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March 21, 2004

Chad Campbell


TODD BUDNICK: We'd like to welcome 2004 Bay Hill Invitational Presented by MasterCard Champion, Chad Campbell; your second career victory and second in your last ten events. For a young guy out here, you're not waiting too long to make a name for yourself.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Well, thanks, I appreciate that. You know, it's obviously nice to get your first one, but it's probably extra special to get your second one. Kind of prove that I guess the first one wasn't a fluke, somebody was saying that the other day.

Q. Who?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I don't know. I really don't know who it was, just brought it to my mind.

Obviously, being here at Bay Hill, playing with Mr. Palmer the first two rounds and being able to be out on the 18th green with him after it's all said and done was quite special.

TODD BUDNICK: You were four strokes behind coming into the day, and it's the largest come-from-behind victory since Gary Koch came from six back. Talk about the charge from behind.

CHAD CAMPBELL: I came out playing good. I really just wasn't making many putts and just stayed really patient. Made the birdie on 8 and he made par. Then 9 I think was a big swing hole. I hit in the trees and punched out and was able to make birdie and he made bogey for a two-shot swing.

And then played pretty solid the rest of the way. Made a few birdies and then he missed a short putt on 14 for par. That really gave me my first lead of the day. Then a birdie the next hole. Just kept going pretty solid.

TODD BUDNICK: How special was applying the first two rounds with Arnold on his course, his tournament?

CHAD CAMPBELL: You know, it was great. I definitely have to thank Mr. Palmer himself and Bay Hill here and obviously MasterCard, for doing everything they did to put on the tournament. It was just extra special, an extra special week, being able to play with him and to win his tournament.

Q. Can you ever remember making up ten strokes over 11 holes, maybe Hooters Tour, just an utter reversal of fortune?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Offhand, no, not really. And at the time, even when I was out there, I wasn't even really thinking about anything. I was just trying to stay in the present and do what I needed to do, what I felt like I needed to do to win and not get ahead of myself, is probably the main thing. Just keep hitting good, solid shots and keep having good attempts at birdie, and hopefully sooner or later, some of them will start falling.

Q. Some of us were with you at the PGA last year when you had a difficult loss, and now we've seen you win two. Is there anything that you took from the PGA that helped you?

CHAD CAMPBELL: You know, the PGA, I felt like I played really well. I was obviously disappointed that I didn't win there, but I played -- we both played real well. Obviously, I think it ended up being two shots better than I did, but definitely looking back on it, I wasn't disappointed with it. Obviously at the time I was, but I took a lot out of that, knowing that I would be able to compete in major championships and out here regularly.

Q. Walk through the 9th hole, and I couldn't really tell where you hit it, it looked like you hit some Texas hard-pan roller right up there?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, I drove it left and it seems like every year I hit it over there one day. I actually know how it is over there, and got pretty lucky, had an opening, had to just keep it under the tree and carry probably 30 yards of rough.

Probably only had 130 yards, so just kind of chipped a 5-iron and got it running and ended up working out perfectly. It was right at pin-high.

Q. It seemed like at the beginning that you were aggressively going after the flagsticks where Stuart was hitting them in the middle of the greens; how would you assess the early play?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, I think so. I think that's the thing to do. When you've got a four-shot lead, I don't -- I'd be hitting at the middle of the greens, too, especially on these greens. On 1, that pin is way over there in the corner. I'd be hitting it at the middle of the green, too.

I hit a great shot on 2. You know, I was, I was hitting right at the pin. A couple of them were pushed or pulled that way, but I felt really comfortable with my game. I felt like I was hitting it good enough to be going at those pins.

Q. You talked about staying in the present and just playing each shot, was there any point where you realized, wait a minute, I'm up three, standing on the 18th tee or what-have-you?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Probably on 16. I was up two on 16 tee box and I just wanted to hit a really good tee shot there, and I knew I could get it on in two and have a pretty easy birdie if it worked out, if I had a good tee shot. I was able to do that and Stuart hit it a little right.

