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April 10, 2009

Chad Campbell


ROB JOHNSTON: Good afternoon. We are delighted to have with us Mr. Chad Campbell. Chad, this is his sixth appearance at Augusta. He is currently at 9-under with a brilliant round yesterday of 65, had a terrific round today of 70 to top it off with a birdie on 18.
So Chad, we will open it up. If you care to make any comments about the condition of the course, we would appreciate it.
CHAD CAMPBELL: Sure. Today we played the first four holes or so without much wind and the wind picked up quite a bit, probably blowing around 15 or so, a little bit different direction from what little we had yesterday and made it quite a bit tougher it. Dried the greens out pretty quick and definitely made putting more difficult.
Playing 9, 10,11 all right back into the wind makes those holes really tough, and 12, as well.

Q. In 2006, you were in the same position after two rounds. What do you think you've learned from that?
CHAD CAMPBELL: I don't really know exactly what I learned, but I know it's nice that I've been in that position before. Even in other Majors, as well; that I have contended, not so many times, but I have had a few times I've been in contention and had a chance to win the Tournaments.
There's still a long ways to go, but it's definitely nice to not be on foreign ground.

Q. Can you talk about that putt on 18, and how does that make you feel about your round?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Right, it's always nice to end with a birdie, and especially today, definitely a little bit unhappy with the way I played the back nine. Made some mistakes on the back nine. A couple bogeys and missed opportunities for birdie.
But birdieing the last hole definitely gives me a good attitude going into tomorrow.

Q. On the subject of the last time you were in this position, what do you remember about the weekend? What stands out in your mind from the last 36?
CHAD CAMPBELL: You know, we had a lot of rain. I think we only played four holes on Saturday, so we had to play 32 holes on Sunday.
Made it pretty difficult. You know it, would have been nice if it just could have went like it's supposed to. You know, I remember from that round, I had a chance, an outside chance, on Sunday. I hit a few bad shots and missed some putts.
Like I said, just being in that position before, you know, helps. I can't really pinpoint anything exactly.

Q. There weren't any specific shots or holes that stand out in your memory from Sunday?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Hitting it in the water on 15 kind of stands out a little bit. It was a perfect number. If I make eagle, you know, I get pretty close to Phil. I can't remember exactly the details. I just know I needed to make it but I know that more than anything stands out. Like to forget it.

Q. Where you were on 18, that would have been a pretty good 2-putt, wouldn't it?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, it would have, but luckily had the wind blowing back in my face a little bit to slow the putt down a little bit. I definitely had quite a bit of speed on it, so I was glad it hit the hole.

Q. How far past would it have been, do you think?
CHAD CAMPBELL: You know what, I really don't know. I would guess probably five feet or so, at least.

Q. What was the length?
CHAD CAMPBELL: It was probably 20 feet, 25 feet maybe.

Q. You were not able to play here last year. I was just wondering how much that was on your mind coming into the week; did it change your outlook or attitude at all?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Not really. I know I was very, very disappointed last year not being able to come here. I look forward to coming here probably more so than any event we play all year. This is a special place, and, you know, it's always exciting the first time you pull in and the first day you get here. It was definitely a disappointment not being here last year.

Q. Has this been a great putting round for you so far through 36, or has it been your irons that have gotten you so close?
CHAD CAMPBELL: A little bit of both. Yesterday I putted really well. Today, I didn't feel like I putted that well. I didn't hit it as well, or maybe I didn't have quite as many opportunities. Yesterday I think it was probably more so iron play; or actually, a little bit of both. I can't really say irons, but just played really solid yesterday, and wasn't quite as sharp today.

Q. That SI poll a couple of years where the players voted you the next player to win a Major; did that put any pressure? Did you try to live up to that vote?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Honestly not really at all. It was definitely an honor that my peers think that. I didn't really think much of it at all.

