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October 25, 2016

Ariya Jutanugarn

Kelly Tan

Brooke Henderson

Jessica Korda

Lydia Ko

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

THE MODERATOR: It's time to hear from our players and our VIPs on the top table. I think it's fitting that we start with the defending champion, Jessica Korda.

Jessica, you come into this tournament with great memories from last year, two rounds of 65 to clinch your fourth win, and you're coming in in great form, as well, after a wonderful battle down the stretch at Blue Bay last week.

JESSICA KORDA: Yeah, I'm just so happy to be here. Malaysia is one of my favorite events of the year. It's nice to see everybody come out and support this event. I hope that everybody comes out and just has a great time, because we do, and we love it here. So just really happy to be back.

THE MODERATOR: Have you had a chance, aside from what's happening on the golf course, to come try a bit of Malaysian food or have a dance? When the last putt drops, it's certainly not over. You don't have to go to the practice ground.

JESSICA KORDA: Is that every day? I might just wait till Sunday. But I'm planning on going to dinner with Natasha, who is actually in the field this week, like I did last year. So I'm sure that she'll take me to a nice Malaysian restaurant, so pretty excited.

THE MODERATOR: Natasha, I believe, is one of the youngest in the people. She's just 15 years old and don't forget the age goes all the way up to 53, and I'll leave that up to you to figure out who the 53-year-old is this week, but she is a World Golf Hall of Famer, I can tell you that.

Let's go back to youth: Lydia, world No. 1. You had a week off last week, and fair to say that you're leading on scoring average but you have a battle going on with Ariya Jutanugarn, certainly when it comes to the Money List and Rolex Player of the Year.

LYDIA KO: Yeah, Ariya has played such great golf throughout the year, and when she won for the first time at Alabama, we kind of all knew it was coming, and sooner than ever. She's just playing so consistently well, even last week, putting herself in contention. I mean, she's just overall a very strong, confident player.

So yeah, I know that I've got a lot of work to do these last few events, but for me to just be in this position and have the opportunity to go for the Player of the Year again and all those other things that come at the end of the season, it's been really cool.

But at the end of the day, the most important thing is for me to play good golf out there, have fun, and I think that when I have fun, that's when I play the best. So hopefully I'll be able to have a lot of fun this week.

The MODERATOR: Certainly guarantee there will be a great deal of fun off the golf course as well as terrific golf on.

Kelly Tan, how were the Olympics? You are now an Olympian. How wonderful.

KELLY TAN: It's great. It was a very good tournament for me. I really enjoyed Rio.

THE MODERATOR: And you were one of nine players competing this week, flying the flag for Malaysia. It's a terrific field of local players. Do you feel very proud to be Malaysian this week when you see how the tournament has evolved, now in the seventh edition?

KELLY TAN: Absolutely. From the first year, Sime Darby has always been a great support with junior program and helped grow young juniors, and I'm not surprised to see nine girls out here. I just hope and wish everybody the best of luck and have a great week.

THE MODERATOR: Well, you're going to have a lot of support following you this week for sure.

I have plenty of questions I would like to ask, but I think it's time we opened up the floor to our media this afternoon.

Q. I have a question for Ariya. How has it been for you this year? This year you have been winning, so what has been the thing that has changed about your game?
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: This year, I have so much fun, like more than last year and this year only my focus is I really want to be happy on the course and that's the change for me from last year.

Q. A question for all of you players. You're described as the women with drive. What does that mean to each one of you?
THE MODERATOR: Those of us who haven't seen Brooke Henderson up close in Malaysia, you'll have a chance to see her tee off with her 48-inch driver, nearly three quarters of your height, your driver.

Can you tell us, why did you use such a long driver, because it's a real feature of your game.

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, sure. So I switched to a 48-inch driver this year, which is the longest legal limit that you can have on the LPGA Tour. Last year I had 47 1/4, so it went up 3/4 of an inch, which isn't too big of a difference. But I've always kind of played with longer clubs since I was a little girl, and I found that I'm pretty accurate off the tee.

I hit a lot of fairways and I was looking for a little bit of extra length, so I decided to go with the 48-inch driver and see if I could maybe catch up to Ariya (ph) over there and maybe have a little bit shorter clubs in the fairways.

Q. Three more weeks to go, are you confident you can keep yourself at the top of the Money List?
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: I'm not really worried about my Money List. I feel a lot more confident -- I just keep playing and have fun golf and not worry about the Money List.

Q. Do you think you have a chance of winning it?
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: It is good for me to have a chance but I'm not really worried about it. Of course I want to win something because that is really an honor for me but I just want to have fun and be happy on the course and that's what I need to do.

Q. If you have a moment to speak to Natasha this week, what would be your advice? Last year on the Saturday, she walked inside the ropes with you and this year she'll be out there playing. So if you could give her a word of advice, what would that be?
JESSICA KORDA: Well, I saw her dad just before I was coming here, and I asked her where she was, and she was getting treatment, physio treatment. I'm like, she's too young for this.

So I ran downstairs and surprised her, and I told her like how are you feeling, how much have you played already. And she kind of just took me through it and I told her to have fun. I think she's going to be so nervous on that first tee box, because she was so nervous when I was playing, so I can't imagine what she's going to be like herself.

