A: I started playing when I was 5 years old. My dad was, and still is, an avid golfer. We were out there at Aspen Golf Club, River Valley Ranch, or Rifle Creek Golf Club just about every weekend we could.
Q: You grew up in Basalt, CO. What was is like growing up and playing golf in such a small town?
A: It was tough playing in a small town like Basalt. The only course there is The Roaring Fork Club, which was a pretty exclusive private club designed by Jack Nicklaus. I caddied there growing up but wasn't able to play it very often. We would drive 20-30 minutes to play at either Aspen Golf Club or River Valley Ranch. Once Ironbridge Golf Club redid their course my parents joined the club and we played there once I was in high school. Another bummer was that the golf season was pretty short! The courses usually opened April first and went through Halloween, if we were lucky.
Q: How did junior golf help prepare you for what you’re doing now?
A: Playing junior golf helped me become a competitive person. I learned to battle nerves, weather, long days, and tough golf courses. Learning how to act on the golf course while you were playing poorly is just as important as how you act when you are playing well.
Q: What is your favorite memory from junior golf in Colorado?
A: My favorite memory of playing junior golf in Colorado has to be when I shot 60 at Boulder Country Club at the CGA Stroke Play in 2010. My dad was caddying for me that day, and we were in the zone! Our playing competitors were Zahkai Brown and Alex Buecking. It was incredible to finish birdie-birdie, leading to a course record 60, beating Hale Irwin's record by two shots. What a great day.
Q: You went on to play golf at CO School of Mines. What was your favorite part about being on the team?
A: My favorite part about playing on the Colorado School of Mines Golf Team was the chemistry we had as a team. As a freshman I was one of six players that my coach brought in that year. Because of that we all spent just about every day together for four straight years. My teammates are incredible people, all with successful jobs now. The thing I missed most when I graduated was hanging out with them every single day on the golf course! We are all still great friends and try to get together multiple times per year. They will all be there to cheer on at the Phoenix Open!
Q: On Monday, you qualified your way in to the Phoenix Open. What are you most looking forward to Thursday-Sunday?
A: The thing I am looking forward to the most on Thursday-Sunday is getting to play with the best players in the world. For two days now, I have practiced and played the course. It is exciting to be at such an incredible venue for my first PGA Tour event. I'll be ready to get out on the course and play!
Q: How do you handle the pressure when trying to qualify for events like this?
A: I know there will be a lot of people out at the Phoenix Open. The anticipation of the event is great, but I know it is the exact same game I have been playing my whole life. I will put no extra pressure on myself just because it is a PGA Tour event. In my mind I am the best golfer out there. I try to stay humble, and don't go around telling everyone that, but I must believe that in order to play my best.
Q: What’s your pre-round routine?
A: Pre round routine: I arrive on the practice area about 75 minutes before my tee time. First, I'll hit chips and bunker shots at the chipping green for about 10 minutes. Second, I'll hit putts on the putting green for about 25 minutes. I start out hitting long putts, then move to 8-12 foot putts, then end with lots of short putts. Third, I'll hit balls on the driving range for about 30 minutes. Finally, I'll head to the first tee 10 minutes before my tee time.
Q: Do you have any lucky items or superstitions?
A: I carry a ball mark repair tool from the San Juan Open, one of the first tournaments I won as a pro. That's it!
Q: What’s in your bag? Driver, irons, balls, snacks, etc.
A: All my clubs are PING. I play a Titleist Pro-V1X. I've got tons of snacks, including bananas, apples, protein bars, pb&j sandwich, and more! Sunscreen is also a must.
Q: What’s your greatest golf accomplishment to date?
A: Shooting a 60 has to be one of my biggest accomplishments. Also, I am very proud of winning the San Juan Open back-to-back years.
Q: What is your biggest dream for your golf career?
A: My biggest goal of my golf career is to win the Masters. Once it happens, the next biggest goal will be to win the US Open!
Q: If you could give current junior golfers one piece of advice, what would it be?
A: My best advice for current junior golfers is to play the game you have. Don't try to be someone else. Don't try to swing like anyone else. Every single golf swing is unique, and as long as you practice enough, you can be great no matter what.