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January 2, 2019

Cameron Champ

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

JOHN BUSH: Like to welcome Cameron Champ to the interview room here at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Making his first start at this event after winning the Sanderson Farms championship.

Cameron, welcome to Maui. If we can get some comments on being here.

CAMERON CHAMP: Yeah, this is obviously amazing to start the year out here. I won in the fall which is amazing and it's good to start the year out here and come, have my family come and just enjoy the week. The scenes are amazing, the course is amazing, really looking forward to getting the week going.

JOHN BUSH: In addition to winning Sanderson Farms you had a really good fall. Just talk about the head start that you got on this season.

CAMERON CHAMP: Yeah, it's got off to a good start. I've just been playing, I haven't been worrying about much, just focusing on our game plans on just playing golf and everything else is just kind of pushed to the side. So just going to approach it the same way the rest of the season.

JOHN BUSH: Questions, please.

Q. What do you think you were doing at this point last year?
CAMERON CHAMP: I was preparing for Bahamas, first event of the WEB.COM season. So just made it past -- or final stage Q-School and was extremely excited about that and just kind of looking forward to the year on the WEB.COM. So kind of amazing how the last year has gone.

Q. If I told you at that point that you would be sitting here 12 months later, what would your reaction have been?
CAMERON CHAMP: I would have taken it in a heartbeat. Obviously winning on the PGA TOUR is not an easy thing. I feel like I was capable of it, my game felt good but it came a little earlier than I kind of thought. Obviously, which is a good thing. Yeah, I would have definitely taken it if you would have told me I would be sitting in this chair talking to y'all.

Q. How comfortable are you with some people call you the next big thing or the next hope or the big guy. Do you enjoy that sort of tag this early?
CAMERON CHAMP: It definitely gives me a little confidence boost, but I try not to may attention much to it. That's the kind of a thing as a kid I always had the talent, but I didn't really play well, so I've had those expectations growing up and I've just kind of seen how it really didn't allow me to be my full potential. So the same way on the WEB.COM last year to kind of start the season. It opened my eyes. I'm like, hey, I need to go about things a different way and that's how I've been doing it and I've had a great last seven, eight months of golf, so.

Q. This is a bomber's paradise and Dustin's done well here. Wondering how you have found the golf course. Is it one in which it may be best suited for your game because we all know how celebrated your long game is.
CAMERON CHAMP: Definitely. Right now it's soft, so but obviously in general distance here is a huge key. It can be. I think ball striking is key because the greens are very big. It's all about placement on the greens and obviously making the putts at the end. But you can hit it on some greens and have over a hundred foot putt. So, but definitely I would say distance, depending upon the wind situations and whatnot, it can definitely help out.

Q. Can you hit driver at 9?
CAMERON CHAMP: No, not on 9.

Q. I didn't think so.

Q. So what do you hit there?
CAMERON CHAMP: Depending upon the wind I'll either just hit a 3-wood kind of towards the bottom or if it's slightly up I'll hit a 2-iron.

Q. We have had a bit of discussion last few days on the rules changes. Your thoughts on how this could affect things going forward. What will be the biggest change for you, do you feel?
CAMERON CHAMP: I've briefly looked over it. I'm going to start looking over it more, just to be more aware of things. I just think some of it will help speed up play, kind of that have out-of-bounds in play, stuff like that. You can only look for the ball for three minutes or spike marks has always been a huge ordeal, even though for me personally it might happen once or twice a year where it's right in the middle of your line, but definitely in the afternoons it will help out with things. But if I ever have a discrepancy or something, I always ask, that's how I've always been. So even though I might not be aware of every rule I'm still going to ask if I'm kind of uncertain.

