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July 1, 2004

Chad Campbell


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Chad, thanks for joining us, first round 67, 4-under par. Just talk about your day a little bit today. A good one for you after a Top-10 finish here last year.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, it was a good day. The weather is perfect, the course is in great shape, and I came out hitting the ball well and I was able to make some putts. That was the key thing for the day. Lately I haven't been getting the ball in the hole, and it was nice to see some putts drop.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Talk about your season so far. You won at the Bay Hill Invitational, 2nd at the Colonial. You've had a good year, looking for that second win. Talk about how your game has progressed this season.

CHAD CAMPBELL: I think I've improved each week. I'm learning something each week. I feel like my game is more consistent than it has been in the past. Even though I have missed the last few cuts, I feel like I'm doing a lot of good things and working on the right things, and I think it's all going to come together here pretty soon, or hopefully anyway.

Q. I'm wondering what your feelings are when you wake up and you notice that there's no wind and it looks like it's going to be a perfect day for scoring, and then as you go through your round, is the frustrating if you miss a putt or two or you miss a green?

CHAD CAMPBELL: A little bit, I guess. Missing a couple short putts is always frustrating, no matter what the weather is, but especially on a day like today when you know there's going to be some good scores out there.

Q. I was wondering, par has changed, the course is a little bit longer. Does that affect the way you play, the way you go into the greens, things like that?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Not really. It's 5 that was changed, correct? 5 is definitely a really difficult hole today. I didn't drive it in the fairway, and you're kind of behind the 8-ball if you can't get it in the fairway. It's not a very easy fairway to hit. Then you're going to be having probably 5-, 6-, 7-iron in from there. It makes it a really good hole, and I think 2 is a much harder hole than the old No. 2. Of course No. 9 I'm not going to be able to reach that. I'm not going to be able to get close to the green.

Q. On No. 9, could you talk a little bit more about that? Mike Weir was in yesterday and he talked about how maybe they've taken some of the strategy of golf out of play. Guys aren't really going to be able to go for that hole unless they're monster hitters or have a big wind.

CHAD CAMPBELL: That's exactly right. Honestly I think the way it used to be it was a great hole. You'd hit it down there, and to have a chance to go at the green, if you hit a big drive, it's a real tight fairway down there, and then you're going to have 2-iron, 3-wood in, and now it's just probably a little bit tighter tee shot, but it's definitely a three-shot hole now. I hit driver, 5-iron, sand wedge today, and yesterday I hit a lot more than that. For me it's probably going to be a three-shotter all week. I don't know if they're planning on scooting the tees up one day or not.

Q. You would prefer to have that opportunity?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I would, yeah. I think it brings in more trouble and ability to make a higher score, and the ability to make a lower score, as well. It brings eagles into play. We probably won't see any eagles there I'd say this week.

Q. Entering the U.S. Open you were listed by a number of media outlets as a contender there, a guy ready to break out. Some listed you as a guy that can win that tournament. Obviously you were disappointed to miss that cut. How did that make you feel being listed as a contender, somebody ready to win an Open? I'm sure some of that had to do with the PGA last year, but being elevated to that status and looking back on that, how do you feel like you handled it?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I think it's great. I think it's an honor to be quoted as being that. I really don't take much out of it other than the fact that people look at it that way, and it's quite an honor, but as far as putting any more pressure on myself, I don't really do that or anything, just trying to keep doing the things I'm doing, and hopefully those major championships will come. I haven't performed too well in the majors other than the PGA, and I played okay in the U.S. Open last year, so hopefully I can get a little bit more consistent in the majors.

Q. When Mark Hensby was in earlier, he talked about the greens and the advantage of playing earlier, and he said he thought it might be two to three strokes a round. Do you agree with that? Is it just because the greens get beat up?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Obviously the morning rounds are going to have the best greens. I mean, no matter how good the greens are, I mean, these greens are perfect, and they're still going to be really good in the afternoon, but they just dry out in the afternoon and get a little bit firmer. It's definitely an advantage to play in the morning. That's why you flip the times like that.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: If we could touch on your round and we'll take one final question. You started on the backside, birdied the par 5, 11.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Birdied 11, hit driver, 2-iron just right of the green, short right of the green and chipped up to three feet, made that.

Par 5, 15, hit driver, 4-iron to about 60, 70 feet, two-putted from there.

18, driver, 7-iron to 15, 18 feet.

Then on the front side, 4, hit 3-wood off the tee, had 8-iron in to about eight feet, made that for birdie.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Any good par saves out there? No bogeys today.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Good par save on No. 5. Drove it just in the right rough and then hit 5-iron to the right-hand bunker and chipped out to about 15 feet, made that for par.


Chad Campbell, thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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