|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
April 11, 2017
Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii
THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the media center at the Lotte Championship. We've got a great group of players joining us today, as you can see.
I'm just going to start and go straight down the line. I'll start with Minjee. You tied your best career round last year en route to your second career victory, one of two last season.
Just what was that round like for you culminating in winning this championship?
MINJEE LEE: Well, the first nine I wasn't really thinking about too much. I was just playing my game. I think I had like 4-under the front nine, and then the back nine, from 13, I think I had a really good finish.
Yeah, no, I wasn't really thinking about it. I was just trying to make as many birdies as I could. Yeah, ended up with an 8-under, so it was nice.
THE MODERATOR: Had you ever hula danced before that or what that your first time?
MINJEE LEE: No, that was my first time.
THE MODERATOR: Have you done it since then?
MINJEE LEE: No.
THE MODERATOR: Maybe you'll get to practice again at the end of the week.
Inbee, so last year this was your last event before you had to take a little bit of time off. Can you talk about where you've been like since then and being able to get back and play so well at the beginning of this year?
INBEE PARK: I was just all over the place, but I spent a lot of time back home in Korea. Yeah, I mean, a lot of things changed after. This time last year I worked on my game hard after the injury and played in the Olympics and took a long break and came back again this year.
I had some really good times and bad times, but it was a very good time for me to realize what I have to realize and be able to appreciate what I am doing, what I didn't appreciate before as much as now.
I'm really feel like I am really truly enjoying the game now. Yeah, I'm not afraid of what other people are thinking or what's going to happen to my reputation.
It's things other than golf I think I really just don't -- I think I became a little bit more -- a better person and better personality. Yeah, I think it got me a little bit after -- I had a good start this season. I got some confidence over last few weeks playing competition golf, which I haven't well done for a while.
Yeah, really happy with the game and happy that I am here with all the competitors. Really happy about it.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
Michelle, so many reasons for you to have fun this week being back home. Your ping-pong tournament is later in the week. You're the only American ever to win this tournament. Did you know that?
MICHELLE WIE: No. (Laughter.)
THE MODERATOR: What does it mean being back here? How are you feeling now?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I mean, I think it's obvious I love this event. It's my favorite event of the year. I get to many come back home, play in front of my family and friends, play at Ko Olina, a course that I grew up on.
It's a great week. I get to show my friends the food, the heights, everything, and just what Hawaii is all about.
I love coming back home. I'm really excited to be here. I can't wait for the tournament to start.
THE MODERATOR: Do you feel good? Everything health-wise in a good place?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I'm not going to say that, because I feel like every time I say I feel good something starts hurting. Knock on wood. I'll just leave it at that.
But just really excited to be home. Had a couple good days of rest and, you know, ready for the week to start.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
Hyo Joo, this was the site of your first LPGA event. What do you remember from that tournament?
HYO JOO KIM: (Through translation.) Well, I mean, it was such a long time ago I can't really remember what I was thinking the first event.
But it's obviously a tournament that's sponsored by Lotte who's also my sponsor. I think every year coming here I want to play well and have a good finish.
I think, frankly, I played the best here when I was an amateur. Hopefully I'll be able to play pretty well this week.
I always want to finish well here.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
Brooke, second time in Hawaii. What do you like best about being out here on the island?
BROOKE HENDERSON: You know, I love being here in Hawaii. It's so beautiful, and the atmosphere is truly amazing. It's great energy and good vibes. I finished tied tenth here last year. I started out strong right from Thursday on to Sunday.
I feel like I gave myself a lot of good momentum for the rest of the season by coming here to Hawaii, so hopefully kick start something again in my season this year. Hopefully better my T10 finish.
THE MODERATOR: That was in the middle of a streak, a really long streak, I can't even remember, like nine Top 10s in a row, something like that.
Are you going to draw on that experience from last year and playing well last week ANA as well.
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, absolutely. Last week I made the cut on the number and then was able to go -7 on the weekend, so I finished tied 13th.
Last year nine top 10s in a row was pretty incredible, but hopefully I'll get a top 10 this week and carry that on throughout the rest of the year.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
In Gee, you were the runner-up here last year. Had a putt to almost get into a playoff with Minjee. How much have you grown in the past year setting those records at Evian and just your entire play? How much have you grown since then?
IN GEE CHUN: It was really good memory. It was confidence booster for me. I remember last year I play with my old friend Su Yeon Jang final round. I had great time with her.
Then I was still as tall as I was. (Laughter.) I feel I got more inside, yeah.
THE MODERATOR: Great. Thank you so much.
Open it up to the floor for questions. If you could, please just say your name and who your question is for so they can know who you're addressing.
Q. Michelle, how would you describe your 2017 season so far and I guess your return to form and coming home? Feeling a little better about your game I imagine compared to the last two years.
