By AJGA Staff
AJGA alumnus, Caleb Surratt, made a memorable PGA TOUR debut at the 2022 Butterfield Bermuda Championship. Surratt earned an exemption into the event through winning the Elite Amateur Cup series over the summer. At just 18 years old, Surratt’s amateur career has been off to a strong start. He shares his experience at Port Royal Golf Course to inspire and teach the juniors of the Butterfield Bermuda Junior Championship.
Playing in your first PGA TOUR event truly is a dream come true, and this one was especially cool because it was in Bermuda. Bermuda is one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been to. My expectations were definitely exceeded.CALEB SURRATT
Surratt made a par on the par-4 No. 1 in his TOUR debut. He followed it up with a birdie on the par-5 No. 2 before dropping a bogey on the par-4 No. 6. Another birdie and bogey on the front nine led him to an even-par 36 at the turn. On his back nine, Surratt bogeyed the par-4 No. 14 and birdied the par-4 No. 15. He made three pars to finish out his first round with a score of even-par 71. In his second round, Surratt opened his day with a bogey on No. 1. That was the only flaw on his front nine as he made three birdies and an eagle on the par-5 No. 7 to make the turn with a 4-under-par 32. Keeping his momentum, Surratt made one bogey and four birdies on the back nine to finish the day with a 7-under-par 64 and to secure a playing spot in the weekend.
Shooting 64 to make the cut is a day that I’ll never forget. Although I got off to a slow start with a bogey on the first, I kept my head down the rest of the way.CALEB SURRATT
Following Surratt’s near-perfect second round, he struggled to keep his game consistent during the third day of the tournament. With one birdie on the par-4 No. 5, Surratt dropped down the leaderboard after finding trouble on the par-4 No. 14, where he made a 12. He ended his third day at the event with a 14-over-par 85. With the final round looming, Surratt was determined to not let a high score affect his PGA TOUR debut.
My mindset during the final round was that I simply have nothing to lose and to enjoy the experience. I still was in Bermuda with my best friend playing in my first PGA TOUR event.CALEB SURRATT
Surratt made a big comeback during the final round after making six birdies and an eagle on the par-5 No. 17 for a final round score of 6-under-par 65. He finished the tournament at 1-over-par 285, a score that will always be memorable to him.
The most valuable advice I can give to all the players is to enjoy their time there. As I have grown into playing amateur and professional golf, I have looked back at my days in the AJGA and know that they were the best days of my life.CALEB SURRATT
The Butterfield Bermuda Junior Championship, sponsored by the Butterfield Bermuda Championship and Bermuda Tourism Authority, runs from January 13 to 16. The tournament is played at Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton, Bermuda, the exact location where the PGA TOUR event takes place. It is a rare opportunity for junior golfers to play a competitive tournament at a TOUR venue.
Another piece of advice I can think of that may help you in the long run is that some of you may be playing really well this week. While you’re playing really well, you can look at the course and say that you played well on the same course the PGA TOUR players did. You can even go back and watch footage of the event.CALEB SURRATT
Surratt is currently a first-year student at the University of Tennessee. He is a two-time Rolex Junior All-American and represented the East team at the 2021 Wyndham Cup. He earned runner-up honors at the 2021 The PING Invitational, and he placed solo fourth at the 2021 Rolex Tournament of Champions, his last AJGA event.