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October 12, 2011

Bud Cauley


THE MODERATOR: Bud Cauley, thanks for joining us here. Fresh off a third place finish last week at the Frys.Com Open. Your year's shaping up great for you as a professional. Maybe some opening comments about coming to St. Simon's Island and the McGladrey Classic and also just about last week and the year so far?
BUD CAULEY: I'm very happy to be here. I've played quite a bit of golf here with the SEC. I played junior golf here. I've played Seaside quite a few times and I love it up here.
As far as last week, it was a lot of fun. Monday when I got home to look back, it's always nice to look back on a good week and take the positives from it.
I had the opportunity to play with a Hall of Famer in Mr. Els, that was a lot of fun for me. But a quick turnaround, and now I'm just focused on this week and trying to play well again.

Q. Bud, you played Hilton Head in the past, so before this year, you had a little exposure to PGA TOUR life, but I wonder, once you turned pro and you started on pretty much a full-time schedule, has there been -- was there a welcome to the NFL moment? Was there a time when you earlier at any of the events this summer that you kind of stopped and said, you know, wow, I'm here, and this is pretty neat?
BUD CAULEY: Really, the moment that comes to mind is my first shot at the U.S. Open. I teed off on 10, the par-3 over water, and I was pretty nervous. My hands were shaking a little bit, and I look back and there are people in the clubhouse standing on the roof and the patio and things like that.
That was the moment where I was like, okay, this is what I've been dreaming about doing and working hard to do. Now it's just time to come out here and play some golf.
I think playing in the U.S. Open and that being my first event helped me get my feet wet and be a lot more comfortable in the tournaments I've played after that.

Q. How did you hit on that hole?
BUD CAULEY: Oh, I teed it up about an inch higher than I normally do, and picked it off trying to get it over the water. No, I hit the ball pin high to 20 feet, and I was very happy with it.

Q. Made par and walked away?
BUD CAULEY: Yep, made par and walked away.

Q. Do you remember who you played with the first two rounds? It wasn't Mr. Els, apparently?
BUD CAULEY: No. I played with -- I can't remember.

Q. In your time of reflection on Monday, did you consider how much that birdie on 18, how important it was?
BUD CAULEY: Not really. Kind of look back on that putt on 17 and wish it wouldn't have broken right at the end. That would have been nice to make that one. But I know that every shot counts when you play out here. It's obviously nice to finish with a couple of birdies. It makes dinner taste a little bit better, but, no, not really.

Q. Bud is that one example of how this is different from college life? If you make a bogey here and there in college, you've got teammates to back you up and stuff like that and everything. But do you have an appreciation for what one shot or one hole can do for you? For instance, that one birdie, you move up, a bogey could have moved down. Is the margin out here a lot closer, just like I said, one shot or one hole can do a lot for you or really kind of damage?
BUD CAULEY: Yeah, absolutely. One shot out here is a lot more than it was in college. Kind of what you all were referring to is that for me as far as the money goes and everything, everything like that, every shot does count as far as finishing solo second or tied second or whatnot.
But I don't think I'm trying any harder or anything really different. I didn't want to make a bogey in college as much as I don't want to make a bogey now. I think thinking about that really wouldn't benefit me at all out there. So I'm just trying to play every hole to the best of my abilities and then count them up at the end.

Q. At what point in your early development as a golfer did you know you were good?
BUD CAULEY: You know, I'm really not sure. I think I'm pretty modest when it comes to things like that, just always trying to get better. I tend to look at things from that perspective.
Like last week, it's fun to look back and see the things I did well, but I'm more concerned about the areas I feel I can get better and the mistakes I made. Because playing against guys out here, you have to keep on improving. If you ever get complacent or quit trying to improve, then you're just going to get passed by.

Q. Last week you talked about feeling comfortable out here and how you've kind of gotten to the point where you are comfortable. What's been the hardest part of that for you getting to that point?
BUD CAULEY: I think it's really just time. Every round I play out here, even playing practice rounds and things like that, being around the guys and the whole atmosphere, I think every day I get more and more comfortable. It's really just a matter of time.

Q. Was there anybody in particular who helped you out with that in terms of fellow players on TOUR? Any advice you've gotten along the way?
BUD CAULEY: Not really. I haven't gotten too much advice. Just being around them and talking with them some and getting comfortable. Everyone's been really nice to me. I've played practice rounds with quite a few guys and different things. Everyone's been nice.
I played my second event was at the Travelers. I played a practice round with Justin Leonard. Just a little comment he made just like, welcome to the Tour, or things like that, it's nice for people to be nice with me and it just helps that comfort level, I guess.

