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August 7, 2004

Rod Pampling


TODD BUDNICK: 54-hole co leader at this week's International, Rodney Pampling. he and Chris DiMarco tie as Crestor Charity Challenge winner for this week. For his efforts $50,000 will be donated on behalf of Crestor products and the International to the Prostate Cancer Research Center at the University of Colorado Hospital, and then $25,000 will be donated to the healthcare charity of your choice, Rodney.

Congratulations on that.

ROD PAMPLING: Thank you.

TODD BUDNICK: Co leader heading into tomorrow looking for your first victory. How do you feel?

ROD PAMPLING: I feel good. It was an interesting day. I think I left a lot out there. I hit it quite nicely tee to green. It was a golden opportunity. Obviously Chris, he struggled all day, but he hung in there and obviously we're tied still. Yes, I'm very excited. I think it's the first time I've been third round co leader anyway so hopefully it will be a charm.

TODD BUDNICK: Two birdies and a bogey today, not a bad round for you. How difficult is it to play to keep your game up when you're watching a fellow competitor struggle like that?

ROD PAMPLING: Obviously you try not to look at what he's doing, you're focusing on your own game. Sometimes you get caught into that trap as far as watching him and maybe it filters into your game. I played really well. I didn't like my putts. It was one of those days. Hopefully tomorrow they'll go in.

Q. The way you finished this morning, were you disappointed? Did you think he was going to come back a little bit?

ROD PAMPLING: I'm definitely disappointed. It was actually a little cooler this morning. For whatever reason, I had three shots which I thought were pretty good they just came up short every time. And I made three pretty easy bogies, really. We hit the numbers the last two days and have gone the same distance. Maybe in the cooler air the ball didn't travel quite as far. Yes, we didn't pick them.

Q. You've got 16 people within 9 points of the lead. What's the mentality going into tomorrow with everyone so close?

ROD PAMPLING: Obviously just got to keep making birdies. Maybe tomorrow, maybe play a little bit more aggressive with some of the shots and get off to a good lead, then everyone has to catch you so maybe you can back off a little bit. Someone can shoot 18 points, so there's no stopping, just keep trying to make birdies.

Q. How much of an advantage will it be tomorrow playing in that last group knowing what you'll have to do, maybe be a little bit more aggressive, be a bit more conservative?

ROD PAMPLING: I'll check out the board and see what everyone is doing. You're not going to worry about the board too much until you get down the stretch and see really where you are and what position you're in. It's more making birdies and hopefully with a few to go you can kind of relax a little bit. There's still plenty of guys there, there's no worrying about what anyone else is doing, it's just birdies.

Q. Do you like the pressure with so many people having a shot?

ROD PAMPLING: It's exciting. There's so many guys out there. As you say, it's an old cliche, I'll just keep concentrating on my own game and hopefully it will take care of itself. It's an exciting day.

Q. When you started the third round, did you think you would have to make a lot of birdies to catch up with Chris?

ROD PAMPLING: Well, he was, I think, nine in front, if I remember. Yes, it was a day, where a +7, I didn't think it would be good enough. Obviously Chris didn't play as well as he could have. He let us back in.

Q. Did you say that tomorrow will be the first time that you're going to be in the last group?

ROD PAMPLING: As a co leader, yes.

Q. At your level, do you ever get nervous anymore?

ROD PAMPLING: Sure, you do. Definitely. I'm only human. You're always going to have shots out there that might fit your eye, as others do, and you get a little nervous over them, but you certainly work hard to try to control that. There will be some nerves on the first tee, but I'll definitely be trying to control that.

Q. One, do you like the format; and two, did you play in the event in Australia?

ROD PAMPLING: Yes, I played.

Q. How did you do?

ROD PAMPLING: No, I haven't played that one. That's early in the year.

Q. Do you like this format?

ROD PAMPLING: Sure. It's very exciting. I think it's more exciting when you're coming down the stretch, because you know a birdie can pick up 2 shots. It's not just the one shot, and an eagle can pick up 5, especially 17. We saw what Steve Lowery did, he picked up 15 shots or something in three holes. It's fun, it's different. It's a different style.

Q. You haven't won yet in America. Do you feel like you're ready to win, and why?

ROD PAMPLING: I definitely feel like I'm ready to win. My game has matured over the years and it's time to step up and put my hand up and have a win. As I said, I've been playing a lot of consistent golf. I've been improving over the years. Yes, definitely it's close.

Q. As well as you played today, it looked like you were hitting everything down the middle and right at the pin, have you been playing as well as this at other stages this year, or have you just found something this week?

ROD PAMPLING: No, it's been about the last 6 weeks. As I said, I picked up something that I was doing at the Congressional to qualify for the British Open and played well there and worked on that. I putted really well at British Open, I just didn't make that many putts. But yes, at home it's been great. I've been taking money off of friends, so it's been real good.

Q. What did you pick up?

ROD PAMPLING: Just getting off my heals, getting more balanced, you can swing a little easier.

TODD BUDNICK: Let's go through your card. The birdie on 1.

ROD PAMPLING: Drove into the left rough, 6 iron to 100 meters from the hole, hit sand wedge to about a foot.

The par 3, 5 iron to about 2 foot.

On 13, the rescue and 9 iron to about 15 foot, and made that.

And then 3 wood was it the bogey or birdie?

TODD BUDNICK: The bogey.

ROD PAMPLING: Hit 5 iron into the right trap, hit it down to about 7 foot and missed that.

17 was 3 wood, 6 iron to about maybe 25 foot, 2 putted.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you, Rod, and good luck tomorrow.

End of FastScripts.

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