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January 10, 2008

Chad Campbell


STEWART MOORE: We'd like to welcome the 2007 Viking Classic champion Chad Campbell here to the interview room at the Sony Open in Hawai'i. Fantastic opening round today, 66. This is really the kind of golf course that suits your game. You're known as one of the best ball-strikers out there, and you certainly have to do that in Hawai'i.
CHAD CAMPBELL: It's a good golf course. It's always been one of my favorites. I look forward to coming here every year. A couple years ago I finished second here, so I've got some good memories.
Today I came out and actually bogeyed the first hole but made eagle on 3, I holed an 8-iron out on 3. That kind of got me going, made a few birdies. Middle of the round I started missing fairways and it cost me a couple bogeys, but it's nice to finish up with birdies on two of the last three holes.
STEWART MOORE: You had kind of struggled going into Mississippi but then you won. Did that kind of re-energize you going into 2008, especially being a Ryder Cup year?
CHAD CAMPBELL: It did. Last year was a tough year for me, and being able to win there in Jackson at the Viking Classic, that was a nice way to end the year. Any time you win, it really seems like it makes any year at least a decent year, can turn any year around.

Q. Is the key for you to win here avoiding that bad round? It seems like you have really good rounds and then every now and then, a 75 pops in there.
CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, in the past I have. I think last year I played pretty good the first two days, as well, and I don't remember how I ended up. I must not have been very good.
I think you're right. You know, today the wind wasn't blowing too bad. But when you do get a lot of wind, it's a lot of crosswinds out here, and it's tough to hit fairways out here. Once you get it in the fairway you can attack the golf course. But you start missing fairways by a foot or two, and that's the worst rough out here. You know, it's a challenge to hit the fairways.
If you do that, and like I said, avoid the high round, you know, I think it'll be a good week.

Q. Is it easy to think you're at Colonial?
CHAD CAMPBELL: I definitely see resemblances of it. You know, it's flat, not many -- I think Colonial might actually have more hills than here (laughter), which is scary. But they're both two of my favorite golf courses. I really love playing both of them.

Q. You mentioned two years ago; I believe you were tied with David Toms going into the final round. Have you liked this course right from the word go, the very first time you saw it?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Actually I did. The first year I came here in '02 -- I've been here every year. I think '02 was my first year, and I've always liked it. I love golf courses like this. You know, it's not overly long. I don't even know what the yardage is, 7,000? 7,044, so it's not one of the longer courses we play now. I tend to like those courses better because usually it has more character than a lot of the other courses.

Q. You talked about last year being a tough year and everything. What kind of held you back and what got you out of it, in a different mindset?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Everything was going on last year. I wasn't putting very good, I wasn't hitting the ball very good, I wasn't driving it very good for sure. You know, I could only improve on every aspect.
Like we said, it was just nice to be able at the end of the year -- I didn't get in the last two playoff events, and I talked to my caddie and we decided we were going to go play the first four and see what happens, maybe get a win.
I knew I liked Jackson and I had played good there in the past, and it's just kind of funny that I went back there and was able to win. It gave me a lot of confidence going into this year and definitely made the off-season a little more enjoyable.

Q. How much did the Mercedes help, getting you -- just getting you going?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, I mean, it helps a lot, just playing one event. I actually played really good over there last week. The first round I didn't score very well. I just had a couple bad holes. But overall I was very happy with the way I played last week.

Q. Were there any conditions out there today?
CHAD CAMPBELL: A little bit. We probably played the first five or six holes without any wind, and then the last few holes maybe 10 mile an hour winds. It was pretty subtle for here. It's about the calmest I've ever seen it here.

Q. So does that make it just the rough basically?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, rough is a little bit thicker than it usually is. I guess everybody has been saying a lot more rain than usual. You barely get off the fairway -- the fairways aren't very wide as it is. Especially with the doglegs, it makes it hard to hit. But if you barely miss them, that's the toughest rough.
It seemed like a lot of balls, even in our group, a lot of balls just barely got off the fairway. It makes it tough. You don't know how it's going to come out. Most of the ones I got today were fliers, but some of them -- you know, tomorrow they might not come out, so you're kind of guessing on what clubs to hit out of them.
STEWART MOORE: Do you mind briefly going through your birdies and bogeys and especially the eagle at 3?
CHAD CAMPBELL: 1, I drove it in the right rough and chipped out and wedged it to probably 12 feet, missed that for par.
2, hit 3-wood, 8-iron, one-hopped it in.

Q. How far was that?
CHAD CAMPBELL: It was 156, 157.
No. 6, hit driver, 8-iron to about probably 18 feet behind the hole.
7, hit 7-iron probably six feet right of the hole.
8, I hit 3-wood right down the middle of the fairway, hit a pretty good iron shot in there, hit 8-iron in there, I believe -- yeah, 8-iron to probably 20 feet and three-putted from there, missed about a three-footer coming back down the hill.
And 9, actually hit a good drive and ended up bouncing left in the left rough, kind of punched a 4-iron down there just short of the green, about 45 yards short of the green, chipped it up to ten feet, made that for birdie.
No. 10, hit 3-wood, 60-degree to about probably eight feet.
12, hit 3-wood just barely in the left rough and hit it over the green from there and wasn't able to get it up-and-down, missed about an eight-footer.
And 14, hit 2-iron down the middle of the fairway and hit a bad second shot, 7-iron right of the green and chipped it past probably six, seven feet.
16, 3-wood, 9-iron to about two feet.
And 18 was 3-wood, 2-iron to probably 45 feet and two-putted.

Q. How many drivers did you hit today?
CHAD CAMPBELL: 1, 5, 6, 9, 13. Was that five?

Q. Is that pretty typical for you here?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, probably so. You know, I didn't hit it on 12 today. 12 it was kind of in between today, and playing downwind it was kind of either one. That's probably about the only one that will change. Maybe 18, if 18 somehow plays into the wind I'll hit driver, or if 16 plays into the wind I'll hit driver.

Q. Speaking of drivers, when Nike sends you a new driver, do you just immediately throw away the head cover? How does that work?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, I don't know why I don't want to carry the head cover. Because you're taking it off almost every -- I would have taken it off five times today (laughter).

Q. When is the last time you had a head cover? Have you been doing this forever?
CHAD CAMPBELL: No, for some reason I really just started with -- whenever I started with Nike, actually. I don't know why. I think the head covers are a lot bigger now.

Q. Weighs the bag down that you don't carry?
CHAD CAMPBELL: It's for Judd, take care of my caddie (laughter). Actually I travel with it, though. I put it on traveling so they don't get beat up, which doesn't make a lot of sense.

Q. Stuff your winnings in it at the end of the week?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Right, hopefully it fills it up (laughter).

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