MORE INTERVIEWS: Farmers Insurance Open transcript archive
DOUG MILNE: Josh Teater, thanks for joining us for a few minutes. Clean card today, 8-under, 64. Off to a great start. As you mentioned on the way in, it's day one, lot of golf left, but you've got to be feel going about the way you started.
JOSH TEATER: I do, yeah. I played well in Sony, kind of, for the first time. Then last week I played pretty well. I didn't get as many birdies as most guys, but it's just kind of been a good start to the year. Today it just kept rolling.
Q. It seems like the conditions were absolutely perfect out there. Is that how you're feeling that you've really got to take advantage of the no wind and perfect weather??
JOSH TEATER: Yeah, the weather was great. Obviously, being on the North course, I think it's supposed to be good every day, so maybe it's not that huge of an advantage to have it today. But we have a lot of shorter irons in on those par-4s, and the par-5s you can really reach. I took advantage of that.
Really putted well, but you can't ask for much better weather and scenery and everything.
Q. What do you attribute your good start to this year??
JOSH TEATER: I think I told the guys outside there, maybe I came into this season with maybe a little bit less expectations. You know, I was realistic on what I had done in the off-season. I hadn't really practiced real hard. I made one trip to Arizona and played the Callaway Invitational at Pebble.
But when I was off, I kind of enjoyed it and just came out kind of refreshed. That seems to have been paying off for me so far.
Q. When you're off, do you spend your time in Kentucky??
JOSH TEATER: I do, yeah. I just bought a house there last fall.
Q. My husband's from Kentucky.
JOSH TEATER: Yeah, in Lexington. It was kind of a new experience for me. It took up a little bit of my time. But it's all been good, yeah.
Q. You don't have a course that's much like this in Kentucky, right??
JOSH TEATER: No, we don't have the scenery. But I think that golf in the spring in Kentucky is kind of similar to this. It's kind of damp. They have some poa annua greens. At least for me, it reminds me of kind of college golf in the spring when it's kind of damp and cool. I kind of had some success then, so I'm just looking back on that a little bit.
I played well at Pebble a few years ago, couple years ago, and kind of the same idea.
Q. Is there a lesson learned in taking that time off? The way the schedule is with the events basically 12 months a year, I would imagine it gets harder and harder to carve out that time off. Yet, you and Mark Wilson last week, he attributed success to having committed to time off in December. Was this a valuable lesson learned or how hard is it to carve out that time?
JOSH TEATER: I'm still learning. I played the mini tours for six years, and to get here was my goal. I wasn't going to get here and then not play. So the first two seasons I played 31 events, which is a lot of tournaments.
Every tournament out here is great, so it's kind of hard to say, oh, I don't want to go play that one because something about it is great or vice versa.
But a good friend of mine told me who spent some time out here said you're way better off playing good one to two weeks than mediocre four or five. That is true.
But I love to play golf. If I'm at home and the weather's nice, I'm probably going to be out there with some friends or something. So I would like to cut it back a few this year, but I'm still going to play quite a bit I would say.
Q. Are you and J.B. friends? Have you met him?
JOSH TEATER: Fairly well. We never really knew each other growing up. I think he's maybe four to five years younger than I am. Kind of when I was leaving college at Morehead, he was a freshman at UK. He kind of got straight out here. About two years ago he kind of got together and used the same instructor and played a lot of practice rounds.
We were supposed to play this week, but he had Pro-Am on the South course, and I needed to play the South course, so we didn't connect. But I'm interested to see how he does and hope he does well.
Q. What is the golf program like at Morehead? Is it a big deal there?
JOSH TEATER: Not really. Our coach has been there a long time. He gives anybody a chance. I was a baseball player, pretty much in high school. I did play golf, but no schools were really looking at me because I just played locally.
He gave me an opportunity, and I kind of took advantage of it and got to play a lot and progressed and a lot of other guys the same way.
Q. So you gave up baseball??
JOSH TEATER: I did after high school, yes.
Q. How come??
JOSH TEATER: Just knowing what my baseball game was like, kind of a middle infielder that wasn't super fast and didn't hit for power, I might be able to play for a couple years. But I knew golf, whether I made it to the PGA TOUR or not, was going to be beneficial. This game can take you anywhere and introduce you to anybody. It's just been a good game, for sure.
Q. How old were you when you thought PGA TOUR was something you could accomplish??
JOSH TEATER: Well, I started playing when I was about 12, by 15 or 16 I could shoot around par. I got a chance to go play in college. Toward the end of high school I could break par. I think from the time I could walk I wanted to be a professional athlete. Growing up in Kentucky, it starts with basketball. That obviously didn't work out. Then baseball was my next choice, but golf ended up being the one that I pursued.
Q. Now that you are a professional athlete, is it everything it was cracked up to be??
JOSH TEATER: Yeah, you know, it's pretty cool to be able to play a game and travel around and get to see places you'd never see. I don't feel any different than if I wasn't a professional athlete. But people do look at you a little differently. I guess adjusting to that does take a little bit of time.
Q. J.B. was in here earlier this week and seemed almost nonchalant about what he's been through. When you look at what he's been through, what goes through your mind and how is seeing him back out here??
JOSH TEATER: Honestly, I don't have a whole lot of information on what he did go through. I think I understand what he did. Any kind of surgery, much less brain surgery, seems pretty serious to me. But supposedly his was very minor. I know he had a lot of downtime. Hopefully his health is better, and I think that's the number one goal.
Q. In light of the Q-school-Nationwide issue this week, what did you take out of your Nationwide experience in terms of moving up here??
JOSH TEATER: It was very beneficial to me. I was very close to getting my card in 2008 at Q-school, and I had a very bad finish. It was really a blessing, because I could have held on and finished 24th or 25th and gotten into three or four tournaments out here on the west coast. We all know this west coast sets up your schedule for the rest of the year.
Instead I got to go to the Nationwide Tour, pick my schedule, play a full schedule, and it benefited me. I played well, won a tournament, and got my card out here and in a higher position than I would have coming out of Q-school.
It's very beneficial for some guys to play. I needed it. Some guys may not need it.
Q. When you look back, do you think you would have been ready for the PGA right off the bat??
JOSH TEATER: That's a hard question. I feel like I would have been, but at that point not having much success on the Nationwide Tour or even really on the Hooters Tour when I played that. I made a lot of cuts, never did win out there.
But that Nationwide Tour gave me a lot of confidence, and I carried it on out here. I think it would all depend on how I started.