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March 17, 2006

Rod Pampling


JOE CHEMYCZ: Rod, 7 under par 65, bogey free today, 17 of 18 greens, just talk about your day and what was going so well for you.

ROD PAMPLING: Obviously 17 of 18 greens, it's nice. The one I missed wasn't that far away. It was a good ball striking day. The conditions are great out there to play well when there's not a lot of wind. Yeah, I was hitting the right amount of fairways and allowed me to have a good score.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Anything particular that was good for you today?

ROD PAMPLING: Just solid everywhere. I drove it quite nicely and a lot of my iron shots were always around pin high which gave me a lot of opportunities to make birdies. Obviously rolled it well, too.

Q. Did you feel this round was coming or sort of out of the blew?

ROD PAMPLING: My coach came over on Sunday and we've been working Monday, Tuesday. It was very close and I hit a lot of really good shots where you throw in a couple of odd ones. I guess there was a nice round, but a slow start and once we started the birdies, it's been nice and solid.

Q. Can you find some faults?

ROD PAMPLING: Oh, yeah. There was plenty of faults to find. So we picked up on them pretty quick and it's been nice, since.

Q. What was the main one?

ROD PAMPLING: The top half I was just going backwards at take away. Yeah, we try and keep it forward as much as we can and yeah, that's pretty much it.

Q. Are you surprised the course is this receptive this week?

ROD PAMPLING: You know, when I turned up Monday, the golf course was unbelievable. There was so much grass, it was fantastic. On the greens, it's the most amount of grass on the greens, so you knew they would hold a little bit, a good shot would hold a lot more than usual.

Yeah, with no wind, definitely you can fire at the pins a lot more than usually you can. I'm sure Saturday and Sunday they will firm up a little bit.

Q. Is this a course that's always suited your eye, or is this the time of year that you generally play well?

ROD PAMPLING: I enjoy the golf course. It's one where you can't just get up there and smash it. You have to work your way around the golf course. We seem to be playing less and less that style of golf course. It's nice to get back here to a golf course where you can think your way around. It makes you concentrate out there all day long.

Q. How do you regard THE PLAYERS Championship?

ROD PAMPLING: Obviously it's a fantastic golf tournament. I'm assuming you're asking me is a major or not no, I think we have four majors. THE PLAYERS Championship is obviously a super strong field, but it's right behind them as an event. Yeah, it's one you obviously look forward to playing every year, it's a fantastic golf course and it's a great challenge.

Q. Major questions, it's almost hard to debate but just curious in your own mind, do you look forward to it right now or is it just something that when this tournament is over with, this is just a good tournament?

ROD PAMPLING: You pencil in a few each year that you're really looking forward to playing, and THE PLAYERS Championship is definitely one of them. It's such a great golf course. It's similar to here. You can't just get up there and smash it around. You have to work your way around and that's the kind of golf course I love to play. It's definitely one you try and gear your game towards, so you're ready to play well there. It's definitely one you put in as a tournament you really want to play well.

Q. What other ones do you circle out of curiosity?

ROD PAMPLING: Obviously the majors, and it's pretty much the golf courses I like, Hilton Head, Riviera. It's more the traditional golf courses that I really like to play well at.

Q. Castle Pines?

ROD PAMPLING: Oh, yeah, that one, obviously that's a favorite. Yeah, I enjoy playing the ones that you have to shape your way around and you're not smashing driver and 4 iron. The par 4s are long holes, they cover everything, and that's the kind of golf course I pencil in each year to try to play well.

Q. So you obviously don't consider yourself a one dimensional player?

ROD PAMPLING: Not like Finchie, no. Ian Baker, he thinks I'm one dimensional. (Laughing)

Q. What do you think he meant by that comment?

ROD PAMPLING: I don't know. I'll have to ask him one of these days I suppose. I don't know, maybe I just look boring on the golf course, I don't know. I know my golf game is not one dimensional. I'll I'd have to ask him first.

Q. He said that Rod had a lot of talent. But his game was a bit one dimensional.

ROD PAMPLING: Yeah, I wouldn't become a Mickelson or an Els, but I can still win each year. So good and bad. (Laughter).

Q. Have you ever been mistaken for Andrew Both?

ROD PAMPLING: I think it was really late in a bar one night.

Q. With the goatee?

ROD PAMPLING: I just didn't have the little glasses. (Laughter.)

JOE CHEMYCZ: Take us through your birdies here starting at 5.

ROD PAMPLING: I hit 2 iron off the tee and sand wedge to about 5 foot behind the hole and made that.

The par 5, I hit driver, 2 iron just through the green and chipped it to about two foot.

Then on 8, I hit driver, 9 iron to about three foot.

9, driver, 5 iron to maybe 25 foot.

11, was 3 wood, 7 iron to about four foot there.

The par 5, 12, driver, 4 iron, a lob wedge to maybe 5 foot and made that.

17, I hit 2 iron to maybe 25 foot and made that.

Q. Is this the best round you've played in some time?

ROD PAMPLING: This year it is, yeah. Earlier in the year it was my short game that was saving me and that's where San Diego, I had a Top 10 there, just rested it on my short game and that's what got me around. This is definitely the best ball striking week I've had since obviously when my coach came over. So, yeah, keep them going on the short game. The game feels good.

Q. You're tied with Robert (Allenby), I'm sure you know his game very well, how good could he be?

ROD PAMPLING: Robert? Oh, he's obviously a great player. He wins three in a row back home in Australia. You know, I think we all have our little things that keep us from being I suppose two dimensional as Finchie likes. Obviously his game is there, but we all have the game there. It's just, you know, I think it's just a matter of getting the breaks at the right time to win the bigger events.

Q. He was talking about how he plays on confidence. Does every player do that or is he a little unique there?

ROD PAMPLING: It depends on you get guys who play on confidence, you get guys who work on their swing. I work on my swing a lot and I gain confidence from that. But, you know, I think Robert gains confidence from hitting good shots. Yeah, he definitely thrives on the confidence, and with his performance down in Australia, you'd like to think he's confident right now.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Rod, thanks. Good luck this week.

End of FastScripts.

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