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July 3, 2009

Rod Pampling


MARK WILLIAMS: Rod Pampling, thanks for joining us at the AT&T National interview room. Bright and early start for you this morning. You've got to be happy with 6-under 64, currently tied for the lead with Tiger still out there. Just talk about your day and some of the good things you did.
ROD PAMPLING: Well, obviously no bogeys today, so that is always good for the scorecard. But yeah, I just played nice, got off to a really quick start. The greens were really nice out there, so even once you got a line on your putt, they were pretty much guaranteed going in as long as you hit it there. I just didn't do anything wrong and kept myself out of trouble and made some good putts.

Q. Second year in a row obviously playing well. You finished third here last year. Is it just the course, is it the conditions? What is it about this place that makes you play so well?
ROD PAMPLING: It's just a classic old golf course. You've got to play shots, and I enjoy playing different shots on the golf course. You know, we're not sitting out there just smashing away. It's positional golf, and you have to think about what you're doing out there. Obviously we're hitting the ball well, which allows you to get it into where they can tuck a pin, you can get it in there. It's just a thinker's golf course, and I enjoy playing those.

Q. First off, were the greens as smooth as you were hoping for?
ROD PAMPLING: They were very good, yes. It's been a long time since I've been first group out, so it was nice to see the greens all perfect. It's starting to get a little bit firmer out there, but no, they were rolling very nice.

Q. Still pretty soft out there?
ROD PAMPLING: It's a little bit soft. There's some areas that are softer than others, but it's definitely firming up. It's a lot firmer than yesterday, so hopefully the rain will stay away and the course will get drier again.

Q. How did the quality of your play today compare with yesterday?
ROD PAMPLING: It was pretty similar. Obviously I think the only difference really is when I missed the greens today, I got up-and-down. But there was a couple -- obviously I made some more putts today, as well, made a couple nice long ones and then I had a couple that were just kick-ins, as well. It wasn't a whole lot different, but it's just been the same; I've been hitting it the same for over a month now. So finally things are starting to come around.

Q. Is there something that has kind of clicked for you over the last month that you can kind of pinpoint?
ROD PAMPLING: No, everything has been nice, just haven't been able to score. So thankfully it's finally starting to happen. We were just trying to be as patient as we could. But yeah, finally, as I say, things are starting to happen. Hopefully it'll continue on for the weekend.

Q. There's always been a lot of -- there will always be a lot of talk about guys coming up to challenge Tiger. The current group of guys in their 20s, are you surprised, or maybe you don't know at all, that more guys have not sort of moved up toward that level and that he's not being challenged on a consistent basis by that group of guys?
ROD PAMPLING: Yeah, I think there's definitely a lot of the younger guys who are certainly stepping up and challenging, not as consistent, but I don't think you can go through the history books and find anyone as consistent as Tiger. Even Jack I don't think was as consistent as Tiger.
I don't know the exact numbers, but Tiger, it's just amazing. He can be playing great and then you really don't have a lot of chance of beating him, and then he's just playing so-so and he's still right there with a chance to win coming down the last nine holes.
I think everyone looks at Tiger now, he's just amazing how consistent he is all the time, which as I say, you go back through history and no one was like that.
But there's definitely some young guys challenging all the time. Yeah, I guess -- I think we're fortunate to be able to be in the era of watching Tiger play because it is pretty amazing how good he is.
MARK WILLIAMS: You've been pretty consistent with your career. I wanted to ask you --
ROD PAMPLING: One rung below Tiger?
MARK WILLIAMS: You said it, but are you happy with what you've achieved? Do you feel like you've underachieved, or where are you at in estimate of your career?
ROD PAMPLING: I certainly think I've underachieved. I've had a lot of decent opportunities to contend. I don't think I've had enough -- given myself enough opportunities to contend on Sunday. Yeah, I've definitely, I think, underachieved from how I think I hit the golf ball. But I don't think there would be anyone out here who would say that they've overachieved. I think we all feel like we've underachieved.
But you know what, that's golf. We just continue on and keep working harder and keep trying to improve what's bad and try and make that better so we can get more consistent because we all want to win, so it's just -- you want more opportunities, so the only way to do that is just try and keep improving all the time, work on the weaknesses, and hopefully they will get better.
MARK WILLIAMS: We'll just run through your scores.
ROD PAMPLING: Off the 1st we hit driver into the right rough. I had wedge in and hit it to about two foot.
On 4, I hit driver, 8-iron to about maybe 20 foot past the hole, made that.
On 5, I hit driver, sand wedge to maybe four foot, made that.
Actually I did have a bogey on 6. 6 was left -- well, that's a par-5 anyway for me. But I hit it in the left rough so had to chip it down, hit it to 15 foot and missed the putt.
7 was maybe a 25-footer. It was actually a really good putt that was up the hill and basically it was right-hand down at the end and found the center.
12, hit 3-wood into the left rough and hit a wedge out to a foot.
14, hit driver, 7-iron maybe 20 foot right, made that.
15, hit driver, 9-iron to two foot.
And all pars in.
MARK WILLIAMS: Rod, we appreciate you coming in. Good luck on the weekend.

End of FastScripts

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