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November 14, 2017

Sung Hyun Park

Naples, Florida

THE MODERATOR: Welcome back ladies and gentlemen of we were here with world No. 2, Sung Hyun Park. Nice to have you here with us. Two wins this year, U.S. Women's Open and the CP Women's Open; currently No. 1 in official money, No. 2 in the race to the CME Globe, No.3 in Rolex Player of the Year rankings, and has already clinched Rolex Rookie of the Year honors.

It has been an amazing rookie year for you. What has been the most special moment for you as you look back to 2017?

SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) I think it's my first win at the U.S. Women's Open. I can remember it just like it was yesterday. I think that moment will be one of the most important moments for me for a long time.

THE MODERATOR: It was a very special moment with the fan club all sitting there. Quite a special moment for all of us. You've had 22 events this year and had ten top 10 finishes. What has been the key to your consistency this year?

SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) I really tried to stay focused all year this year. Even during the off weeks. I wanted to maintain my focus on the game even though out the off days. I think it's my ability of being able to stay focused and not lose that for all of the year was a key point for this year.

THE MODERATOR: You've played many events, so you didn't take a lot of time off. With all that focus, how did you keep yourself from getting burned out? Rookie year on the LPGA Tour is very difficult, and you've had a good one.

SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) Well, last year when I played on the Korean Tour I played 27 events. Believe it or not, I actually scaled back my number of events this year.

I took some time off, and I'm proud that I was actually able to spend my time off pretty well. I think it's a bit of a balancing act between staying in competition mode and being able to take the time off when I need to.

THE MODERATOR: I know a lot of what you do in your off time is with your dog, Ato. How old is Ato, and what do you like to do with him when you're just hanging out?

SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) You know, he's about seven months old now. I wish I could play with him more. I'm a little bit sorry to my dog for not being able to spend more time.

When we actually do spend time together it's nothing special. It's just walking together. More relaxed. Sometimes we run together. That's what I do with him.

THE MODERATOR: Sounds like a lot of fun. We'll open up for questions.

Q. You played a lot of the events in Korea on the Korean Tour last year. That's all in one country, same time zone, language, food. This is a lot different. You're traveling the world and in a place you don't speak the language and you don't know the food or culture. How have you made that adjustment?
SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) As you pointed out, that's really the reason why I scaled back my schedule down to 22 events this year, to give myself a little bit of room.

It was a little bit tough. It wasn't that bad, but it was a little bit tough in the beginning, as you mentioned. The food was pretty difficult and the language barrier. I wish I could speak better English now. Not being able to communicate with a lot of people here has been difficult, but I think I started off the season pretty well this year. After that, you know, it was all good.

A little tough, but I'll get better.

Q. When you went back to play in Korea last month, was it different having won a major title? I know you're already really popular over there, but did you feel even more so?
SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) Well, you know, maybe because I haven't played in Korea all year this year, when I went back I certainly felt like there were a lot more fans out there following me.

Given what I've been able to do on the LPGA Tour, I think even my fans can appreciate a little bit more of what I'm doing today maybe versus in the past.

So not sure how to really explain it, but I think there were more fans out there and they're watching me more than they have last year.

Q. And just a follow-up. What would it mean to you to win Player of the Year? You've already wrapped up Rookie of the Year.
SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) Well, you know, this year coming in my goal was to just win one tournament and potentially win Rookie of the Year.

Having now achieved both of those and being in reach of some of the other titles, I certainly feel a little more pressure to chase those. I think if I could win Player of the Year it would probably feel like I just won another tournament.

Q. Following that up, you could actually sweep every award available. Knowing that, how do you manage the pressures of that? How have you dealt with that knowing that?
SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) As you mentioned, I'm in the chase for a lot these awards. At the same time, I know I'm not the only one in chase. I know all the other competitors are feeling the same pressure. From that standpoint, I try not to put too much pressure on myself.

Once a tournament begins, when I'm inside the ropes, then I don't really worry about winning or chasing those titles. I really just try to focus one shot at a time. I think once the competition begins it becomes easier for me.

Q. When you won the U.S. Women's Open, many knowledgeable observers raved about your golf swing and power, technique. Could you describe how you came to have such a very fine golf swing? Did it come naturally to you or certain instructors? Fill us in a little bit.
SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) I been sort of on my own, practice on my own for a little over three years. Before then I think I had few people who influenced my swing that was teaching me when I was younger, so definitely got good influence from people.

But I try to still look at the videos when I felt my swing was most perfect, and try to keep looking at it and repeat it.

THE MODERATOR: Further questions? Last week you did get to world No. 1. Congratulations on that. Was it a good feeling? What was that feeling that you felt when you first got to world No. 1?

SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) It was crazy. I've got a lot of congratulations from people, although it only lasted one week. It was really cool to be called the No. 1 player in the world. It was a short stint, but I enjoyed it very much.

THE MODERATOR: We enjoyed it as well.

Q. Lydia Ko was No. 1 for I think like 80 weeks; pretty long time. Do you think it'll be harder now for somebody to hold the No. 1 title for a long very much of time?
SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) Well, I think when Lydia was No. 1 for the 80 weeks, I don't think that was any easier than it is today. I think she just work really hard, and that's the reason she was able to stay on top for 80 weeks, which I think is amazing.

I think at any point now and then before, being the No. 1 in the world is difficult. I don't think this changes before and I don't think that changes after.

Q. If I'm not mistaken, the last person to wrap up Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year was Nancy Lopez back in the '70s. Are you familiar with Nancy Lopez, or did the history of women's golf in Korea start with Se Ri?
SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) I'll be honest, I didn't know much before. Recently I've come across some articles and some stories about what she was able to do. I've got to know a lot more about what she's done and who she is now.

THE MODERATOR: One last question. You're one of five players who could win the $1 million. If you win $1 million, what will you do with it?

SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) If I could win that, you know, I would like to buy a nice gift for every member of my family. I just realized last week during my play it was my sister's birthday. I had totally forgot to even call her. I felt really bad.

They've made a lot of the sacrifices in their life so I could move forward in my golf career. I would like to give something back to my family.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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