MICHELLE WIE: (Indiscernible) a lot better than 2016 so far, so I'm happy about that. But, you know, I'm having a lot of fun. I really spent this off-season practicing really hard. Usually I take a good chunk of time off, and I didn't take any time off this year.
I just felt like I had good momentum coming in at the end of last year, so just wanted to keep riding it, keep improving.
But this year trying to have a better mindset of just having fun out there. I think a lot of times when you're struggling with your game or whatever, you kind of forget it is a game and you forgot to play it as a game.
So this year I'm really just trying to have fun out there, have fun with my competitors, and kind of feed off of them. But mostly just really have fun.
Q. Can't help but draw similarities from 2014 to this year: Coming in hot, playing really well. Do you feel the same?
MICHELLE WIE: There is a lot of great memories to draw upon from that season. You know, coming here, feeling confident, I think it's always a good thing.
I'm just really excited to be home. It's just always I look forward to this event more than any other event just because I get to come home and I get to my friends and eat all the good food and play at Ko Olina.
So this is an event that I really look forward to, and I'm excited to go out there and hopefully have a lot of fun this week.
Q. For anyone who would like to address it, a little bit of controversy at the Inspiration about somebody sending an email pointing out a mistake. Any comments on that?
THE MODERATOR: Anybody have any opinion? Doesn't seem like it. Yeah.
In the back.
Q. Michelle, I got to ask: The Harry Potter wedges, are we going to see those this week?
MICHELLE WIE: Oh, my God. They're here. They're here this week. They're like my favorite wedges. I mean, love Harry Potter. I have every single one of the movies downloaded on my computer. Probably watched it -- you know, just really cool. (Laughter.)
But, yeah, I kind of got the idea to Anthony, the guy who makes my wedges at Callaway. I told them that I really like Harry Potter; can I get some Harry Potter wedges made. I kind of gave them free reign of them and they came out great. All my favorite spells on them. I like it. It's awesome. It makes me happy every time I see it.
Q. I would like everybody to -- the LPGA said they needed to address this so it doesn't happen again. Can you just tell me what would be the most important thing to address so this doesn't happen again?
THE MODERATOR: Anybody have anything? Can you repeat the question?
Q. When ANA ended, LPGA said this is something that needs to be addressed. I think obviously the players should have some input on how you address it. So as the players, what needs to be addressed so you don't have to worry about this stuff? It's happened at three major championships in the last two years. Kind of want to know what you guys think should happen.
THE MODERATOR: Do you feel like you have anything that needs to be addressed, the issue?
I don't think anyone has any comments.
Q. Inbee, you mentioned you're happy to be back. Obviously everyone is happy to have you back. One of the things you said was to be playing with all the competitors, but some of the competitors are not going to be here this week because of politics basically. Does that take away a little bit from the tournament?
INBEE PARK: No, I think actually the (indiscernible) players are still here, and, I mean, top players are here that are playing. I don't know (indiscernible) athletes, golfers, involved in this tournament. I think it just kind of depends on their own personalities. I think it's just a golf tournament is a golf tournament. That's what I think. Some people might really think different.
We're just happy that we have enough players. (Indiscernible)...the week after so take this tournament off. So a lot of people (indiscernible) considering because of that schedule, and I think that's really the main reason that I think most of the players are probably thinking about.
That's what I think.
THE MODERATOR: Anyone else have any questions?
Tell me what your favorite thing is about Hawaii, being here. What do you like to do while you're here?
MINJEE LEE: I love the fact that I am staying right across the road and I can go down to the beach whenever I want, just after I play and all that. I think it's just really peaceful and a little bit different to be at.
THE MODERATOR: Inbee?
INBEE PARK: Just a little of everything. I hate water on the golf course, but I actually love water. (Laughter.) I really like the place and the food and the people. Everything I really like. I really like coming to Hawaii.
THE MODERATOR: Michelle?
MICHELLE WIE: I think my favorite part of coming home is the food. I have my spots I go to and I am pretty systematic.
But, yeah, the food and my friends.
HYO JOO KIM: I think this is, as most of us know, an island destination, so I feel lucky and glad that I get to come here every year. You know, there is something about the ocean that makes me feel more calm and relaxed. I like looking at the beach when I'm not playing golf here this week.
BROOKE HENDERSON: You know, I mentioned before the atmosphere and the energy and the good vibes here. I think that has a lot to do with it. The people here. The beach is so beautiful and the landscape as well.
Looking around at the different trees and different flowers is so beautiful. Along with the different wildlife, the black swans on No. 18 and all the different types of birds.
I really just enjoy looking around. I've been enjoying my time the last few days.
THE MODERATOR: In Gee?
IN GEE CHUN: It's the paradise. Once you come here you forget about all the worries. I had enjoy the sun, the wind, and the wave so far. And then I have very good outside (indiscernible) on the north shore.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports