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May 29, 2003

Chad Campbell


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you Chad, for joining us for a few minutes. Great round today, 5-under-par 67. A great start and you actually had a great start on your season. Why don't you make a couple of comments about today's round and we will go into questions.

CHAD CAMPBELL: I got off to a good start, I birdied the first hole of the day and just the first few holes, I had a lot good chances at birdie but wasn't able to make them. I kept hitting good shots and was fortunate enough to make a few coming in to the front 9. And I struggled a little bit, first in the back, but got it back and made a couple of birdies coming in.


Q. Can you talk about how successful you have been and you got bumped out of the top-10 for The Open qualifier and how that is going to shape up?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I feel I have been playing real well this year. I've had a lot of chances, a lot of chances to win and I came out with a couple of seconds and a few Top 10s. It's just been nice having that chance to win. That's my goal, to try to get myself in position to win going into Sunday. And, you know, I keep getting myself there and hopefully one of these times I will pull one out.

Last week I got bumped out of the top-10, so I will be qualifying in Cleveland on Monday for the U.S. Open.

Q. Who bumped you out of there?

CHAD CAMPBELL: 2 guys. I'm 12 now. Kenny Perry and, I believe, Steve Flesch was ahead of me, but he was 10th this. He is 11th now.

Q. How did you pick that qualifier when you signed up, did you think you wouldn't need it or do you know that golf course?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I got that question quite a few times from players. I went there, I guess it was two years ago when it opened at Southern Hills. That is two years ago. And I like the course, you know, there are not a lot of guys up there in the field. I think there are 16 guys up there. You know, you got to play good wherever you go. There are probably going to be only one, maybe two spots there.

Q. I think it is one.

CHAD CAMPBELL: One. That's what I was figuring. You've got to play good wherever you go. I like the course.

Q. So did you qualify out of there two years ago?


Q. What were your thoughts on Monday morning when you heard the result?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I mean, you know, I knew going into, pretty much going into Sunday's round, I needed to shoot probably 59 or 60 to hold my spot. I was disappointed, but, just go with it, you know.

Q. You've played a lot out here this year, I talked to other people that say maybe you still have that BUY.COM- Nationwide mentality in you, where you just want to play and play and play because you wanted to make the money.


Q. How do you feel about that?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I don't know, I watched all of these tournaments all of my life on TV. I have a tough time finding ones that I don't want to play in. But I really like to play a lot the first part of the year, and then last year I played all year. I played way too many tournaments last year. This year I will probably take quite a few weeks off in the summer. I don't know why that is. I guess you are just fresh at the first of the year and you feel like you can play that much.

Q. Chad, Joe Golf Fan looks at maybe the top 20 money winners on TOUR and they get to your name and they say, who is that? Where has this year come from? Have you felt maybe for a year or so that you've got this in you and it's finally happening or what?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Really, I just felt like I didn't play very well last year. And you kind of -- when you on are the Nationwide TOUR, and before that I was playing the Hitter's TOUR I felt I was playing really well but no recognition there. Just last year I felt I was a little off. I really feel like I'm just playing the way I'm supposed to right now.

Q. How did you get back on, did you make any significant changes over the winter?

CHAD CAMPBELL: No, not really. I feel like it's more of a comfort level now. I have seen the courses once. I think that's a big advantage to be able to, you know, just see each pin on every course and just knowing where to hit it and not where to hit it rather than trying to cram it into one practice round. That part has been nice, I also feel more comfortable as far as the feeling that I've belong here, you know. So that's probably, I would say the toughest thing your rookie year.

Q. Is it nice you don't have to worry about your card; you've won enough money to lock that up?


Q. Was that a weight lifted or you weren't even thinking about that?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Well, you know, you always want to get that taken care of early. It's always nice to get that under your belt, then you can just play freely. Hopefully I won't have to ever worry about that. But you know, every year I think there are a lot of guys that go out there. One of their goals is always to keep their card.

