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April 16, 2005

Rod Pampling


PHIL STAMBAUGH: Okay, Rod Pampling with a 68 today, and you're improving by one shot each day. Right now solo 3rd at minus 6. A couple thoughts about your round today.

ROD PAMPLING: Very nice start, just hung on towards the end. It wasn't the greatest display of ball-striking coming down the stretch, but we just kept hitting it in the spots where you could get up-and-down, and we managed to do that.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: You had a good week last week at Augusta and you're sort of building on that, right?

ROD PAMPLING: Yeah, that was a fantastic week. We had a lot of fun there, hit the ball really well. Yeah, it's just -- well, we've been playing nicely the last couple of months, just haven't got much out of the game. We're just playing it a little bit smarter than we have been, not being so aggressive. Obviously you can't be aggressive at Augusta and you can be aggressive here. So maybe you could learn something there.

Yeah, we're definitely playing nicely, and we can just improve by another one tomorrow, who knows.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: You made four birdies in your first five holes and then it was all pars thereafter. Can you just take us through your round and talk about the four birdies and a bogey and then if you had anything else along the way or any good saves.

ROD PAMPLING: We hit driver on the 1st right down the middle and gap wedge to about three foot, made the putt. It was a pretty straight putt.

2, hit driver in the left rough, hit 7-iron just short and chipped it up to about seven-foot past the hole and made a breaking putt there.

3, hit driver left into the left rough and then hit gap wedge to maybe 25 foot, made that.

4th hole, hit 7-iron to the right of the green and chipped it to about 15 foot past, missed.

Then it was driver, 3-wood to the left trap, hit that down to about four-foot and made that there.

So it was pretty uneventful until 15 when I had a great par there, hit it -- just hit it in the left rough and hit the second shot to the right, and it finished on the waste area in where the crowd had been. It was in like a heel mark, so I was really hoping the ball would come out. It came out pretty solid and went through the back left into some more waste area, and then I knocked it to ten foot and made that putt. So that was a good hole, a good par to get the round going, and obviously parred in.

Q. We don't know how the last group is going to finish, but sort of set this up for tomorrow. You're lurking in the back. Do you think you can still win?

ROD PAMPLING: Definitely. I don't know what Darren did the first few holes but he obviously got off to a rough start. It's a golf course that can grab you. You've really got to position yourself off every tee. It can definitely grab you. If I can shoot 4 tomorrow, then I think it's going to be a chance. The greens are getting very firm, so I really don't see them shooting 5 or 6-under, that's for sure. If we can get off to that good solid start and give ourselves a chance on the back nine, we can hopefully get away with a win.

Q. Do you go out tomorrow and be aggressive or do you just have to play it as it comes?

ROD PAMPLING: Yeah, you can't be aggressive on the golf course now. It's so firm and the pins, I'm sure they're going to be tucking them a little bit more tomorrow. There's going to be some holes you can go for, but generally you've got to be patient and try and make a 25-footer every now and again. The greens are just too firm to be aggressive unless you have a wedge, which you can be semi-aggressive then.

Q. Has that changed from the first two days?

ROD PAMPLING: It's slowly getting firmer. The first two days you could be aggressive. The ball was holding. But now, the balls, you can see them bouncing hard. It's certainly firming up.

Q. What did you hit to No. 2, your second shot?


Q. 7-iron to No. 2, par 5?

ROD PAMPLING: Yeah, it was playing a little bit down-breeze. The main goal there was we didn't want to be long. So the 7-iron we didn't think would get there but it was more position of play just to keep it short of the hole. Woody Austin was through and he couldn't keep it on the green. It would normally play I would say a 6-iron, but it was just keep it short of that hole.

Q. When you see somebody playing the way Darren was the first couple of days, a couple of 65s, do you think he's got to come back at some point, that he's not going to keep that up all four rounds?

ROD PAMPLING: On this golf course I would think he's got to slow down. That's two unbelievable rounds he's shot. Obviously to shoot those scores, you've got to get a little bounce here and there to go your way, and if they don't go your way, those possible birdies, maybe pars, turn into bogeys. Obviously I'm assuming that's what happened early on in his round.

Yeah, those two rounds, you don't see that too often on this golf course.

Q. There's a history the last several years of the winner really coming from pretty far back. Are you guys aware of that kind of -- you've played here for four or five years. I mean, do y'all know going into that final round that you can be a good distance back?

ROD PAMPLING: Any golf course that's playing like this where it's firm and fast, you can always come from behind. It's not one where the front runners are going to have it easy and just hit it on the green. You have to hit perfect shots every time. The golf course is getting so firm.

I'm glad that stat is a true stat, coming from behind. That's definitely something that might be in my favor.

Q. In your history have you been positioned where you like coming from behind, you like the agility to --

ROD PAMPLING: Front is always good, but just to have the opportunity to win a golf tournament, it doesn't matter whether you're in front or behind, just to be there on Sunday to have the opportunity to win the golf tournament, that's what it's all about.

Q. You came from behind at the International?

ROD PAMPLING: I was tied on Saturday. DiMarco had a good lead after two rounds, but after Saturday we were tied.

Q. Could you just briefly recap, what was your association with one of the clubs in Bluffton, how long did it last?

ROD PAMPLING: It was really just -- it was a pretty short time. We were looking at moving here. We had sort of looked around a couple of different areas, but the contact we had just really didn't pan out. It was one that we were quite happy we didn't get stuck with, not that we didn't like the area, it is beautiful, but the contact we had, I don't know how true he was with his credentials and whatnot.

Yeah, thankfully, that was when Steve Wilmont gave me a start, and obviously we were making plans on moving here, but as I say, our contact wasn't real credible. Yeah, that's why we eventually just stayed here and let's start fresh and look somewhere else.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Rodney, thanks very much. Good luck tomorrow.

End of FastScripts.

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