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July 16, 2015

Chad Pfeifer


THE MODERATOR:  We have Chad Pfeifer here in the media room.  Chad, welcome back.  If we've seen a year where fairy tales come true, this might be one of them.  I think the world has changed in the last 12 months.  Tell us about some of the things you've been involved with as a result of your fifth‑place finish last year.  Last year, Chad opened, he was the leader after the first round, ended up in fifth place and took home $20,000.  And there's been a whole lot of things that have gone on in your life since.
CHAD PFEIFER:  So I got a lot of exposure last year with how I finished and just getting my story out there.
I did an audition for the Big Break and got accepted.  So I did that.  I was on Big Break, Palm Beaches Florida.  And I ended up getting knocked out of the show in sixth place out of 12.  But it was a great experience, a lot of fun.  Our crew, or our cast members were all really great guys.
We all had a good time.  Media has their editing tricks to make guys look like villains, but it was a lot of fun.  But it was a great time there, and the exposure from that and this, again, last year got my story out there and I got a sponsor exemption on the Web.com, the Albertsons Boise Open just last week.  So that was a really great experience for me.
Got me a chance to test my game against Web.com players, and I didn't play my game.  Had a lot of stuff going on and a lot of attention, obviously, being the first amputee to participate in a Web.com tournament.
So I didn't play my best.  But like I said, it was a great experience.  I took a lot from it and really learned a lot both about my game and about me as a player.  So that was really great.  And then I'm here again this year.
So I can't thank you guys enough for inviting me back.  And hopefully I'm a leader again on the first day and it continues through Sunday.

Q.  I understand that the exposure from this event and some of the other things that you were doing has helped land you a sponsor as well?
CHAD PFEIFER:  Yeah, I met, actually last year at this tournament, being paired with Mark Rypien, he's one of the brand ambassadors for Diamond Resorts.  So I got to talk with Mike Flaskey, who is following Mark around the last two days and got to talking with him.
And they welcomed me to their family and have really been a great support for me and my career and have helped me out quite a bit along the way.
So that's really a great partnership for me and they've expressed that they've really enjoyed having me on their team as well.  So I think it works really well both ways and it's been great.

Q.  I understand we've got Rod Gorman out here this year as well who won the Warrior Open, I think he got you by a couple of strokes this year.  Have you played a lot with him as well?
CHAD PFEIFER:  Just the last day of the Warrior Open, we've been out practicing together, and I tried to give him advice, I guess.  But he'll do good, though.  I think being in the military himself, it's pretty nervous when you come out here.  It's probably the most people he's hit golf balls in front of.  And 17 is always a fun experience.
But I think he'll do good, though.  He's got a strong game and, you know, he'll make some birdies, and he'll probably make a lot of pars and not hurt himself with doubles.  So he'll do good.

Q.  What are your top three tips for him out here?
CHAD PFEIFER:  Biggest one is probably just have fun.  That was one of the keys for me last year, leading the first two days, or the first day and then being close the second day.  I was just enjoying myself, just having a good time and engaging with the people.  A lot of them‑‑ I've had more people this year obviously recognize me from Big Break.
But I mean he'll just‑‑ he just needs to go out and have fun and stay relaxed.  Like I said, he'll do good.

Q.  Last year you might have been a little trepidation, maybe a little nerves, how are you feeling this year after you've been through it once?
CHAD PFEIFER:  I feel good.  One of the things being on the Big Break kind of prepares you for is those nerve‑racking positions you get into on a golf course.  And I think I still put a lot of pressure on myself trying to do good, trying to play my best.  But I've learned along the way in some of my experiences just to relax and play my game, have fun.
So I feel good coming into it this year.  I'll be relaxed.  17's still a little nerve racking, even today there's a fraction of the people that are going to be out there.

Q.  Is it noise, is it bikinis, what is it?
CHAD PFEIFER:  The bikinis don't help, that's for sure.  (Laughter) I think it just goes back to putting pressure on myself.  You want to hit a good shot in front of all the people.  And I think for a lot of the guys they don't want to hit a bad shot.  So they've got that going through their heads.
So it will be good, though.  So I'll be relaxed and I'll have fun and enjoy it.

Q.  Obviously your goal this week is to win.  But when you come away with this, how are you going to define success from this week?
CHAD PFEIFER:  Just being here is a success.  I mean one of my big goals is just getting my story out there to try to inspire other wounded veterans and people with disabilities.  It's just a success just being out here, because my story is getting out there to more and more people.  And I've had more veterans come up to me and explain or share that I've inspired them and to keep going, keep doing what I'm doing.

Q.  From what we understand, so far there's been over 2,000 military tickets that will be given to veterans and to active service members this week.  We're hoping for a few more.  I imagine you'll have quite a cheering section out there.
CHAD PFEIFER:  Yeah, absolutely.  I'll look forward to it.  Like I said, I've had a lot of veterans come up to me, thank me.  So to all of them that are out here, thank you for their service and happy to have them come out.