Q. Chad, you got 18 brand new greens out there and you are playing in the first group off the tee this morning, what was it like to try to score on this course at the time of day that you were playing?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I love playing in the morning. The course is just perfect. It's probably the best manicured course I ever played, just like it was last year, too. I guess it's always like this up here. The greens are perfect.

Q. What about 17, that's a brand new hole, you birdied?

CHAD CAMPBELL: It's tough. It's a lot tougher than it was. I can't remember what I was hitting last year, I think it was short irons, 8 or 9. Maybe even a wedge in. I don't think I ever hit more than 7. This year I hit a 3-wood, 5-iron. Actually, I was aiming at the middle of the green and pushed it a little bit at the pin, so it worked out well for me.

Q. Everywhere you have been you have won consistently. How hard is it to go week after week, specially when you have had chances and not win?

CHAD CAMPBELL: It's tough. But the players out here are the best in the world. So it's tough to win. Like I said before, I just want to keep getting myself in position, keep learning each time I get there and hopefully one of these times it will work out for me.

Q. You said you have been watching these events on TV over the years and couldn't wait to play them. Are there 2 or 3 that you look forward to playing most of all out of the group? Were they as good when you got there as you thought they would be?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Yes, they are all as good as I thought they would be. I don't know if I can limit it to two or three. This one, Colonial, Riviera, probably offhand those are the 3 I think I'm looking forward to play other than the majors.

Q. Those are 3 events you always saw on TV?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Right, I always wanted to participate in those.

Q. Should this hold up and you are the leader heading into tomorrow, what kind of psychological approach do you take? Do you block out of everything today? Do you look at it like everybody else is chasing you? How do you experience that?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Really just go out there, and, you know, play the way I have been playing. I'm not really worried about being in the lead. You try to keep that out of your mind. I try to keep hitting good shots and I hope to make some putts.

Q. In the history of this tournament, no one that lead after the first round has won?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I was just told that.

Q. What do you think about that, tough to go wire-to-wire?

CHAD CAMPBELL: It is tough. Every hole can you get in trouble out here. You got to be hitting your irons good. You got to be doing everything out here. It's a really good golf course and, you know, just keeping it together four days will be tough.

Q. As well as you have been playing this year have you had a first-round lead hold up at the end of the day?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I don't think so. My seconds, I know I didn't. I can't recall one time that I did.

Q. If you were assessing your own game objectively, what are some of your strengths and are there any areas where you feel like you need to get a little better?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I felt definitely a strength this year has been driving it. I feel I drove it really well, which has made things easier. I putted well at times but I would say if I needed to improve anything it would be putting and just short game overall.

Q. Has that always been your game over time?


Q. Or have things changed?

CHAD CAMPBELL: No, it's pretty much short game that I always needed to work on. Funny it's the thing I spend most of the time on. I guess I may be spending a little bit more time on it.

Q. Other than the greens, what was the rest of the course playing like this morning as far as rolling fairways?

CHAD CAMPBELL: They are actually getting a little bit of a roll after the first few holes, there is a little bit of dew on the ground after the first. It was pretty much, just stopping. But at the end you saw the ball bouncing a little bit and rolling down the fairways.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Chad can we go through your birdies and bogeys.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Yes, one hit driver just in the left rough and hit 7-iron to about 15 feet. Where was the next one?


CHAD CAMPBELL: I hit driver, 3-wood, just over the green, chipped up to about eight feet. And 8 hit 7-iron to about two feet.


CHAD CAMPBELL: 10, driver, 8-iron to about eight feet.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Bogey on 12.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Bogey on 12. I hit it in the back left bunker and chipped out to probably 12, 15 feet, missed that.


CHAD CAMPBELL: 17, hit 3-wood, 5-iron to about 20 feet.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Any more questions?

Q. That new 17th hole isn't so hard?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I don't know. I will take 3 more 4's on that. I know that.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Everybody all set? Thank you Chad.


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