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October 26, 2008

Cameron Beckman


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Congratulations to Cameron Beckman, 2008 FRYS.com Open Champion. I know that sounds wonderful, and I know it's great to be back in that winner's circle. You've been playing well for a long time, and you deserve this, and you absolutely deserved it today with the round you played.
CAMERON BECKMAN: Thank you very much. I'm a little surprised. I mean, I've had such a poor year, and I had back problems. I had to skip eight weeks, and it's just been a tough year. I honestly was thinking about quitting the game; that's how bad I felt. I can't explain to you how good I feel right now. I don't know what it was and why I did it, but I just felt good all day, and it happened.

Q. You were in a situation where you had a lot of pressure on yourself, not only being in a playoff and putting yourself in position, but also where you were on the Money List. Did you feel very calm out there?
CAMERON BECKMAN: Yeah, I did. I had the go-for-it attitude going. What difference does it make? I had nothing to lose. I mean, that's kind of just what I carried with me all day was just let's try to win the tournament. Fortunately I did.

Q. What does it feel like on the back nine when you get it going like you had there, and all of a sudden you're just making up ground and making up ground?
CAMERON BECKMAN: Yeah, I wasn't paying a lot of attention to the scoreboards, but I knew -- after I birdied 11 I knew he was at 17-under, and I think I was at 15-under or something. I just tried to birdie every hole. I had a great shot at 16 to make birdie there, which is really not a hole you try to make a 2 on. And then two great up-and-downs on the last two holes in regulation.
You know, the scary thing is in the second playoff hole, I had no idea about that shot. So for me to stand up there and hit it six feet, how nice.
What's next? I'm at a loss for words. It's just awesome.

Q. When you play the way you did today and you win the event, how much does it make you appreciate playing this sport for a living?
CAMERON BECKMAN: Oh, big time. I always have. That's one thing about -- I feel very fortunate to be on the TOUR. This is my tenth season, and I've been to the Tour school a bunch in that ten years to get my card back, so I've had to work hard for it. I went to a small college. I grew up in Minnesota. I didn't really have the usual upbringing for the TOUR. Hopefully I've exuded that I've been thankful to be out here.

Q. What were your plans going to be if you didn't win? Were you going to go back to Q-school?
CAMERON BECKMAN: If I didn't win?

Q. And if you didn't play well these next couple weeks.
CAMERON BECKMAN: I sent in my TOUR school app. I sat down with my wife and I said, what do you think? Let's set a goal for the last three weeks. I honestly was just trying to finish in the Top 150 so that I'd get to the finals.
I don't know, I just had a calmness about me this week, and it just happened. I don't know, winning is so -- it's just like last time I won. It just kind of happened. It's strange. I don't know what it is.

Q. How about the idea now that you've got two years to not worry about that?

Q. Has it sunk in?
CAMERON BECKMAN: I'm getting older. I'm going to be 39 next year. The only problem is I've got to win the first tournament of the year. My two wins have been at the end. If you win first, you get three years (smiling). No, that will be great, no question.

Q. I think you mentioned some back problems. Was there a point where it subsided, or is it still coming and going?
CAMERON BECKMAN: Probably four years ago I had a really bad episode, and I've got three bulging disks on the bottom, and I just had a bad spell. I missed THE PLAYERS -- I tried to play THE PLAYERS, a couple tournaments in there, and I missed eight weeks and got an epidural, and that helped. And then I just played poorly. I tried to play eight in a row just to get back in action, and it just was -- that's not the way you want to schedule your events, you know.

Q. The second playoff hole, when did you realize where his ball was, and what went through your mind at that point?
CAMERON BECKMAN: Well, you know, I hit it over there -- I hit it short and right there in regulation. I know that it's an impossible shot. I'm sitting there with a six-footer, and I liked my chances, although I was shaking so bad on the putts -- it was like (hand trembling). You know, the mind plays tricks with you when you're playing golf. Everybody that plays it knows that.

Q. It sounds like this may be one of the great moments of your whole golf playing career?
CAMERON BECKMAN: Yeah, when I won the last tournament I birdied a bunch of holes coming in, too, and there's just something about doing it that way. It gives you a lot of confidence. You know you can do it that way.

Q. Which did you prefer, the playoff win or your first one?
CAMERON BECKMAN: You know, I beat Chad Campbell when he first got on TOUR at the Southern Farm, and I kind of had a similar situation; I had a one shot lead and I knew he wasn't going to make birdie, and I just kind of rolled it up by the hole.
But the playoff is cool, I've never been in one, so I'm 1 and 0 now.

Q. Does this make the holidays a lot better?
CAMERON BECKMAN: You think (laughing)?

Q. Are you going to play the last couple?
CAMERON BECKMAN: I'm going to play Disney for sure. I'm going to bring the family and I'm playing with my good friend Briny Baird, so I can't miss that. We'll see about next week. Might have to take a week off and enjoy it.

Q. When you were filling out your application for Q-school, do you do it with a happy face on, or how do you --
CAMERON BECKMAN: Well, the only good thing about the TOUR school, positive thing, that tournament in Palm Springs, is every time I've been to Palm Springs I've got my card, four times, three times, so that's somewhat of a positive. In '96 or '95, last time I was there, I finished 7th or something like that. So that's one positive thing.
But nobody wants to go to Tour school. It's horrible. So this is easy.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Again, thank you, and congratulations.
CAMERON BECKMAN: Appreciate it. Thanks for all your service.

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