some good looks at birdies. I kind of lulled a little bit the middle of my round but kind of got it back at the end, and just try to do the same thing this weekend.
MARK STEVENS: You've made five of six cuts on the TOUR so far, I believe most of them this summer. Do you feel like you're getting close?
BUD CAULEY: Yeah, I think definitely playing out here has sharpened my learning curve -- I feel like I'm improving by playing out here, and that's, you know, what I hoped would happen by leaving school a year early. I felt my game was ready to come out here and the best thing for my game would be to play against the best competition. So I'm happy with how I've played so far, and just looking to continue.

Q. What did you think the odds were that you would get starts out here if you left school?
BUD CAULEY: I wouldn't have left if I didn't think I couldn't come out here and compete. I was fortunate that I qualified for the Open, which was kind of a one-day thing which got me rolling and got me a bunch of other starts and I guess got my name out there. I was fortunate that that happened. But I knew I could come out here and play well and compete.

Q. (Inaudible.)
BUD CAULEY: Well, this week and then my only other start is the Nationwide event in Jacksonville, my hometown, so obviously I hope to -- I'm going to have to play my way into any other starts I'm going to get, so I'm going to have to do that. I'm not worried about that now, just worried about this tournament and playing as well as I can.

Q. Why did you think you could come out here and compete?
BUD CAULEY: Sometimes it's day-to-day. I think I have a pretty good all-around game. When I go in the fairway, I feel like my irons are a strength of mine so I can give myself a lot of good looks. And then if I make some putts and kind of get things going, I don't make too many mistakes, try not to, try to play the percentage play and what not, try not to make too many bogeys so I can make the birdies count.
MARK STEVENS: In case you missed that, he's exempt to second stage because of making the cut at the Open.

Q. How much conversation, if any, have you had with Patrick? Did you guys compare notes on just the summers that you had, and did you have -- did he talk to you at all about your plans? Did you talk to him about his plans and staying amateur?
BUD CAULEY: Are you talking about this week or before?

Q. Just this summer.
BUD CAULEY: Well, you know, I really haven't seen him too much this summer. I was playing professional events and he was going through all the elite amateur events. I didn't see him too much this summer, but I've seen him a little bit here and we talked some on the putting green this morning when there was a delay, and obviously I told him great playing, and he just kind of went through his college schedule with me. Everyone knows what he's done this summer.

Q. (Inaudible.)
BUD CAULEY: Really neither one. I enjoyed school a lot, and it wasn't an easy decision for me to leave school. I had a great time and great coach and teammates and things like that. But the decision to leave was kind of golf oriented. I thought it was the best thing for my game, and so also I'm happy to be competing out here rather than there, but I still miss school.

Q. What are the biggest things you've learned off the course and on the course since you've turned pro?
BUD CAULEY: Probably off the course, just get as much rest as I can. Obviously playing this summer, I think I was on the road for seven weeks in a row, and so I wasn't used to that. In college you go play and you come back, and if you play poorly you have early workouts or something but for the most part you get your time to rest up and prepare for the next event.
Obviously this is a much quicker turnaround. I was flying out Sunday night and practicing Monday morning at the next event. I learned just to rest, and that equally is important as getting your work in.
Really on the course is just course management stuff. I kind of come out here, you think you have to obviously shoot low scores because the competition is so great, but you don't have to birdie every hole. You par the holes you're supposed to par, and then if you take advantage of the holes that are -- presenting themselves where you can make birdies, I think that's what the guys that compete week in and week out do out here.

Q. What did you actually flip the switch and turn pro, when you finished the school year?
BUD CAULEY: Yeah, the first week in June, I think.

Q. Was missing the Walker Cup something you gave much pause to?
BUD CAULEY: Yeah, a little bit.

Q. That was probably something on your radar, as well? I assume you would have been definitely in the mix for that one?
BUD CAULEY: Yeah, the highlight of my amateur career was playing in the 2009 Walker Cup, and we had a great team and a great time. We were fortunate to win, and I would have loved to have played this year. I felt like I knew I was going to turn pro, and the best thing as far as turning pro would be to go ahead and do it and try and qualify for events to try to give myself as much time as I could to earn money and try to get as many stages of Q-school as I can.

Q. There are a lot of guys in this field coming up with no status, no sort of professional livelihood. In a sense does that give you any kind of advantage over them because you have kind of a greater gap, a less likely chance of getting in the Top 125, or are you kind of playing with a sense of nothing to lose?
BUD CAULEY: No, I mean, I want to miss Q-school as much as all the rest of the guys (laughter), so I may need to earn a little bit more money than some of them in the field. I don't want to go as bad as they do, too. I value every shot out there, and I'm just trying to shoot as low as I can.

Q. Would you have been about -- how old were you when Tiger won the '97 Masters?
BUD CAULEY: I was seven.

Q. Do you remember it?
BUD CAULEY: Well, I've watched it quite a few times since then. I don't remember watching it at the time, but when I was younger my dad bought me the VHS tape of the '97 Masters, so I've watched it a couple times.

Q. So if somebody had said to you a couple of years ago you'd be 21 years old and you're the second round leader and Tiger Woods is in the field and you're leading by six, how unreal would that have been?
BUD CAULEY: I would have said, "perfect."
You know, Tiger is the best player of my generation, obviously, but I -- like I said, I turned pro because I want to come out here and compete, and I'm not playing just to beat him. There are a lot of guys in this field, so I'm just trying to shoot as low as I can.

Q. (Inaudible.)
BUD CAULEY: I might be a little bit less flashy than some of the stuff he wears, but we have the same agent. R.J. Nemer, he represents Ian Poulter.

Q. How often were you told or did you wish that you would keep growing? How often were you made to feel as if your size might deter you from your dreams?
BUD CAULEY: I mean, never. Nobody is out there running and tackling me, so I don't need to be too big, as long as I can generate some club head speed and get it out there, I think I'll be just fine.

Q. (Inaudible.)
BUD CAULEY: I've bought a car, 2011 Tahoe. I still haven't done anything to it yet, but I will. I'll get around to it.

Q. (Inaudible.)
BUD CAULEY: Yeah, if I finish outside the top 10 here, I have a redeye back.

Q. (Inaudible.)
BUD CAULEY: We'll just have to see what happens. Obviously it would be great to play in Jacksonville in front of my hometown, a lot of friends and family that would come out. But if I don't get the opportunity to play, and if I could better my situation there, maybe I would, so we'll just have to see.

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