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August 5, 2004

Rod Pampling


TODD BUDNICK: We welcome Rod Pampling, after your first round, you scored 15 points out there thanks to four birdies and an eagle. You made 12 of your first 13 cuts and then only one of the last four; was there something that you figured out that was going on?

ROD PAMPLING: This time of year, I don't know what the reason is, I just don't seem to play as well. I played the British Open, and before that I was just starting to play well and I just had a couple of things go wrong, which it doesn't take much to miss a cut out here. Since I qualified at Congressional for the British Open, I was starting to play really well there. I haven't played a lot, playing this year take me through summertime and get ready for this part of the year. So, yeah, at the moment my swing feels really nice.

Q. Is there a strategy for the first round versus maybe the third round or fourth round? I know they always say you can't win a tournament but you can lose it. Any strategy you have today?

ROD PAMPLING: I think early on you really are just trying to make sure you don't not score on a hole, don't want to go minus three, but playing smart all four days. Maybe coming Saturday or Sunday there might be a few times you might crack a 3 wood at a par 5. But it's pretty similar the whole way.

Q. You mentioned hitting fairways, anything else that you really try to avoid or have a key for the round?

ROD PAMPLING: No, once you hit the fairways out here, you certainly can be a little more aggressive, and that's only if you go at a few more pins. And obviously with the rain we had yesterday, the course, it's playing a little bit softer. So you could be a bit more aggressive.

Just making sure we don't make any mistakes out here and you just don't want those minus threes early in the round. It's just trying to play solid and see what happens at the end of the day.

Q. Do you feel you have any advantage going off very early this morning, and do you like the early tee time on Thursday as compared to the reverse?

ROD PAMPLING: Well, for this week, generally you're going to get a late afternoon storm. So your first round generally goes into Friday, which it's a long day, and especially with how difficult it is to walk around here with not much oxygen; it takes a lot out of you.

Whether it's an advantage, probably if you're out early, but I think early on we had a little bit of breeze and it's settled down now.

Q. Sounds like you used the rescue club off the tee a little bit?

ROD PAMPLING: Just twice.

Q. Is that normal for you?

ROD PAMPLING: I put it in the bag this week.

Q. What is the strategy on that?

ROD PAMPLING: My short iron just doesn't quite go high enough, so you're not getting any advantage from hitting the 2 iron. The rescue gets it up in the air a bit more.

Q. How about the condition of the greens, were they any different from the practice rounds, did the rain soften them?

ROD PAMPLING: The whole course, it was amazing, after how much rain was out here, I was surprised to actually see the ball running on the fairways. There was a couple times where it plugged, but generally it was just running. It was great with the amount of rain we had yesterday.

Q. Were you ever in the rough, and if so, how did it compare to previous experiences here?

ROD PAMPLING: Well, as I said, I didn't miss a fairway. So thankfully I wasn't in the rough. I'm sure there will be a few instances where I get in there. It's definitely a little bit thicker. I think we've had a little bit more rain here in the last few years, so the rough is definitely thicker. I think that rain yesterday kind of laid it down a little bit. So it wasn't as bad, but it was still heavy.

Q. Where do you see guys that you've played a lot of golf with and with five Australian winners this year, does that do anything to your thought process, to say, hang on, it's time I get in on some of this?

ROD PAMPLING: Sure, I've got my own goals and yeah, definitely one of them was to have a win this year. So if you happen to make it six Australians, great. You certainly gain confidence from seeing other guys who you know and play with and are familiar with their games and see if they can win. You definitely take confidence out of that. It's not so much putting extra pressure on myself, just telling yourself it can be done and letting it happen.

Q. Along those same lines, Ogilvy had a very nice round, how well do you know him and is he the guy to watch that maybe we don't know about?

ROD PAMPLING: Geoff is a great player. He's been high up on the Order of Merit since he joined the Tour, so I know he plays great. He hits a high ball, so I think that's an advantage out here, as well, getting the distance. But you can put anyone in the field, anyone can win each week. It's not just Geoff Ogilvy is the man to beat. It's whoever saddles up.

Q. Do you have a routine now that you're done today between now and when you tee off tomorrow that you stick to week in and week out or does it depend on the site?

ROD PAMPLING: I think it depends on the site, depends on how I play. I'll still go out there and just work on my setup a little bit just to get more comfortable with that. You know, it's a long time before I tee off next. So it's not nice to have a bit of a break and give yourself a chance to recuperate a little bit.

TODD BUDNICK: Thanks, Rod.

End of FastScripts.

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