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October 12, 2017

Sung Hyun Park

Incheon, South Korea

SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) Yes, I think I am off to a really good start. Feeling really good. My only hope at this point is that I maintain this.

THE MODERATOR: What was the key to your round today? What did you do well and what would you like to improve, if there is anything?

SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) I think my putting was really strong today, especially I was holing a lot of my mid-range putts. So I'm quite satisfied with that.

I think going forward -- there were lies I was misreading, so going forward I want to be able to improve that.

THE MODERATOR: How much did you enjoy playing today in that heavyweight grouping, the world's top 3 players? Did it almost feel like a major championship?

SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) I've played with both players in the same group before, so I don't think there was a lot of burden or pressure. I think I was really able to stay concentrated on my game today.

THE MODERATOR: Questions. Raise your hand.

Q. (Through translation.) On hole 18 your second shot just barely made it. How much distance was left and which iron did you use?
SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) There was 183 meters left and I used 3-iron.

Q. (Through translation.) You mentioned that you used your 3-iron. Did you use that in this today prior to hole 18 or have you used it recently?
SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) Today I used it for the first and last time on the final hole. Yesterday I used it twice during the practice round, the pro-am round.

Q. (Through translation.) First question: Going back to 18, it seemed like after you made the shot you made an expression like you weren't satisfied. What was your intention originally? And you mentioned how you were kind of misreading the lies, and I'm sure the last putt was a great disappointment. Did you misread the putt for the last lie as well?
SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) I think for 18 I kind of -- I was trying to make it to the left of the pin but then kind of slid to the right. I think it could have been worse, because after I took the shot I thought it had dropped elsewhere. It ended up being a lucky shot.

As for the last putt, I did misread the lie. I saw a slope and I hit the ball, but ended up going straighter than I had originally thought.

Q. (Through translation.) It looked like on the 14th hole you were looking for a one on, and then you changed your mind and did a layup shot instead. Can you tell us why you changed your mind? Seemed like today you were hitting longer than Lexi Thompson. Has this always been the case, or are you doing particularly well today?
SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) Going into No. 14 there was a lot of wind coming my way, and I knew that the carryover would be shorter and I would not make it on the green within one shot.

I saw that the pin was kind of to the front right, and if I missed that it would get into the rough and the approach shot would be more difficult. That's why I decided to lay up the shot.

As for the driving distance between Lexi and myself, I think we were going back and forth today.

Q. (Through translation.) I want to go back to the situation on hole 18. You said you used 3-iron, so I'm thinking, were there other options looking back? Maybe 4-iron? Maybe another club? What do you think?
SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) I think with that distance left, 183, I think the 3-iron was the club to pick. I think if there was more wind coming in my direction, more headwind, then I would've used a utility club.

Q. (Through translation.) Seems like you were very cautious today with the wedge shots. Can you share with us the degree of your wedges and why you chose those particular wedges?
SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) I use a 50-degree and 58-degree angled wedge clubs, so there is a gap because there is an eight degree difference. I had a lot of shots where the distance was kind of iffy, so that that's why, as you observed, I thought quite long and hard about whether I was going to use the 50 or 58.

I think at the end of the day, the shots where the distance was kind of iffy the results weren't that good.

Q. (Through translation.) I have two questions. First question is how you selected your clubs. It seems that everybody is quite interested in that you used the 3-iron. You said you have the 50-degree and 58-degree wedges as opposed to other choices. When did you select your clubs? Was it during the practice round before we began the event? Second question. I'm sure you have received this question many times. You've had a really stellar year this year as a rookie, and now you're looking at prize money that amounts to $2 million. If you have to pick one key skill that has contributed to such a stellar year, what would that be?
SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) I think I've been using the 50 and 58 wedges for about three months now. Before that I used a 50, 54 and 58, but I noticed that I rarely picked up the 54. While I was training in the U.S., I noticed that I was picking up my No. 3 iron a lot. So the 50 and 58 just seemed to make more sense in that situation.

And your question was what is my capability or what I have been doing well in terms of doing so well this year. I think that I know, and you probably know, that I am not as strong when it comes to my short game.

I didn't focus all my practice on my short game because I am stronger or a longer hitter. In fact, I actually practiced as much of my hitting and my drive, and I didn't really reduce any practice time for my drive shots.

I think that maintaining that has really contributed to doing so well this year, and it's really improved my game. I think the point would be that I really kept focus and kept on practicing on what I considered a very strong quality of mine.

Q. (Through translation.) We just finished the first round, so we'd will like to hear your thoughts, what's going through your mind. It must feel kind of different to take part in an LPGA event while the KLPGA events are also ongoing. Share with us any thoughts on that.
SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.)

THE INTERPRETER: I want to clarify the question. Her question was, It must feel different to take part in this LPGA event as part of the tour as opposed to last time when you weren't part of the LPGA. Does it feel different to take part this year as an LPGA player? Then she wanted her to share her thoughts after the first round.

SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) I'm still very much more comfortable playing in Korea, I have to say. Today I felt very comfortable, and especially a lot of the fans were cheering me on, and that gave me a lot of drive.

I think I did well today, especially because a lot of people out there were supporting me.

Q. (Through translation.) Today, as it was mentioned earlier, it was quite chilly in the morning. Despite the weather, the numbers showed that we saw the largest gallery for the first round of this event today. Most of them I understand are fans of yourself. Compared to the tour events in the U.S., how is the ambience different? I've heard that for some reason players find it uncomfortable because there is a lot of noise and a lot of attention. Can you share with us your thoughts on the gallery?
SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) It is true that this morning was really cold. At one point it did cross my mind that there may not be many spectators today. I was quite surprised when I reached the first hole and saw the size of the crowd.

I have been playing in the States, including the U.S. Open, and I think the passion for golf, the enthusiasm of the spectators in Korea, really matches the enthusiasm and passion for game in the States.

I can't speak for the other players from abroad, but I've never felt that it's uncomfortable to have a larger crowd. I think the larger the cheering is more fun for me, so I had a really good time out there today.

THE MODERATOR: Still a long way to go, three more rounds, but what would it mean to you to win this week? Do you feel more pressure because this is the only LPGA Tour event hosted in Korea?

SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) I think I'm a little bit cautious to talk about winning after the first round. Of course it would mean a lot to me and I would be very happy, especially because it is an event of my main sponsor.

I actually really would like to win, because as I mentioned earlier, the enthusiasm of the spectators is unbelievable. It's like a major tour event.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, I feel quite comfortable in Korea, and I was quite close to winning last year. I definitely hope to win.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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