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March 29 2012

10:18 PM

Cauley proves himself at SHO

By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM

HUMBLE, Texas – There have been times – we won’t mention the places – when Bud Cauley has forgotten his player badge and been forced to do a little fast talking to get into the locker room.

It usually goes like this:  "My locker is in there. You'll let me get inside, I'll prove it to you."

They do, he does. Eventually.

Cauley chuckled.  “They think I'm dressing up as a golfer and trying to sneak in.’’

Little do they know that the man behind the curly hair, fresh face and young look is only the sixth player in history to play his way straight from college to the PGA TOUR. The others? Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ryan Moore, Justin Leonard and Gary Hallberg.

Cauley is also comfortably situated in that upstart category everyone talks about – the one that covers young guys who could win any time now. Going into last week, the former Alabama star had two top-16s this year and two missed cuts. Then, Sunday, he bogeyed the final two holes to finish fourth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

On Thursday at the Shell Houston Open, he threw out an opening 67, which puts him two shots off the rain-delayed first-round pace set by Carl Petterson and Angel Cabrera.

“You know, I started playing well a few weeks ago at Transitions,’’ he said. “I hit it really well there, just didn't make the putts I wanted to.  But last week at the -- I got the putter to work a little bit.

“Today I really did the same thing, drove it pretty well, hit my irons and made some putts when I needed to.’’

And, he said, Redstone suits him.

“It fits my eye well,’’ he said.  “Lot of right-to-left shots, which I like to work it that way off the tee. I think it fits my eye and suits my game and, you know, really, if you get it in the fairway around here, I think it suits anyone's game.  You can be somewhat aggressive with your irons and the greens are perfect so, you can make a bunch of putts.”

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