Q. (Inaudible)?
BUD CAULEY: I was on the third hole. It was 213 yards, I think. I hit a 4-iron. My swing coach, Craig, was back behind me filming the swing. I hit it and it went in. I didn't really say anything. I looked at Munceter and Munceter looked at me, and Craig was back there with the camera and he said it went in. That was all that was said. I didn't feel a need to hit a second ball. So we just --

Q. Why haven't we seen the video of it yet? Is it going on YouTube?
BUD CAULEY: He doesn't get any other reaction, it's the swing, and it's a long way away, so you can't see the ball land or anything. We actually watched a little bit this morning. He said it wasn't your best swing, but it went in, so I'm not going to say anything.

Q. How many is that for you? How many holes in one?
BUD CAULEY: That's number nine.

Q. How many of those were in competition?
BUD CAULEY: About four, four in tournaments.

Q. What was the first one?
BUD CAULEY: The first one was -- I think the first hole in one I had, I think it was in Guam, when we lived in Guam. It was a par-3 course. I think it was the 8th hole. I can't remember what I hit or anything, but I think that was the first one.

Q. That's when you were 12?
BUD CAULEY: Yeah, I was about 12.

Q. It was a short hole. It was a par-3 course?
BUD CAULEY: Yeah, I really can't remember how far away it was. I can still kind of see. I remember I drew it. I can still see the ball hitting it, I drew it and it went to the left.

Q. Did you have to buy drinks in Guam?
BUD CAULEY: Yeah, little orange juice boxes for everybody.

Q. Bud, if you are fortunate enough to get a high enough finish this week, would you be playing at Disney as opposed to the Nationwide Tour event? It might be an obvious question.
BUD CAULEY: Yeah, I'll just have to see. I'm obviously not in that event. As of right now, I would have to play well this week and try to earn my way in, but we'll just have to see.
Playing in Jacksonville would be a lot of fun for me. I have a lot of friends and family out there. I've played the Valley course quite a few times. But my number one goal is to get on the PGA TOUR next year, so I'm going to try to give myself every opportunity I can to accomplish that.

Q. I was curious. Your dad mentioned something about it was kind of an emotional time leaving Stillwater from the NCAA's to go to the U.S. Open qualifier. What was difficult about that? Just performance or the realization that the amateur career is done with?
BUD CAULEY: A little bit of both, and really some other things too. I didn't end my college career the way I wanted to. We had a bad day the last day. We mismatched. I think four of the five guys on the team shot their highest score of the year, myself included. It wasn't the way I wanted to finish.
Then just kind of the realization that there's no more traveling with the team where the things you look back on that you maybe didn't like at the time, like early workouts or things like that, are things you look back on and ultimately miss.
I knew it was what I wanted to do as far as my golf, and I felt like I was ready, but I still missed the guys. We all got along together great. And I had a great coach in Jay Seawell, so it was really sad to leave that. But once everything got started, I was excited for the new challenge ahead, I guess.

Q. What is it that made you feel like you were ready to leave college and turn pro?
BUD CAULEY: Really just my play over a period of time. I felt like I was getting better at some of the things I was working on and trying to eliminate from my game. I felt like I was getting better. I felt like playing against the best competition would ultimately help my game accelerate and start improving faster.
You can put as many goals on yourself, but playing against other people and probably people you know are better than you, helps you improve faster and maybe critique your game a little bit more like maybe you don't feel you have to playing at a lower level.

Q. What did you feel you needed to eliminate?
BUD CAULEY: Just stupid mistakes. I felt like I'd done the same dumb things on the golf course, and that everyone's going to hit bad shots and make bad golf swings. But things that are course management things, just stupid mistakes. I felt like I eliminated them enough to come out here and shoot some good numbers.

Q. What was the best time you had in Alabama non golf related? What is your best memory from Alabama?
BUD CAULEY: That's very tough. I'm trying to think of something I want to tell y'all. Probably when we won The National championship. I wasn't there, but I don't think we had lost a home game.
The first time we lost a home game was last year when we lost all of our home. We were 24-0 the first half, and then we gave it away. But my sophomore year we won The National Championship and that was pretty cool. The atmosphere when we got back was pretty awesome.

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