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July 18, 2004

Todd Hamilton


TODD HAMILTON: I hope I'm now more famous than the elephant.

Q. Did you ever think growing up in a small town of 1500 playing on a 9-hole golf course, playing college golf in Oklahoma, playing all those years in Japan that something like this might be possible?

TODD HAMILTON: I dreamt about it. I don't know if that's really thinking about it, but I hoped that something like this would happen. Heck, I was just happy this year getting my PGA TOUR card. For me, that was getting the monkey off my back. I tried 8 times over 17 years, and I think just to get my card relieved a lot of pressure that I put on myself.

Q. You looked absolutely unflappable out there. You played your game. A lot of players that we talked to out there said Todd is not going to look good getting it done, but he's going to get it done. And you got it done.

TODD HAMILTON: I don't hit the ball as good as a lot of well-known players, but my short game is very good. And I think when I don't hit the ball well, having a good short game allows me to at least be competitive, maybe not on a scale like this every week, but I play what I call ugly golf. I hit a lot of punch shots, a lot of big slices off the tees, or big fades, just to keep the ball in play. And like I said, I just rely a lot on my chipping and putting.

It was a lot of hard work. Ernie is a true champion. He fought to the very end, not only in regulation but in the playoff. That's why he's a major champion. I'm so excited. I probably won't sleep for two days. I won't even sleep on the flight home, which I'm usually able to sleep pretty well, but I guarantee I'll be up.

Q. With all the great names that were challenging, what was the experience like?

TODD HAMILTON: I was trying to look around as much as I could to soak it all in. I've won tournaments around the world before, but nothing on a stage like this, so to be Open champion is very special.

Q. How much did you draw on that experience of having won so much in Japan to win?

TODD HAMILTON: It helped me. I am a true believer that if you can win a tournament, whether it be a junior championship at your club or a state open in the United States, club championships, whatever it might be, if you can win, you can focus on that positive and transfer it to your next match.

End of FastScripts.

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