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June 2, 2007

Rod Pampling


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Rod, for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center at the Memorial Tournament. Interesting day out there. I know you probably got here and had that delay, but great round, and nice finish there on the back side with the four birdies. Talk about the day, talk about the delay, having to wait a little bit longer and you were able to finish, which was nice.
ROD PAMPLING: Yeah, that was the bonus there, being able to finish. Fortunately we hadn't teed off so I was just on the putting green obviously getting ready to go. It was no big deal, we just went back in the clubhouse and tried not to eat too much.
Yeah, it was nice to get going. I think obviously finishing with four birdies on the back nine really gave me a lot of confidence for tomorrow, and I'm definitely looking forward to tomorrow.

Q. What's your history playing in the rain? Do you feel like you're a pretty good mudder? Obviously tomorrow is not supposed to be very nice?
ROD PAMPLING: Well, I'm assuming if it rains here, there's going to be lightning, so I don't know if we'll have to do that much. I don't know. I'll tell you tomorrow (laughing).

Q. Obviously a big swing on 18. Can you tell us about it, what happened, and how that --
ROD PAMPLING: Basically we were both -- I guess it's just the luck of the draw. We both hit the shots exactly the same off the tee. I had a nice flat lie in the bunker and Adam had a pretty gnarly lie there. That's just the breaks. Thankfully it went my way and I hit a great shot out. Adam couldn't do a lot with what he had.

Q. Where was he?
ROD PAMPLING: He was in the rough, the thick grass, whereas mine had carried to the next trap. I guess he might have hit 5-wood and I hit 3-wood.

Q. And what club did you hit in?

Q. Was that a great shot, or was it like a regular bunker shot?
ROD PAMPLING: I was aiming it further right. I pushed it.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Can you go through your round real quickly? Bogey on 5.
ROD PAMPLING: Yeah, bogey on 5. I had a really nice number in there. The line wasn't great. I had to catch it really nice. Basically we were standing on the green, and if I tried to hit it hard normally I push it right, so that was a good thing. Unfortunately it went dead straight and didn't catch, and I took a drop and I didn't hit a great shot. It was a difficult lie but I didn't hit a great shot, and the ball stayed on the hill and I chipped and putted.
Then we hit driver at the next, a wedge to about 20-foot, made a nice putt there. That gave me a lot of confidence.
11, hit driver, 2-iron into the left bunker, hit that out to, I guess, ten foot, made that.
14, hit 2-iron into the left rough and didn't have a very good lie, hit lob wedge, and it spun -- I don't know, it was a 30-footer, I guess.
Driver, 2-iron to the front edge on the next par 5 and two-putted that.
And then 18, I hit 3-wood, 9-iron to two foot.

Q. Not many guys have won Arnie's tournament and Jack's tournament. That would be quite a feat.
ROD PAMPLING: That would be nice, absolutely. Definitely, the invitationals have been nice to me, so hopefully the good fortune will keep going tomorrow. I know I'm playing good, and putting was nice again today. As long as I can keep a check of emotions out there and play the game, and if you get conditions like it is, you still have to be aggressive. We're not playing careful out there, we're still trying to make birdies. I think that's a nice way to be playing.

Q. How do you feel you are as a front-runner historically? Do you like that?
ROD PAMPLING: I guess The International and Arnie's were both front-runners, so far, so good. I guess a couple of times I haven't gotten it done. We'll see what we can do tomorrow.

Q. The last really changed things. If you had a one-shot lead there would be ten guys that could win it, now you basically have control of the tournament.
ROD PAMPLING: Having a three-shot lead everyone is looking at you like you should win. You have to look at the scores, there's still 7 and 8-unders being shot out there. This is one of those weeks where there's potential for someone to come from a long way back. That's as long as I don't make any birdies.
Obviously if I make a fair share of birdies again, if you keep making four, five birdies and keep the mistakes to a minimum, then they have to shoot that. I think that puts -- if I can get off to a nice start, it puts more pressure on those guys because they have to make the birdies, where if there's a tough pin I don't have to be as aggressive. The putting has been nice, and I can rely a lot more on that this week.

Q. It seemed like the four guys who didn't tee off before the delay had a little bit of trouble getting started and getting something going early. I wondered, even though you said it was no big deal, I wondered if whatever rhythm you might have gotten into on the range was suddenly stopped for two and a half hours and you had to try to get back into it?
ROD PAMPLING: Well, we still had -- basically from when we got told, we had an hour still, so that's basically what I used for preparation. Yeah, it was definitely slow early on, and once I made that bogey, things just totally changed. I said to my caddie, I said, "Why are we being so negative out here? Let's just be aggressive on this golf course. It's there to be taken." Actually the bogey is a good thing. I changed my mindset and really became a lot more aggressive, and obviously it worked well.

Q. Was your drive on 2, you hit your drive right, were you almost in the creek?
ROD PAMPLING: Yeah, it landed right, and there's just like a nice little finger in there, and thankfully it rolled in there and stopped and gave me a nice lie. So I was very fortunate there, yes.

Q. Have you made any adjustments to get your putting going recently, or did they just start going in this week?
ROD PAMPLING: No, just early in the week, I just put my hands a little bit further forward and tried to maintain my right wrist angle through the stroke. Yeah, it's been close to being really good, but now it's obviously -- it's just that little adjustment, I think, has definitely given me some confidence. It's nice to see them going in.

Q. When did you make the change to put your hands forward?
ROD PAMPLING: Just this week.

Q. Monday, Tuesday?
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Rod.

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