Q. How tough was the wind in the Corner when you played there, and how much did you recover from that? You said you were not pleased with how you played the back nine as a whole.
CHAD CAMPBELL: Obviously 10, I played 10 great. I hit the tee shot a little right and didn't catch the slope but hit a great 4-iron in there to probably three feet or so.
11 hit a great tee shot, and it's so hard; I'm back there, got 235 in or so, you know, so I'm not really looking at that green too much. So I guess I couldn't really be that upset to where I hit it. I actually thought I hit a pretty good pitch. You know, it was uphill and kind of looked like it was going to be a little faster.
On 12, I hit a great shot in there right over the bunker and 3-putted. You know, making two bogeys there, when you didn't really feel like you hit a bad shot, and that's a little disappointing, and not picking up one on 13 and 15 right on the green.
So, like I said, it's nice to end with a birdie on 18, so kind of helps the feeling going into tomorrow.

Q. Could I get your thoughts on the soon-to-be 49-year-old that's right in your rear-view mirror, Kenny?
CHAD CAMPBELL: He's playing good.

Q. A shot behind you.
CHAD CAMPBELL: He's an awesome player. He's one of the best drivers there is out here; probably, possibly the best driver of the ball we have. Great player. He's a great friend of mine, too, so I'm glad to see him playing well.
You know, obviously last year, he showed what he can do when he gets on a roll. He's definitely going to be tough to beat.

Q. What was it like playing with Boo for two days, and what did he say to make you laugh coming off the 18th tee?
CHAD CAMPBELL: (Laughing) I'm thinking of the latter.
Actually I can't remember right now what he said, but it was great. It was a great pairing for me to be able to play with him. We are really good friends, and he always keeps you really loose out there, doesn't seem like he gets too uptight at all.
You know, it was just a good pairing and good to play with him. I wish I could remember what he said, but I can't remember.

Q. Can you compare what it was like five, six years ago, whatever it was, when all of a sudden everybody is looking at you, as opposed to this week or the past year where you are more sort of sneaking up on people and nobody is really expecting you to do what you're doing?
CHAD CAMPBELL: I don't know if anybody has ever really, like, thought I -- I've never been like big, high-profile, supposed to win the Majors or anything. I never saw myself in that aspect, or, you know, having to come to the media room before the tournaments or anything. I never really saw myself like that. So really, it's all been the same the whole time in my career.

Q. Would you agree, as a follow-up, that you were more of an afterthought maybe coming into this week, as opposed to 2003, 2004?
CHAD CAMPBELL: I understand what you're saying. Possibly. Possibly. I don't feel that way but I definitely see where you're coming from.

Q. But it doesn't affect you?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Not at all.

Q. Talk about ideally you go into the same round with the same approach; was it any different, leading the Masters after one round?
CHAD CAMPBELL: No. I felt really good all day out there today. I probably felt even better today than did I out there yesterday, even though I was not playing as well. Felt got the whole day. I look at the leaderboards a little bit; you have an idea where you stand, but I always do that. I always like to look and see what everybody is doing.
I felt good all day, and hopefully feel that way the next couple of days.

Q. Did you think yesterday was a one-shot deal with the easy setup, and what do you think of it today? Are you surprised it's not that hard?
CHAD CAMPBELL: I wouldn't say it's not that hard. This course, you can get one bad shot and you can get in so much trouble and you can compound it by trying to do something and end up in places that you have no chance.
When you get wind like that, it definitely makes it, even though it's only 15 miles an hour; so it makes it play tons different. Makes putting so much -- you've got to be so much more precise and makes it so much more difficult.

Q. People are going to tap you as a threat at the U.S. Opens in the past; did you always feel like you had just as good of a chance to win here as there?
CHAD CAMPBELL: You know, I never really knew. I mean, I liked the fact that they don't have six-inch rough here. I like that a lot better. (Smiling).
But you've got to be so precise around the greens with chip shots and putting, and your iron play has got to be precise here, as well.
So it's a totally different, totally different game here. There, you hit bad shots, you're in the rough and your ball never really gets too far off-line. Sometimes here, you can hit balls over greens and they will run forever and then you're not looking too good.
I don't really know which Major fits me the best. I just try to play as good as I can in all of them.

