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June 30, 2017

Danielle Kang

Olympia Fields, Illinois

Q. 2-under par yesterday, 5-under today. How would you compare both of those rounds?
DANIELLE KANG: Both of those rounds, I kept my game plan, and they are both bogey-free, so I'm pretty happy. And I kept sticking to the iron shots that I trusted all my life, and giving myself opportunities, is what I've been doing.

Q. Speaking of trust, you have not won on the LPGA Tour. You have been victorious in your career before that. What experiences will you lean on these next 36 holes as you try to get to the winner's circle?
DANIELLE KANG: My plan is still sticking with how I laid out the golf course, the same game plan that I've been playing the last two rounds. So we'll see what happens at the end of the week. But going to keep sticking to my game plan and stay aggressive and see where I end up.

Q. Sum up your day.
DANIELLE KANG: My day was really relaxing to be honest. It was stressful but relaxing. I kept giving myself birdie opportunities. That's my game plan for the week, and I'm striking the ball really well and my speed on the greens are well, and just been playing consistent. That's what I've been doing.

Q. Were you watching your name on the board out there?
DANIELLE KANG: Yeah, of course. I love watching the leaderboard. I usually look at the leaderboard to see if there are birdies out there or not, and today seems like there are more under par scores. The wind is blowing a little bit less, and yeah, I was looking up at the leaderboard but my game plan doesn't change. I just keep -- I just have to give myself opportunities. That's all I could do out at this golf course. So it's a pretty tough track.

Q. What was your overall strategy?
DANIELLE KANG: It's kind of funny. I actually played Tuesday, 18 holes and I walked off the golf course not having a game plan. I kind of was super-overwhelmed and I didn't know what to do. And so I called my brother, Alex, of course. And then had my caddie and I and my brother figure out a game plan for the golf course, which is no matter what, you have to give yourself an opportunity to putt.

And I can't let the greens get the best of me this week, especially. Each shot matters; not that it doesn't on other golf courses, but sometimes I have a shot and I go, yeah, it's not worth it right now, and I back off and I just hit the middle of the green and that's what I've been doing.

Q. What factor made it seem so overwhelming to you earlier in the week?
DANIELLE KANG: It's probably one of the hardest golf courses I've played on our tour. Somebody asked me, what was the hardest golf course I ever played; it was Oakmont. This golf course, you take your mind off of it on one second, I don't know where I ended up.

So every shot, you have to be 100 percent focused and that's what got me so overwhelmed because, you know, sometimes you just hit it on the green and you put. But here, you think just a little bit less, like on the last hole, I didn't think about speed, and look, I ended up three feet short. But it's not an easy 3-footer. It breaks outside the cup. It challenges you.

Q. Do you feel more comfortable now on this course?
DANIELLE KANG: I don't try to get comfortable actually. I try to keep focused, because if you're comfortable, I feel like you lose focus and my -- that's how I work. So I just try to keep on thinking on exactly what kind of shot I want to hit, how I want to hit it and just stick to it.

Q. Had Alex played here before?

Q. When?
DANIELLE KANG: I don't remember. He told me about four times. I just want to hear about the golf course from him. I go, "Alex, what should I do?" I called him up and took pictures of how the golf course was setting, or certain holes -- I can't remember right now. But like bunker shots, you lay up short or you hit a driver. So I called up my brother on Wednesday and I said, "Alex, do I lay up short?"

He goes, "No, just blast it down." He goes, "As far as I remember, that bunker is not bad."

I go, "No, it's not bad."

He goes, "Yeah, hit it."

So I walk up, everyone is laying up and I go, "I've got to hit it."

Q. You have some tape on your wrist. Is that a precaution? How does this year compare -- last year was a tough one because of injuries and stuff?
DANIELLE KANG: Yeah, last year was a little bit tough. However this year, it's been kind of up-and-down but it's not as bad. It's playable. I've gotten cleared by the doctors to play. I just need to keep up with the rehab and constantly be aware of the risk because it's golf; you hit the ground every single shot. I just want to be really cautious and keep working, and the rehab is what keeps you together.

Q. What is the injury?
DANIELLE KANG: I had a fracture in the lunate, a fracture last year, so I didn't play for six weeks. Then I had a tear in the TFCC, but it's okay. It's playable. As long as the doctors give me the green light, I don't think about it.

Q. Your back's okay, as well?
DANIELLE KANG: I tell all the doctors and everyone around me, my team, they always ask, how is it. And I say, pain is mental. So if I don't acknowledge it, it will just go away.

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