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An Interview with Chad Campbell

Chad Campbell spoke with the press on Tuesday about his first Ryder Cup.
September 14, 2004

JULIUS MASON: Chad Campbell, ladies and gentlemen, playing in his first Ryder Cup.

Chad, welcome to Oakland Hills. Some thoughts on your practice round today and then we'll go to Q&A, please.

CHAD CAMPBELL: Thanks. Today was my first time to see all 18 holes and I really liked the course. I thought it was a great golf course. I thought it was a very challenging golf course, especially around the greens. The greens are really tricky, you have to be careful where you hit the balls or where you miss the greens. It's going to be tough to get it up-and-down. I think that's going to be the most important part of the golf course, around the greens.

Q. Can you talk about your relationship with Chris Riley and how you guys are teammates here and you have such a long standing teammate relationship bond?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Right, yeah, we went to college at UNLV together for two years. We've been really good friends ever since then. We were roommates our senior year. You know, he got out on TOUR a few years before me, I think three years before me.

It's been nice. We've really gotten back closer together and became really good friends. It's nice for us both to make the team this year and we're really looking forward to it.

Q. What's your history in team competition and have you ever played alternate-shot?

CHAD CAMPBELL: No, I haven't played alternate-shot. And my history in team competition is, I don't think there is any. (Laughing) a couple barbecues tournaments.

Other than like Shark Shootout and stuff like that, nothing. No Walker Cup or anything like that.

Q. Hal Sutton said he's not going to announce partners until at least Thursday. I know you're new at this but would you have a preference, would you prefer to know earlier who you're going to play with or does it matter to you?

CHAD CAMPBELL: It doesn't really matter to me. Hal said something good last night. He said, "Just be ready to play, beat the guys by yourself, one against two. If your partner helps you, just be a bonus there. Just prepare to play like you do for every tournament and don't worry about who your partner is."

Q. You being a rook in all of this, who have you been hitting up for information as far as teammates and did you pump Tiger for any tips or advice and what all have they been telling you?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Not too much. At the NEC I played a practice round with Phil and Davis and we just chatted a little bit about it, what to expect. Obviously, this week I've played with Tiger today and been talking to Tiger a lot about it and had lunch with him today.

You know, just trying to get me prepared for what to expect. It's kind of hard to do since it's something that you can't really compare it to as far as tournaments, any other tournament. It's such a different atmosphere and as far as preparation, it's kind of hard to know what to expect. You know it's going to be a tough week but definitely looking forward to it.

Q. Talk about the patriotism that you have and how much this event brings that out of you? One guy said that this is kind of like your Olympics because this is the only time that you really get to play for your country.

CHAD CAMPBELL: It's such an honor to be playing for your country like you said. To be considered one of the Top-12 American players is just such an honor and so prestigious to be playing in this event, and you know, it's just great. We're very patriotic. We love where we're from and where we live. You know, that's what it's about.

Q. With that being said, when you came here for the first time and you saw all of the flags and the setup and everything, was it a little bit overwhelming?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Today it was. You know, seeing, being out there early Tuesday morning and seeing all of those people out there are already cheering and yelling "USA" and stuff like that, it's a great feeling. It's something we don't -- this is the only tournament that you can see that at.

Q. Just wanted to go back to the team aspect of it since this is new to you, if you could talk about the first of probably 12 team dinners you had last night, the atmosphere there, sorry, Julius, and what it's like being in the team room, the uniform, the whole nine yards.

CHAD CAMPBELL: It's great. Getting to see all of the guys off the golf course, a lot of these guys I only know on the golf course. It's nice being able to hang out with them and sit around and talk in a casual relaxed atmosphere. I had a lot of fun last night at the dinner and then, you know, going back to the team room and just hanging out. So I think as far as that aspect of it, it's great.

Q. What was the best thing Jordan said last night?

CHAD CAMPBELL: You know, just how much he's going to be out there pulling for us. He loves golf and he loves -- he said how much he loved this event. I think he's been to quite a few of them and been on the fairways watching. So he said he's going to be pulling hard for us so it's nice to have him on our side.

Q. Did he put any money on you guys?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I think he's hurting a little bit right now. (Laughing).

Q. There's the idea of being here and then there's the idea of contributing in a positive way out on the golf and making points for your team. You got off to a very good start at the beginning of the year. You were kind of quiet this summer. Did you lose any of your confidence, do you come in here with confidence, is your anxiety level worse than you expected it to be? How do you feel?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I feel good. Actually, you know, my finishes lately have not been that great but I feel like I've been playing good, just a couple of things here and there haven't been clicking. You know, just need to get a little momentum on my side. I played pretty well last week. Had a few bad holes here and there. I'm not worried about it. I feel like I'm hitting the ball well, putting well, so not really worried about it. You know, obviously very anxious for Friday to come around. You know, it's going to be awesome.

Q. Would it be better for you to play early, like right away, get that out of the way?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I don't know. Either way. Either way is fine. Whatever Hal decides, it doesn't matter to me.

Q. You and Riley go back a long way. You're pretty laid back and he's more wound up, shall we say. As rookies, has he done anything that's surprised you? Everyone is talking about how he's excited about everything, anything that comes to mind over the last couple of days that he's done?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Not really anything out of the normal for Riley. That's said in a good way. You know, he's a great friend, he's a great guy, he definitely adds a few laughs to the team.

Q. An example?

CHAD CAMPBELL: Just everything. I mean, he's just -- that's the way he is. He'll sit there and ask you a hundred questions and probably could care less about your answers. He just wants to get his questions out to you.

Q. Did you say this is the first time you had played this course?


Q. What were some of your thoughts or some of your impressions before you had gotten here, what had you heard about this course and maybe what has been different about it?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I think it's pretty much what I expected. I had heard that it's a great golf course and I heard it's pretty much all around the greens. The greens pretty much make the golf course with how undulating they are. Just knowing where to hit the ball. So really no surprise when I got in here. This is kind of what I had in mind.

Q. Hal Sutton as the captain has the option of setting up the course the way he wants, being the host team, do you guys have input as an American team of how you want the course set up? Does Hal come to you guys about your strengths and weaknesses on the golf course?

CHAD CAMPBELL: No, he hasn't. I'm sure he's watching how we're playing and maybe later he'll ask what we think. But not really yet, he has not asked about how we want it set up or anything like that.

Q. Do you like the way it's set up?

CHAD CAMPBELL: I do. I think it's set up great. The rough is tough, but you know you can get some shots where you can get it to the green and I think that's good.

JULIUS MASON: Chad Campbell, ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much.

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