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November 9, 2003

Chad Campbell


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Like to welcome the winner of the 2003 TOUR Championship, Chad Campbell. Congratulations on your first PGA victory. Winning the TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola, becoming the first player to win their first TOUR event at this event. If we could start with some opening comments. Congratulations again.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Thank you. It was a great day. Obviously after yesterday it was kind of hard to follow up a good round with another good round. And I was able to get off to another good start on the front nine today. I think 5-under through the first nine, I was able to have a little cushion on the back nine which made it nice.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Going to be starting your season a little bit early. Going to the Mercedes Championship, that's a nice perk, along with many others. Just talk about some things to come in the future.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Right. That's one tournament I wanted to play in next year, was the Mercedes, the first of the year. I've heard how awesome it was and I know you know there's only one way to get there, and that's to win. So I waited until the end of the year to get that done, but it finally happened.

Q. How much -- I don't know if pressure is the right word, but did you feel that you needed to win? I mean you've been pointing to it for so long and everyone has been saying that, hey, you're the next guy. Did you start feeling that?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Not really. But I'm glad to not have to answer those questions anymore. It just started recently with not having a victory and just everything like that. So it was nice to get one before the year was over.

Q. Charles Howell was just in here talking, figuring out that you went 15-under through 27 holes if you take Saturday and your front nine today. Was that just lights-out golf, best golf of your career and what was going on there?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Everything. Everything was going on. I was doing everything well. It was pretty good. I know yesterday, like I said, that was probably the best round of golf I ever played. In the situation that I was in and the difficulty of the golf course, with everything tied in together, I definitely think that was the best round I ever played. And then I came out on the front nine today and kept going with it.

Q. What do you feel? Sense of satisfaction? Sense of relief? What is it?

CHAD CAMPBELL: A little bit of everything, I think, right now. It's nice to get that first one under my belt. Especially being here in Texas. It makes it extra special. Hopefully this will make the next time I get in that situation, make it even easier for me.

Q. After yesterday's performance what did you think last night and what was your plan coming in to today to get yourself basically on the right track? Because it's difficult, as you said.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Right, the key to this, any golf course, really, but especially out here, is you've got to hit the ball in the fairway. You just really have no chance if you don't. That's what I was doing on the back nine. I was missing fairways. And you're just playing defensive the whole time. You're just trying to get it in the middle of the green, and was able to start off the front nine hitting a lot of fairways, and actually missed the first fairway but was able to make a good par. But got it in the fairway after that and could attack the golf course.

Q. Do you feel like the 8th hole was probably the pivotal hole with the two-shot swing after he made those birdies and that?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, probably so. At the time I wasn't really thinking about it. I was really just trying to focus on my game. I knew if I played a good round I would be in there in the end. And I was trying to just focus on that and not worry about what he was doing. But looking back on it, definitely there and 9, making eagle on 9, definitely that kind of turned things around.

Q. He's coming off back-to-back birdies, and you take it right at the flag and land just on the green.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Pulled it a little bit, but --

Q. Shaun Micheel did that at the PGA.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, I know.

Q. What was your thought process there, because it was fairly close to a bank there?

CHAD CAMPBELL: It's a tough pin placement. I was actually aiming probably just right of the pin and just turned it a little bit too much. And it ended up being right on the pin. So you really, you know, obviously, don't want to get that ball left of that pin. I think my ball was either in line with it or a hair left of it. So I was just glad to see it. I knew I had enough club to get it up there and look back on it now. It's great, a lot better than hitting in the middle of the green, because that's a tough putt coming down that hill. That's how all these greens are, from the middle of the greens putting to those pins, it's all running away from you. And it gets really fast. Charles almost putted a couple off the green.

Q. What did you hit?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I hit 6-iron.

Q. At what point did you let yourself take a breath and say, I've done it?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I really didn't. I just tried to stay focused and play one shot at a time, not really let myself think about it. It's hard to do, especially knowing that you have a little bit of a cushion on that back nine. And I just tried my best not to think about it. I think I did well staying in the present.

Q. When you tapped the putt in, the last putt in?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Probably walking off the 18th green.

Q. Considering how well you played at Oak Hill, how tough -- was it an emotional low to see that shot on the last hole and then did you smirk a little bit when Howell stuck it tight on 18?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Actually, no, I didn't even think about that. But that was tough at the PGA, seeing him hit that shot. Because that was a great shot. It was just nice to be on the other end of the deal.

