Updated Thursday, May 10
Bud Cauley is No. 43 in the FedEx Cup standings and will play with Ryan Moore and Paul Casey during the first two rounds of THE PLAYERS Championship. The threesome will tee off at 2 p.m. Thursday (No. 1 tee) and 8:50 a.m. Friday (No. 10 tee).
"I had a great time out here when we had the AJGA tournament," Cauley said at his press conference Wednesday. "This is obviously a step up from that, but feel very lucky to have played both of them."
When Bud Cauley received the news on May 4, his tweet said it all: “@BudCauley IM INNNNNNNNN!!!!!”
Since The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf began in 2007, 310 players have competed at TPC Sawgrass in the world’s premier junior event. With his entrance into The PLAYERS Championship field, Cauley will be the first of the 310 juniors to advance to the TOUR event.
For Billy Dettlaff, Tournament Chairman of The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf, Cauley embodies the vision he had more than five years ago.
"When I first had the concept of The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf, it was to afford the best junior golfers in the world an opportunity play in a tournament that would as closely as possible emulate THE PLAYERS. A second goal was to inspire those players through that experience to continue working on their games so one day they might return to compete in THE PLAYERS,” Dettlaff said. “Since our first event I have been waiting and wondering who the first junior player might be and when it would happen. It is an honor to see it happen so quickly. It is also very special to have a local Jacksonville AJGA player be the first.”
At the 2007 Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf, Cauley’s third-place finish was highlighted by a final-round 69 that included an eagle-birdie-eagle stretch on Nos. 2-4. He posted an even-par 216 (74-73-69) total on a course that mirrored the yardages and hole locations used by the TOUR during the second, third and final rounds of the 2007 PLAYERS Championship.
Bill Hughes, General Manager of TPC Sawgrass, has played an integral role through the first five years of The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf, and shared Dettlaff’s vision that inspired the creation of the AJGA event in 2007.
“I remember clearly, addressing the players and families during the media training component to The Junior PLAYERS Championship that first year of the event. I said to each of them, ‘You are the best 78 junior golfers in the world. If you have the passion, work hard, stay focused and keep developing your game, one day you could be walking the fairways here during THE PLAYERS Championship,’” Hughes said. “Little did I know that one of the young men in that first Junior PLAYERS class would do exactly that. It has been a real pleasure to get to know Bud on a personal level and to see him take a dream that he has had since a young boy, and make it become a reality.”
Cauley was a two-time first-team Rolex Junior
All-American and notched three AJGA victories before becoming a three-time
All-American at the University of Alabama. Since turning pro in 2011, he has
four PGA TOUR top-10 finishes, including a third-place showing at the 2011