By Garry Smits
Veteran PGA Tour player Bud Cauley was in good spirits, according to former Alabama teammate and world No. 1-ranked golfer Justin Thomas, prior to undergoing surgery on Sunday after suffering serious injuries in a car accident late Friday in Dublin, Ohio.
Cauley sustained five broken ribs, a broken leg and a collapsed lung in the single-car accident in which he was a passenger, according to Thomas.
Thomas spent most of Friday night with Cauley at an unidentified Columbus area hospital, and returned there after shooting 68 in the third round of The Memorial. Thomas, who had another 68 on Sunday, said Cauley “was doing a lot better,” when he spoke to reporters after his round.
“I couldn’t stop thinking about it and thinking about him and I just really wanted to get done and go to the hospital,” Thomas said on Sunday. “So I truly have no idea how I shot 4 under.”
Thomas also confirmed that another friend, James Whis, was a passenger in the car.
“It calmed me a lot of after seeing him,” Thomas said. “I couldn’t hit a shot, couldn’t play a hole without thinking about him. And my buddy, [Whis], who was there as well in the car yesterday … so both of those guys … it sucks when your best friend’s in a serious car accident and there’s nothing you can do and nothing he can do. So but he’s doing a lot better.”
Thomas later posted on Twitter: “Not many people I love more in this world than my guy BC. Was a rough ‘sleep last night. Glad to see and hear he’s been doing better. Prayers are needed and all we can do is hope for the best! Get well soon, homi.”
The Golf Channel first reported the accident on Saturday, citing IMG, Cauley’s management firm.
A Dublin Police spokesman said an accident report had not yet been filed on Sunday and he could not disclose any information. He said there was a single-car accident at 11:04 p.m. on Friday with four males “suffering various injuries,” who were transported to a Columbus hospital.
The spokesman said the driver was placed in custody and was being questioned by investigators. Charges were pending but since the crash investigation remains open, the spokesman would not confirm the indentities of the driver or any passengers.
Christopher Mullhaupt, Cauley’s agent, told the Times-Union via email that he would only confirm that Cauley was in an accident and was recovering in a Columbus area hospital.
“We will update you when he’s ready to put out a statement,” Mullhaupt said in the email.
None of the hospitals in the area would release information on whether Cauley had been admitted but an admissions official at OhioHealth, which administrates several Columbus hospitals, said it was possible that Cauley requested his information be kept private.
Cauley missed the cut at The Memorial with rounds of 77-76. An All-American at Alabama, Cauley got his PGA Tour card in 2013 by becoming one of a handful of players in history to qualify through sponsor invitations after he left college.
He missed the 2015 season following shoulder surgery in September of 2014, but he rebounded the last two years and has two top-10 finishes this season. He has made 11 cuts in 16 events this season and is 82nd in the FedEx Cup rankings.