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March 30, 2017

So Yeon Ryu

Rancho Mirage, California

Q. Only the one hiccup on 17 today, another great ball-striking performance. How do you assess where you are? I know it's early, but it's a major championship, and how comfortable are you?
SO YEON RYU: Yeah, first of all, well, I've been having a slow start, but I'm glad to have a really good score in the first round, so I felt confident about that. I prepared for this tournament with my coach Cameron McCormick, and that was the one thing I really wanted to change is my ball has been starting to the left, so I really wanted to have a nice push draw, and it looks like that push draw is working right now. Well, still, if I have to -- I know it sounds weird after I shot 68, but still, my shot wasn't really, like really sharp compared to the last few weeks, so yeah, I really want to get the really sharp shot and hopefully have a really good round for the next three days.

Q. When you say you didn't have your irons on, what did you feel? What was happening?
SO YEON RYU: Well, it was like I tried not to have like a left start, so I always try to hit a push draw. Then when I have a full shot or missed shot, I normally hit it like kind of (indiscernible), so I try not to start my downswing outside of the plane, which is maybe a shorter downswing, so I know what I have to do when I have a missed shot, so I think that gives me a lot of confidence, because if you don't know how to fix it, that's the way to get frustrated, but right now I know how to fix it. If I hit a bad shot, I still feel confident.

Q. Statistically you're the best ball striker out here, greens in regulation, total driving. What happens now to get you to the next level?
SO YEON RYU: Well, definitely putting. If I look at all my stats, everything is pretty strong right now and putting is my biggest weakness, but good thing is I can feel I'm slowly getting there and I've slowly built up my own thought about the putting, own thought about the putting routine. I think it's really important to know about your own putting instead of just asking everybody what do you think about my putting, what should I do with putting.

Yeah, I just need to be patient until I get there.

Q. And when you say patience, obviously you've got three days to play, but it's been a while since you've won last; how do you keep from getting ahead of yourself?
SO YEON RYU: Yeah, a lot of people said don't get frustrated because if I'm not winning I'm playing really, really great. But yeah, sometimes I definitely get frustrated because a professional golfer. You're here to win the tournament, you're not here to finish second or third ever time. But the more important thing is my biggest goal is just enjoy my golf, and I always try hard to work for improve myself, then I really can see I have improved my game a lot. That just gave me a lot of positive things, just not letting me give up.

Q. Your coach Cameron, I don't know if you were asked about that, just how much he's meant to how your game is improving.
SO YEON RYU: Well, the good thing is when I just started working with him, I had to change a lot of things, so he asked me to do so many things, do this, do this, do that, do that, and I'm like, I cannot do that. I cannot keep it up. But right now he is only giving me one to fix it. He's like, you're good enough, but if you want to be better, you can do this.

After he's saying -- when your coach gives you really positive words, you cannot be negative. You always can -- you're always able to keep really positive.

Q. Just to sum up the big change you made, basically you have a little shallower swing?
SO YEON RYU: Shallower, yeah. You really can see the difference between two years ago and right now, especially in my backswing. My backswing is much lower right now. Also my follow-through is a bit different, but the biggest change is backswing, yeah.

Q. Not many players have ever changed addresses to go be near a coach. Usually the coach comes to you. But in this instance you moved to be with your coach, so that's a level of commitment that you don't see from a lot of players. Was there ever a point where you thought, gee, I've made a pretty big move here and I don't know if this is going to work?
SO YEON RYU: Well, the thing is it's not just -- a lot of players play really, really great when they're young, then when they get old, they're kind of just slowly going down, and I don't want it to be like that. I just want to be improving every time. I talked with Inbee before, and Inbee said, So Yeon, do you think when we get old -- a lot of people often say we cannot really play better. Do you really think it's a physical thing? I don't think so. I think it's a mental thing. That's what Inbee said. After a former No. 1 said that and after a gold medalist said it, you have a high belief that you're still able to improve yourself. Yeah, well, that was the biggest thing. That was the biggest reason why I wanted to change my coach and I wanted to change my swing.

But then a lot of people said, well, maybe your decision was wrong because you cannot play well right now. But I knew I was on the right track, and right now I really can say it was the right decision.

Q. What do you like about this golf course?
SO YEON RYU: Well, before I talk about the golf course, I've been off to a slow start the last few weeks, but I'm really happy to have a really good first round.

This golf course is so much fun. You have to have all sorts of shots. It's better to have a draw shot, fade shot, and especially today the pin locations was really tough, so it's better to make extra speed, better to have like cut shots. So you have to have a variety of shots, so I think that's the thing I really enjoy about this golf course.

Q. You have been the model of consistency, four events, three top 5s. How do you stay patient waiting for that fourth LPGA Tour title?
SO YEON RYU: Well, you know, that's the thing. A lot of people is like, yeah, So Yeon, you can play really consistent, but when are you going to win? What's the solution to winning a tournament? If I know the solution, I want -- no matter how much it is, I would like to pay it. But I think the most important thing is I know my game has been improved, so I really trust myself, so I just don't want to get frustrated before I'm going to have a really good win. I believe my time is coming, and I just really trust myself, and I think my game is right there, so I really want to keep enjoying it, and yeah, looking forward to having a fourth title on the LPGA.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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