Q. How, maybe aggravating is not the right word, is how you finished at RSM did that bother you at all? You don't show a lot of emotion on the golf course. When was the last time that you were really upset on the golf course, not that we could see?
CAMERON CHAMP: I don't know. Maybe, I mean I'll get flustered but I kind of try to get over it quick. I try not to show as much emotion. I couldn't really tell you when the last time was. Maybe beginning of the WEB.COM season last year. Because I kind had a little wake up call for me and talked to Sean a bit and tried to change a few things. And that's kind of how I've been since. And then to answer your second question, I really didn't play bad that final round. I struck it really well, just didn't make any putts. So I probably hit it just as good as I did the previous three days. I just didn't make any of the good looks I had and I think that day I only made one bogey, I think. I think I only made one bogey. So it was just kind of one of those days where it's frustrating obviously because I was playing well and just couldn't get much to go. Just to give myself another chance, that's all I want, really.

Q. Generally speaking to be a successful athlete you need a circle or a team that sort of sacrifices things for you and provides a basis. Can you just run through who that may be for you and what they have done for you in your career to get you to this point?
CAMERON CHAMP: Yeah, first off, my family. They have always been there. Always gone far and beyond for me to play golf. And then it started with Sean. I met Sean at about 15. He was generous enough to teach me even though means was tough for us. And the connection, the relationship, has gone from there until now which has been amazing to see where we first started when I was 15 no one really knew -- no one knew who I was I was just a kid coming to see Sean and excited because I know who Sean Foley was and now it's turned into this. And went through college, my agent Chris Armstrong, he's been a huge help, he's makes things a lot easier and he's very professional in what he does. But then we also have a good relationship there. And then I would say after that my grandpa Mackie kind of holds the whole thing together for us. Including all my close friends who are here, my family, my girlfriend, whatnot, so it's definitely a small tight knit group for me and I have always been that way and I like to keep it that way and not have a million people surrounding me.

Q. That definitely helps when you have an inner circle like that?
CAMERON CHAMP: For me personally because that's kind of how I am. I'm not a very attention person, I always try to ease my way out of it, I have never been that way. But yeah, for me it just kind of calms me down and just makes everything easier.

Q. Have you ever played Augusta and do you plan on making any trips up before the Masters?
CAMERON CHAMP: I have not played it, no. I have not.

Q. Have you ever been there?
CAMERON CHAMP: I have not, no. I'm not going to play it until I actually play in the Masters, so that's, that was one thing I always wanted to do. I know other friends who have gone to schools, they know people that have gotten them in there, but I never have been and never have played, so.

Q. What are the diversions you've tried here in Hawaii while you've been here?
CAMERON CHAMP: What do you mean?

Q. What have you done?
CAMERON CHAMP: What have I done? We went sightseeing a bit, we're going to do some more stuff throughout the week. Gone out on like a little boat, had dinner, little ATV rides, stuff like that. It's mainly been relaxing and just enjoying my family.

Q. Are you going to Sony?
CAMERON CHAMP: Yes, I'll be going next week.

Q. What's your schedule like for say the first six, eight weeks? Are you going to play a lot on the West Coast?
CAMERON CHAMP: I'll take off Palm Springs and then play the West Coast spring.

Q. What other things do you like to do when you're not playing golf, hobby-wise or just?
CAMERON CHAMP: Automotives. I'm into cars, trucks, big time. It was a passion as a kid, obviously you have dreams as a kid, you look at magazines and see cars and stuff like that. Now to be able to kind of do it on my own that's what I enjoy. I'm an outdoors person, fishing, going to the ranch, messing around. So, yeah, I mean I definitely when I have a little bit of off time I do have, I definitely kind of get away and kind of do my own thing.

Q. Did you get any cool cars after you won?
CAMERON CHAMP: No, the same one, I added a little bit to them.

Q. What did you add? What did you have and then what did you add to it?
CAMERON CHAMP: I had a truck. It's a '16 Duramax but I did little twin turbos and new transmission and did some stuff to it, so, yeah.

Q. You should talk to Kenny Perry, he would love you.
CAMERON CHAMP: (Laughter.)

JOHN BUSH: Cameron Champ, best of luck this week. Thanks for your time.

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