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April 12, 2016

Lydia Ko

Inbee Park

Hyo-Joo Kim

Brooke Henderson

Michelle Wie West

Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii

MATT HAAS: Happy to be here in the media center for the fifth edition of the Lotte Championship presented Hershey.

Wanted to introduce the players to my left, starting with Hyo Joo Kim, Lydia Ko, Michelle Wie, Inbee Park, and Brooke Henderson.

I am going to start off it with a question for all five. We will go from right to left on the stage, and then open up for questions and I will end it going left to right back.

We'll start it off with Hyo Joo Kim. Sean Pyun will help with interpretation.

Back here again in Hawaii. A Lotte event. You've played this more than any on the LPGA Tour. What does it mean to you to be here?

HYO JOO KIM: Thank to Lotte I have been given a lot of opportunity ever since I was an amateur to play and participate in this tournament, so I want to say thank you to Lotte.

But I think I fall a little short on their expectation, but I think I am getting there each and every year. So hopefully this year I'll be able to show off good results at this tournament.

MATT HAAS: Lydia, back in Hawaii again. Coming off two straight victories. What it's been like? You came in here a little early. How has it been enjoying your time on the island?

LYDIA KO: Yeah, it's definitely good to be back in Hawaii. I mean, Michelle is the face of Hawaii, so she's been taking me around to some really great restaurants. Especially being a foodie, and I think Michelle is a foodie, too.

I've been enjoying my time here. Hawaii is Hawaii. It's like paradise here. So it's always good to be back in such a beautiful place with really good weather.

MATT HAAS: The Dubbed by Lydia Ko Queen of Hawaii, Michelle Wie, back here again. I know this tournament means a lot to you being the 2014 champ. How excited are you to be back in Hawaii playing in front of your hometown fans again?

MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I mean, this is definitely one tournament that I always look forward to every year. You know, just the fact that I get to spend a week before the tournament just being here, enjoying the island, and everything.

But I'm very excited to play here. It brings back really great memories, you know, in Ko Olina seeing the staff, seeing Greg Nichols, seeing Mark, was special for me today, too. So just coming back and seeing all the familiar faces has been really great.

MATT HAAS: Inbee, last three years you've been out here, fourth place, third place, second place. Obviously you play well out here. What's it going to take for you to change that last one into a W this time?

INBEE PARK: Yeah, I really enjoy playing this golf course and I love coming to Hawaii every year. I had good results on this golf course. I really like this golf course, too. I like everything about this place. I come back every year and I have my family living here, so, yeah, happy to be back here and seeing all the family.

Yeah, obviously everybody said the food is great. I really think the food is great here. I miss Hawaiian food when I go back. Yeah, I love to be here.

MATT HAAS: Brooke, last year you came here and tried to Monday qualify; didn't quite get it done. Now you come in here as an LPGA winner ranked seventh in the world. How does it feel to be playing here as a full-time member of the LPGA?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, last year wasn't really the week I was looking for. I came here and it was a really quick trip.

But I love the golf course and I love the area of Hawaii and being here this year and staying at the resort and being an LPGA member, like you said.

A lot of things have changed since last year, so I am really looking forward to the week and hopefully having a good start tomorrow.

MATT HAAS: We'll open it up for questions.

Q. It's for Lydia. Remember meeting you here a couple years ago when you were just starting out. You were a prodigy. Still in your teens, but you've got a couple wins, some majors, and things have gone fairly smoothly for you. Talk about that. Do you sometimes pinch yourself, like, Hey, everything is going so well? People can tell you it's not always -- I know golf is not an easy game, but talk about from prodigy to success.
LYDIA KO: Yeah, I mean, it's always been my dream to play on the LPGA, so a lot of things that I've always dreamt of have come true IN THE past few SEASONS.

I think the really fortunate thing about me and just playing on the tour is I was able to play events as an amateur, and I think that made a huge difference. Just to have already met some of the girls and having dinner with them and just talking to them, I think that made the transition so much easier, you know, coming on the tour three years ago.

I can't believe this is already my third year on tour. Things have gone by so fast. Experience is such a big thing. I think every moment, good or bad, there is always something I can learn from.

