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July 11, 2021

Rod Pampling

Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Omaha Country Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: We're joined here by Rod Pampling. 3-under 67 today, the lowest round of the day so far. You were the only player to birdie the 10th hole. Let's start there.

ROD PAMPLING: Yeah, so I heard. When I birdied it someone yelled, That's the first birdie of the day there, so, yeah, it's just a brute of a hole. I hit a great drive straight down the middle and kind of one of those I didn't expect to hit such a good shot in there because I was sitting in a divot.

So, yeah, the shot come out fantastic and Mitch just gave me a great read, and thankfully it went in. It hasn't been my best friend throughout the week, but today it was nice for me.

THE MODERATOR: Moving to the back nine you birdied 10, 15, and then that closing one on 18. Tell us about those ones and how tough 18 was playing today too.

ROD PAMPLING: Yeah, well, I seemed to birdie the hard ones today. I had all my chances on the small ones and didn't really take advantage of those from pretty good spots. So obviously 10 we talked about, and then 15th par-3, just had a really good number for that.

And, again, just it was an area that hadn't been walked on, there's a few spike marks, but this was just a nice pretty straight putt, and thankfully it went in. Yeah, 18th tee was back so it's playing a lot longer today, that's for sure.

So instead of the 7, 8-irons, it was a driver, 5-iron today and just hit another good shot. My iron play this week had been really solid and just gave myself a nice chance, and, yeah, finally hit a good putt and it was a nice way to finish.

Q. Three rounds in the 60s this week. What appeals to you about this course?

ROD PAMPLING: Oh, it's just the hardness of it. It's a strong golf course. You got to play good golf. You got to hit fairways. I struggled the first two days. Managed it the day 1, and day 2 sort of was a little bit ugly out there, but didn't lose it at all.

But it's just a hard golf course. It's great. And the whole town I guess. Last time I was here I finished second at Champions Run behind Heath Slocum, so got some good mojo here.

Q. Also, how would you compare this course as you played in a number of U.S. Opens, what are the similarities or maybe what's are the differences between a U.S. Open course and here?

ROD PAMPLING: To be honest, I think the rough here was pretty close to as being as hard as I played in in any U.S. Open. So at least the fairways were a touch wider than the normal U.S. Open, so that was nice. The golf course is, it's hard. There's a lot of undulations to the greens, you got to know to be aggressive on some holes and where not to be, just to give yourself a chance to get up-and-down if you miss a green. But it was, it played fair. You look at the scores and it was a little bit soft and it still -- I think, what, Jim is at 6- or 7-? I'm not sure. But -- and then I think I'm at 3-. So I think it's played pretty solid.

Q. What about what Jim's done here, he's distanced himself a little bit now on the back nine, but how is he doing this on a course like this?

ROD PAMPLING: Oh, he's just a very good driver of the golf ball, step one. And then he's very good iron player and a very good putter. So you put those together -- and he's clicking with it -- then he's going to be up there. Obviously he's a quality player, he's won the plenty of events before, so obviously we just got to -- it's still -- you can't relax out there. I don't know, you would have to tell me how many holes he's got left, but it's not hard -- the pins on 17 are strong, 16 is the one where it's the relief, but other than that the last five are pretty strong holes.

Q. Finally, with your performance this week how does that set you up for the rest of the year or even motivate you as you move forward?

ROD PAMPLING: Yeah, the last four events have been good. I've sort of been progressing in the right direction. The iron play's been good, just the first for some reason the first two days of the bigger events I haven't driven it well and it's kind of taken me out. At THE PLAYERS I drove it great on the weekend as I did here. So if I can get that driver working earlier, it's definitely trending in the right direction and the putting's slowly coming around as well, which is nice.

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