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June 7, 2018

In-Kyung Kim

Galloway, New Jersey

Q. How does it feel being back here, the site of your first of three wins last year? What's it like being back in New Jersey?
IN KYUNG KIM: You know, everything is different. I feel like this is my fourth tournament. Last few weeks I been playing for a little bit. Last year was my first kind of coming back from long break, so it feels a little bit different.

So I'm kind of getting used to -- I haven't seen the course yet. I think it's a little bit softer from the rain. I'm just remembering what to work onto prepare for the next few days.

Q. What do you like about this place and this course?
IN KYUNG KIM: This place, it's like I have to give my best, but I can't really expect the result. Only because it's tricky golf course with the wind, and you never know what's going to happen. You cannot really predict mostly every tournament, but this week especially. I think it just plays differently with the wind.

So I was working on some hitting low shots on the driving range and trying to hit different shots, yeah, this morning.

Q. You finished second a couple weeks ago, I think. What's your overall -- happy with your game? Where do you think you are right now as far as your game?
IN KYUNG KIM: With my game, I feel like it's coming along. From the early beginning I had a little bit tough time getting used to my golf clubs. I still kind of testing. It just takes while to get used to I think new club. That's what I been doing.

I'm just pleased that I have 14 clubs that I like on the bag. Yeah, that's what I been up to last few months. It's good to be playing good golf, because I was just busy testing different things and I felt like my focus wasn't there.

But I'm just happy to just not worry about anything and just play golf.

Q. You mentioned the clubs, the 14. Are they all new? Is it a mixture of ones you were able to rescue?
IN KYUNG KIM: Unfortunately, the club that I was testing and getting back, it's a little bit different sets from the last, so I just put my 6-hybrid in there. My putter face kind of dislocated, so I had to get a new putter but same model.

So everything seems like more upgrade version of what I had. It just takes time to trust the club, and, yeah, fully get used to it.

Q. It's been such a long time that the incident happened to now. When you look back on it, what goes through your mind? Why did this have to happen? God, I've spent more time on this that actually working on my game?
IN KYUNG KIM: I think I can be a club hitter now. You know, I can give some good advice. I was really trying to be positive. You know, everything can be any worse, because my clubs were two, three years old anyway.

So that's kind of mindset I had. But I do have all the good sets, it just takes time to build good memories in it. So that's what I been doing.

Q. And the clubs that were stolen, were they the ones you used to win here last year?
IN KYUNG KIM: Yeah, I won five times with those clubs last two years. Yeah, new beginning. (Laughter.)

Q. What memories do you take from last year? You won three last year, but this was the first one. How did that help propel you to the successful year that you had?
IN KYUNG KIM: Yeah, I mean, I had a lot of questions over the years, and definitely winning China couple years ago was giving me some good momentum going into the training season in the winter.

I didn't start off that fast last year, but winning this tournament gave me a lot of positive confidence going into the season, because, you know, this tournament is pretty tricky. I think you really have to play well and you might not win. That's the kind of golf course, I think.

So I think that really, you know, winning a three-day event, I don't think I'd done it before, so it was kind of neat.

Q. What feels different about a three-day compared to a four for you?
IN KYUNG KIM: There is not much difference really, I don't think. It just finish quicker.

Q. More of a sprint?
IN KYUNG KIM: I think having one good round really sets apart, I think, one low score. You got to have them, otherwise you really don't have a chance to win it. You can finish top 10, but without a lower round it's going to be tough.

Because they finish so quick. Yeah.

Q. You certainly can't recover from a bad one. Very well anyway. As easily.
IN KYUNG KIM: It depends how bad it is. (Laughter.)

Q. Right. That's true. Winning your first major last year, what did that mean to you to finally break through? What were the feelings that you had afterwards? Did you feel like you had reached another plateau in your career?
IN KYUNG KIM: You know, it's going to be hard to beat that, outperform what I did. I just had a lot of fun and that's what happened. I felt like the course was suiting me well, fitting me well. It was kind of rainy day so I could stop the ball. Everything kind of worked out with the good preparation really.

I won the Marathon going into the tournament, so it was such a great -- you know, when things happening, it just happens, I think. I can't really make it happen, I guess. Yeah, just be ready for it.

Q. A lot of your fellow players happy you got the major?
IN KYUNG KIM: Yes. I think a lot of my family friends, colleagues, they were all happy for me. It's good to have some kind of conclusion, I think. Yeah.

Q. You talked about this course being tricky this week. Does that make the tournament more wide open? Meaning any player can win it? You have to be a certain type of player to win it?
IN KYUNG KIM: It will test you, I think, with -- not so much physically because the walking distance is right next to the hole and it's all good, but depends on the heat and weather. It's a little bit combination.

And then poana can get pretty bumpy in the afternoon. I think we really just have to just running good process and not worry about the result. Which is not easy, but, yeah.

Q. Do you think that's why a lot of players with experience have won this tournament? Could that be a reason why?
IN KYUNG KIM: Is that right?

Q. Yeah.
IN KYUNG KIM: Oh, maybe. You know, you got to have a little bit of good kicks out there, and, yeah, just -- yeah.

Q. This isn't the longest of courses, but as you say, the challenges are endless. What's the one thing have to do to score well?
IN KYUNG KIM: You got to give a lot of chances. Like you said, it's not the longest, but the greens are quite tight. You have to miss it in the right places.

Because it's not too long people are expect to score well. I think that's one thing you have to get over, not expecting too much. That's the challenge I think.

But there are some good par-5s that people can reach in two. Not only longer hitters, but like myself can -- depends on the wind situation -- can reach it.

So just got to collect those.

Q. Big difference at 11:00 when they turn the wind on?
IN KYUNG KIM: Yeah, or bugs on. (Laughter.)

Q. They're not the bugs, they're animals. New Jersey state bird.
IN KYUNG KIM: I'm just glad I don't see them very much.

Q. That's why they call them no-see-ums.
IN KYUNG KIM: That is right? I learn something.

Q. Now you know.
IN KYUNG KIM: I thought it was alien.

Q. You're at No. 4 right now in the standings for the UL National Crown for Team Korea. Is that something you're thinking about on a week-to-week basis and is that a goal of yours?
IN KYUNG KIM: Thanks for reminding me. (Laughter.)

You know, I look at it as just such a great opportunity if I get to play. I don't get to go home very often, and the people love following us. They watch golf 2:00 a.m. Can you imagine? And go work and talk about golf. I think would be such a great treat for them.

So, yeah, I think about it, but not too much. I been playing for last 12 years. I been playing some UL before, and also played other team sport, team events. I think it's good kind of celebration for golf when we do get to play that kind of game.

And it's such a great golf course. Men play there for the Presidents Cup. I think they know how to have that big event, o it will be interesting to play at home.

Q. Yesterday you got the chance to take part in a clinic with people from the Special Olympics. Can you just talk about what that means to you?
IN KYUNG KIM: Yeah, it's good to see my friends, you know. Michael and David, they're a couple people that come every year, so it's kind of our annual thing. It's really nice. The ShopRite, they really involve in Special Olympics as well, so I don't have to ask for it. They just ready to have a clinic.

It's kind of nice to see them. Their Summer Games in Seattle this summer. Hopefully I can make it. It's their 50th anniversary and it's just amazing how all over the States and even when I go to Korea that I get to see them.

So it's such a great organization. Hopefully we'll have more opportunities like that.

Q. So you're planning to attend the Summer Games if it works in your schedule?
IN KYUNG KIM: I think it's same week of one other tournament in July. Depends on the schedule. It's quite a long way to Seattle, so we'll see.

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