So I have just been enjoying it out here. Everyone has been super welcoming and really nice. I just love playing out here with the girls. Obviously I'm currently world No. And I've always dreamt of being in that position, but I would've never imagined myself to be there right now or even for it to come true.

A lot of things that I've always dreamt of have come really fast. Sometimes I hear people say, Oh, if it comes fast, aren't you worried? To me, I'm just trying to embrace the moment. Just tying to have fun. I just feel fortunate with the things that have happened so far.

So even if the things I really wish in the future don't happen, I feel so fortunate for what has already happened. I'm just going to try and embrace it and enjoy it out there. LPGA is such an awesome tour. I feel great to be part of it.

Q. Michelle, you've been playing well of late. Five of your last seven rounds I think have been under par. Feel like you're starting to get things going in your game?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, for sure. You know, obviously been having this issue with my body and whatnot, but I got a Cortisone shot before I came on this west coast swing, and really starting to kick in and really starting feel good, starting to feel healthy.

Just doing my rehab exercises and getting back to my full strength and everything. It definitely feels great. It feels good to be able to go out there and work on my game, work on stuff. Excited.

Hopefully just keep trying to play better. Definitely just keep working on my game and hoping for the best.

Q. Being at home there can be some pressure, but also familiarity. What side of the fence on this do you feel you land on?
MICHELLE WIE: Both for sure. I definitely feel very comfortable here playing in front of a familiar crowd and omn the golf course, playing Ko Olina, a golf course I grew up on. At the same time, it is a lot of pressure. I've said that in 2014 when I came here that before that I had never played well here. I really took the stress really onto myself. Really wanted to try too hard.

Kind of what I said in 2014 is going to take all the pressure off of myself and just have fun. Have fun playing in front of my friends and family and really start to embrace it. I've really been trying to do that. Definitely both sides, but I'm extremely excited.

Q. I have a question for Korean players. (Through translation.) Do you feel any different coming this year versus last year?
HYO JOO KIM: It's the Lotte tournament, my sponsor tournament, so it feels the same for me coming here this year, next year. I just want to do everything I can to have a good result this week.

MATT HAAS: We'll come back from Brooke this way with one last question for everybody. What is the key to having success out here at Ko Olina? Brooke?

BROOKE HENDERSON: I've been playing out here the last couple days just trying to get a feel for the course. I think the wind is definitely going to be a big challenge, but I'm really excited. Hopefully just have fun or the next few days.

I think there are a lot of birdie holes and birdie opportunities if you can take advantage of them, and then some holes where par is good and just kind of move on to the next hole.

I'm excited to start tomorrow and hopefully get off to a good start.

MATT HAAS: Inbee. Same question.

INBEE PARK: What was the question?

MATT HAAS: What's the key to playing well out at Ko Olina?

INBEE PARK: I think one good thing is that the wind is coming from same direction every day, so I think it's easy to figure out where the ball is going to go. It just depends how strong it's going to be.

Obviously this golf course we know there is a lot of birdies, so it's just making putts on the greens going to be really important.

MATT HAAS: 2014 champion, Michelle Wie. Thoughts on this course and the keys to it.

MICHELLE WIE: Pretty much same as what Inbee and Brooke said. You know, obviously reading the greens is tricky here. Got the wind blowing and the greens going s well. You just need to be patient out there. You just got to try to hit good shots, good putts, and stay patient and try to make birdies on the birdie holes.


LYDIA KO: Yeah, the same as what the other three players said. Yeah, nothing I can add. I mean, you know, obviously with the birdie opportunities you do need to make some good putts because it is windy. Putting itself is going to be tough. It's going to be tough, especially if it stays like this.

But I think everybody kind of realizes by now that this is what we're going to play with. Yeah, should be challenging, but fun at the same time.


HYO JOO KIM: My answer is a little bit different. I would like to speak to Sei Young and see how she did what she last year and pick her brains on how to play better this week.

MATT HAAS: Any further questions? We welcome you all to come and join us for the photo shoot outside in just a little bit. Thank you, guys.

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