Q. Even though you've played well all year, top-10 on the Money List, is there any more of a sense of belonging now that you've won than before?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I think so. I think you're a little bit more respected once you win. It's so hard to win out here. There's obviously so many good players. And especially at this tournament, you've got 30 guys that have had the best years. And I think you do earn a little bit more respect once you get into that, get your first win and especially coming at a tournament like this.

Q. As a follow-up, Riley said you went through the drive-through and ordered cheeseburgers plain. Is that true?

CHAD CAMPBELL: That's true.

Q. Everything plain?


Q. When was that?

CHAD CAMPBELL: All the time.

Q. Is there any way for you to just give us maybe a cliffnotes version of your journey, how hard it was on you to get here.

CHAD CAMPBELL: It was tough. Playing the Hooter's Tour, I assume that's what you're getting at, my whole professional career. Playing that Tour it wasn't too bad. I had a lot of success out there. It wasn't like I had no money and just playing on my last dollar or anything like that. I had success out there. I just wasn't able to get through TOUR school, wasn't able to get through second stage. And it's tough. I got a lot of friends going through it right now. That's not any fun. It's fun once you get through it, but doing it is tough.

Q. As good as you are, why couldn't you get through the second stage?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Well, thanks, but, I don't know.

Q. Not sure how I meant that. Did you put a lot of pressure on yourself? Was it just nerve wracking from the first tee or what?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Well, I don't know why. It's a weird thing. I think that there's a lot of luck involved in it. You've got to be playing good for basically two months in and you're only playing three competitive tournaments during that time. It's not like you're playing week in, week out. So it's kind of tough to keep your game sharp during that time. I always made it through first stage. But second stage, I think that was always the hardest. It doesn't get all the hype, but I think it's the hardest stage.

Q. How many times was it for you?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Five, I believe. Five. I think.

Q. When did you finally get through?

CHAD CAMPBELL: '96 through 2000 was my first year on Nationwide.

Q. Did you ever get through the second stage?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah. I got to the finals one other time. And finished -- didn't get full exempt on the Nationwide, and had money to play the Hooter's Tour again. Some incentive. So I chose to go back there and play.

Q. You talked about respect. Earlier this year you did win some poll with the players that got you on the magazine cover and stuff. Did that surprise you? How did you take that?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Any time you get something like that that's nominated or filled out by your peers or your peers nominate you as being that player, that's always obviously a nice thing to get, you feel like you have a little bit of respect from the other players. And it was a little bit surprising. It was definitely a compliment.

Q. Speaking of peers, Tiger or Vijay?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I need to see all the stats first.

Q. Chicken. Following up on that question, guys out here are saying -- when we ask them about you -- are saying some really complimentary things. Chris Riley says you're going to dominate this TOUR, top-10 player in the world. Vijay Singh says this is not the last you're going to see of Chad Campbell. Does that make you uncomfortable to hear that? You're a pretty shy guy.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Not really. I don't know if Riley is all that serious anyway. Coming from Vijay, that -- coming from both of them it means a lot. Me and Riley go back a long ways. We're always pulling for each other. So it's just nice to hear people say that about you.

Q. Do you own a Hawaiian shirt or anything?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Do I own a Hawaiian shirt?

Q. We're talking about all the playing and things like that.

CHAD CAMPBELL: No, probably not. I don't think so.

Q. Anything loud?


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Chad, let's go through your birdies and bogeys today and then we'll take a couple more questions. No. 2.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Okay. 2, hit driver, 8-iron to probably 10 feet.

5, driver, 5-iron to 40 feet. 2-putt.

8, 6-iron to 15, 18 feet somewhere in there.

Eagle on 9, driver, 5-iron to 15 feet.

Bogey on 11, drove it in the left rough, hit 6-iron and it rolled down off the side of the green and didn't get it up-and-down from there.

13, drove it just in the right rough. Just chipped a 9-iron down the fairway and hit sand wedge to about three feet.

Bogey on 14, I hit a bad tee shot down there with a 3-wood. I was trying to hit something, hit a 6-iron and run it up around the trees and it hit some branches and chipped it up and missed the putt. Chipped up to 10 feet and missed the putt.

17, I drove it down the middle of the fairway, actually with 3-wood. And hit a bad 5-iron just short right of the green. Actually I was off the green. But I putted it. 3-putted it or whatever you want to call it.

