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February 20, 2008

Rod Pampling


Q. Just talk about the different mentality of match play. Do you have a different thought on the first tee than you do at any other tournament?
ROD PAMPLING: Yeah, well, basically once one hole is done, that's it. It doesn't matter -- you can make a triple or a quad or whatever, a birdie or an eagle and it means nothing for the rest of the day. Yeah, each hole is totally individual. You just basically -- what happened on that hole before, you just let it go and get onto to the next. It's the old track-the-shot routine, but it really means a lot more with match play.

Q. Is there a way to explain -- some players just seem to play match play a little bit better. Maybe that's a mistaken perception, but there does seem to be a mentality, like the Europeans as well as the Australians --
ROD PAMPLING: You know, I think maybe it's an era right now that's -- I'm sure it wasn't that long ago where the U.S. guys were -- obviously in all the Ryder Cups they were dominant then.
From an Australian point of view, as a junior we played match play a lot. Your local golf course would have a zone and you'd play match play, and there was a time of year where you'd be playing match play against all the other golf clubs. You know how match play works, but it's no secret. It's pretty much, there it is.
I guess it's an era right now where -- five years down the track it could be the Americans winning over here again or whoever. I don't think the Americans are weak by any stretch, that's for sure.

Q. There's very little difference between the 64th player in the world and 2nd player in the world as far as the World Golf Rankings.
ROD PAMPLING: You took No. 1 out, huh? Why not put him in?

Q. Really. For a guy like yourself playing against Justin Rose, many people who don't know golf that well think Justin Rose is the favorite here. Does that take any pressure off you or is it easier in the first round to go --
ROD PAMPLING: You know, if someone comes to me and says that, fine, it's just pressure off me and more on him. Justin is not thinking like that. We all know we're really solid players out here, and anyone in the Top 100 is solid. You know, the numbers basically put you against whoever you're going to play against, and after that it's just man on man and see what happens.

Q. Are there really upsets? Would you ever look at a bracket and say, oh, that would be an upset if that player won?
ROD PAMPLING: Yeah. Of course, obviously if anyone beats Tiger it's an upset, just the way that -- he's a solid player.

Q. That's why I didn't put him in there.
ROD PAMPLING: Yeah, that doesn't mean there's no upsets. We've had a lot of upsets. It's not -- I think there's a more-chance-than-nothing upsets in golf than any other sport. I think generally when your ratings are what they are, you're pretty much -- tennis is -- every now and again you might get someone outside the Top 10 who's in the finals or in the semis, but generally it's pretty solid. Any of the tennis guys -- the Top 50 of those guys, I look at them, and I think, damn, they're all unbelievable.
I think with golf there's less upsets, but I think once you get above Top 10, I don't think you sort of look at it as an upset. We're all so close now.

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