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March 18, 2006

Rod Pampling


JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome Rod Pampling, a 5 under par 67 today. Rod, excellent playing again. You have a four stroke lead heading into tomorrow. Talk about your day today if you will and just preview tomorrow.

ROD PAMPLING: It was obviously a solid day. We didn't make too many mistakes out there. We just tried to work our way around the golf course. It wasn't as crisp a day like yesterday, but we picked it up on the back nine and hit a lot more good shots, which gave me a lot of confidence to play well on the back nine today, which obviously leads into tomorrow, which I'm looking forward to now.

Q. Are you trying to land it so near the water on 18?

ROD PAMPLING: Obviously not. We were aiming a little bit further left of that. But it was a perfect number, with the breeze blowing, I knew I could just get up there and hit a solid golf shot. The number was fine.

Obviously it was a little bit further right, but in the air, I wasn't worried about it at all. I knew I had hit the ball well and that was the number to carry.

JOE CHEMYCZ: What was the club and what was the club?

ROD PAMPLING: [ ] I had 175 meters to the hole and I hit 4 iron.

Q. That's not going to help the Americans. Can you translate that for us?

ROD PAMPLING: 175, so 192 to the pin. (Laughter).

Q. Can you just talk about how big that birdie was on the last hole as far as giving you momentum going into tomorrow and obviously giving you another stroke?

ROD PAMPLING: Yeah, I felt the pressure coming in the last hole. I knew if I could all I was really looking for was par, just to finish and have a nice cushion to head into the weekend. To get up there and hit that golf shot, you know, there was a few little nerves there, just was a great boost of confidence. I know I can hit the shots, it's just tomorrow I can rely on that and have confidence in myself to get up there and hit shots.

Q. Can you just talk about you hit a couple of pretty wild ones off the tee early in the round, second hole, third hole and somehow managed to fix it and keep grinding. Can you talk about just battling through?

ROD PAMPLING: I didn't quite feel comfortable over the ball at the start. You know, a left to right breeze with water left, you don't want to come over it, so we just bailed out a little bit. That was just the shot that, you know, I certainly wasn't going left. Out there all day I was just trying to work on my setup, just trying to get comfortable over the ball.

On the back nine, I got on the 10 tee and actually felt real nice over the ball and that's when we started hitting some nice golf shots again and just get down to relaxing and just hitting it.

Q. You sort of struggled out of the gate the first day and you were 1 over fairly late in the day, do you have any inkling as you're going through those struggles that you could get yourself into the hunt or what was going on and how did you fix it?

ROD PAMPLING: I was 2 over through five or six on the first day. On the first hole, I was just in the rough and hit it on to the green and 3 putted. Then just made a bogey on 14, started on 10. I knew I was hitting it well. I just had not maybe I was being a little bit too careful out there. And going to the par 5, I made birdie, just started hitting some nice shots and built momentum from that.

Q. With your ball flight, where do you have to start that ball on 18?

ROD PAMPLING: The tee shot?

Q. The 4 iron from 175 meters.

ROD PAMPLING: Where did I have to start it?

Q. Yeah.

ROD PAMPLING: Straight at the hole.

Q. Straight at the hole and then you just

ROD PAMPLING: I was aiming between the pin and the left edge of the green. There was a tongue that was in the back trap which was our line, which there was plenty of room left, it was obviously just a little wind push.

Q. Do you take anything good, bad or otherwise out of the final round at Buick a few weeks back?

ROD PAMPLING: You know what, I knew I wasn't playing that well that week. My short game was on fire, and that's what had got me there. On Sunday, you know, watching Tiger and Sergio play, you know, I didn't hit it any worse than they did, but their short game saved them and that was the big difference. You know, I threw in a double on 15, I think, which hurt my chances.

But every time you're playing in the last group, you're always picking up something. To play with Tiger, seeing the way he gets around, it's amazing every time he's there in contention, he gets the job done. As much as I know I wasn't hitting good, it was great to see the way he works around a golf course. You've got to learn from that. Obviously he does it week in well, not week in, week out, but he does it a lot of times when he's not quite hitting it good, he gets the job done.

Q. What did you learn as to the mental approach as to how to do that thing?

ROD PAMPLING: Just forget the shot. If you've hit a bad shot, forget it, get up to your ball and find it and go from there. I sometimes dwell on those shots every now and again, and it's more just that shot's done. Just get up to the next one and find it and see what we can make from there.

Q. That sounds like you're trying to convince yourself, is it easier said than done to forget it that quickly?

ROD PAMPLING: Yeah, there's not a whole lot you can do about it. They don't give you the rewind button anymore. So there's no point in dwelling on it. You know, that's the one thing I've worked on for a long time is just forget what's happened and move on. Sometimes you still think about what might have been, but that's what we did today was just let it go and just carry on and take care of the next shot.

Q. You admitted last year that final rounds were not up to your own expectations, do you feel like you have something to prove tomorrow to yourself?

ROD PAMPLING: Oh, yeah, definitely. Any time you have a four shot lead, if you don't win, you're going to be disappointed. But that being said, you know, Darren, what did he shoot, 9 under? So obviously someone could still go out and do that tomorrow. Unless I play really good golf, they will obviously take the win away from me. As long as I play well tomorrow, that's all you can do. As I said, you can't control what anybody else is doing out there. You know, you just as I say, it's more just going out there and play your game and hopefully the results is in your favor at the end.

Q. What, if anything, did you learn from those experiences last year?

ROD PAMPLING: Exactly what I said before. Just forget about what's happened. And last year, I know my round weren't great, but then we weren't really close to winning, a realistic chance. We were always four or five off the lead, which is, you know, you're putting pressure on yourself to get out there and have a great start. Tomorrow if I can go out there and just play my game and shoot 3 or 4 under, well, then someone has to shoot that great round to beat me.

So I think it's just more not putting the pressure on each shot being perfect. As I say, just if you hit a bad one, just let it go.

Q. When you're out there about three, four, five, 6 iron I can't, I don't know how much you noticed a leaderboard, but when you see Darren doing what he's doing, does that make you wonder, A, what course he's playing, or that B, there must be some favorable conditions for birdies on the back?

ROD PAMPLING: Yes, I don't know what was the next best round after that, but yeah to see that, it's like what an awesome round of golf. Doesn't matter who is doing it; it's an awesome round of golf. Yeah, for him to be shooting that, it's obviously showing or telling me that you can still make birdies out there. And maybe not as many as he was making, but it's there's obviously some out there.

JOE CHEMYCZ: You started with a birdie at 1.

ROD PAMPLING: Yeah, I hit driver off the tee just into the first cut of rough, hit 6 iron to about 15 foot, made that.

On 6, driver, 6 iron, lob wedge to maybe ten foot.

12, I hit driver, 4 iron and then lob wedge to maybe a foot.

On 13, I hit 2 iron, sand wedge to just in the fringe, maybe 25, 30 foot made that.

16, driver, 6 iron just over the back edge, chipped that down to ten foot, made that.

Then 18 was driver, 4 iron to two foot.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Rod, thank you. Good luck tomorrow.

End of FastScripts.

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