Media Center Interviews
April 19, 2016
Interview With Brad Dalke
NICK PARKER: Hello everyone. I'd like to welcome Brad Dalke into the Media Center. He won the 2015 Junior PGA Championship to get in the field this week at the Valero Texas Open.
Brad, just run me through that experience last year. Kind of tell us how this week has been and were you thinking about it then?
BRAD DALKE: It was a really a fun week. Played some great golf and I did have this tournament in mind the whole time I was playing, you know, because the year before they announced they're going to have the exemption into the Valero and, you know, that was my goal to win it so I could get into this event.
It was tough coming down the stretch to not think about it, but I tried pushing it out of my mind, just try to play one shot at a time and finish the event.
But, you know, it was a great week and I'm glad I won and it got me into this awesome, awesome place, awesome event and excited to play this week.
NICK PARKER: I know you're playing with Hunter this afternoon. That's nice of an Oklahoma State guy to do to an Oklahoma guy. How did that come about in.
BRAD DALKE: PGA of America helped set it up. They've helped out in the last five years playing the Junior PGA. I'm really thankful for them. Be a fun afternoon. I met him once but never played golf with him so it will be a fun day.
NICK PARKER: I'd like to open it up for questions.
Q. You wear Under Armour there. Are you inspired at all by Spieth? He's only a few years older than you are and he's a Longhorn.
BRAD DALKE: I'm very inspired by him. He's obviously done a great job these first few years on the Tour. I've played with him once, lost to him by 2.
You know, he's a great guy, great role model to look up to. I am inspired by the way he -- the way he has composure on the course, the way he plays his golf and his game. You know, he's a great guy to look up. I'm definitely try to emulate myself after him.
Q. Does having success that young for him give you guys hope that you can come out and compete right away as opposed to maybe in the past having to kind of learn the ropes a little bit?
BRAD DALKE: Definitely. Golf is definitely a younger game now than it was 30 years ago. I think a lot of the guys that are playing college now with me, lot of us could probably play on Tour right now. It's just a matter of getting out there and getting into events.
But I mean there's so many good players now. It's just -- it's a whole different game and it does -- seeing him have success so young does help all of us, you know, believe in ourselves that we can do it, too, because I know I'm not that far away from being at Jordan's level. Just getting a little better in all aspects of the game just a little bit and it does help me believe that I can do it.
NICK PARKER: I think I read you're pretty close to Bryson, too. Is it pretty cool to see him do what he's done the last two weeks and how did that relationship kind of come about?
BRAD DALKE: We started to get know each other at some amateur events last summer. We were on the same team at the Royal Team Challenge when I was I think 8, 9 and he was I guess 12, and we were on the same team there but other than that, we haven't really -- we hadn't really talked to each other until last summer and we played a couple practice rounds together in some amateur events.
Just got -- we started talking to each other a lot and he's a great guy, great guy to look up to for kids and he's definitely doing it right. He's playing well and he's a little quirky in the way he does some things obviously with his clubs and all that, but he's a great dude and I like him a lot.
Q. What's the most interesting thing that maybe surprised you about playing practice rounds yesterday or getting -- what this experience has meant even this early in the week?
BRAD DALKE: I was really surprised we rode in carts yesterday at the Monday Pro-Am. I was expecting to walk. I had my brother-in-law on the bag. I was wanting to make him walk a little bit and work a little bit. He got lucky.
Yeah, it's been -- I've been to a lot of PGA events. I've been to the Byron Nelson, Colonial, some of those.
I feel like I kind of knew what to expect. It was just the fact of being here and being able to go inside the ropes and being able to go in the clubhouse and locker room, all that. It's so cool to be able to basically do whatever I want now around these grounds. It's been fun so far and it's been kind of what I expected but it's been really cool.
Q. What have your teammates had to say about this experience?
BRAD DALKE: I've been texts and Snapchatting with them constantly the last couple days. They've been supporting me. I had one of my teammates last night just give me some encouragement, just believe in yourself and I think they're jealous, I guess, but they're supporting me and they're wanting me to do well.
Q. You expect to be nervous on the opening tee shot?
BRAD DALKE: Yeah. I think everybody would be nervous on -- I think everybody is nervous on their first PGA event. I expect to be nervous but I'm excited for it. I'm ready for it.
Once you get the first hole out of the way you kind of free yourself up and get going. Luckily I played in the Junior Ryder Cup in 2014 and we played a friendship match at Gleneagles after the press round.
We played 9 holes. Most people I probably ever played in front of. Probably 4, 5,000 people. I kind of have a little experience there in front of people and hitting that first tee shot there so I will be nervous but I'm looking forward to the challenge.
NICK PARKER: Got a ton of attention last year when you beat Rory in the arm wrestling match.
Are you challenging any of the guys this week? Were you surprised about everything that came from that?
BRAD DALKE: I don't think I'll challenge anybody this week. I'll go one and done on that one. Yeah, I was surprised by how big that got.
I Tweeted the video and I think it ended up getting like 700 re-tweets and something like that. It was cool. Went viral. I definitely wasn't expecting that. It was really cool.
There's not many guys out there that will be No. 1 in the world at the time and arm wrestle a 17 year old at the junior events. He's a great guy and I was really surprised that he accepted the challenge.
Q. Is there a rematch?
BRAD DALKE: Not as of now. I mean I hope so, soon. He might want one.
Yeah. My instructor was actually at the Match Play down in Austin and he was -- he said I'm the instructor of the Brad Dalke, the kid who beat you in the arm wrestling. He's like, "Yeah, that kid, he's pretty strong." He said he's probably the strongest junior he's ever seen. It was a cool moment.
NICK PARKER: Anymore questions for Brad?
Q. Did you ever imagine winning the Junior PGA Championship would lead you to a week like this one, this one you're experiencing?
BRAD DALKE: I mean the first few Junior PGAs I played, obviously didn't have the exemption. No, I probably wouldn't have imagined it but then my fourth Junior PGA they announced at the open ceremonies.
Everybody was just -- nobody knew about it before and everybody was just kind of in awe almost, you know, everybody was just wanting all of a sudden to be able to play in PGA event. I got 3rd that year and had a chance to win it coming down the stretch. Just didn't quite do it.
I did -- I mean when I went to the Junior PGA last year my main goal was to be able to win and so I could get to San Antonio and so, yeah, to be able to achieve that goal that week and be able to win it and now be here for the week, it's pretty cool, pretty surreal.
Q. You had mentioned DeChambeau earlier. When he starts talking about his set-up and all the kind of all the scientific approach, do you understand everything he's saying?
BRAD DALKE: Not really "laughter." No. Lot of it -- I was just talking to him earlier. He was talking about moment of inertia and mass and all this stuff. Slowdown. Slowdown. Words I understand.
No, he's completely put physics and science and math and all that into the golf swing which obviously it's working for him. It's not really my thing. I'd rather just stick to I guess the normal route.
But yeah, I mean he's making it work and I actually earlier I just asked him, I'm kind of struggling with my calculus class right now. I asked him if I could get a little tutoring later in the week because I'm sure he's pretty good at calculus. He's a pretty smart dude.
Q. I just wanted know what it means for all your siblings coming, how does that feel for you to have all your family here?
BRAD DALKE: I -- I have a big family. I have 6 older brothers and sisters, and it's cool for them to all be coming down here. They rented a house about a mile away and they're all -- I think most all of them are staying there.
I think that will be -- couple hundred people just in my family out there. So it will be fun having them all here and rooting me on, and it will be fun.
NICK PARKER: Anymore questions? Perfect. Best of luck this week. Thanks for coming in, Brad.
BRAD DALKE: Appreciate it.