But I think it's a great opportunity for her. She's been progressing really nicely throughout her young career and it's been really fun to watch her play and all the tournaments that she comes to the States to play, I think that the world has so much to offer to her and she just needs to keep having fun with it. I'm so glad that this tournament and these girls are able to inspire such young talent like her.

THE MODERATOR: For a player that seems to be so relaxed on the golf course, the records you have, you've won 14 times, two of those are majors and the youngest-ever Major Champion. Do you think that in some ways, being young, you're not aware of how big the situation is? It's a great example of the youth of tour that we are enjoying this year on the LPGA Tour. How are you so good at such a young age?

LYDIA KO: I think the first thing that people think is that, hey, these girls are in their teens, they are so young that they don't even know -- but I think we all realize how important this is and we all get nervous, and I think that's a natural thing that happens. Like especially with nerves, if it didn't mean that much to you, you wouldn't get nervous in the first place.

That's why I think it's really important for us to embrace everything, and you know, sometimes if it's not going your way or you're shooting over par or you're not playing that great, I try to just talk it out with my caddie and have some fun and talk about, hey, what did you have for dinner yesterday, or what did you at the shopping mall, those kind of things.

I think it's important to have an on-and-off pattern where you're over the shot or when you're thinking about which club to hit, it's important for you to think about that shot, but when you're walking in between or when you've got some time waiting on the tees, it's definitely a good time to think about it.

Like Jessica here is totally one of my favorite players to play with. All of these girls are great to play with, but with her it's almost like we start talking before we tee off and we're talking even after we finish. So I think that's how great our tour is. We all get along so well with each other, and I say it's not just -- we're not all just competitors playing against each other. We're like a big family where if somebody plays well, we're there to support each other.

So I think they are fun. I always say if it's not fun, it's not worth it. When you're spending this many hours out here, we all play because we love the game, you know, we just love spending that much time playing.

THE MODERATOR: Ariya, if you play close attention to Ariya just before she walks up to the ball, she does smile.

And Ariya, maybe you could share with us, why do you smile just before you're about to hit the golf ball? Who has been helping you on that?

ARIYA JUTANUGARN: I really want to be happy on the course, and I just have to say a few words in my mind to make me smile, so it makes me feel like really happy and really confident about the shot.

THE MODERATOR: And is that working with Lynn Marriott and Pia Nilsson, they have been helping you to do that. It's a good tactic, we should try it.

Q. Could you explain what's the caddie situation with you this week and moving forward? And secondly, if you would like to comment on what Steve Williams said about hitting the panic button.
LYDIA KO: Yeah, for this week for now Kumin (ph) is on my bag. He's had past experience caddying here. He only lives like an hour away. I got introduced to him through Danielle Kang who is also playing this week.

Yeah, I've worked with him for the last two days and I've had a lot of fun. I'll have another person for -- well, I've only got two more events after this one. So I'll have that other person for the last two for the season.

Then I said, you know, I'm planning to make all the decisions for next year after CME. I want to get this year done and finish strong and not worry about what's going to come up.

With what Steve Williams said, I can't really say anything. It's his opinion, and you know, it's what he thinks. So what somebody else thinks is really out of my hands, so I guess I have to respect that. But I really think that some people might think I might have ended on bad terms with my former caddie, Jason.

But no, I really enjoyed working with him the past few years. Actually two years ago here was my first like official tournament with him full-time, so it's been a lot of fun. But you know, I think sometimes change is a good thing, and you know, he's working with another great player, Ha Na Jang, who I think has won three times this year. So all the best to that team, too.

But yeah, in regards to Steve Williams, I can't really say anything because that's his opinion. I think we all have to respect about what everybody else thinks.

Q. Coming off a runner-up finish last week, that must give you a boost.
JESSICA KORDA: Yeah, it was really nice to be in contention again. Things are starting to slowly fall together. I've changed coaches last year and been going through some changes and finally I'm seeing some putts drop, which I haven't for most of this year.

My ball-striking is good. So I'm just really excited to get this week started. I have three events left this season, and I would be lying if I said that I wasn't looking forward to the off-season.

Q. Kelly, the Sime Darby Development Program has done a lot for women's golf. The results are you and Michelle. How do you think it will affect the landscape of women's golf in Malaysia and how we are going to expose our juniors to world-class tournaments?
KELLY TAN: I don't think I have a lot of say for that. But I do think that Sime Darby continues to help the women's program, MSP (ph) has done a great job, as well, and we have Malaysian Golf Association behind it, so I just hope they keep doing what they are doing.

As for me as a player, all I can do is keep putting up results, good results, and hope that companies in Malaysia or the government will kind of help us out.

Q. How has the season been so far, and what are you going to do for next year? How are you going to try to improve?
KELLY TAN: I've had a good start of the season this year. Really happy with where I was going, but the last two months have been a little tough but there's a lot of events coming and I'm just trying to cope with the travel.

But so far, I'm pretty happy with what I've done this year, and super excited for next year. I'm just going to keep working on the same stuff.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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