The PGA Championship

An Interview With: Chad Campbell

Julius Mason: Good evening, once again, ladies and gentlemen. Chad Campbell at 4-under after the third round of the 85th PGA Championship. After he spends a little time with us, he's going to the practice range, so this will be nice and quick, so we'll try get around the room as quickly as possible.

Some opening thoughts, we'll go through your card and Q&A.

Chad Campbell: Today I felt really good out there. I was able to get off to a good start. I made a good par save on the par 3. I hit a bad shot just short of the green and chipped it up just past the hole and made a good putt down the hill.

After that I played really solid. Hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens and gave myself a lot of opportunities for birdie. Toward the end of the round, birdied 15, 16 and 18. Hit a bad tee shot on 17. That really was one of my only bad shots of the day and I was able to get out of there with bogey.

I birdied 5. I hit 3-wood, 9-iron to about a foot.

7, hit 3-wood, 3-iron to about a foot.

8, hit driver, wedge -- driver, sand wedge to about 15 feet.

Then 15, hit 6-iron to probably 15 feet.

16, driver, 60-degree wedge to about two, three feet.

17, hit my tee shot way right. Hit a tree and kicked further right. So hit a wedge back into the fairway and hit 7-iron to the middle of the green and 2-putted.

18, hit driver, 5-iron to the middle of the green and made about a 35-footer.

Q: Does anybody ever confuse you for Micheel and vice versa? With the hat it's kind of similar facial look.

Chad Campbell: No, really hasn't happened that much. I can see where you come from with that question but it really hasn't happened.

Q: Obviously, you've had a great year and have been getting publicity as the months have gone on as a hot, young player. Can you talk about your status as a growing player on TOUR, and now, going into a major, probably playing in the last group, and how you feel you've kind of come to this point?

Chad Campbell: Last year, obviously was my first year on TOUR. You know, I didn't feel like I played that well last year, but I had a little bit of success. It gave me a lot of confidence coming into this year and I felt really comfortable for the entire year this year. I was able to get in contention two, three or four times, quite a few times. I was just really starting to feel comfortable. Obviously, being in the last group of this tournament is a little bit different than any other tournament, but I think I'm going to try to approach it the same way and go out there and just keep playing the way I've been playing and try to hit a lot of fairways.

Q: Just curious what the reaction was to the Sports Illustrated cover with your family and friends, and if you ever felt a little pressure when you first saw that?

Chad Campbell: No pressure, really. I think everybody loved it. Even a lot of fans, there's no telling how many covers I've signed for people that have mailed them to me, or just people that I've seen out here.

I think it's been great, and it was great for me to get my name out there. I can't have nothing negative to say about it. Everybody's loved it.

Q: Even though you don't get confused with him, what do you know about Shaun, and have you played much golf with him?

Chad Campbell: Actually, I know Shaun decently well. We've just kind of ran into each other along the way, different tournaments here and there. Then obviously last year, got to know with him a little bit better and was paired with him quite a few times. I wouldn't say we are great friends, but we get along with each other.

As far as his game, I know he's a good player. I really don't know -- haven't played with him enough to know exactly everything about his game, but obviously, he's playing really well here, and got to commend him on that.

Q: Talk a little bit about the significance of that closing stretch, and in particular, being able to bounce back from that bogey at 17 with the big birdie bomb at 18.

Chad Campbell: That was huge. I mean, I had quite a few putts today that I didn't take advantage of, like 10, 12, 13. I had some putts that were definitely makeable. It was nice to get a few in at the end and kind of make up for that.

The putt on 18 made up for all of the ones I missed all day.

Q: First of all, have you been in the final group of a PGA TOUR event?

Chad Campbell: Mm-hmm.

Q: And where was that?

Chad Campbell: 2001, Jackson, Mississippi. This year, Tucson; I think that's it.

Q: Just with the way that the trend has gone this year with first-time major winners, have you allowed yourself to think about it, or will you allow yourself to think about it tonight?

Chad Campbell: I will say it will probably enter my mind. I've tried to keep it out of my mind but it's kind of inevitable that it will happen. Still got a lot of golf to play, 18 holes tomorrow. Just want to come out and try to stay focused on what I'm doing and not try to get ahead of myself.

Q: Obviously, you wanted to be in this position, but did you really expect to be?

Chad Campbell: Yeah, I really do. I felt like I've played well all year and have been working really hard on my game. Lately, last week, really started putting a lot better than I had been. I had a lot of confidence coming into this week, so definitely, expected to be contending. It's obviously why you play in tournaments is to be in contention. So I'm happy -- definitely happy to be in that position.

Q: Tell us a little something about Lewisville, Texas.

Chad Campbell: I've lived there for a year now. I grew up in West Texas. It's around Dallas, northwest part of Dallas. I've lived in the Dallas area for about five years now.

Something in particular you want to know?

Q: Where did you grow up?

Chad Campbell: I grew up in Andrews, west part of Texas.

Q: I've been racking my brain, I know when I read that Sports Illustrated there was some bizarre nickname someone hung on you and some big mystery as to where it came from; can you give us both answers?

Chad Campbell: The nickname is "Skeeter" and I honestly have no idea where it came from.

I would tell you if I knew. I've asked the guy that tells it to me and he doesn't know either. So I don't know where it came from.

Q: Normally in this situation, a Chad Campbell will look at the names around him going into a Sunday and see a Woods or a Mickelson. You look around, you see Micheel, Tim Clark and that sort of thing. Is there a comfort factor that you are not running around with the people that you know, that you know their game?

Chad Campbell: I think so, probably being since I haven't been in this position before. But you still go out there, and it's not like you're concentrating on what they are doing. You're trying to take care of your own business and you're trying not to worry about -- you can't control what other people are doing, so you might as well not even think about it.

So it's really -- it's really not that big of a deal.

Q: You've obviously proven yourself with your play on TOUR, but how much does winning drive you, especially considering your background?

Chad Campbell: Well, that's what I've worked for all this year, trying to get my first win out here. I have had some success in the past but not on the PGA TOUR. You know, I'm ready to win. I'm looking forward to it and I'm working hard to get there. Hopefully sooner or later, it will come.

Q: Being from West Texas, are you a wind player, and is that your style of play that's shaped who you are and how you play the game?

Chad Campbell: I definitely think so. I think it was an advantage growing up where it was windy. You learn to play a lot of different shots, as opposed to having perfect weather all the time; it can get a little nasty out there sometimes.

Just being able to work your way around the golf course and play different shots, I think it's definitely been an advantage.

Julius Mason: Thanks very much, Chad.

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