Q.  I know some day you want to be a Paralympian, and we were talking earlier out here about golf being in the Paralympics.  I'm a Paralympian.  So where is the process right now because I know you're kind of involved?
CHAD PFEIFER:  I try to keep up with what's going on with golf and the Paralympics.  Obviously they've got golf now in the 2016 Olympics next year.  It didn't get accepted for the Paralympics for this next one.  I guess I'm just hoping that golf in the Olympics is very successful and it gets a good turnout, and they can build on that and put it in the Paralympics and go from there.

Q.  Was there a celebrity or athlete that you were most excited or most nervous to meet last year?
CHAD PFEIFER:  I was pretty nervous around most of them, I guess.  I guess I wasn't nervous, but it was just cool for me to meet a lot of them that are out here.  Having grown up being a baseball player and watching guys like Greg Maddox and John Smoltz and Kenny Lofton was one of my favorites growing up.
To meet all those guys it was a lot of fun, obviously, but just a really cool experience to meet them all.  So it was pretty cool when they announced Justin Timberlake was going to come out here.  I love him when he's on Saturday Night Live and him as an actor.  I actually got a chance to meet him yesterday.  I was going to my tee time on 10 and he was crossing over to 1.  So it was a lot of fun to meet him and he expressed his thanks for my service.  So that was really cool.
And I think a lot of them showing their support for military, most of them have done it that I've come across and actually probably all of them have.  But it's really cool for them to do that because for us in the military and for me and probably Rod as well, we were just doing our jobs and just wrong place at the wrong time type of deal.
So we don't necessarily expect the thanks, I guess.  But it's really cool that a lot of people do that.

Q.  Now that being in the tournament isn't a novelty as much as it was last year, what's the biggest thing you learned from your three days here last year that you can apply here?
CHAD PFEIFER:  I mean, just to have fun, I guess, again.  Last year going into the last day, you know the first two days, like I said, I was just having fun, just enjoying the moment.  The last day I got caught up in, I have a good chance to win this, and started to put more pressure on myself coming down the back nine holes.
And so that's probably the big thing I'll take from last year coming into this year just trying to have fun all three days and not get caught up with how I do, because, like I said, it's already a success that I'm even here, and having been invited back this year I'm extremely grateful and excited.  It will be a lot of fun this year.

Q.  You mentioned Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live and whatnot.  You know him and Jimmy Fallon got this thing going back and forth.  Any message that you would like to give to Jimmy about Justin being out here?
CHAD PFEIFER:  What's been going on with them?

Q.  They just keep teasing each other, so I didn't know if you wanted to add to the mix?
CHAD PFEIFER:  I'm a big fan of both of them.  Jimmy Fallon, they did a lot of skits together on Saturday Night Live.  They were hilarious.  I watched that show all growing up.
When I was on the Big Break, I was tweeting Jimmy Fallon.  I was trying to challenge him to a one‑legged golf contest.  I'll extend that challenge out to Jimmy Fallon.

Q.  With the sergeant major playing this year, do you have any extra incentive?
CHAD PFEIFER:  No, I'm excited he gets the opportunity to enjoy this as well.  He's going to have a great time regardless of how he plays.  But, no, I mean it will be fun just the whole week having him here, and we've already, like I said, we've been practicing together.  So it will be good.

Q.  Could we see a Web.com qualifying tournament from you maybe in the next year or so?
CHAD PFEIFER:  Yeah, that's the plan.  So I've got Q‑School, I'll get registered for that.  I think the deadline is the 19th of August.  I'll get set up with that, try to go through Q‑School, work my way through that and hopefully get status on Web.com next year.
If not, yeah, I'll just plan to travel more this year and the years following to play more Monday qualifiers and try to earn a spot on to those tournaments.

Q.  As the result of last year we keep talking about how there's been a lot of good things that happen.  We know last year that American Century wrote a check the same day the tournament ended for $25,000 for Wounded Warriors, and Charles Barkley made an announcement during our press conference call about a month ago that he was going to donate a million.  So congratulations on getting that.  That's got to make you feel pretty good.
CHAD PFEIFER:  Absolutely.  There's so many great organizations out there.  And for Jonathan Thomas and the American Century team to write the check for Troops First Foundation last year was just incredible.  They're an organization that I do a lot of stuff with.  That's David Feherty's organization, and he's great with wounded soldiers.  The program and David do so many things to help wounded soldiers.
That was incredible for them to do that.  And then Charles Barkley announcing ‑‑ that was, I mean, that was‑‑ it shows his character, how much he cares for the wounded soldiers and just people in general.  I mean, seeing him out here last year engaging with the people, it's obvious why he's one of the favorites out here, that he gets a big crowd.
So it's awesome for him to do that and awesome for the organization to receive that.
THE MODERATOR:  You've become a big favorite, too, and on behalf of American Century Investments, NBC, the Lake Tahoe community and all of us here, thank you for your service, thank you for what you're doing for everybody.  It's great having you back.
CHAD PFEIFER:  Thank you, guys.  Nice to be back.  Thanks so much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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