AT&T Byron Nelson

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

McKinney, Texas, USA

TPC Craig Ranch

David Micheluzzi

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: David, thanks for joining us. We've got a few Australian-based media on the phone heading into the AT&T Byron Nelson. How excited are you to make your PGA TOUR debut this week at the AT&T Byron Nelson?

DAVID MICHELUZZI: Yeah, first PGA TOUR event, which is very cool. Yeah, just fortunate enough that they gave me an invite. My manager Ben did such a good job, and I've also got Memorial coming up with a couple weeks' time, and just found out I'm in the PGA next week, so first PGA TOUR event, first major in consecutive weeks.

There's a lot going on, but really looking forward to the next few weeks.

Q. Just wondered how this all transpired. Was this always in the plan? We knew you were going to Europe, but was U.S. always in the cards?

DAVID MICHELUZZI: I'm pretty sure back in the past, the Order of Merit winners usually get Memorial, so that was always kind of on the cards. Then the Byron Nelson was just a -- it was just very fortunate enough to get it instead of just coming out just for one, maybe potentially two, because I'm doing a U.S. Open pre-Q, as well. Now I can actually make a trip out of it, and now I'm definitely going to make a trip out of it, which is really cool.

Q. Obviously playing a few majors now. Are you feeling like you can go all right there?

DAVID MICHELUZZI: Yeah, I think my game is feeling great. It's felt pretty much very similar to how I was playing in Australia a few months back. Courses are very different to back home. It's all carry and softer greens and all that kind of stuff. But I'm just looking forward to competing with these guys and seeing how I go, really.

Q. Just wondering what's going to be key for you to translate your success in Australia to over here in the U.S.?

DAVID MICHELUZZI: I'm not too sure, actually. I think it's like -- I think playing in Australia for the last however many years or so, 2022 was probably my rookie year, and last year I knew my game was there, and it felt like I was playing well and all that, and I was up in contention, so I was like a big fish in a small pond. Now I'm a small fish in a really big pond.

Hopefully we can just keep the same like mindset going in, try and just shoot 4-, 5-under every day, not do anything stupid around the course. Just playing just solid golf. I don't think I need to shoot 9-, 10-under every day, which it feels like every time you watch PGA TOUR events, everyone is going low at some point, but every day if you can just plot along and shoot 4-, 5-, 6-under, at the end of the week it's 16-, 20-, 24-under.

I think that's the big key, just staying very patient.

It's my first PGA TOUR event, so even if I miss the cut I don't think I'm going to be too down on myself, but obviously I want to play as well as I can, and hopefully it's not one of the last PGA TOUR events. Hopefully I can get many more in the future.

Q. Are you looking forward to any particular moment at any of these events? Obviously Memorial is Jack Nicklaus's tournament; PGA is your major championship debut, where I'm sure you're going to try and organize some practice rounds with the likes of Adam Scott and Jason Day, but is there any particular moment at any event at any course that you've got your sights set on?

DAVID MICHELUZZI: Well, it was the Open about a month ago. Nothing was organized, it was only just the Open. I was really looking forward to that, potentially having practice rounds with some of those guys.

Yeah, now it's like -- yeah, next week is going to be very cool. Oak Hill is iconic. It's such a great golf course. Hopefully we can tee up a couple games with -- I'm not too sure, but hopefully a couple Aussie boys. I played with Min Woo today. It's been a while. We played amateur golf together, and it was good to kind of just -- really cool to actually go, yeah, we played amateur golf together, we played Interstate Series together, we played Eisenhowers together, now we're playing on the same event on the PGA TOUR and next week playing the same event in a PGA Championship. That was a real cool moment.

I think next week I'm going to try and embrace as much as possible but also once it comes game day, it's full steam ahead.

Q. From a player's perspective, the success and opportunities like this, is it the best example of what the TOUR over here is talking about, pathways to get you overseas, obviously a DP World Tour card at the end of the year, but then you getting these starts partially on the back end of winning an Order of Merit?

DAVID MICHELUZZI: Yeah, I think it's really cool to see what the PGA of Australia has done with the pathways now. Instead of having the one card, it's the three cards. It's a category on the Tour.

Then I think I was in a pretty fortunate boat where I've been with my manager just before I turned pro, and he's based in the States. He works with Sport Five, who managed Jon Rahm and Tom Kim and all these boys.

I think having the success, he can now say, look, he's done this over here. Let's get him some starts. Where I think if I didn't have a manager, I don't know of this would be happening. I think I'd just potentially playing a PGA and potentially playing an Open, and that's it.

Yeah, it's been cool now that there's been so many events in Australia where -- sorry. I lost track.

Q. Talking about the Tour and getting starts over there.

DAVID MICHELUZZI: Yeah, I think having a manager that's over here who's a part of a big company has helped potentially getting starts on the PGA TOUR, which I've gotten now two, potentially could have a couple more, and then having the few in Europe, I think, yeah, just having that success in Australia with having so many events consecutively, it's just been great.

All credit to the guys and PGA of Australia and DP and PGA TOUR for being able to give the PGA of Australia these pathways.

Q. You spoke about backing your game enough to not go to Q-schools at the end of last year, having not played well there and trying to advance through the TOUR. Any period before I suppose last season where you maybe doubted that ability a little bit, having had the struggles you've had with Q-schools at the early stage of your career?

DAVID MICHELUZZI: Yeah, there was a little bit. I'm not going to lie actually. There was a little bit of doubt. I wouldn't say I was like, oh, I see all these guys going to Q-school and potentially going to get their card and all that. But in the back of my mind, they were missing events in Australia; I wasn't. It was like, oh, I'm going to miss it, but hang on, I've got events here, and I feel like over a season, I back myself more than just a week.

