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June 21, 2015

Brian Campbell


Q. Tell us about your day today. Nice day?
BRIAN CAMPBELL: Yeah, you know, I just stayed patient out there and focused on hitting the right shots and I really just tried to hit fairways.

Q. You said yesterday in an interview it was a rough day, you shot a 78, but maybe today you'd come out and shock the world. 68 is not shocking the world, but you put yourself in a position for a low amateur. You have to be feeling pretty good.
BRIAN CAMPBELL: Yeah, I'm very proud of myself today. I knew I had the potential to shoot a good one. So I kind of let it happen. At a course like this, that's playing so tough you can't force the issue. You've got to be just really patient out there, just point A to point B, fairway, green. And when the greens are getting fast like they are, you kind of almost got to lag putt your short ones even and get used to that kind of a speed. But I think the key for today was I really focused on my distance control. Yesterday I let some shots get away from me. When you're not precise on those numbers, that's when you get those bad bounces and you get in some bad areas. That's really what I focused on today.

Q. What impact was the wind in terms of what your strategy was today?
BRIAN CAMPBELL: It definitely played pretty tough in the morning. There was actually a strong breeze. And it was kind of cool at the beginning of my round. So I think a lot of the holes, like 1, 2 were kind of into the wind. So I don't know, I just tried to really just hit the fairways and stay patient with that. But it kind of let up and got warmer towards the middle of the round and I was able to get some birdies, and I got an eagle on 12, which always helps.

Q. Your college teammate, Nick Hardy, also shot a 68. Are you guys going to compare numbers?
BRIAN CAMPBELL: That's the first I heard of that, but that's awesome. I knew he had the potential to shoot a good round. He's a great person. I'm sure I'll see him. I'm sure he's over in the locker room hanging out and I'll go congratulate him. That's awesome to hear.

Q. You two are teammates, but the other four who made the cut, amateurs, is there a bond or is it coincidence?
BRIAN CAMPBELL: Yeah. Certainly some of them I know pretty well, like Jake, Beau Hossler, from the same hometown area, and Nick Hardy is a teammate of mine. So I'm very close to those guys. But I do know all the other amateurs pretty well through college golf and playing amateur tournaments. So it's always nice to go to tournaments and see guys you recognize and say, What's up and how you doing? So it is nice to have them here in the field.

Q. You're going to play at the Sahalee Players Championship?
BRIAN CAMPBELL: I'm not sure. I don't have that in my schedule yet.

Q. Is there anything in particular about Illinois golf that so many of you are in the field and competing?
BRIAN CAMPBELL: Are you saying --

Q. I mean, has the makings of a tradition that you guys are playing so well and there are so many of you?
BRIAN CAMPBELL: Yeah, I think our coach, Mike Small, likes to see the golf team as a program and not a golf team. He continues to get better and better every year. And it's not just how we play but how we conduct ourselves on and off the course, and really just building a program that way, and connecting with people and just being real social. I think it makes us tougher as a group of players. And we really respect what he teaches us and we take the advice he gives us and it really helps.

Q. Your playing partner, today, Thomas Aiken, complemented you just a little bit ago. And I'm wondering, he shoots 66, you shoot 68, the two of you, a lot of times in golf people feed off the other player?
BRIAN CAMPBELL: Oh, definitely. We did have some bad shots today, but most of them were good. We kind of fed off of each other and you see one guy bomb it down the middle, you want to step up and do the same thing. So I think it drives you a little bit more. It's nice to see a guy you're playing with playing well. And the other way it's kind of difficult. So it was nice to see him play well, and I'm glad -- it had a good flow to the day. We were continually hitting good shots and things just kind of grooved together and get going.

Q. Two rounds in the 60s and the possibility of being Low Am, what does that mean to you?
BRIAN CAMPBELL: It would mean so much. It's such a new experience for me, I'm still learning how I feel about it. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. But I guess we'll see how the day ends and then I'll see how I feel then.

Q. Were you thinking about it last night, thinking, I've got to go low and see what happens?
BRIAN CAMPBELL: Yeah, I was definitely a little disappointed with my round yesterday because I was in a good position. But that was done with and I knew today was a new day and just I was going to go shoot my best score and then see where it takes me.

Q. When you say how you feel about it, is it that balance between doing your best here and contending, because all you guys come here wanting to win this golf tournament?
BRIAN CAMPBELL: Yeah. I mean it would be a little bit out of line to say that an amateur should win the U.S. Open, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try my absolute hardest all the time. And that's what I'm going to do, I'm going to try my hardest, and it takes me wherever it takes me. That's how I like to think about things. That's the good thing about golf, it's a numbers game. So if you shoot the number, you deserve to be where you are. So instead of other sports where you kind of need recognition or people watching you and that's how you improve, it's really nice just to be able to go out and shoot the score you deserve and move on.

Q. What do you think you'll walk away with feeling as far as how you played here relative to what you thought you were going to play or how are you going to walk away from here?
BRIAN CAMPBELL: Definitely I'm ecstatic. It's been a great week. The crowds have been great. It's really fun to be playing well and have everyone kind of chanting your name. It's kind of a new experience for me. I really enjoyed that. I came into the week not really expecting too much. On a course like this I felt like it could have gone either way. So to come out and shoot some good scores and get some good confidence going was nice. I'm definitely going to be incredibly proud of myself this week no matter what happens.

Q. What do you think of Chambers Bay and particularly of the greens?
BRIAN CAMPBELL: I've heard a lot of talk about the course and how it sets up maybe unfair. But like everyone says, it's cliché, but everyone has to play it. It's not like we can't change anything. I'm just going to play the course as it is and shoot the best I can.

Q. Do you feel like you handled that mental part of it well this week?
BRIAN CAMPBELL: Yeah, I think that's something I do pretty well is handle my emotions. I know I'm not the best ball-striker out there and so I have to handle my own in different ways.

Q. What did you think of the greens?
BRIAN CAMPBELL: Actually, the first two days I putted really well. I saw the lines and my speed was really good. So when that happens you make putts. They did dry out quite a bit, but that's kind of what I expected. I expected them to be incredibly hard to putt on. Some of them were a little bit different than the other greens, which was hard to kind of read and adapt to. But as the week went on you kind of got used to things. You knew they were going to be that way, so you're still going to putt on them, so go ahead and putt good on them if you can.

Q. How does this affect what you're going to do this summer?
BRIAN CAMPBELL: Haven't really thought too much about that yet. I'll speak with my parents and other people and kind of get a feel for what's going on. But I think it gives me a lot of confidence going into the summer, no matter what road I take.
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