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March 31, 2015

K.J. Choi


AMANDA HERRINGTON:テつ All right.テつ Good afternoon.テつ We welcome K.J. Choi to the Media Room here at the Shell Houston Open.
First to get this started, Dallas resident.テつ Tell us a little bit about playing in Texas.
K.J. CHOI:テつ I went to Dallas about six years ago because of my kids, their school so really as a dad I had no choice but to follow them (laughter).
And first time playing in Houston in awhile and it really feels like I came back to home town and looking forward to this week.
Driving down to Houston the other day from Dallas, and lived here for nine years and that's the longest I've lived in the U.S. in one area, and that's why it really feels like a home town to me and I was reminiscing about the days when I used to practice here, and another reason why I'm participating in this event is that I'm really trying to play my way into the Presidents Cup since it's in Korea and I'm a Vice-Captain.テつ I would like to play as well given the opportunity.
AMANDA HERRINGTON:テつ We'll open it up to questions.

Q.テつ How is your game at the moment?
K.J. CHOI:テつ I'm very satisfied with my shot making and as with the age comes the physical issues, but I'm trying hard to get over that and as much as I'm hitting the ball well I'm not scoring as well as, you know, I would like to, so I'm going to focus on the scoring aspect of the game and that will solve the issue, but my game right now is in good condition right now.

Q.テつ K.J., if you don't make the Presidents Cup team on points, do you think you could get -- if you were playing well enough do you think you could stand a chance of getting a Captain's Pick as well?
K.J. CHOI:テつ So, as far as I know you have to be in the Top 50 in the world to be picked for the Presidents Cup team and for me to get in the Top 50 in the world, I'm sure I'll have to have multiple top, you know, 5s, Top 3s or a lot of wins and, so, if I'm playing that well, I'll likely play my way into it but if I can actually be a big help in getting the win, I don't see why I shouldn't be playing given the choice of, you know, getting a Captain's Pick.
So, I wouldn't say no to that but if I'm playing well enough to be one of the Captain's Picks, I think I should be able to play my way into the team automatically.

Q.テつ K.J., we're talking to Nick Price at Doral about Sang Moon Bae's situation.テつ Is there an update to his situation and also how important is it to Sang Moon Bae to be playing in South Korea in the Presidents Cup?
K.J. CHOI:テつ International team definitely needs Sang Moon and they would benefit for having Sang Moon on the team but the military issues, it's not the matter of me commenting on it or the golf issue, it's really what has to do with the Korean culture and they take the military issues very seriously so it's not appropriate for me to comment on whether he should be playing or not, what impact it will have playing in Korea, but as of now, I think the bigger picture is that he'll have to get in good terms with Korean fans and solve that issue first and then we can worry about golf later.

Q.テつ K.J., in this tournament we've had lot of playoffs through the years.テつ Does your mindset change when it gets in that situation?テつ I know you've won some through the years.
What kind of strategy do you use to make it work in the playoff, if you were in the playoffs?
K.J. CHOI:テつ So I try to prepare the shots, you know, the same way all the time, trying to maintain the same pace and focus but I definitely feel more pressure in that situation so I try hard to focus a little more and concentrate a little more but I know that the other players that I'm playing against, they're feeling the exact same pressure.テつ Kind of rely on that and think that these players are in a similar situation to me.テつ That kind of relieves me in those situations.

Q.テつ What's the comfort level with this course?テつ I don't know if you've had a chance to play it very much.
K.J. CHOI:テつ So, compared to six years ago when I played here last, to my knowledge, my iron game is significantly better and the point of emphasis for the week is the tee shots because obviously the water hazards out there and so having a better golf game just makes me feel more comfortable with the course.
Course knowledge-wise I haven't been here in awhile.テつ I'm playing better and that's going to make me more comfortable with the course.テつ I played a practice round today and I felt very comfortable and, like I said before, this area, Houston area being, you know, kind of like my home town, I just feel comfortable overall.

Q.テつ K.J., talking about kids going to school, what do you like most about living in Texas?
K.J. CHOI:テつ So I like Texas for a few reasons and, first and foremost, people are nice here and I always felt that when I moved here people are very friendly towards me and my family and also traveling, it's a lot easier for me to be in the center of the country and having to fly five, six hours as opposed to -- two, three hours as opposed to five, six hours.テつ That makes a big difference.テつ Going west and east, the time difference, having to adjust three hours and that's a big adjustment for me.テつ But living in Texas now I only have to adjust one or two hours either way.テつ That's good.
Also the school system and the fact that they go to a good school and I'm able to travel easier now not only impacts me as a golfer but makes me a better dad for them, too.テつ Those are some of the reasons why I enjoy being in Texas and food, black Angus steak.
AMANDA HERRINGTON:テつ Any final questions?テつ Thank you K.J.
K.J. CHOI:テつ Thank you very much.

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