May 8, 2002
TODD BUDNICK: Welcome Chad Campbell, 2001 BUY.COM Player-of-the-Year. Native of Andrews, Texas; live in Dallas now.
CHAD CAMPBELL: Plano.
TODD BUDNICK: 53 on the money list, T3 at the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic. Looks like you are acclimating to the PGA TOUR in your first year pretty well. Give us an idea of how your year has gone; what you look forward to this season.
CHAD CAMPBELL: Going pretty well so far. Really feel like I am starting to play a lot better, starting to feel more comfortable out here. Just first of the year I start off with a few good tournaments; then had a little bad run in there. Just really feel like I am starting to be comfortable and things are -- obviously I am starting to play better.
TODD BUDNICK: You have adapted in the last two levels of the BUY.COM Tour pretty well. And you are kind of used to winning. How is it this season playing with this echelon of players?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Obviously I have had a couple of chances to win in Greensboro, and in Bay Hill, I guess, and Bay Hill didn't play very well the last round, but you know, hopefully it will come soon. I haven't felt like I have played as well as I can, so hopefully here pretty soon, though, I will have a few more chances to win and take advantage of that.
TODD BUDNICK: Questions out there, fellows.
Q. Put any pressure upon yourself early in knowing, -- after last year you had such an incredible run on the other Tour, on winning, any pressure like I have to win or --
CHAD CAMPBELL: Not really, no. I just wanted to go out and play good. That has been my first year out here, and I really didn't you know, I'd play tournaments in the past, but I knew it was going to be a little bit different. It took a little time to get adjusted to, and it seems like now I feel a lot more comfortable and things are going a little bit more smoothly.
Q. Considering with the earnings that you have got is it a little more less pressure now knowing that you can kind of freewheel it?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, I think so. I really honestly wasn't worried about you know, the 125 deal at the end of the year, but it's always in the back of your head when you are not having a good tournaments and you know, all the best players in the world out here, it's not as easy as it looks.
TODD BUDNICK: If I remember correctly, didn't pick up your first victory until May of last year.
CHAD CAMPBELL: That's right.
Q. Didn't you a few years back win something like outrageous, eight times on the Hooters Tour?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Yes, sir.
Q. Judging form where you were back then to this now, how much different is that or do the people make too much of it, how big of a leap is that?
CHAD CAMPBELL: I don't really don't know. As far as me playing the way I played there and the way I play now, I don't think there's that much difference. I just think as far as getting through Tour School, I had a little trouble getting through Tour School as you all probably know, you know, you got to get a little bit lucky to get through there. You have got be playing good at the right times. Obviously I am a better player than I was two or three years ago -- two years ago, was that? But I don't feel like that I am drastically a better player.
Q. In terms of what you have to do to win on that Tour as opposed to here, is it that --
CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, there's a difference there. People don't just -- you can't win making pars out here. You got to keep making birdies and if you try to get comfortable with -- obviously I have never had a lead this year, but you you have got to keep trying making birdies. You can't just be satisfied with pars. There's more people at the top as opposed to Hooters. Usually you can single out -- you can get down the last few holes and there's probably only maybe two or three people that can win the tournament. Out here, a lot of tournaments are you know, there's maybe 7, 8 guys that still have a chance going into the back nine.
Q. Talk about how it came about Gleneagles -- (inaudible) how did that come about?
CHAD CAMPBELL: How I moved to Plano or just how --
Q. Why did you decide to go there?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Well, I lived in Plano, and my agent was -- they have a membership or membership with Gleneagles, so it kind of worked out really well for me that they gave me a membership out there. Worked out really well for me. I live probably five minutes from there. It is just a great place to practice and play and of all the guys out there are just awesome.
Q. There seems to be a theory by some or a thought if you want to call it that, that great players have to be seen coming a long time ago. For example, we saw Tiger coming since he was probably 3. Charles Howell comes straight from college and works his way on. Phil, Justin, et cetera, whereas you have kind have come along slowly and look at David Toms, for example, he spent a lot of time overseas and look where he is now. Can you talk about that, about how some seem to pick it up quickly but --
CHAD CAMPBELL: I don't know, they were just kind of -- I really don't know how to answer that, but they were just always in the spotlight and growing up I never played big like AJGA events. I played a little local stuff; then went to junior college for two years. Didn't really do much and went on to ULNV after that. As far as my name being out there, nobody really knew who I was, or anything like that. As far as if I am disappointed as not being known better no, not at all. But just honestly, I really don't know how to say --
Q. I may not have asked it correctly. I am not sure I want to try again. I will anyway. Look at David he is now as an example one of the top players in the game and you say, gee, where was he ten years ago....
CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, I don't know.
Q. But that doesn't mean he's any worse --
CHAD CAMPBELL: I am sure he's that much better now than he was seven years ago. I don't know David that well. I know exactly what you are saying. I guess you kind of get to a point you have some success and maybe just one tournament and you just build off of that.
Q. Would you call yourself a late bloomer even though you are not exactly pushing Social Security now?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Maybe so, sounds like it now with all these young 17 year olds and all that. I don't know. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Coming out of college I wasn't ready to be out here. My game wasn't good enough, and I didn't really know-- wasn't smart enough back then. I was just kind of going through the motions and like I said, I wouldn't change anything the way it worked out. I have learned something at every stage that I have played in. I think it is definitely going to help me this year if not in the future.
Q. How good can you be, do you think?
CHAD CAMPBELL: I am pretty hard on myself and I definitely think I can be beat -- I haven't thought about this much, Top-10 in the world, I don't think -- I don't think that's out of reach at all.
Q. You mentioned obviously you take a certain satisfaction of having kind of paid your dues...
CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, definitely. I paid them for a long time. I played four years on the Hooters Tour and then one year on the BUY.COM Tour, so....
Q. Thank goodness those were available to you.
CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, definitely. Definitely had some place to play and like I said, before, it is just -- I learned something everywhere I was at and use it here in the future.
Q. I realized that you can't speak for everyone else but how much more hungry do you think that makes you and how much more appreciative does it make you compared to guys who have got it right away?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, I think much more because there's guys that you know, kind of came out and the first thing they get right on the PGA TOUR so they don't know anything different. They don't know how you go to little towns and play not the best of courses and you don't get everything for free like you do out here. Everything is not just not given to.
Q. You get stuff free out here?
CHAD CAMPBELL: No (laughs).
Q. Wondering if there was a place where you along the winding road where you thought God, can't believe I am here at X spot on the map or wherever?
CHAD CAMPBELL: (Laughs) Yeah, there's definitely times that entered my mind. You go into these small towns with -- you know, not saying -- I mean, the communities there supported us great, but it is just -- it is kind of weird you are out in the middle of nowhere and sometimes when you are driving the courses you are wondering how did they find these places. They are so far out in the country and there's just nothing around them, but it was a great place for me to be at the time. I don't regret it.
CHAD CAMPBELL: Waitresses are definitely all right.
Q. How did growing up in Andrews learning to play golf shape you mostly with your golf game?
CHAD CAMPBELL: I don't know, obviously it's pretty much the same weather as here you know, the wind and being able to hit shots and be a little bit more creative as opposed to growing up where there is no wind and you hit the same shot all the time. So I think that definitely helped being able to practice in the wind a lot. Just learning how to hit different shots and not saying that people I mean, everybody learns how to do it at some time but it is nice to be able to grow up and having to do that.
Q. Do you have a low ball flight?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Actually I don't really anymore. I used to. I used to hit it really low. As I kind of progressed I learned hitting it low you can't really -- it is kind of hard to stop it on some of these greens.
Q. Where did you play in Andrews?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Andrews Country Club. It is a town of about 10,000 people. They have got one golf course.
CHAD CAMPBELL: No. There's members, but it's public.
Q. 18 holes?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah.
Q. Sand greens?
CHAD CAMPBELL: No, old greens actually (laughs).
Q. That's all country?
CHAD CAMPBELL: That's all there is there.
Q. Play much down in Hogan Park?
CHAD CAMPBELL: A little bit Hogan Park, yeah. Didn't really -- actually when I was growing up didn't go to Odessa or Midland to play very much. Pretty much just stayed in Andrews and played. Obviously going to school at Midland College played all those courses over there.
Q. You said you weren't ready coming out of college. Why weren't you ready?
CHAD CAMPBELL: I just don't think my -- I don't think I was good enough. I don't think I had the confidence to be out here. I'd never won that much and playing on the Hooters Tour for four years and winning and you know, that definitely built my confidence up, and you know, having success always does that for you.
Q. Do you think back to that year on the Hooters Tour when you won all the time, when you are having you know, times when you are struggling on the PGA TOUR, do you fall back on that or--
CHAD CAMPBELL: Little bit it enters my mind. I was -- I felt like that was a great accomplishment what I did out there, even though the players are not as good obviously as out here, but I was been able to do that out there. I was really happy with myself, and in turn gave me a lot of confidence to be able to get through Tour School that year.
Q. Lowest point of Tour School and kind of describe the struggle of it?
CHAD CAMPBELL: I can't remember what year it was exactly. I think it was 1999, maybe, the second stage I shot like 80, I think in the third round and some reason that kind of always stuck in my head because I was playing good up 'til there. Played two good round the first two rounds and then shot that round and kind of shot me out of there.
Q. Is there kind of a mystique about that? Going through it, what is your mindset going through?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Trying to win is what I always try to do in those tournaments, but it is just so hard to get through the second stage. There are so many good players and it is people that never been heard of, but there's just so many good players and it is getting harder every year. I am glad I didn't have to go back to it this year.
Q. Favorite memory from Andrews?
CHAD CAMPBELL: I guess pertaining to golf you all want?
Q. Not necessarily.
CHAD CAMPBELL: (Laughs) get myself in trouble.
Q. That's the whole idea.
CHAD CAMPBELL: Probably I won the state tournament my senior year so that, you know, not playing AJGA or any big tournaments that was the biggest tournament for me. It was kind of my goal all year long to win that tournament and that's probably what I would say.
Q. Why didn't you do any AJGA things?
CHAD CAMPBELL: I tried to get in a few but they wouldn't let me in.
CHAD CAMPBELL: I don't know.
Q. You are not going to tell us?
CHAD CAMPBELL: No, I don't know why.
Q. Talk about the relationship you have with your caddie.
CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, we have been friends since we probably were 12, thirteen years old playing junior golf together and we ended up going to junior college together and we're roommates there and just been the best of friends ever since we met.
Q. How much does that help? Obviously you guys are on the same page, you get to go out all the time --
CHAD CAMPBELL: It helps out a lot. More than anything it is just a friend. Sometimes out on the road it gets lonely, so just to have somebody that's a good friend and just somebody to hang out with, and besides that, obviously he knows exactly what I am thinking the whole time and he really helps me out a lot on the golf course.
Q. You guys have been together so long he has got to know your game as good as you do almost?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, he does. That's definitely an advantage.
Q. What is the best part of your game and what do you need to work on the most?
CHAD CAMPBELL: I'd say the best part is probably wedge game and as far as working, probably putting. That's what I work on the most. Maybe I should stop working on it, it might get better.
Q. What do you do for the Open? Where do you qualify?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Maryland. I think it is in Rockville Maryland.
Q. This is the first time you have just do one stage?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Right.
TODD BUDNICK: Thank you, Chad.
End of FastScripts....