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May 9, 2018

Si Woo Kim

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

THE MODERATOR: Please help me welcome in our defending champion at THE PLAYERS Championship, Si Woo Kim. Last year you became the youngest winner in PLAYERS history, and you became the second South Korean following KJ Choi to win THE PLAYERS Championship. How does it feel to be back at TPC Sawgrass?

SI WOO KIM: It's been a year since I won THE PLAYERS Championship, but it actually feels like it hasn't been that long. Time sure has flown, but I'm really excited to be back here at this course and I really hope to defend my title, but to be honest I'm just happy to be here and to be playing this week.

THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions.

Q. Looks like it's going to be a hot, dry week. The conditions might be similar as they were last year. Do you want the conditions to be as difficult as they were last year? Do you think that plays to your advantage?
SI WOO KIM: Like last year, the weather's been great. It was hot today when I was in the practice round, but from what I remember last year, the greens were firm. From the practice round today it was a little bit soft, but I look forward to playing those conditions and it will really depend on the wind. This course plays more difficult with the wind.

Q. How much better does your back feel going into this year's tournament than it did last year?
SI WOO KIM: Heading into the PLAYERS last year, my body wasn't a hundred percent, but going to this year, I worked a lot with my trainer and my body feels great. I'm in great condition heading into this week with no pain.

Q. I know you broke the record of Adam Scott as the youngest champion and now you are teamed with Adam Scott for tomorrow and Friday. So what do you feel about that?
SI WOO KIM: I've actually played with Adam Scott a couple times before today, but just sharing that same record, he was the youngest player before I won it last year, so it will be an honor to play with him, and I'm hoping to learn a lot from him while I play the first two rounds.

Q. How do you feel different as first a player and then a second just as a man, a year later, coming back here after by far the biggest win of your career? How have you developed and how do you feel coming back after you've grown?
SI WOO KIM: Coming into last year's tournament I honestly didn't worry about winning the tournament, I just wanted to play my best and see how it went. But coming into this year being the defending champion, I think I have a little more pressure on me this year, but I'm going to try my best and I'm going to try my best to defend my title and hopefully it works out.

Q. You're in sort of a unique situation because being so young, but you've also been out here for three or four years. Do you feel like more of a rookie or like one of the younger guys, or do you feel more like a veteran now, your fourth year out here?
SI WOO KIM: When I played here for the first time as a rookie, just being here was such an eventful moment for me, and it was an honor just to play at TPC Sawgrass. But now that I have the win under my belt from last year I think I'm not going to play like a rookie, I'm going to play more like a veteran and use those experiences from my win last year to put a good performance in this year.

Q. Can you talk about the changes you had after winning here last year, in-general changes, game and life and everything?
SI WOO KIM: I think after winning this tournament a lot of people are recognizing me and recognize my name, which has been great, and but the most important thing is confidence, I believe. Winning THE PLAYERS as the fifth major has just given me so much confidence, and just going into tournaments week-to-week just having that confidence on the first tee has been the biggest change since winning.

Q. If you weren't playing, as a fan would you go out and watch Tiger, Phil and Rickie?
SI WOO KIM: Yes I'm obviously very excited about that featured pairing. I think it would have been extra special if I was that third person in that group, but I'm looking forward to watching them if I get some time after my play.

Q. One year later, what has been the best thing that you have seen like in the clubhouse or the locker room about your victory? Is it the room with all the photos? Is it your name on that wall by the barber chair? What's been the most special thing to you commemorating your victory?
SI WOO KIM: The first time that I came back to the course after I won was for my media day, PLAYERS media day, and just seeing all the pictures that are hung up on the clubhouse and to see that I have my own locker in the locker room is incredibly special, and I think just having the memory of winning here will forever stand as one of the most special moments of my life.

Q. From a golf perspective, this year's been much more consistent for you. What's been the difference for you on the course from last year when there was some health issues and some missed cuts?
SI WOO KIM: Last year I felt like I wasn't prepared the best due to my back and due to my injury, but I worked really hard to get my body into the best shape possible, worked a lot with my trainer, so I think that has led to a lot of the consistencies that you see this season. And I had a great first tournament, and I hope to keep that momentum going.

THE MODERATOR: All right, thank you guys, and thank you, Si Woo.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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