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January 28, 2006

Rod Pampling


JOHN BUSH: Rod, thanks for coming by for a few minutes. Rod, as I mentioned for Sergio, you're the winner of the AstraZeneca Charity Challenge. Your name, as well as Sergio and the Buick Invitational will have $100,000 from AstraZeneca presented to local charities, so congratulations on that.

ROD PAMPLING: Thank you.

JOHN BUSH: If I can get you to comment on your round for us if you can, please.

ROD PAMPLING: It was a solid round. Missed a few putts during the middle of the round but overall happy with the way I played. Scrambled well, and as I said made some nice putts early on to get the round going. Yeah, finished it off nice with a birdie.

JOHN BUSH: Were any putts of significant length?

ROD PAMPLING: I think 10 was a 25 footer and it was a good birdie because I had to chip it out from under the trees.

Q. Inaudible?

ROD PAMPLING: No. 12. I hit it down the left side and was in the trap. Knew we didn't have enough club to get to the green, just trying to keep it front right and hope the wind didn't push it again and just had to flop it over the trap. Hit it beautiful, landed soft and obviously went straight in.

Q. Having an opportunity to win, does it add something when you look on the leaderboard and see who is up there?

ROD PAMPLING: Oh, yeah, obviously if it happens to go my way and I win the golf tournament, it's quite a field that you've beaten. Any time you win out here, it's a pretty good field, this one obviously you've got Tiger and Phil and Sergio just right there. So it would be a nice one to take the trophy tomorrow.

Q. Tiger said this course really suits his eye. Is that how you feel?

ROD PAMPLING: I enjoy playing here. It's a very demanding golf course, you've got to hit the ball really well and as I said I enjoy that. You know, it's a lot of holes where you can really see your shot, which that's nice, a lot of golf courses, you've got to struggle to see what shot you need to play, but this one is pretty straightforward what you need to hit.

Q. Inaudible?

ROD PAMPLING: Sure, it's such a long golf course, that's where you'd like to make your scores, but doesn't always work out that way. You certainly would like to make at least two out of the four.

Q. Inaudible?

ROD PAMPLING: I just putted a lot better. Yeah, I couldn't make a putt last week; it was quite frustrating. But worked hard on the putting and yeah, it's starting to show. We've made a lot of nice putts this week, which it's nice to show that the practice is paying off.

Q. Inaudible?

ROD PAMPLING: It's the nature of the beast. You know, it's so easy to miss a good putt, just with a bad read. I really struggled with the reads last week, where I feel comfortable with the reads here. That's huge because you've got to take into consideration the lay of the land. It doesn't always look as it is to you. We've played them enough to know which way they go, which way they don't go and I feel comfortable on the greens.

Q. Inaudible?

ROD PAMPLING: Oh yeah, it is. Why; who knows. If you can answer that, you'd be a genius.

You know, it's just you feel comfortable with it and that's a huge part is you feel comfortable on the greens. You're going to make a lot more than if you're guessing at where you want to hit it instead of hitting it right where you want to.

Q. Best golf advice inaudible?

ROD PAMPLING: Well, if you gave up practice just to work inaudible there's a lot going on up top. It's a full time job.

I think just patience out there. It varies but it's amazing when you feel it, when you actually feel patient out there how much better you actually play and how much better you think out there.

Q. How much more patient inaudible?

ROD PAMPLING: First event last week, so you're just not making the putts, and that's where you expect to make putts there because the greens are so perfect. I think it just warmed me a little bit and kind of was trying too hard; whereas I relaxed a bit more and feel comfortable on the greens and they are going in.

Q. Does playing well help your patience inaudible?

ROD PAMPLING: You know, you've got to even if you're playing bad, you have to be patient to hopefully improve. That doesn't mean you've still got to play well but it certainly helps. Less frustrating on the golf course, at least you're giving yourself a chance when you're patient. When you're not patient, I think you lose a chance to win or to play well.

Q. Have you played in any golf tournaments inaudible?

ROD PAMPLING: I think I finished eighth, third and then 30th in the last Masters.

Q. What kind of breakthrough was it for you psychologically at The INTERNATIONAL?

ROD PAMPLING: Oh, it was huge. Any time you win for the first time it's going to give you a huge boost of confidence. And to beat, well I think Chris DiMarco was in the last group and you know he's a great player, to go head to head with him and win there, it's great for the confidence. Wherever you win, it's great, but to win on the U.S. Tour, it certainly makes it all worthwhile and gives you a boost of confidence.

Q. Inaudible?

ROD PAMPLING: After last week, no. Realistically, you miss the cut at the Hope and you shoot par around there. Obviously if you looked at that you wouldn't think the game is too good. But I knew I played well last week, and on this golf course, from one extreme to the other was just so difficult. No, I didn't expect to be there, but it's great to be there and looking forward to tomorrow.

Q. Shooting a 69 is pretty solid.

ROD PAMPLING: Yeah, it is. Last week I played well but just didn't make the putts. It's a golf course where you have to hit the ball very straight. I work hard at doing that and that's good when the hard work you do of trying to hit it straight actually pays off.

Q. Inaudible?

ROD PAMPLING: Yeah, definitely, would be a huge amount. That's part of it. If you don't get nervous on Sunday in the last group, you never will.

That's part of the game and we work hard to control that. You'll still be nervous, but you've got to learn to control that, and at the end of the day, everyone else is going to be nervous as well. Whoever handles it the best will end up winning the golf tournament.

Q. Inaudible?

ROD PAMPLING: Definitely. Just continuing learning out here. It's nice, you win every week you'll always be nervous. But the more times you're in the situation, the easier it does become. It might be just after your first tee shot and then once you're away it's like, all right, let's get into it.

You know, that's why we work so hard and just have to control the situations and that's what we do from our end, just working hard, keeping my head in check and just letting the game letting it go.

Q. When did she stop working inaudible?

ROD PAMPLING: When did she stop working? Oh, wow, six, seven years ago. Once we started coming over here she's more full time now.

Q. Is this the first time you've played in the last group?

ROD PAMPLING: This is the second. First was The INTERNATIONAL.

Q. Inaudible?

ROD PAMPLING: No, I work hard on my golf swing and whatever you want to call it, mechanical, feel player, whatever it is. I just work hard on my game and if that's mechanical, then so be it. But I work on getting my body in certain position each shot and that's just what I fight.

Q. Inaudible?

ROD PAMPLING: Early on, definitely. Once I first started working with my coach, we changed a lot. It was kind of the old golf swing in a way. Now we just changed it to I think a more athletic position. Yeah, we just stick with that and just keep work working on that, basically.

JOHN BUSH: Thanks, Rod, appreciate it.

End of FastScripts.

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