You know, that was a pretty big hole. That was a big birdie. Three shots is a lot more than two .

Q. At what point did you feel like, this is mine?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Honestly, not till I hit it on the green on 18. I mean, 17 and 18, you can just make all sorts of numbers. Obviously, you can tell by where I hit it on 18, I wasn't trying to get greedy at all. I was hitting it way left. I think my caddie was a little surprised at the numbers I was asking him to get. I'm going way over there. (Laughter.)

Q. It looked like when you came off the 18th green, Arnold Palmer said, "You did what I asked to you do." Did he say something to you after 36 holes?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I don't remember him saying that. I thought he said that he expected me to do, is what I thought -- the words he said. I can't remember exactly.

Q. How good of a ball-striking weekend did you have?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Really good. I think I hit the ball really well. I hit a lot of shots just like I wanted them, holding into the wind, it's hard because you can't -- these greens are so hard, you can't get the ball to get riding with the wind out here because it will just bounce right over the green. You have to hit a lot of hold shots.

You know, the wind blowing, it wasn't blowing too hard, probably not near as hard today as it was yesterday. Yesterday was probably more important than today to be able to do that. It's tough and you've got to really be committed to the shot you're going to hit.

Q. Did you mis-hit a shot over the weekend?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, a few. Obviously today on 16, that wasn't where I was aiming. I was aiming at the middle of the green; it was a 5-iron.

Q. You had a good PLAYERS Championship last year, and the way you played this week, how do you think it sets yourself up for next week?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I love that golf course. I love THE PLAYERS and I'm glad to see I'm playing a lot better than I was at the first of the year. I felt like my game is really coming around right now. I'm really happy with pretty much every aspect of it. I'm definitely looking forward to next week, and like I said, I really like that golf course, so it really suits my eye well.

Q. A year ago the Sports Illustrated poll had you picked as a guy who players thought would win majors, and you came close at Oak Hill and now you've won a couple. What's your feeling about major tournaments now that you've got a couple under your belt?

CHAD CAMPBELL: As far as my chances to win them? I definitely feel a lot more comfortable in them. I think that just comes over time. Obviously, with the success on just the TOUR, other than the majors, that builds your confidence for that.

You know, I definitely think I can compete. I kind of showed that at PGA. I came up a little bit short there but definitely looking forward to getting to Augusta. I feel like I'm playing a lot better than I was last year at that time.

Q. 4-down with 11 to play, what's running through your mind at that point? Is it: Let's go pin hunting, or playing for second, or, you tell me.

CHAD CAMPBELL: You know, I really wasn't even thinking about it. I was just trying to just do what I needed to do. I felt like I obviously needed to make birdie, so I was just trying to do that. I wasn't really thinking, he's four shots ahead of me. I wasn't really thinking that. I was thinking, "I need to make birdies, and if I don't do that, I don't have a chance to win this tournament." I was just taking care of what I needed to do.

Q. Stuart didn't come in, but there seemed to be an incident on the 17th green. Can you talk about what happened we was over his putt for par? Do you know anything about it?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I'm trying to think --

Q. We heard a heckler had yelled something out when he was over his putt.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Honestly I didn't hear it. I'm sorry, I'd tell you if I did. I didn't hear anything. I was kind of in my own little world out there.

Q. Did you feel like going back to 9, you say you need to make birdies, etc., Etc., You go birdie, birdie, do you get a sense walking off 9, "the game is on"?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, definitely. What was it turning, I was 2-down; is that right? 1-down? That was a two-shot swing.

Definitely, that's how quick things can change, especially on a golf course like this. Stuart just short-sided himself a little bit on that shot. I don't know really what he had over there from the right rough, but things can turn so quickly out here.

Q. And as a follow to that, you had two, I think in a way, two pretty makeable birdies on 10 and 11; missing both, is there a part of you thinking, "I'd better not let these chances get away from me"?

