June 8, 2021
Ridgeland, South Carolina, USA
Congaree Golf Club
MICHAEL BALIKER: We would like to welcome Davis Thompson to the interview room here at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree. This is your first professional start on the PGA TOUR, so obviously exciting time for you and doing it at a very unique location here at Congaree Golf Club, which is obviously making its debut on the PGA TOUR this week as well. So before we start, I wanted to just get your take on if you had played Congaree here before, just your general experience of the golf course and what you know about it to this point.
DAVIS THOMPSON: Yeah, I had never played here before, but I heard great things about it and kind of their membership or ambassador strategy, I think it's great. But, no, I never played the course, it's a really cool place.
MICHAEL BALIKER: Awesome. Obviously then this is obviously your first start on TOUR as a professional, but second start of the season, having played in the U.S. Open back in September. I guess, just curious to got your thoughts on that experience and maybe all your different starts as an amateur on TOUR what you've taken from that to prepare you for this opportunity.
DAVIS THOMPSON: Yeah, I mean obviously any experience is good experience out here. Obviously the U.S. Open played difficult and I was able to play well in the first round, so I kind of took some confidence with me that I can compete with the best of the best. But, yeah, I mean, everybody's kind of been telling me, this is your first start as a professional, are you nervous, all that. I'm going to be nervous, that's just part of it, but I'm nervous for every single golf tournament. But the goal doesn't change, you still got to get the ball in the hole. So I'm just going to prepare the best I can and hopefully play well.
MICHAEL BALIKER: With that we'll go ahead and start with questions.
Q. First time seeing you without the Georgia red and black hat. It's good to connect with you again. As you put a bow on your Georgia career and begin this next chapter, what was some your fondest memories in Athens and as you reflect on it, does it set in that your time there is done?
DAVIS THOMPSON: I really don't think it's set in yet. I think when I don't have classes in the fall I think that's when it will kind of set in. But, no, I mean obviously like just the relationships that I formed there with my teammates and coaches, formed some great memories, had a lot of great laughs, great tournaments. But, no, I mean, just the thing I'm probably most proud of there is I think I just got better every single year and that was kind of my goal going into school. But, yeah, I'm just excited to get my professional career started.
Q. We were talking earlier in the year, you said there was maybe a moment at the previous opportunity to play on the TOUR that was kind of like an a-ha moment that you felt relaxed and you can hang with these guys. Do you remember what it was in terms of relaxing the space between your ears and building in that extra confidence you can compete at the highest level?
DAVIS THOMPSON: Yeah, when I was playing well in the first round of the U.S. Open it just kind of gave me that confidence. I think I was 4-under or something through 11, so I was just kind of, was really just relaxed and just going through my routines and just playing golf, which is what I do every day. So it just kind of gave me comfort that it's not any different.
Q. You got so many Georgia players in the U.S. Open next week and I'm sure you saw that Spencer and Greyson qualified as well. What does that do as a Bulldog to see so much success and the confidence it might give somebody like you of what you can do at the TOUR level?
DAVIS THOMPSON: Yeah, obviously like you said it's there's a ton of guys out here and I'm super pumped for Spencer, he was one of my roommates in college and probably one of my best friends on the team, so I'm just super excited for him. And obviously Greyson, he's, I played with him a few times in St. Simons and we know each other. Obviously just being former Bulldogs. But, yeah, definitely gives us a lot of confidence that we're kind of in the same fraternity and then we kind of feed off each other and congratulate each other. So I think it's pretty healthy.
Q. What's your schedule look like coming up after this week?
DAVIS THOMPSON: I'm playing in the Travelers and the Rocket Mortgage, so that will be two weeks in a row right after the U.S. Open. But I don't have anything setup after that.
Q. It's a whole new world, right? You usually have guys in Athens planning the travel and dining experience and all that stuff and real world, my man, you're on your own, right?
DAVIS THOMPSON: Yeah, yeah, it's kind of weird, but I have a great people around me and it's definitely a new experience, but I think I'm very comfortable with who I have around me.
Q. I see the Nike swag. Who else did you sign with in terms of endorsements? What's your new rolodex, looking like?
DAVIS THOMPSON: Just Nike and should be Titleist ball deal. But other than that, nothing.
Q. How much did the Walker Cup and all, what was that environment like and how does that help you going forward at the PGA TOUR level as well?
DAVIS THOMPSON: Yeah, I mean the Walker Cup was one of the coolest golf experiences of my career yet. It was really cool to just kind of have the best amateurs in the world kind of all in the same place, so, yeah, it was cool just practicing and playing with those guys and kind of learning from them and asking them questions, them asking me questions, it was just really cool. I think it kind of helped me and I think I helped them and obviously I kind of tried to apply what I learned going forward and hopefully it will pay off this week.
Q. Obviously you and John Pak are both, obviously, two rising stars on TOUR and finishing 1, 2 in the PGA TOUR University ranking. Just talk about that initiative and kind of how it's helping get guys who are obviously very successful in college to kind of jump started on their TOUR careers.
DAVIS THOMPSON: Yeah, it's definitely a great path for guys like myself and John who stayed in college all four years and have played well to kind of earn that. But I'm in a very lucky spot where I kind of have options where I'm, obviously hoping and trying to get some PGA TOUR starts, but at the same time I can play Korn Ferry. So I think it's a great deal by the PGA TOUR and I'm lucky enough to be the first class to kind of use that.
Q. Your father was on the bag at the U.S. Open, right?
DAVIS THOMPSON: He was. Yes, sir.
Q. And who is going to be caddieing for you this week and moving forward? Have you finalized that yet?
DAVIS THOMPSON: A guy named Mike Hicks is going to be caddieing for me this week. I don't know if it's a set deal going forward, but it's, you know, starting out it will kind of be like a trial and error run.
Q. How does one go about selecting your caddie and whatnot?
DAVIS THOMPSON: I mean, there's a pool of them out here and some of them are kind of looking for future stars and some of them are looking for a change in bags. So there's always going to be kind of a select few that want to change or are looking for something different, so, yeah, I was just lucky enough to pick up Mike.
MICHAEL BALIKER: All right, guys, well appreciate the time. I don't see anybody has anything else. Davis, we'll let you get going and preparing for first start here at Congaree, but we appreciate the time and best of luck.
DAVIS THOMPSON: Appreciate it. Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports