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November 8, 2003

Chad Campbell


TODD BUDNICK: Chad Campbell, thanks for coming in. A 10-under 61 today. You just overwhelmed the course it looked like today. Course record and ties the low 18 of the season on TOUR. I don't know even know where to start with that one.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Well, it was a good day, obviously. I came out and hit a lot of good shots and made definitely more than my fair share of putts. But the last two days I felt like I played not as well but close. I felt like I hit the shots the first two days but just didn't make the putts. I chipped in today and made a long putt. Stuff like that just tells you that it is your day. Making the putts kind of made the difference.

TODD BUDNICK: Speaking of making the putts, your one bogey was a 3-putt. What happened on that one?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I don't know. I hit a great shot in there to about, on number 8, to about, it wasn't much over 15 feet. Probably 12 feet, 12, 15 feet. Just ran it by. Ran it by like four feet. And missed it coming back. I don't know what happened there.

Q. Make you mad?

CHAD CAMPBELL: It upset me. I was just trying to make it. I just ran it a little too much and missed the comeback. But I was happy the way that I came back on the next hole. I was able to hit it in there and make eagle.

Q. Do you think you're overdue since the PGA, the people began -- the average person began to notice you.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Right. I don't know about overdue. I think I have put myself in position to win a lot this year. I haven't been able to pull it off. I don't know for what reason that is, but hopefully tomorrow it will work out differently. I'm really looking forward to it.

Q. About what hole did 59 start creeping in your mind, or how hard did you try to keep it out of your mind?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I didn't try. I did try to keep it out of my mind. But I really was telling the guys outside, it sounds funny, but I never really knew exactly how many under I was. I knew obviously I was playing good, but it doesn't really matter. I kept trying to hit good golf shots and keep making birdies. And I knew I had a lot of ground to make up at the start of the day. So that's kind of the outlook I was taking.

Q. Playing with Ernie, they said on TV it looked like he was just trying to stay out of your way. Did you guys like not even speak? Did he even not want to talk to you?

CHAD CAMPBELL: No, we talked. He's a great guy to play with. That was the first time I played with him. I talked to him a few times on the range. But other than that, I really enjoyed playing with him. We just both had a good time out there. I think that makes it -- it's important. He struggled off the start, but ended up playing pretty good at the end.

Q. Does that affect you when somebody starts out with four bogeys as he did? Like the first hole he hit it under a tree.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Does it affect me? Not really. Obviously you don't want to see anybody do that. But you try not to pay any attention to it. You just try to stay in your own game. Focus on what you're doing, not worrying about what he's doing.

Q. Golfers talk about comfort zones a lot. Some guys maybe aren't comfortable going real low. Are you a guy who is not afraid to go real low? Is this something you do when you're hot?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Well, I don't know if my record, what it is this year. I think my lowest before this round was 65 or something. Anybody know? 64 maybe. I think I shot 64 at Tucson maybe. When it's going good you just try to stay out of your own way. You're hitting the shots and making the putts. The worst thing you can do is start thinking about it and just start playing safe. Only bad things can happen then.

Q. From almost winning at the PGA to being right up there in this thing, another fairly elite field, is that your preference, to play the tougher fields, harder golf courses, versus shooting 28-under at Disney or something?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I do like those tournaments too. But I prefer playing a harder golf course, where par actually means something. Historically, I've always seemed to play better on harder golf courses. I don't know why it is. I guess my mindset is better on them. I don't feel like you've got to go out and birdie every hole.

Q. Was this more a great putting round for you or were you just getting it close all day?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I was hitting it really close. I definitely would consider it a good putting round. I don't think I -- other than the however long that one was, I don't even know, it had to be 70 feet.

Q. 75.

CHAD CAMPBELL: 75? Other than that, I think probably my longest putt was probably 15 feet, somewhere in there. So it was definitely a good, really good putting round. To be able to make those consistently like that it's always a good putting round.

Q. Did you look at the leaderboard at all during the day?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I really didn't. I started three. What was the leader? Eight? Five shots back. So I knew I needed to make a lot of birdies to catch them. I really didn't feel the need today to even look at it, because it doesn't matter how you end up today. So I just kept trying to hit good shots and get chances for birdie.

Q. So when did you find out you were leading?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I don't even know. I guess when I went in the booth or that. I might have looked on the last hole. I don't really know. I didn't really -- I wasn't paying attention. I was kind of focusing on my own game and wasn't worrying about it much.

Q. You do realize you're leading now, though?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Yes. I don't know who is in second or anything like that, though.

Q. Would you have thought 61 was possible?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Probably not. It's a tough golf course. If you can drive it in the fairway consistently all day, it's definitely possible. But it's so hard to hit every fairway because you hit it in that rough and a lot of times you're in bad angles and getting into bunkers, pins are behind bunkers, so you're shooting way away from it. And there's no way of getting it close. So if you can keep the ball in the fairway you can attack the golf course.

Q. Do you have any other history at this golf course?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I don't. This is the first time I've seen it. I've heard great things about it, and they were all true.

Q. First and foremost, you're just trying to get your first win in your back pocket, but can you sort of comprehend what it would be like to win in your home state, not too far from your backyard?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Right. That would be awesome. I'm really not picky where my first win would come. But it would be extra special winning it here in Texas. I've always loved coming to Houston and playing all their golf courses. They have got so many good golf courses here and this is probably one of the best. They're just old, traditional-style courses. And I really enjoy playing them.

Q. When most of us last saw you it was at Oak Hill. So what was the immediate aftermath of that like? You almost won a Major championship. Shaun Micheel hits it two inches. And how did that all happen?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I can barely hear you.

Q. How did the aftermath of Oak Hill play out for you? How did you handle it emotionally and all that?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I handled it fine. Obviously right when I got done playing I was disappointed. But looking back on it, I have said this before, I don't feel like I gave him the tournament. He had to win it. I felt like I hit a lot of good shots coming down the stretch. And it felt good in the situation. That was important to me. That's something that I can take into tomorrow.

Q. How much of that PGA finish raised your profile among the public, your recognition factor? You're recognized a lot more, a little more, or has it been any different?

CHAD CAMPBELL: A lot more. A lot more. It was huge for recognition. A lot of the guys out here they knew, but knew me or you know what I'm trying to say? I don't know how to say it. But as far as getting it out in the public, my name and my face, definitely people recognize me a lot more.

Q. Any unusual place where you got recognized or you were really surprised or you were in a men's room somewhere or anything?

CHAD CAMPBELL: No, not really. Not really anything in particular. Just whenever I went home after the PGA, me and my wife were eating dinner and a guy just came up and said, "Great playing." I don't know how he even knew, you know, I wasn't dressed anything like this. So it was kind of weird. He gave me a free dessert for it. He was pretty cool about it. He just came up and said "Great playing." And he was the manager of the restaurant.

Q. How many times have you had the lead going into the final round, and what will be your approach tomorrow?


Q. Yeah.

CHAD CAMPBELL: I think this is the first -- no, second. I was leading in Jackson in -- what year was that -- 2000?

Q. 2001?


Q. How big was your lead there?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I think it was three. Not for sure about that. Cameron won. Three of the last five he birdied.

Q. Was there any particular shot today where you know that went well and you realized that this was definitely your day?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, probably the chip in. I think one of the bigger shots to keep the round going was my eagle on No. 9, after the bogey. And then following it up with a chip-in on 10.

Q. You've had so much success at all levels. It's sort of been expected of you, have you had any second thoughts about this TOUR or since the PGA or do you think it has to happen eventually?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah. I feel like I'm doing the right things to win. It's just a matter of getting yourself in that situation more and more times and feeling comfortable and being able to pull it off.

Q. Would you say your bread and butter is your iron play? Is that kind of what has made you a great player?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I would say so. Definitely. I think that more times than not I am going to hit the ball reasonably well and sometimes struggle with the putter.

Q. Going through the last pairing on the last day at the PGA and everybody talks about what you bring away from this. What can you apply from that in terms of the pressure and the peripheral in terms of staying focused, I guess what did you learn?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I think the main thing is just knowing that I can hit the shots under the pressure. I know that during that tournament I felt the way I felt on the back nine, I wasn't nervous, I was just excited about being in the situation and hitting the shots when I needed to. That's a great feeling. And that's pretty much why you play the game.

Q. With the way that you felt, like you sort of struggled with your putter the first two days here, was there anything that you keyed on differently today? Anything different in your approach?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Really, no. I came out last night and worked on it for 30 minutes or so. But other than changing anything, no, not really.

Q. You were telling me that you were disappointed you didn't win the PGA, but with this, this is not a Major, but would winning The TOUR Championship would that be almost as good or would that be maybe a kind of a soothing balm to end your year, winning The TOUR Championship like this?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I think so. I just want to win. Wherever it is, whenever it is, it doesn't matter. I want to get my first win. That's my whole goal this year and this is the last tournament of the year. It would definitely be a great win in Texas at this course, with this type of field. That would be great. But I just want to win. I just want one win right now.

Q. If you get a free dessert for finishing second at the PGA, what would you get for winning here?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I don't know.

Q. Go back to the same restaurant and see?


Q. Do you hold any course records somewhere else?

CHAD CAMPBELL: No, not in Vegas. My hometown, I think I got the course record there. I'm not for sure. I think it's 61 as well.

TODD BUDNICK: Let's go through all those birdies today. Number 1.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Number 1, hit driver, 4-iron to 10 feet.

4, par-3, 2-iron to about 25 feet. That was a great putt. That was one of the longer ones that I didn't talk about earlier.

5, driver, 2-iron to the back bunker. Hit it out to about 6 feet.

The eagle on No. 9, I hit driver, 5-iron to 15, 16 feet. Made that.

10, I hit driver, 7-iron just short right of the green. Pretty easy chip and was able to chip it in.

Q. How far?

CHAD CAMPBELL: 20 feet. Somewhere in there. A little over 20 feet.

11, driver, 6-iron to about 12 feet. Made that.

12, 2-iron to 75 feet. Somebody said that.

13, driver, 9-iron, sand wedge, to about 6 feet.

15, driver, wedge to 12 feet.

16, 6-iron. How far was that putt? It was probably 12 feet -- 8, 10 feet. Somewhere in there.

Q. What did you have left for the last two holes?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, definitely makeable on 17. 17 was about -- I give it 12 feet again. 15 feet. Then 18 is kind of a -- 18 really wasn't even a pin you could even shoot at. So I probably had 30 feet there. Hit a good putt and it just broke off at the end.

TODD BUDNICK: Okay. Thank you, Chad.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Hey yeah, thank you, guys.

End of FastScripts.

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