Brun on Top of Game Heading Into First PGA Event
May 21, 2014
By Jay Hinton
FORT WORTH, Texas -- TCU junior golfer Julien Brun wasn't happy with his play in the fall and he said it showed in his numbers.
Aside from finishing third at the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate in New Mexico in late September with an even par, he finished under par in only half of the Horned Frogs' fall tournaments.
"I have been working on a few things with my swing and my chipping that needed to be taken care of," Brun said. "In the fall, the results weren't that good because I didn't focus on what I needed to do in my putting."
In the spring, the junior from Antibes, France, shot under par six times, including his last four collegiate tournaments and won three times, including the Big 12 Championship (-11) last month, which he won by nine strokes, and the NCAA Regional (-10) last week in Trinity, Texas.
He couldn't have picked a better time to be at the top of his game.
Thursday, Brun will tee it up as an amateur in his first-ever PGA Tour event -- the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. He chose to forgo the chance to play in the NCAA Championships for the opportunity to play in the event.
"The last few weeks it has all come together and my putting is a lot better and my swing is a lot better. I have been playing well," said Brun, who has nine career collegiate victories. "The main goal (at Colonial) is to be focused and to play my game and to be able to play the way I have been playing the last two or three months. If I'm able to do that I might be up there on the weekend."
Brun's game plan, in part, can be attributed to 2007 Masters Champion and former Crowne Plaza Invitational Champion Zach Johnson, with whom Brun played a practice round Tuesday.
"He gave me a few tips that were simple things like be myself," Brun said. "(He said) it's the same sport you've always played. There are 18 holes and you play with the same clubs you usually play with so try to be yourself and play golf."
Brun will tee off on No. 10 at 8:39 a.m. with Kevin Kisner and Ben Martin.
Brun earned the exemption to the Crowne Plaza Invitational after winning the Spirit Invitational in November. Former TCU standout Travis Woolf (2006-10) will be his caddie.
"I got a chance to come here (Colonial) two years ago so I know what the course will look like. I got to play the course so I know where the stands will be. The biggest difference is how many people there are here," he said.
Although the Crowne Plaza Invitational is Brun's first PGA Tour event, he has played in two events on the European Tour. Working in his favor this week, he said, will be playing at a course that is essentially in his backyard.
"Right now, I am going to have lunch with my parents and my girlfriend and I'll go home and park my car where I'm used to parking it and I'll sleep in my own bed," Brun said Wednesday. "It cannot be much better for my first PGA event. I'm lucky."
In addition to Johnson, world No. 1 Adam Scott is in the field along with Boo Weekley, the 2013 Crowne Plaza Invitational Champion; Dustin Johnson; Ricky Fowler; Matt Kuchar; Jim Furyk; Louis Oosthuizen; Davis Love III; Vijay Singh; Jason Dufner; and Jordan Speith.
"It's pretty impressive to see all the good players around the locker room and in the practice rounds," he said. "The course is just immaculate and the greens are really fast. It's a really good PGA Tour set up."