Travelers Championship

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Cromwell, Connecticut, USA

TPC River Highlands

Ben James

Quick Quotes

Q. Tell me a little bit about the round today. What stood out?

BEN JAMES: Yeah, so pretty stressful. I mean, I was pretty everywhere off the tee. Had a couple poor wedges, but I really fought hard. I gave it a 120% out there. Like I didn't give up once. I really fought hard and managed myself and my caddie, and I just really played pretty smart.

If we were in trouble, which I was a lot, just chipped out and wedges on, made it or missed the putt.

But it was a hard day just because I was everywhere, but I was really happy the way I fought through and just kind of persevered with myself. Beginning of the event that was one of the goals of mine, just to never give up, and just to always keep doing the best I could do.

So I accomplished that goal, so I was pretty happy with that.

Q. Being back here, what was it like? What was today like?

BEN JAMES: Yeah, no, that first tee, that roar was a roar Tiger probably only hears. That was unbelievable. I almost passed out hearing that. It's amazing having everyone there, and I'm super lucky to have all these people with me. Two sponsors, Transcend Capital and Puma, I wouldn't be the person or the golfer without them. I can't thank them enough.

It was so cool having everyone out there. It's a dream come true, and, again, I'm super fortunate to be able to do this again. Hopefully play a little better tomorrow, but it was a great day overall.

Q. Ben, I remember talking to you last year and it seems like you've grown a lot as a person and golfer. Talk about what the last year has been and how you've progressed over that time.

BEN JAMES: Yeah, it was a great year in school. I thank my coaches, thank my teachers, thank the athletic staff. They did a great job helping me get where I wanted to be.

I think I grew more as a person than a player. Maybe just a little smarter. Willing to take medicine. Willing to not get frustrated.

Or just I think my game was kind of about the same, but was playing great coming into last year as well; just the way I thought about this, and all that was going on was just the difference, just having that one extra year of experience.

Felt worse than last year on that first tee, but the way I fought back was even better than last year. Obviously I still have one more round to go and hopefully play a little bit better. I rolled it good today, so I'm excited to tee it up tomorrow.

Q. Ludvig is out here. He got his TOUR card off PGA TOUR U exemption. You're obviously playing college golf right now. What does that program and opportunities mean to someone like you?

BEN JAMES: It's so cool. I mean, just for the PGA TOUR to be giving us college kids spots and giving us an easier path to the PGA TOUR is just unbelievable.

You got obviously Ludvig, Ricky, Adrian, those guys, played with them this year. Obviously tremendous players but great guys, too.

So the TOUR is getting some really good guys as well. It's really cool to see them doing it, because I feel like my game is just as good as them. It's a really cool confidence booster.

The TOUR is doing an especially great job getting the younger guys involved. Clearly they're good enough. They're winning and winning right away. Same with Sam Bennett. Michael, obviously unbelievable player himself.

So a lot of great young talent out there and the TOUR knows about it and they're giving some spots.

Q. Lastly, you mentioned you didn't hit it the way you wanted to do today. What's the mindset heading into tomorrow? Anything change? Feel the need to be more aggressive?

BEN JAMES: Maybe be more cautious knowing what I got, but I'm just going to talk to my coach in the morning. Maybe forget about it. Hopefully forget about it.

Just work with my coach in morning. I know what to expect, I know the miss, and just try to tackle it tomorrow.

Fastscripts by ASAP Sports...

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
134213-1-1041 2023-06-22 23:20:00 GMT

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