CHAD CAMPBELL: You know what, I really wasn't even thinking that. I didn't let it bother me that I missed those putts. I don't know why. I don't know why I did, but I just tried to keep hitting good shots and giving myself looks at birdie and knowing that I would eventually make some.

Q. You talk a lot about your mind set, where does your mind go in those moments when you are not hitting shots or you're not playing well?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I have no idea. (Laughter.) You know, when I'm not playing good, and obviously you don't get to interview me when I'm not playing good, but that's when I'm thinking about everything like that. Whenever I'm playing good, I'm just focused on hitting good shots where I need to hit the ball, stuff like that. I'm not worried about what everybody else is doing. Just worried about my game. I'm in such, not really -- I wouldn't call it a zone, but I'm just so focused on what I'm doing, I'm not really worried about everything else.

Q. How valuable were all of the years you spent on the Hooters Tour, Nationwide; at the time did you think that was preparation for now or do you realize more that it was now?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I realize more now. That was definitely, had to be very patient through those times. I felt like I deserved to be, you know, at a different level. I couldn't get on on the Nationwide Tour. I couldn't make it through Tour School. So I was just trying to stay real patient and have success and take the most out of where I was at. Do the best I can at where I was at.

Q. Has your game changed a lot since then or is it more the mental patience and things?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Not a lot. You know, I definitely, obviously, a lot better at every aspect, but I don't think it's changed greatly. I'm obviously a lot better and a lot smarter golfer now.

Q. We've all been admiring Stuart's new car and all that; curious what you drive. And secondly, if you when you won THE TOUR Championship, what did you splurge on?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I don't think -- I didn't splurge on anything. But we have a Hummer and a Corvette. So drive a little of each.

Q. With two wins in your last nine or ten starts -- your game is obviously building, are you comfortable, do you see yourself being among one of the top players out here, are you ready to embrace that position?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I think so. You know, definitely after last year, proving to myself, I guess is a better word, that I can win and obviously today, showing that again I can win. I think I've earned a lot of respect from my peers. I definitely feel like I'm ready to be in that role.

Q. As a follow to that, this will probably put you maybe right at No. 10, Top-10 in the World Ranking, do you feel like one of the Top-10 in the world?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I don't feel any different than I did last year, to be honest with you. (Laughter.)

Q. And you talked earlier about, you know, maybe the first one or whoever that said that you were a fluke to win at THE TOUR Championship --

CHAD CAMPBELL: I didn't hear anybody say that. Clarify that.

Q. How important is it not to win twice, but your two victories being what they were, TOUR Championship and top four in the world here this week in Bay Hill?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I don't know. I don't know if it just ends up being the golf courses, tournaments -- obviously I love Champions and there's that's another course that fit my eye. You get courses that fit your eye and a lot of times, they are the harder courses. I don't really know how to explain it.

I like a course where you don't have to go out and make just a million birdies. I like having par meaning something and having to hit shots and not just make a lot of birdies and a lot of putts.

TODD BUDNICK: Some people may forget that you were two strokes behind Tiger here heading into the final round and had a very poor day. How much did you think about that at all?

CHAD CAMPBELL: It entered my mind for a second. But, you know, I felt like I was such a better player now than I was then and much more experienced and that was early in my rookie year. So I didn't really have much experience of being in that situation on TOUR. I think definitely now, I'm definitely more comfortable with the way -- when I get in that situation, I'm definitely more comfortable.

Q. Can you just compare your two wins, TOUR Championship win and the win here, how are you feeling?

CHAD CAMPBELL: It's hard to explain. They are a little different but a little bit the same. I think the first one, THE TOUR Championship, I think it was just more than anything, it was a big relief. I felt like I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to win. I had had three seconds before that and kind of like wondering, "Am I ever going to win?"

And now, this week is a little different. It's obviously a relief to win, but it's been what I've been working toward this year. Things have not been going quite my way this year. So it's nice to finally see some of the hard work that I've been doing pay off.

Q. I know we covered this ground a little bit in Texas when you won, but how big is Andrews and describe the town, that type of thing, give me a geography lesson.

