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November 3, 2016

Rod Pampling

Las Vegas, Nevada

Q. Rod, well played out there. 60, 11 under par, your lowest round on TOUR. I know you shot 61 last year at the final round of the Australian Open. At what point during the round were you thinking, okay, this is going to be a pretty good day?
ROD PAMPLING: To be honest, I wasn't really thinking too much about it. Obviously the front nine came around quickly, chipping in and then holing out and bringing the next couple. So I got to 5 and 6 pretty quick. And we just picked up the birdies on the way through. And it got there quick, but when I hit it close on 16, that got my attention as to this is a really good round. It was nice to finish it off. The putt on 17 just fell short in the jaws and on 18 I gave myself a bad read. I thought it was straight, but it just had that little left to right.

Q. What was going right for you out there today?
ROD PAMPLING: I've been hitting it quite well for at least two or three months. I just haven't been driving it super. And I had my coach come yesterday and we just fixed up a little bit of that. So that was good. And the irons were great. We hit a lot of close shots. It was just nice and solid. There was nothing that was extraordinary but it was just very good.

Q. And you're a past champion on the PGA TOUR but you made your way back to the PGA TOUR this year through the Web.com Tour. How important was the time on the Web.com Tour for you?
ROD PAMPLING: I assure you you don't want to be out there, because it's hard work. It's expensive and it's very difficult to get the job done out there. The talent out there is so deep that you know you have to go low, and it's great that you know you have to shoot low. So you don't even get scared. It was great. I felt great out there the whole way. I knew I just gotta keep going. It's only day one, so we still got three more of this and the afternoon guys to go. It certainly makes you hungry get and wants you to get back out here where I think I belong.

Q. Well played. Course record-tying 60. Good luck tomorrow.
ROD PAMPLING: Thanks very much.

Q. Rod, a course record-tying 60, the early hide liner here at the Shriners. How did you put it together?
ROD PAMPLING: It was just solid play. I think holing that 9-iron on my third or fourth hole was a good kick start, and we just played solid golf from there on in. I drove it well, hit a lot of good iron shots, and then the eagle on 16 obviously propelled the round into a very good round.

Q. At what point did you know it could be a special day?
ROD PAMPLING: It really wasn't until late day. I birdied 15 and then eagled 16. So that really stepped myself up the leaderboard quickly. So after that, I knew, but there was two strong holes to come in, so I wasn't getting ahead of myself. I was just making sure I hit a good shot into 18; that's a dangerous shot. And to have the opportunity on 14 I would have loved to made one for a 59, but it was just a good solid day all around.

Q. You had a great look at 59. Take me through that final birdie effort on 18.
ROD PAMPLING: I studied the hole a lot, and I looked at the book -- all these new books have the slopes and everything in it. I was looking at it and making sure I was spot on. My eyes were telling me it was pretty straight. But I hit it straight. It was on line when it started. It just had a little tail on it. So I'm glad I gave it a chance. It didn't come up short, so it was a decent putt. I just picked a bad lie.

Q. Given your recent results, was there any indication earlier in the week that your game was coming together or was this one of those magical days that just kind of popped up?
ROD PAMPLING: You know what, last week I played really well. I played well in the Web finals. I think I had a 10 and a 12 out there. I just didn't drive it well in Napa and then just got the bad side of the draw. And then last week I just didn't hit it that well at the tee, which that golf course is such a strong golf course at Jackson that if you're not in the fairways, you can't score. So we worked on the driver this week with my coach and got it worked out better. And my irons have been fantastic the last month and a half. It's the best I think I've hit my irons throughout my whole career. So it was nice to hit fairways and then irons behaved themselves as they had been. So it was good.

Q. Appreciate the time. How important was it to take advantage of the greens being unmarked and trampled on and being fresh?
ROD PAMPLING: It's always nice to take advantage early. Obviously you get the good greens, but it's a bit cool in the morning, so the ball doesn't quite go as far. But we all got off to a good start. Once it warmed up we started playing the way we're used to playing out here. It doesn't matter when, it's always nice to get off to a good start. Greens being as they were, you hit them on line, they went in.

Q. You were saying how your iron play has been really strong for the last five, six weeks. Is that indicative of your first eagle at 4?
ROD PAMPLING: I've been working hard on the swing, and last week I hit the pin a couple of times, so this one, yeah, landed short and didn't hit the pin. Well, it did, but just going slowly, so stayed it stayed in the hole.

Q. You said you weren't really judging whether or not you were on to something special, but could you tell maybe by after the second eagle?
ROD PAMPLING: Well, by then I was at 11-under, so the round was already there. Yeah, it was a good solid day. It was fun to put it together. It had been there. It had been frustrating because I hadn't been able to put the scores up there, but things went together, and now we just gotta do a bit more work and keep them going the next three days.

Q. How do you approach tomorrow when you're playing in the afternoon and the greens will be much different than when you played this morning?
ROD PAMPLING: Just the same as I have for the how many years we've played here. It won't be that different. They'll be a touch firmer and the greens will be just a little bit slower because the grass is grown, but nothing too much. It kind of evens itself out. It's just judging the distances for your second shots.

Q. When is the last time you had a round even close to this? Can you recall? It's been quite a while?
ROD PAMPLING: Nine months. Australian Open. I shot 10-under there. Wasn't that long ago. Still going okay.

Q. Oh, okay. Very nice. Take us through 16, Rod, if you can.
ROD PAMPLING: Driver off the tee. I didn't think I was going to be able to go for it in two because it kind of went over bunker, and it was sitting on an extremely good lie in the rough and I hit 3-iron. Just one of those as soon as I hit it, I knew it was good. Didn't know it was that good where I could just tap it in, but I knew it was good.

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