Q. West Texas isn't a real hot bed for players making it on the PGA TOUR, is it?


Q. Could you talk a little bit about your roots, Andrews, right?


Q. What kind of course you played, and how did you get here? How did you get so good coming from a place that doesn't have a lot of places to play?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I don't know. Andrews Country Club is, it's a good little golf course. There's only probably 10,000 people in that town. So when they have got a good, good little 18 hole golf course there. They have got a great high school program and junior high program, just had a lot of success there. And actually had a lot of good players come out of there, but you probably haven't heard of any of them. But a lot of local, good players.

Q. Wasn't sand greens, was it?


Q. It wasn't sand greens, was it?

CHAD CAMPBELL: No. Not oil either. And it was just great growing up out there, playing, getting to play in a lot of different conditions. The majority of the time it's pretty windy. So you get to learn a lot of different shots, how to hit the ball in the wind. I think that's definitely an advantage growing up, learning how to hit those different shots, hitting it, keeping it down under the wind. Turning it back into the wind. Holding it against the wind. Just little things like that, that you know just kind of come second nature to me. I think that's nice. Not saying that they're hard to learn, but it's nice being able to know that I've had that my whole life to be able to play in the wind or had to play in the wind, I guess you could say.

Q. Who was the best player that ever came out of that area?

CHAD CAMPBELL: My brother.

Q. Who crafted your swing and who do you liken it to?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Nobody, really. I just really haven't had anybody that I work with, work on the swing with. Nobody, really.

Q. When you were growing up did you follow any guy on TV that you admired or anything?

CHAD CAMPBELL: No, not really. I played a lot of other sports. I just did what felt good. That's what I still do. If its feels right, I just go with it. If it doesn't feel right, I will work on different things to change it.

Q. You said that you feel like once you win guys probably look at you with a little more respect. And I wondered, does winning make you look at yourself any differently?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Right. Not really, I don't think. You do get a lot of down on yourself when you have quite a few chances to win and you don't get it done. This year I got -- I had quite a few seconds, but legitimately, PGA, I was tied for the lead going into the last day. Tucson and Honda, I came from way behind to finish second. A great last round, probably four or five shots back. So that's that. Memorial, you know, I kind of wasn't really in it there. I think I finished 6th or 8th there. Can't really remember what question you asked now, but.

Q. Just when you look at yourself do you look at yourself any differently now?

CHAD CAMPBELL: But it is nice to get that win. And a little satisfaction from what you've been working for and especially I think we talked about it the other day, the second time that I've took a lead into the final round and last time I kind of blew that deal. And I was able to hold on today.

Q. You had so much focus on your goal of getting the first win, if you haven't had that, what now do you think is, do you kind of reassess now what you expect of yourself and what you kind of look at next year?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I think it's pretty much the same thing. You just want to win as many golf tournaments as you can. Every tournament you enter, you play to win. And hopefully next year I'll be able to get a few more of them.

Q. Before the PGA what was your most satisfying moment in golf at any level: Amateur, professional, anything?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Most exciting, I don't know if it's totally answers your question, but the Nationwide event in Odessa, that's, which is 30 minutes away from my hometown. Playing out there and having to basically the whole town over there watching me and being able to win that tournament. That was a pretty good feeling.

Q. What did you do after the win to celebrate?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Flew back to Dallas. Nothing exciting.

Q. You got a cheese burger with nothing on it?

CHAD CAMPBELL: That's right.

Q. How many people came in today from Andrews?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I don't know exactly. Specifically today. I really have no idea. I just know some people did.

Q. Have you made any changes to your game since you joined the PGA TOUR?

CHAD CAMPBELL: No, not really. I've tried to obviously tried to better all aspects of my game. As far as changing, no, not really, I don't think. So obviously you get out here, you know you need to drive the ball better. Because the rough's a little bit higher and a little bit longer courses. And if you're hitting it in the rough, obviously you have no chance. So as far as just changing anything, no.

Q. You've never had a swing coach?


Q. When you is there anybody you turn to?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Well my coach at UNLV, he works with me on putting and short game.

Q. What about sports psychologists, nutritionists?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I've worked a little bit this year with Gio Valente.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Any more questions? Chad, congratulations.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Thank you all. Appreciate it.

End of FastScripts.

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