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October 10, 2017
Incheon, South Korea
MARK LAMPORT-STOKES: First off, just ask a general question to all five of you, four Koreans, one Canadian. What's it like to be back here in Korea as we start the Asian swing of five consecutive events in a row?
HYE JIN CHOI: (Through translation.) I think for myself, I'm just really happy to have the opportunity to gain more experience. I'm very grateful for the invitation.
My goal for this championship is mostly about just building experience.
MARK LAMPORT-STOKES: Brooke, I believe this is your second trip to Korea. What does it mean to you to be here?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I'm extremely excited to be here in Korea, my second trip here. I didn't finish as well as I would've liked last year, so hopefully I'll play a little bit better Thursday and Friday, put myself in good position.
I feel like I am coming off really strong momentum winning a couple weeks ago, and then going on vacation in New Zealand was really fun.
I feel like I'm well rested and ready to go.
MARK LAMPORT-STOKES: Sung Hyun, same question. What does it mean to be playing this week in front of your Korean fans?
SUNG HYUN PARK: I was in Korea several weeks ago to play in a championship, but I didn't really get the result I wanted at the time so I was quite sorry for my Korean fans.
I hope this gives me an opportunity to redeem myself to my fans. Actually I feel quite comfortable playing in Korea, so I feel good.
MARK LAMPORT-STOKES: In Gee?
IN GEE CHUN: First of all, before coming here today, we took a break for about three weeks and identify able to take a break for three weeks in Korea. So I'm quite excited, and I look forward to playing if Korea after three weeks of rest.
So I think that it's all the more meaningful to start the games again after three weeks in Korea. I have prepared hard and I believe that name the best condition right now. Hopefully I will also see some good results as well.
MARK LAMPORT-STOKES: So Yeon, you've had a fantastic 2017 LPGA Tour season. Two wins, including your second career major victory. You've taken over the top of the world ranking.
What has been the most significant difference or improvement in your game this year?
SO YEON RYU: (Through translation.) In January 2016 I started working with a new coach and we started to make changes to my swing.
In 2016 I didn't have any wins, and of course there was many difficulties that accompanied this new change. While wrapping up the season last year, I thought that was a very meaningful change.
Then in 2017, I think that me working on my swing in 2016 helped me grow this year. In particular, I've been able to gain more distance with my driver. I think I'm much more comfortable.
One of the biggest changes, aside from the technical changes, I think is my attitude. In the past I was more fixated on where the ball will end up and what will I do if a make a mistake. I had a lot of negative nervousness.
I think in 2017 I was focusing more on positive thoughts, thinking about where I was going to get my birdie chances, how I was going to hit the ball closer to the pin.
So I think overall I was having much more fun on the course, and that helped me greatly as well.
I think going into this championship now, to be honest, I think for the past six weeks, for about a month, I haven't had that same kind of buzz. So I think for me going into this championship, I really hope to be able to feel that again.
MARK LAMPORT-STOKES: Sung Hyun, like So Yeon, you've won twice on the LPGA Tour this season, including your first major victory -- and you're a rookie. You've pretty much sewn up Rookie Player of the Year.
How much do you think you have surpassed your own expectations of success this season?
SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) If I were to give myself a score out of a 100, I would give myself around 80. I think I did quite well. I'm proud of my work this year.
I think going into this year as a rookie, I really focused on not becoming too intimidated and really focusing on maintaining my own style of play. I think that that focus helped me do well this year.
THE MODERATOR: Questions from the floor.
Q. (Through translation.) Good morning. I have a question for Sung Hyun. As I understand, before the Korean Thanksgiving holidays began, you said that you wanted to take a break and you also wanted to have some Korean food. It is my understanding that because more recently you haven't been doing as well you have actually quite invested a lot time in this practice being during the holidays. I would like to ask you, what are your thoughts going into this championship?
THE INTERPRETER: He mentioned that she looked a bit solemn.
SUNG HYUN PARK: In response to your question, I look a bit solemn today because I get nervous whenever I do a press conference. For the past two weeks, especially after wrapping up the Evian and taking part in a Korean championship, I didn't do quite well and I was disappointed with myself.
I thought long and hard about what was not quite right with my game right now. I have been practicing at Sky 72 and really tried to focus on getting my feel for the game back.
I think yesterday I showed a lot of good shots, and I think overall I have a positive feeling for the game after practicing.
Hopefully I will do well in the next several days.
Q. (Through translation.) I have a question for Choi Jin Hye and Chun In Gee. First question goes to Chun In Gee. You've had quite a solid year this season. We've seen a lot of solid play but no wins. Going into the championship, what are your goals? And for Choi Jin Hye, you mentioned earlier that this is a really good opportunity to learn, but personally have you set any goals in terms of your final results? Please share with us if you have any goals.
HYE JIN CHOI: As you mentioned, I have had no wins this season. I believe that I was a runner-up five times during this season. Of course when you don't win there is certain disappointment and I was slightly depressed at times.
But I think ultimately when you're runner-up, it means that on the last day the winning player played better than you. I always gave them my heartfelt congratulations, and I actually really meant it.
For I think for me recently, I haven't really been able to enjoy playing out there. As I mentioned earlier, this is my first time in a year since I am playing in Korea in front of my Korean fans, and so I'm really excited. I hope I can channel this kind of excitement into positive energy.
As for my goals, I would like to gauge my success on how much fun I have with my fans out there.
As for myself, this is my first time taking part in the KEB Hana Championship and I'm a rookie here. So as I mentioned earlier, I'm just thankful and very honored to be here.
I have prepared quite hard, having said that, but I don't want to set my sights too high. Rather I would like to focus on really gauging or checking my adaptability to the field, my ability to have fun under pressure, and also because I prepared hard, I really want to focus on showing everyone my sort of style of play.
Hopefully I will do my best with a focus on that, so I won't really put too much pressure on myself in terms of final result.
Q. This is a question for all the players. It's my understanding that the championships have been held at this course for the past ten years. Players here all have experience. What is the best way to approach this course for a good score? Do you have in your minds - for all of you - any particular holes out there that really determine the success?
PLAYER: I think for the best score on this particular course, this course has a lot of very big greens, so in a way it's kind of like a patchwork of different greens.
Outside a radius of six to seven meters of the pin it's like a completely different green. So it's not a two-tiered green, but there are different elevations and it's quite difficult to putt.
I've always thought that to get a good score on this course you need to have a really sharp iron shot. Of course, at the end of the day putting is important, but I have always believed that you really need to have a really sharp, accurate iron shot to get a good score on this course.
And plus, because it's beside the ocean, there is the element of wind. So managing the wind is also very important element to doing well on this course.
PLAYER: I can't pinpoint a single hole that determines the success on this course, but I always believe in any competition that the last three holes are the most important.
For this particular course, I think hole No. 16, for four straight days it's good to get par on that hole.
And for No. 17, the green is quite long. There is a slope. That is also what you want to look out for.
Also, No. 8 is a par-5 and there is backwind. For long hitters it's a great opportunity to vie for a birdie by getting the ball on the green in two shots. However, there is a hazard and other elements. If you're too aggressive, you're also likely to get a bogey.
In that sense, I think the last three holes. They each have their own features and characteristics. Understanding that and being smart about that I think is important.
So I would say the last three holes.
THE MODERATOR: Brooke, think it's time we get you behind the microphone today. By your own admission, you've said you've had an up and down season, and yet you've come here with your confidence sky high after your victory in New Zealand.
How much better could your be right now? Could it be any better? How easy is it to bring form from one continent to another?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, so it has been a little bit up and down season for me. But getting my second tour win of the season just a few weeks ago gave me a lot of confidence and a lot of momentum.
I only have five events left on the LPGA Tour this year, which really isn't that many. I really want to focus and work hard and see if I can finish in the top 10 and get some Top 5 finishes and hopefully move my CME rank up a little bit.
That's kind of where my main focus is going into for the next five weeks. Just continuing to gain experience and learn every single day, so that next year I can be even better than this year.
Q. (Through translation.) My question is for you, So Yeon, and Park Sung Hyun. You both are in contention for some key titles of the LPGA - the Rolex Rankings, Money List, Player of the Year - so I am sure if I ask you this question, both of you will say that you're not going to focus on that. I would really like to know though, out of these three titles, is there any particular one you really want? That's my first question. My second question is like was mentioned earlier, we have five championships left in the LPGA. Do both of you plan to take part in all the events? What are your plans?
SO YEON RYU: (Through translation.) As for my plans for the remainder of the year, I have four more events, including one in Japan and Florida, the CMEs, and also I believe that my last event will be an IMG championship trophy event in Korea. I'm sure that a lot of players, we say that we're not going to focus on these titles, but I think I would really like to win the Player the Year.
I was quite surprised myself that I became top on the Rolex rankings. It was actually faster that I had expected. I would really like Player of the Year, not because I need that recognition, I need that recognition to really see or feel how well I did this year, but rather I think it would be kind of like a medal for myself, to really just pat myself on the back on a really great year done.
But I have to say, for the past ten years as a pro golfer, the biggest lesson I learned is I do far better when I don't look too far and focus on what's ahead of me right now.
As I mentioned earlier, in the beginning of the season when I was doing really well, I was on the course and rather than worrying and being nervous, I focused with rather positive energy and excitement about what I was going to do with each of my shots.
I think keeping that positive mentality is my goal. If I do this, I think I can manage and perhaps get the title that I have in mind.
SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) I think for myself, I'm still excited and my heart thumps being ranked No. 2 in the world. I think I'm quite new to this concept, and already very excited about where I am right now.
I didn't expect to do so well so soon, and I really want to give myself a pat on the back. I think we become more conscious of these titles because people around you talk about them a lot. So far, I don't think I've been so conscious about those titles.
Now that we're coming to the end of the year it is definitely becoming harder to be completely free. I think for me, I would really like to win the Vare Trophy. I mentioned earlier that that's kind of the ultimate title that I want.
THE MODERATOR: Time for one last question.
Q. I wanted to ask Brooke a question. You've had two wins this year. Great year by all measures, but you were kind of overshadowed by a lot of Korean players. From the players' perspective, what makes Korean players so good? What is it going to take for other players to catch up?
BROOKE HENDERSON: They're very talented. I'm sitting amongst four ladies that are role models and inspirations to me as well.
As for the secret to it, I have no idea. You'll have to ask these girls. I think they do work really hard and they're very passionate about the game of golf and they have strong goals and they're willing to work really hard to achieve them.
I think that's something that everybody can learn from, golfers or even people in business or just everyday life. You know, pick a goal and then work as hard as you can to achieve it.
THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming to today's news conference. To the five players up on the stage that you for your time. To each of you, play well this week.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports