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April 14, 2015

Paula Creamer

Hyo-Joo Kim

Jessica Korda

Brittany Lincicome

Inbee Park

Michelle Wie West


MATT HAAS:  Hi, everyone, and welcome to the media center at the Lotte Championship presented by Hershey.
We'll get things started off here with Sean Pyun, managing director of international business with the LPGA.
SEAN PYUN:  Thanks, Matt.
First of all, welcome to the Lotte Championship presented by Hershey.  Want to thank everybody for being here.  Again, as you know, this is our forth edition, with a great three tournaments last three years with a star studded roster of winners.
So we look forward to another great edition of the tournament.  Again, thank you very much on behalf of Lotte and LPGA.  We want to welcome all the fans, members of the media, and all the players for participating.
Thank you.
MATT HAAS:  Ladies, we thank you so much for being here and supporting this event.
I am going to open it up with a general question that I would like everybody to answer:  What do you enjoy most about competing at the Lotte Championship presented by Hershey.
Start off with Paula.
PAULA CREAMER:  I would say just being able to come to Hawaii.  It's always a fun event for everybody.  People bring their families and stay in condos.  It's nice to be able to able to play different types of golf courses from the main land that we play.
It's a little bit different out here, so it's fun.  The sponsor does a great job of hosting us, and all the fans that come out are very supportive of the women's golf.
MATT HAAS:  Hoo Joo.
HYO JOO KIM:  (Through translation.)  I kind of feel like I'm home being at a tournament that's sponsored by my own sponsor.  It puts a bit of pressure on myself to play better, but I feel like I'm home.
I haven't played a lot of golf courses this year with a lot of wind, so I think I'll be able to probably use that to my advantage this week.
MATT HAAS:  Michelle.
MICHELLE WIE:  Pretty obvious I love coming back home.  I look forward to this event all year.  I get to come back home after the season is done, and then I get to go back to Florida and start training and start my year up.
I look forward to April.  I look forward to ‑‑ you know, after I get done in Palm Springs, the first flight out of L.A. here, so I was really excited to get home.
I was home all last week.  Excited to play.  Having a lot of fun so far.
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  I think the same.  It's just wonderful to be here in Hawaii.  It's just so beautiful and the people are so welcoming.  To have Lotte and Hershey sponsoring us, I played with the Hershey's guys today.  Hoping they're going to send me a little chocolate when I get home.
Just to be from Florida and be by the water here this week I feel like I'm at home.  It's just a beautiful golf course, and I feel like we're going to have a great week.
MATT HAAS:  Inbee.
INBEE PARK:  Yeah, I think it's a great holiday spot as well, so I feel like we're on holiday and playing golf at the same time.
It's a great place and a great tournament.  I had good results last couple years, and hopefully I have another good one this year.
Yeah, I feel comfortable on this golf course.  Around the area they have very Asian culture here.  It's a little bit different to other states in U.S.
It's a very unique week for me.  Yeah, we're going to have a lot of fun.
JESSICA KORDA:  Everybody has answered very different.  I think for me, I love coming back to Hawaii.  I missed last year, and I knew it had to be a stop that I had to come back.
I just love it here so much.  It reminds me a lot of Florida; the golf courses are very similar to what I grew up.  Obviously staying by the water is very similar to home, so I feel very comfortable and really pleased to be back here.
MATT HAAS:  We're going to bring it back down this way.  We'll start with Jess again.
You finished tied for sixth here in the past.  What does to take to have success on this golf course?
JESSICA KORDA:  You know, it does get windy out here, so I think just being able to play in the wind and keep yourself calm.  I just like Bermuda greens.  It's something that I've grown up on and it's just a lot of fun to play this golf course.
Honestly, I think the wind is going to be the biggest thing this week.  We'll see what we get.
MATT HAAS:  Then for Inbee, you're coming off five straight top 10 finishes this season.  What's been the key to your success in those events?
INBEE PARK:  I tied for 11th last week, so not consecutive.
Yeah, I feel good about this season.  I been playing very consistent.  Obviously I had great success on this golf course.  I think this golf course is about judging the wind and reading the greens.
The greens are very grainy and the wind almost always comes from the same direction every day, but I had one day this week of it was coming from the totally different direction.
So I think the golf course itself is probably easy golf course, but with the wind factor it can play quite difficult as well.
I think the golf course has a lot of thinking as well.  So good putting and judging the wind.
MATT HAAS:  Brittany, you're coming off a?  Major championship win on the ANA Inspiration.  What's it been like for you these past couple weeks kind of glowing and reflecting in that?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  Obviously I've been on Cloud 9 for a long time since winning.  Last week when I was home I played golf four out of the five days I was home, which is very strange for me.
It's been great.  Just coming out this week and all of my fellow friends out here congratulating me and giving my hugs obviously makes it feel very special that they were rooting for me.  Just the fans and body as well.  I'm still on Cloud 9.
It'll be interesting to see how this week goes.  Hopefully we keep the momentum going.  Like Inbee said, it's a great golf course.  You just got to judge the wind.  Hopefully my length will come into play this week and we can kind of keep it going.
MATT HAAS:  And a follow‑up to that, Brittany, how do you refocus yourself and move on to the next event after such a big win like that?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  Can I let you know on Saturday?
MATT HAAS:  Absolutely.
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  Yeah, like I said, I'm still on Cloud 9.  Just need to keep the confidence high.  I think that's what we all try to do.
Got kind of low there for a couple years.  I think I haven't won since 2011.  So now just believing in myself that I can win again and just keep that going and not get ahead of myself and just try to reflect on what happened at ANA and keep that going.

