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October 19, 2004

Rod Pampling


On the international flavor of the PGA TOUR

"I think people are coming to America because this is the best tour. The traditional path for Australians is to go to Europe and then you work your way to America. I think a lot of people now are just coming over here. I think that is the same with every tour. They see their countrymen playing well so they decide to have a go at it. I think it is great for the TOUR. The depth now is amazing. Anyone that tees up can win. That is why you are seeing more first-time winners and more guys that seem like they are popping up out of the blue. They have been great players, but with that kind of depth it is hard to win, except for Vijay [Singh]. I just think the whole world is realizing that once they get away from their tour, this is the elite tour. It is where everyone wants to get to. I think that is why you are getting a lot more international players who are competing and winning."

About playing on the bubble

"I have been fortunate. The first few events, we were hanging around the 100 mark, so I wasn't feeling the big pressure. You are always trying to get to a certain area. In my second year, I was trying to get to number 70. We managed to sustain there. This year's goal was to get to the top 30. You might not be on the crucial bubble where you either have work or you don't have work, but there is always something you are striving for or else there is no reason to be out here and you are just whacking away. You try to get something out of it every week. It is good not being on the 125 bubble. There is always something to keep striving for. I just keep trying to relax and play my game and let what happens, happens."

On his schedule

"I try to take it a little bit easy in the middle of the year because it is a little bit harder. Toward the end of the year, I try to play a little bit more."

On playing more to get into the top 30

"I haven't looked to see who is playing and who is not playing. I am just trying to get my work done out there. I don't worry if someone else is out there because you can't control what they are going to do. The work that you get being in the top 30 is a big deal.

On his golf experience in Australia

"I did a trainingship for three years. It is like an apprenticeship where you work at the golf shop and learn how to run a pro shop. You learn the basics of a pro and you have competition throughout the year with other trainees. Then I worked my way on to the Australian tour...I was 19 when I started. I started with greens keeping and then I went to the apprenticeship. I am the original Caddyshack - from greens keeper to professional. This is a lot more fun."

On the number of Australian players on the TOUR...

"Australia is huge into the sport. I think [Greg] Norman was a big factor. You look at when Norman was coming through, now is the time when we were all growing up watching him as the number one player. I think that has helped Australian golf. Now it is just all starting to fall in line with six guys winning this year. I think for myself, I strive to get to his level. Plus, they have great programs. The golf academy is a great program. They have good nutrition, great physical training, great teachers. Those kids are coming out ready, which is obviously working."

On next year's goals

"We haven't gotten that far. At then end of the year, I will sit down with my wife and we will work out what our goals will be then. Whatever they are, they will be realistic. I think that is what everyone has to do - set realistic goals so that they are reachable. Obviously, they will be pretty similar to this year. They will be altered a bit because we have a baby coming early in the year. I will have a slow start to the year with taking care of the baby and seeing how that goes. If everything goes as planned, the baby will be born January 26th. Hopefully, we will get a couple events in, but I am not so sure about San Diego."

End of FastScripts.

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