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January 18, 2002

Cameron Beckman


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: We'd like to welcome Cameron Beckman. Shot 64 today, 18-under par today for the tournament.

Let's get started on your birdies and bogeys. You started out with a birdie on No. 2, the par-5.

CAMERON BECKMAN: I just shot it short of the green, and chipped it up pretty much good, and made that obviously.

And the next birdie was on the other par-5. I made about a 10-footer there.

And then on 8 ,I hit it like that (indicating), again. I hit just a little 60 degree sand wedge in there.

And then 9, I hit 6-iron about ten feet and made that.


CAMERON BECKMAN: 11 ,I chipped up about four feet.


CAMERON BECKMAN: 15, I hit pitching wedge about 15 feet.


CAMERON BECKMAN: 16, I hit a little wedge, five feet.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: And the 18th, par-5.

CAMERON BECKMAN: 18th, I hit it right of the green and chipped it up about like that (indicating).

Q. Last year the tournament you won you had a stiff neck. Do you have any ailments this week?

CAMERON BECKMAN: No, actually I started off kind of feeling Monday and Tuesday I was hitting the ball bad, and just kind of had -- didn't really feel good about my game at all. And somehow I've only missed four greens this week, and I've hit the ball great. So I went into it with the same kind of feeling, with not a lot of expectations like I did with the hurt neck.

Q. Do you think there's anything to that, not having expectations?

CAMERON BECKMAN: Yeah, I think so. You take a little pressure off yourself. Sometimes when you're really hitting it well before the tournament you kind of start pressing, and I'm sure you've heard other guys say that. But especially for me, it helps me to just not expect a lot, just play, you know?

Q. Can you continue that now, the next couple of days, knowing that you're at the top of the leaderboard?

CAMERON BECKMAN: Yeah, I think so. When you get to be -- I'm 18-under par, it's pretty easy to be patient, you know. For me it's more difficult to be a little more impatient when I'm two- or three-over for the day. But I play Indian Wells tomorrow and I'm just going to try to keep birdieing every hole. That seems to be the thing you have to do here.

Q. How much did your neck bother you during the week of your win?

CAMERON BECKMAN: Well, the Thursday morning, I had it worked on twice. And then I bogeyed the first two holes and told my caddy, "What are" -- "Why am I even here?"

And eight birdies later, I'm 6-under for the day, and that just turned it all around. Friday and everything, it got good pretty quick. Chiropractors and -- the Healthsouth guys are awesome.

Q. Did you not have any repercussions after that?

CAMERON BECKMAN: I was a little sore in the off-season, I didn't play a whole lot. For some reason when you play a bunch all year and you take some time off, you get sore. But I've been feeling great, no problems.

Q. Any idea how you got it in the first place?

CAMERON BECKMAN: Just like anybody else, you just sleep wrong on your neck. I think everybody gets that. But I think there's something about the golf swing, obviously, that puts a lot of pressure on your neck. And when you're doing it all the time ,it's got to be tough on it.

Q. What was it like for you before the win, and the rest of the year? Obviously you had some Top 10s. You played well early. What was the year like before you got that win, because obviously you weren't expecting it?

CAMERON BECKMAN: Well, I came from -- I went through the Tour school three years in a row. And I had kept my card that year and played pretty good in Vegas, I think I finished 6th in Vegas. And I was playing well.

Q. How were you feeling up to --?

CAMERON BECKMAN: I was feeling great. I had achieved keeping my card. And the win made it even better. I would be happy without the win, because it was an improvement from previous years. But I had a good time in the off-season.

Q. Not going to Q-School?


Q. Every guy who gets their first win always says that's the hardest thing to do. Winning now, does it seem as difficult, do you think?

CAMERON BECKMAN: Well, I think the reason it's hard is because you don't have the experience of it. Now that I have the experience of it -- I didn't beat -- the Top 30 players were playing at the Tour championship that week. Not to say that's not a good field, but it would be fun to try to win a tournament with some of the boys that are consistently up there.

Q. So at 18-under, now, you don't look at it as this really surprising thing or get nervous about it or anything like that?

CAMERON BECKMAN: Well, I'll be nervous. It makes you nervous, but I think that's a good thing if you use it right, you know. But it's more of a challenge for me. I have the two-year exemption now. I'm trying to get better and use it to my advantage.

And no matter what happens for me it's going to be a positive thing.

Q. What had been the problem over the year? Was there any one thing that kept you from getting a foothold?

CAMERON BECKMAN: I think I had a little trouble with -- maybe intimidated a little bit my first couple of years out here. I don't think I truly felt like I belonged out here. I think when I went to the Tour schools I kept getting my card back, that's been the key for me, I kept getting to play out here. I didn't have to step back. I kept getting to play out here and I've just gotten better. These guys are so good out here, obviously, and getting to play with the best players all the time, you can't help but get better. But I think I was a mental idiot before -- how's that? (Laughter.)

Q. What did you do during Q-School week, and did you check the paper at all to see how the other guys were surviving?

CAMERON BECKMAN: It's an interesting tournament to watch. I haven't been able to watch it. And I followed it, had some friends there. And I just think it's interesting. You guys know how interesting it is. It's so difficult and it's such a challenge, but I enjoyed watching it, no doubt.

Q. Did you do anything special that week to kind of commemorate the fact that you didn't have to be there?

CAMERON BECKMAN: No, probably just had too many beers (laughter.)

Q. I was curious, you said you were a little intimidated and didn't feel like you belonged. Obviously when you came out you thought you belonged. Was there some event or something that happened that started you doubting whether you should be out here or not?

CAMERON BECKMAN: Well, I think I didn't have the Nike -- I didn't play the Nike Tour, I played it one year, I didn't really get any experience there. I went to a small college. I didn't play with the big boys in college. So it's been kind of a-- it's taken me a long time to get to this level of golf. And that's probably -- it's starting to feel more comfortable.

Q. Have you been working with anybody in particular?

CAMERON BECKMAN: I worked with Butch Harmon for a couple of years, and now I'm trying to just learn to play, kind of get rid of the swing thoughts. I worked with Debra Graham, the golf psychologist. I work with her all the time. I think that's where I'm getting better, is the mental part of it.

End of FastScripts....

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