MATT HAAS:  Michelle, defending champion.  Does it feel like a year has passed since you last hoisted that trophy behind you?
MICHELLE WIE:  It really is crazy how time flies.  Seems like yesterday.  But last year really a dream did come true for me.  Growing up here playing a lot of junior tournaments, Hawaii tournaments, always been my dream to win at home in front of my friends and family and just people that have been rooting for me since I was really young.  So it was really cool to do that last year.
It's always fun to defend, so I'm happy to be back.  Just trying to take it easy and having fun.
PLAYER:  She is still young, by the way.  (Laughter.)
MATT HAAS:  Michelle, even though you're living in Florida now, you mentioned home so much with this event.  Does it still mean that much to you?
MICHELLE WIE:  Yeah.  Hawaii will always be forever and always my home no matter where I live.  You know the saying, you can take the island out of the girl, but you can never take the island out of the girl.  It's definitely true.
I feel like every time I come back to Hawaii it always feeling like I'm coming back home.  I go to these spots that I go to eat.  Just familiar faces, just everything feels ‑‑ smells and everything just feels so familiar to me that it feels great to be back.
MATT HAAS:  Finally for you Michelle, what's the key going to be for you to hoist that trophy again?
MICHELLE WIE:  I think the key for me is just not to look too far into the future and not put too much pressure on myself.
I think that's kind of what I kind of struggled with the last couple years ‑‑  I mean, obviously not last year, but ‑‑ was just putting too much pressure on myself.
I just want to play really well when I come back home, so just kind of kept the mindset going from last year.  No pressure.  Just have fun, enjoy being back home, and just have fun.
MATT HAAS:  Now, Hoo Joo, you're a rookie this year on the LPGA Tour, but you've played in this event every year it's been on this course.  Is that an advantage for you, seeing that most of the time when you're out there this year you haven't played?
HYO JOO KIM:  (Through translations)  as you mentioned, I played this event every year and played here as an amateur the first three years.  My sponsor really helped me out a lot the last three years.
Coming in now as an LPGA member and not as a rookie, I don't feel like anything is new or different for me.  I feel like I'm right where I belong.  I've been here many times, so it's not going to surprise me a bit.
I'm just going to go out and play my game.
MATT HAAS:  What has been the highlight of your rookie year so far?
HYO JOO KIM:  (Through translation.)  Well, I think being a rookie, I honestly didn't expect to win any tournaments this year.  Winning an event in Phoenix was a great moment for me in this rookie season.
But really, look at all the players I'm sitting next to right now.  I used to watch these players on TV and I get to actually sit next to them, play with them, and I get to learn from them.  That has been the highlight of my rookie season so far.
MATT HAAS:  Paula, you're a veteran out here.  This is your 10th season, correct?
MATT HAAS:  11th season out here, so you've obviously been to a lot of events all around the world.  What makes the Lotte Championship presented by Hershey a unique event and a must‑stop for you?
PAULA CREAMER:  Just the way that we're treated.  The party last night was very nice.  You get a lot of people that come in out of town and people that vacation here and come out and watch.
It's nice to be able to come to Hawaii and play a tournament in itself.  The fact that they have been such a supporter for LPGA and women's golf, we all want to come and play in their tournament.
The fact that they can bring Lotte to Hawaii I think is important for everybody.
MATT HAAS:  We'll open it up for questions.  Please raise your hand and we'll get you a mic.

Q.  Michelle, Brittany was saying how winning last tournament kind of helped her believe in herself again.  How much did winning this tournament last year play into what you were able to do the rest of year and winning the U.S. Open?
MICHELLE WIE:  For sure it definitely helped build my confidence.  I was in kind of the same situation as her.  I didn't win for a very long time before I won last year.  Definitely winning gives you that boost of confidence that you need.
You know you can do it, but it's a very nice reminder knowing that you really can do it.  So it definitely helped with my confidence and building my confidence from there.  Definitely at the U.S. Open as well, too.
Every day I want to keep trying to build on top of that.

Q.  Michelle, I think I ask you this question every time I see you but you usually bring it up first as far as the food goes.  Where are your favorite stops this time?
MICHELLE WIE:  Same as always.  I go to the same exact places.  I feel like it's like clockwork for me.  First place I went to was Uncle Bo's.  I love that place.  It's so good.
Then I definitely Poke.  Got Poke to go.  Five different kinds.  Got to like two scoops of rice.  Went out on Diamond Head Lookout and kind of sat on the wall there and ate it.  It was pretty good.
Then I got Poke the next day, and the next day I went Lau Lau.  It's kind of clockwork for me.  I could eat this every single day.  I look forward to it.  It's just awesome.

Q.  In Florida can you get Poke, or do you try to make it yourself?
MICHELLE WIE:  You know, they try.  People on the mainland, they try.  They're like, Oh, authentic Poke.  I'm like, Okay.  Okay, let's try this.  And it's nothing like it.
PLAYER:  What are the doughnuts called?
MICHELLE WIE:  Malasadas.
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  Can we get those in the locker room?
MATT HAAS:  Brittany, you can get the best Malasadas about a block from Uncle Bo's.
Anything else?  All right.  Ladies, we appreciate the time.

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