Q. How much do you attribute the early start times to your success in the first two rounds?
CHAD CAMPBELL: You know, I don't think made that much difference when you teed off. I don't think there was much wind. I wasn't out here in the morning, but maybe y'all could tell me; I don't think there was that much wind.
Definitely today was a little bit of an advantage, a little bit softer greens. Like I said, four holes or so without any wind; I think that's definitely an advantage.

Q. Could you run through the three birdies on the front nine today?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, let's see,2, I hit driver, 2-iron. Had 60 yards in and hit it to about three feet.
4, hit 7-iron, had 162, I believe,160 or 162. Hit that to about five feet.
8, hit 3-wood, 2-iron to about 60 yards and had probably ten feet.

Q. Ever seen that tee on 4 before?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Yes. We played it a few years back.

Q. That far up?
CHAD CAMPBELL: For that pin, I think it's a great tee box for that pin. Definitely don't want to be back there hitting 3-wood, especially with the wind left-to-right today.

Q. Did you go over the birdie at 10?
CHAD CAMPBELL: I didn't. I hit driver, 4-iron. I think 4-iron had -- I think we had 215-ish to the hole, 210. Not precise on that yardage. Then hit it to about three feet.

Q. Right after that, you had the back-to-back bogeys. Can you just talk about what went through your mind after that?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Sure. You know, obviously upset -- not too upset with the bogey on 11. Hit two pretty decent shots and a decent chip and a decent putt.
12 kind of irritated me a little bit, hitting a good 8-iron in there, and getting a little aggressive with my first putt and ran it three, 3 1/2 feet by and wasn't able to make it coming back.
But I knew I had chances for birdies coming up with the two par 5s. I knew that hopefully I could get a couple back there. Wasn't able to, but tried to stay positive about it.

Q. When you're 11-under through 28 holes or whatever that was, and up by six, can you tell us just what that feels like, assuming that you were aware?
CHAD CAMPBELL: I didn't know how many that I was up by.

Q. Separating yourself a bit there.
CHAD CAMPBELL: I try not to pay that much attention about it. On 11 I hit a great drive right out in the middle but I had 235, 240 to the hole, so just trying to shoot that right and hopefully get a little kick on to the green.

Q. For a guy from West Texas, when did you feel more comfortable, yesterday with no wind or today with some wind?
CHAD CAMPBELL: I think around here, if you have no wind, I think everybody is a little bit more comfortable. (Laughter).

Q. How much of the next two days is going to be mental?
CHAD CAMPBELL: You know, I think a lot of it. You've definitely got to be very patient and stay positive. I mean, I'm going to have some bad holes. I'm probably going to make some bogeys; hopefully not.
But don't get too down when you do. You know, there are some holes that you can make birdies on, and you know, like I said, just be patient and just try to play one shot at a time.

Q. Is the pressure for this Tournament greater than any other tournament going into the weekend?
CHAD CAMPBELL: You know, it's a Major, so it's probably -- it's up there with any of them. I don't know if there's one that has any more pressure. You always get a little nervous when you're leading any tournament; or I do, anyway. But I take nerves as a good thing.

Q. Can you compare your frame of mind to where you were when you were leading this thing a couple of years ago, and is there any such thing as being -- having a sort of comfort level playing with the lead in a tournament like this?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Honestly, as far as 2006, I don't totally, totally remember exactly how I was feeling. Obviously I know I was playing pretty well going into the weekend.
Unfortunately didn't play that well on Sunday. Got off to a good start on Saturday, but only hit four holes. But didn't play that well on Sunday.
What was the second part of your question, I'm sorry?

Q. Is there any such thing as a comfort level playing off the lead in tournaments like this, or is it just by definition, nerve-wracking?
CHAD CAMPBELL: Yeah, it's going to be -- I'm going to be nervous tomorrow. That's just the way it is. I mean, I was nervous yesterday. First hole, I was nervous today, the first hole.
I actually like being nervous. It means that you are intense and you care with what happens. Sometimes you get out there and you're teeing off and you're not nervous, you sometimes get a little lazy and lackadaisical and just kind of go through the motions.
So I like having a little bit of nerves on the first hole.
ROB JOHNSTON: Chad, we appreciate you very much being with us, great play through the first two rounds and good luck tomorrow and Sunday.

End of FastScripts

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