CHAD CAMPBELL: All right, Andrews is in west Texas, 10,000 people. It's about 30 minutes northwest of the Odessa area.

Q. What's it like? Picture postcard.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Probably flat, no trees, bunch of oil wells.

Q. Did you ever work in the oil fields?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I didn't. My dad does.

Q. Still?


Q. After winning now for the second time, how does this change your expectations in your own mind going forward?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I really don't think it changes them that much. Obviously I felt like I've been playing well the last few weeks. I had Top-10s the last two weeks leading into this week. You know, I was really working hard and looking forward to the Masters and also these tournaments, as well. But trying to get everything for the Masters so I will be a lot more prepared than I was last year.

You know, I really don't think it's changed that much.

Q. Before things started clicking in at Honda and this week, what kept you from getting off to a better start?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I really don't know. I wasn't driving the ball at all very good. I was missing a lot of fairways, if you look at my stats, it will show that even if I was hitting fairways, it just wasn't very good. It was hard to get anything going. I would make a couple of birdies and I would hit a couple of drives in the rough, and it's so hard to play out of the rough out here. I think that was probably the biggest key and obviously drove it a lot better today.

Q. You won THE TOUR Championship, you shoot 61 on Saturday to putt yourself in position to win, today you win from -- coming from behind, bogey-free 66, wondering how you compare the two rounds, probably your two signature rounds of your career?

CHAD CAMPBELL: A little bit different mentally going into the round, I guess, today, knowing that I had to make up four shots. That's a lot. But on the other hand, like I was saying, you can lose shots out here pretty quickly.

On the other hand, it's kind of the same. I try to do the same, hit the ball on the fairway, try to hit it on the green and try to give myself as many looks at birdies as I can get. Obviously when you have a lead or you're obviously playing a little bit more conservatively, and today I really didn't have nothing to lose. I was just trying to hit at every pin. I felt like, you know my ball-striking was good enough right now that I could do that.

Q. How would you compare the way you struck the ball when you shot 61 there?

CHAD CAMPBELL: With today? 61 was quite a bit better I think.

Q. What did Arnie say to you?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Which time?

Q. Today, like after, when you saw him after winning?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I told him I was really appreciative of the things he said about me. He just told me that he wouldn't have said them if he didn't mean them. He obviously meant what he said and he wasn't just saying that because he played with me.

Q. What all did he say about you? Did I miss that part?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Well, it was in the interview, I don't know exactly. I heard just briefly -- I can't even quote anything that he actually said.

Q. Just real solid, that kind of stuff?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, I think so. It's obviously great getting compliments like that especially from him.

Q. Do you draw any correlation to a guy who charges four strokes behind at a tournament for a guy known for his charges?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I guess so.

Q. Are you the new King Chad?

CHAD CAMPBELL: If you want to call me that, you can. (Laughter.)

Q. To follow-up on that, kiddingly we asked what it would be like to have you put the jacket on; what do you make of the jacket?

CHAD CAMPBELL: It's great. Probably one of the best-fitting jackets I've got.

Q. Are you a jacket guy?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I am not a jacket guy. This is probably the longest I've ever had one on in my life. (Laughter.) I'll keep this one on as long as I have to and probably sleep in it.

Q. What did you wear to your wedding?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Shorts. (Laughter.)

TODD BUDNICK: Let's go through your birdies.

CHAD CAMPBELL: 2, I hit a great 5-iron right at it to probably 12 feet past the hole.

8, I hit 3-wood off the tee, 6-iron to probably 15 feet past the hole.

9, driver, left, punched out with 5-iron to probably 25, 30 feet.

12, driver, 3-iron, had 100 yards in and from there I hit sand wedge to probably ten feet.

15, hit 2-iron off that tee today and -- 2-iron, 5-iron to 18 feet.

16, was driver, 5-iron, just over the green. Putted it down to about five feet.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you, Chad, congratulations.

End of FastScripts.

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