I had that one-second doubt, and then it just went out of my mind, like no, this is the right decision. I feel like my game is in a great spot. You never know, I could have gone and won Q-school and I could be out there right now. But I think the way everything has played out, I think I made probably the best decision to stay back home and just play.

Q. I just want you to talk about just the change to your mindset in the past 12 months after that great season down here in Australasia. How has your mindset changed the last 12 months?

DAVID MICHELUZZI: So the year before I came like 14th on the Order of Merit, and I think I said this a couple times. I started seeing a short game coach. I feel like that was the only part of my game where it was lacking. I was shooting -- on my bad days I was shooting probably 73 to 75 and that was potentially pulling me out of contention, where now it goes by the tournament that I played those bad rounds were now 70 to 68, and that can be the difference between a win and a top 30. That was huge.

The mindset going -- backing myself, what I just said before, was I'm not going to any Q-schools, I'm just going to focus on the TOUR, and I backed myself to get one of those cards.

Winning the Order of Merit, that was always on my mind, but I thought, it was more the top 3 I was worried about, but I got off to such a good start and kind of treaded water for a little bit in the middle, but once I had that second win, it was just guns blazing. I was off.

Yeah, it was more the confidence in what I was actually doing was the big difference.

Q. Can I ask you about your car situation. We know you love the cars. Where is that at the moment and how many in the garage or what are the plans?

DAVID MICHELUZZI: There is two currently in the garage. Mom says I need to buy a property first to then get more cars, so I don't think there's anything anytime soon. But I've been -- not going to lie, I have been looking around. Maybe a potential R35 Skyline. I'm a pretty big Paul walker fan, so love to get one of those.

I don't know. Hopefully have a couple good weeks here and maybe the Ferrari may come. I'm not too sure. That's the dream, but we'll get to that in a bit.

Q. Just buy that nice property with a garage first.

DAVID MICHELUZZI: Yeah, of course, I've got to get enough garages to put all the cars in, as well.

Q. You're going to come across a lot of very famous golfers in the next few weeks. At the moment who's the most famous golfer in your phone?

DAVID MICHELUZZI: On my phone, like contact-wise?

Q. Yeah.

DAVID MICHELUZZI: Probably Geoff Ogilvy. I've had that number for a while, actually. I'd say Min Woo, as well. I reckon he's up there.

Q. Geoff is there this week, as well. Have you had a chance to catch up with him?

DAVID MICHELUZZI: No, I haven't, actually. I saw -- his locker is right near mine, and I was like, oh, Geoff is playing. I didn't even know. I saw Scottie this morning before my practice round, said g'day real quick and all that, but yeah, just looking forward to it.

It's going to be so cool. Those two boys, as well, Geoff I've gotten to know pretty well over the last four years. I'll potentially be able to speak to him at some point for the couple majors and what to do. I've spoken to Lucas Herbert, as well, about what to expect and all that. He gave me some advice. Yeah, just looking forward to it.

Q. What was Herby's best nugget of advice?

DAVID MICHELUZZI: Don't do skids in the Escalade they give you.

No, he said they're brutal but long. So probably don't play 18, just play nine every day. Stuff like that. I usually play a lot of golf, so I think having that information going -- okay, nine holes may take three hours, that's almost 18 holes.

Obviously you want to have as much -- you want to be as fresh as possible going into obviously Saturday and Sunday. You don't want to be burnt out, and especially majors, from what I've heard from Herby, it's quite taxing. There's a lot of people around and all that.

Yeah, just to be able to be really fresh going into Thursday and then also going into Sunday, as well.

Q. And about Geoff, because you work with Andrew at Vic; is that right?


Q. Seeing Geoff around over those few years, how has he influenced you? Maybe not so much at this level but over the years, how has he been an influence on you?

DAVID MICHELUZZI: I wouldn't say he was an influence. I think he's more of late he's become like a mate of mine, where I do ask him the odd questions and all that, but he's more just like playing games and just seeing how good he is.

He didn't play for ages on the PGA TOUR, but he'd still go out and whoop my ass. It was like, aww, he's not playing, this is what it's like. I've got to get a lot better, kind of thing.

Yeah, also just being able to chat to him and especially over the last year or so where I have been up in contention. I've been playing pretty well in big events. Yeah, just being able to -- if I do have a question, I would go ask him, but I haven't really asked too much. I haven't seen him much at Vic, as well, when I do see Andrew.

Yeah, I think if I do have the chance I will probably have a chat to him just to see what it's like, what to expect and all that, try and gather as much information as I can before leading into the week.

Q. Finally from me, what's the contingent going to be like for next week? Has that started yet? I know this news is only really new, but who do you expect to have with you next week?


Q. Any family coming --

DAVID MICHELUZZI: I don't think the family will come. I'm going to speak to Marty soon about what potentially may happen. I was speaking to Min Woo yesterday. He said majors are just crazy if you have a lot of people around, and to be honest, I want to treat my first major as -- obviously I want it to be special, I want to have a lot of family members and all that around, but at the end of the day, it's a golf tournament, and I feel like I do well when there's not many people around, like around me, like off course and all that.

I just want to go in, just me and my caddie, my manager, and just go straight ahead and just play like it's another tournament, like I say, like the national PGA. Just go out and just cruise.

I don't know if my parents are going to surprise me and fly over. I'd highly doubt it because they've got a massive trip in Europe later in the year, so I don't think they'll be coming. But if they do, it would be pretty cool, but yeah, I just want to keep it as low key as possible and just focus on the golf, and that's it.

THE MODERATOR: David, we appreciate your time, and best of luck over the next two weeks.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
132519-1-1002 2023-05-09 22:03:00 GMT

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