September 2, 2020
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
East Lake Golf Club
JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Cameron Champ into the virtual interview room here at the TOUR Championship. He's making his first start here at the TOUR Championship, and for that we'd like to get some comments on being here at East Lake this week.
CAMERON CHAMP: Yeah, it's very exciting. Like you said, this was kind of my ultimate goal for the year. Obviously my first year was my biggest goal, as well, and I didn't pull it off, so this year just wanted to -- again, with the win early, just play more consistently to be able to make it here this year, and obviously I was able to do that.
Again, just very excited to be here, my second year making it to the TOUR championship. If I could have told you that two years ago I was making it here I would have took it, so...
JOHN BUSH: You mentioned the win to kick off the season at the Safeway Open. Talk about that win, that second of your career, and hen also your season as a whole up to this point.
CAMERON CHAMP: Yeah, that was obviously a very emotional win for me and my family, obviously, with my grandfather going through his health issues. It's still a tournament where obviously I'm happy I played. I was not going to play. I basically showed up Thursday for my tee time. I really didn't hit any balls. Just played, and then we would drive back home to Sacramento. That was definitely, again, a win that will probably be one of my most memorable golfing tournaments of my life.
And then throughout the rest of the year I played definitely more consistent than I did my first year. Obviously there was room for improvements, but I definitely saw the growth in just myself personally, then obviously my game.
It's slowly starting to make the strides to where I want to be, and obviously I was able to make it to East Lake this year.
JOHN BUSH: Speaking of East Lake, what has your schedule been up to this point? Have you seen all 18 holes, and what can we expect?
CAMERON CHAMP: Yeah, so today I'm actually going to go play nine holes this afternoon and then I'll play nine early in the morning tomorrow. I'm going to get all my work done the next about day and a half here. Really have no comments on the course yet. Like I said, I haven't seen it, but I'm looking forward to it.
Q. You've touched on this. You used the word "consistency." What were the things that allowed you to be more consistent this season? Was it more just getting used to the TOUR or was it stuff in the game or both?
CAMERON CHAMP: I'd definitely say a mix. I think just getting used to everything out here and everything that it entails, and then obviously game-wise for me it's more -- obviously I drive it very well.
Me, it's just more consistently with the iron play, and about 160 yards in, so that's mainly where I have a lot of my iron shots. I've slowly started to see the improvements of those.
Again, short game and scrambling was what I really struggled with last year, and I've really improved in that area. Again, I think it's just all aspects of my game I've seen -- starting to see slow improvements, which is good.
Again, those are just the keys I'm going to be focusing on even the next year.
Q. You were going to have the Mack Champ Invitational at Memorial Park. What were the reasons for choosing Memorial Park as the site?
CAMERON CHAMP: It's just more central based. Houston, it's more central for all the kids. Again, the majority of them will not be able to really afford to go cross country. I know the majority of the kids are from either Texas and eastward, so more the southern states.
Obviously Memorial Park is a great public course, and that's obviously where the Houston Open is going to be now, so that's kind of how we were going to work it out. So yeah.
Q. Is that tape on your finger or did you get married?
CAMERON CHAMP: No, I'm getting married end of November. It's just kind of like a thing me and her did. I just wanted to wear it.
Q. Swing-wise from 150 or 175, was it mechanics, was it where you were aiming? What's the source of the improvement there?
CAMERON CHAMP: Just more consistency with hitting your numbers. Again, flying it pin high always, and then obviously with me, slowly starting to not get as steep. As a kid I was extremely steep, so for me it's just shallowing out with my wedges and lower irons so that way I can be more consistent with hitting my numbers.
At times, especially as a kid, I could definitely hit a pitching wedge 140 yards and I could hit it 170 yards. It's just being more consistent, again, with that aspect, and then just hitting my numbers every time.
Q. Did you see the commissioner's press conference or hear the announcement?
CAMERON CHAMP: I heard the announcement, but I haven't seen it, no.
Q. What's your reaction?
CAMERON CHAMP: I haven't seen it yet.
Q. You heard the $100 million?
CAMERON CHAMP: Yes, I saw that. It's great. Like I said, it's nice to see stuff happening. Again, with us, with everyone talking about it, and again, anyone can talk about it, but action is what's needed, and it's amazing to see that. It's definitely a huge and amazing step in the right direction.
Q. You talked about the increased consistency. What's the next step you want to take with your game or shore up? What's the next step for you?
CAMERON CHAMP: Just keep doing what I'm doing. For me, I feel like we're doing all the right things. And again, for me it's mainly just adjustment out here, my personality and how I am and how I've grown up. It affects everyone differently, so for me it's really just adjusting, like I said, golf from personal.
Just coming out here and playing with a free mind, and then obviously, again, like I said, a few key things within my swing that are things I've been working on since I was 15. So it's the same stuff, just implementing it more and more and practicing it.
Again, I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing.
Q. Looking back on last week now that a few days have gone by, you talked about seeing some of the comments that were made and stuff, how was that week for you? Did it weigh on you or what was the impact of everything last week?
CAMERON CHAMP: I mean, for me it was -- yeah, it was a lot to take, but at the same time, I knew that was coming. I really didn't pay attention to the comments. People have kind of told me some stuff people had said, which again, I already knew was going to happen. People behind a phone or a screen saying stuff, it kind of is what it is.
But for me, it just felt like I had to be true to myself. Seeing so many other athletes speak up and really no one in golf speaking up, for me it just felt right to do. I definitely knew it made my family proud. It made me proud just to be able to say that this is what I stand for and this is what I believe in and this is the true hard facts, and you can't really run from that.
Q. Talk a little bit about one specific thing that you think will be the most important for you to succeed this week.
CAMERON CHAMP: Just be myself. Again, that's something that a lot of guys won't admit their struggles, but for me it's being myself out here. You can get very caught up in everything that's going on. For me, I think that's kind of halted me a little bit. For me, it's being myself and, like I said, sticking to what's important to me. And obviously golf is very important to me, but again, the majority of -- there's a lot of other things that are more important.
Golf is just a game. It doesn't define who you are. If you shoot 76 or you shoot 66, it doesn't matter, you're going to go home, I'm going to go home to my fiancĂ© and she's going to look at me the same no matter what I shoot. It's really just realizing that, and again, coming out and enjoying yourself, realizing where you are and being appreciative of that, and then like I said, just enjoying your time.
JOHN BUSH: Cameron, we appreciate your time today and best of luck this week.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports