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December 5, 2017

In-Kyung Kim

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

BETHAN CUTLER: You've had such a great year. Great to see you winning in Kingsbarns. Delighted to welcome IK Kim back to the OMEGA Dubai Ladies Classic this year.

IN-KYUNG KIM: I know, I was like, Masters? No. Championship? No. Classic.


IN-KYUNG KIM: When did it change?

BETHAN CUTLER: This year. New name for the tournament. You've been here before, two times and won in 2009. You must have some great memories of being here. What does it feel like to be back?

IN-KYUNG KIM: First of all, nice to see you all. I always love this golf course, even before 2009. I watched the men play and finally when I got here in 2009, it was just such a great experience that I wanted to come back every year.

But it's kind of end of the season and travelling was kind of in the way. I'm just happy to be here again for the OMEGA Dubai Classic trophy. It's amazing. It looks more like the guys' trophy. Fantastic. Looks like a genie is going to come out for something. I just kept staying it today on the first tee. Yeah, it's kind of a piece of art. It's kind of nice to see.

BETHAN CUTLER: How is your game now? Obviously fantastic all year. Do you still feel it's at that high level?

IN-KYUNG KIM: We'll see. It's been a fun year. Not only because I've won a couple tournaments, but I've seen the progress and that I've put in the work.

Yeah, holidays coming, so after the last tournament, I have two weeks off. I was eager to go back home. I'll be back home after this week. But I practiced a little bit and hopefully I'm ready for the event tomorrow.

BETHAN CUTLER: Where will you go home, back to the States or back to Korea?

IN-KYUNG KIM: I might be back in the States for Christmas, but I'm going to Korea for two weeks on Saturday.

BETHAN CUTLER: Do you have any New Year's resolutions for next year?

IN-KYUNG KIM: New Year's resolution, I was kind of like last few weeks, I was just by myself in the States. I was thinking about it. I was reading a couple books. I've been golfing for like 11 years and I have certain routines that I do, but I don't know, hopefully I will figure that out this week.

Q. What's your memories of the golf course? You won, so definitely it suits your eye, but what do you remember of the golf course, and now that you've played here, what do you think of it after a few years?
IN-KYUNG KIM: I always remember afternoon, there's always the wind. It's a strong wind. This morning, our Pro-Am started at 7.30, and I got here before sunrise, and I saw the moon and the buildings and all that. I'm like, I've never seen anything like it before.

So I think the scenery here is absolutely worth flying 16 hours to play a round of golf. But like I said, there are so many good holes. There are some tee box that have changed I think since I was here five, six years ago. But still, it's one of the golf course that suits my eyes, yeah.

BETHAN CUTLER: Do you have any downtime to do anything other than golf this week?

IN-KYUNG KIM: You know, I don't know why I didn't get here earlier to be honest. I really wanted to go to the Louvre. I heard they took ten years to build the Louvre. I might be able to go tomorrow afternoon, if I get a chance. But just being here, it just feels very relaxing, I don't know why. It seems a very spiritual place here, too. The people are very calm.

Q. All of the girls this week want to win the tournament, but how important will it be for you to come back after a few years, win it, and then set yourself for an incredible holiday by taking home the trophy?
IN-KYUNG KIM: I think my holiday is going to be incredible anyway. But yeah, definitely, it's a very special tournament? It's about I think putting; whoever makes more putts will win the tournament I think.

So after this, I'm going to work on a little bit more putting before I go back to the hotel.

Q. How are the confidence levels of your short game?
IN-KYUNG KIM: You know, it's really unknown for me. Every week I feel very fresh and looking for good opportunities, and give my best.

Q. Any changes in equipment or technique that you can share with us?
IN-KYUNG KIM: After this tournament, I'm thinking about trying -- just trying out a new thing. I really like what I have, but if there's something better, it's always nice.

During the season, I try not to change the clubs, yeah.

Q. Were you one of the players watching Tiger last week, and what do you think of him and generally how do you rank him as a player?
IN-KYUNG KIM: Personally I really don't know about Tiger very well. Growing up, I watched him dominating the golf, and it's really nice to see him coming back. I didn't get to watch a lot of golf last week, but I saw the press and I think he had a successful first week back I think since I don't know how long ago.

He has raised awareness of golf for the whole world, and it's really nice to see him looking happy. He seems happy.

Q. Do you have any inspirational words, you being a sportsman, seeing the ups and downs he's been through, and knowing that such a magical figure is struggling to make his presence felt again; do you have any inspiration words that you would like to just share with him?
IN-KYUNG KIM: You know, since I am also a golfer, I would love to share everything what I have been through with media but it's impossible for people to really get to know me. But it is part of my job to have more openness with media and talk about who I am.

But I don't think I really know Tiger, or I don't think we all know -- or, you know, each one of us. So I really don't know the story. But I really wish him well, and all of my friends out on the Tour, we're kind of like-minded people that just enjoy playing golf a little bit more than anyone else.

Yeah, I really don't know who he is. He's just a great golfer who inspires me as a golfer.

Q. Who do you think are strong contenders this week?
IN-KYUNG KIM: This weekend, contenders, there are so many I think. What do you think? (Laughter) I'm putting you on the spot.

BETHAN CUTLER: I think you have a good chance.

IN-KYUNG KIM: Thank you. I think whoever plays well, I guess, will have a chance. But it's four days, and I think this golf course, keeping it in the fairway is very important. Some pin positions are really hard to get to. So whoever is bravest, and also smart play, would be the winner.

Q. Do you remember what you did really well the last time when you played over here? And you said some of the tee boxes have changed, but is it going to be almost a similar kind of strategy, or you have really become better as a player and will have to change a lot on this golf course?
IN-KYUNG KIM: Sometime I plan everything where I want to play, like how I want to play. But this golf course and some of the golf course that I play, when the wind changes, and depends on the weather, that I have to be very flexible. I remember this golf course is one of the golf courses that can be very tough to shoot even par on the back nine when it's very windy.

Q. 18-under was the score last time --
IN-KYUNG KIM: I don't think I'm planning on 18-under first day but that's golf, you never know what's going to happen. That's why I still play golf. It's kind of an interesting game.

Q. Do you think the soft greens will be a factor?
IN-KYUNG KIM: Around the greens, it's very tricky with the grain, where the grass is kind of going a different direction. So trusting the putt, that it's going to go in.

Q. So it's a putting competition?
IN-KYUNG KIM: I wouldn't say, because there's a couple holes like No. 1 is a tough hole. That's a tough hole. And like 18, even, par 5s, has to be very precise. So it will be a good challenge.

Have a nice week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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