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October 7, 2018

I.K. Kim

Sung Hyun Park

So Yeon Ryu

In Gee Chun

Incheon, South Korea

CHRISTINA LANCE: Ladies and gentlemen, it's my honor to be up here on the stage with the winners of the 2018 UL International Crown, the Republic of Korea, with 15 points. I'll start here immediately to my left with In-Kyung Kim who, if I did my math correctly, you might have had the winning putt. Regardless, as you're coming down 18, as you see all the fans spread out, as you know a win is likely, what was going through your mind?

IK KIM: No. 16, No. 17 and No. 18 are quite long holes, so I couldn't let my guard down. I tried to focus on my gym and my caddie didn't tell me about what was going on, so I actually didn't know, and No. 18, because I had been going through the game 2-down, my goal was to do all square. So I focused on trying to achieve that goal.

Q. Sung Hyun, I'll move on to you. You have a major win this year at the KPMG Women's PGA. Now you add this title at the UL International Crown. Tell us what an achievement this is for you to add on to your amazing season.
SUNG HYUN PARK: So yes, I think that this is perhaps the best win of the season. Like you mentioned, I did have a major win, but having won this event, and it's my first time taking part in this event and having my team win, it makes me especially happy, and I just think I'm a very fortunate person.

Q. So Yeon, moving on to you, you spent much of All-Star match with Lexi down, one, two holes down but then you fought back and were able to square the match. How much motivation was there for you seeing the fans and knowing how much this would mean to you as a team and to the fans as a country?
SO YEON RYU: Towards the afternoon, I was missing a lot of my putts, so I was frustrated. But I reminded myself that with this event, it's not only about me, it's about my teammates, and it's about representing our country. And also the fans out there were giving me a lot of support, telling me not to give up.

And so I think I was able not to let that frustration get to me, and I rather kept very calm, and I was also the last to tee off, so I was able to check the scores of my teammates who were playing in front of me, and I knew that In-Kyung was 1-up, but still, I wanted to at the very minimum go for an all square so I could earn a point for our team.

After No. 17, I knew that our win was secure, but I did not want to finish the last match of our team down, so I really wanted to do well in the last hole, as well.

Q. In Gee, to end up with you, you're the opposite of So Yeon, you spent much of your match up big against Anna Nordqvist and Anna came fighting back. As we say, that's the duty of match play. Were you maybe getting a little worried or what was going through your mind as that match was starting to close?
IN GEE CHUN: Before I started my match, I told my fellow teammates that I was going to wrap up my game early and that I would go on and cheer for them, and so if you look at the front part of my game, it looked like I would be able to do that, so I tried really hard to focus. But then as you mentioned, Anna played very well today. She was very strong out there.

I have to say, though, I don't think I was worried per se, but I just tried to keep believing in myself and also believing in my teammates, and I kept reminding myself that I really wanted to wrap up fast so that I could go and cheer and support my teammates.

Q. So Yeon, this championship goes to, quote, the best golfing nation, and I think everyone pretty much understands Korean women have been the best golfing nation for a long time, but yet you watch the Spaniards win that title in '14, you watch the Americans win it in '16. How important was it to get that official title as the best nation?
SO YEON RYU: I think initially we felt a lot of pressure preparing for the UL International Crown in the past because it was kind of a given that team Korea would win. As golfers, we of course know that nothing in golf is ever a given, but since we usually have a number of high-ranking players or No. 1 players in our team, it was always assumed that we would win, and I think that in the past we always had pressure from that.

I think as individual players, we have a lot of strong players, but we don't have that much experience forming teams and also representing our country, and even in our junior years, we don't get a lot of exposure to this type of event, so I think there was a lot of pressure. So given that, I think that today as a Korean, I'm really proud to have earned the crown and to earn that official title when the game was hosted in Korea.

Q. I don't know if you were familiar with the phrase "man of the match;" it really applies to all sports, and it is the person on any given team who really steps up in a particular match and become not just the leader on the field but off through their performance. Who among that team is the man of the match?
IK KIM: All four of us. There's no one, I think, one out there because we all had -- I'll just answer this. Because I can't really imagine without each one of us.

The teamwork has been such an undescribable feeling because I don't know how to explain, I didn't have any expectation coming into this week, and just for one week to having this teamwork I thought was fantastic experience for me.

Q. My question goes to IK Kim. You made all square at No. 12, and then I understand at No. 13 and No. 14 you holed a birdie putt, and I want to know how long that birdie was, the distance, and also it seemed like there was some psychological sort of tension or warfare going on between you and Bronte Law. Was there, and did the cheering and supporting of the fans help?
IK KIM: So I think because it was match play, obviously we were both conscious of each other, but I think sportsmanship is basically about giving it your best, and that's what you can do for the opponent, as well. And I think in that sense, Bronte Law and I, we really pushed each other so that we could have a really good match.

I think for me, the turnaround point was when I landed the chip-in shot at No. 8, and for No. 13 and No. 14, it was really difficult, as you mentioned, it was really tricky to read the greens, but I knew that I needed a birdie to win, so I knew that I had to hole it.

The distance for the birdie putts that I landed on 13 and 14 was around 10 feet.

Q. I have two questions for you, So Yeon. First of all, at No. 7 you were in the water and it reminded me of 20 years ago when Seri Pak took off her shoes and her socks and she was in the water. Did that moment occur to you then, as well, and can you explain what was going on at No. 7? My second question is you do exceptionally well at the UL International Crown. I understand you have a total of 19 points. Do you have any explanation as to why you excel at this particular event?
SO YEON RYU: No. 7 is a par-5 hole, and Lexi made it to the green in two, so I knew that she would at the least get a birdie. So I had to be aggressive, and I had to take more risks going into the 7th hole. So I could actually go for -- be very aggressive and go for birdie, or I could try to get a par and hope that Lexi makes a mistake. That's why I took a very aggressive approach to that hole, and I took more risks.

As for Seri Pak, obviously being of a generation that watched Seri do that on TV, I was aware of the similarities, and because of that, I was conscious and I felt a little bit awkward doing that.

And as for why I excel at the UL International Crown, I think that my sense of responsibility is what really gets me going at this event, the sense of responsibility that I feel for my fellow teammates and also given the fact that I represent Korea from a pool of very, very talented Korean players. So I have a sense of responsibility that I have to give it my all.

And so I think that perhaps I need to bring this sense of responsibility to my games when I'm playing individually, as well. I need to think about what's working for me and apply it when I take on tournaments that I play as an individual player.

Q. So Yeon, which do you feel more right now, joy or relief, because I can't really tell?
SO YEON RYU: So I have to say I'm neither happy or relieved because it doesn't really feel real yet. It's kind of surreal. As I mentioned before the competition, we've been kind of preparing and we were worried and anxious about this tournament for such a long time that it kind of feels surreal that we won. So I have yet to feel joy or relief.

Q. Sung Hyun, you've obviously played a lot in Korea, won a lot of titles. What did the crowd today feel like compared to other big moments that you've had in Korea over the years, and the first tee especially?
SUNG HYUN PARK: When you play in the U.S., you don't get to see crowds like this, so when I come to Korea, I really look forward to the gallery. I think today the fans, they were supporting every shot, and so that's always -- that's something that I always look forward to, and that's always very pleasant.

I think that it's because of their support that our team won, even though I didn't do as well as I wanted to, and I think that this week has been phenomenal. When you win with such support, I think it's always very overwhelming.

Q. In Gee, as you mentioned earlier, you were included in the team pretty last minute, so I'm sure that you have a lot of different emotions going through you, so can you tell us about that? And do you think that this event will prove to be a turnaround point for you in your overall play?
IN GEE CHUN: As I mentioned earlier, the opportunity presented itself, and in deciding whether I was going to take part, on one hand, I really looked forward to representing my country, but on the other hand, I did feel a sense of pressure. Two years ago at the UL International Crown I was the youngest player, and at the time I didn't feel that I carried my weight for my other teammates, and again, I would be the youngest.

So this time coming in, every shot I played, I did not play for myself, I played for Team Korea. This year on the course I think that I had a lot of thoughts going in my head, and perhaps that is what led to some of the results that I was quite frustrated with.

But I think this week, I've sort of gone back to the basics, and so this week I really didn't overthink anything. All I wanted to do was earn points for my team, so I was able to sort of simplify the game and not overthink golf. I hope this experience will help me build my career in the future in golf, and I hope that the win today and the experience of this week will prove to be a turnaround point for me this season, as well.

Q. This is about how you make your decisions because there is no designated official captain of your team. So for instance, how did you decide the order in which you were going to play today?
SO YEON RYU: Overall I think we talked amongst ourselves and we came up with a consensus. For instance, with the order of play, when we were thinking about our decision, at the time we had to think about the order of play, we did not know who the No. 5 seed country was, and then it turned out that it was Thailand.

With Ariya, we figured that with Thailand that they would probably put Ariya against the Korean team. So we decided Sung Hyun, who ranks very high, who is a long hitter, would be a good match for the team against Thailand, and then with I.K., she had two wins in Britain, including the British Women's Open, so we hoped she would do well against the Brits, so that's why she was placed there. And In Gee was very confident that she would be able to take on Sweden, and we did expect Anna to be placed in that place, as well.

And then for me, I went last, and it could be a bit of a burden or pressure, but my teammates thought it was a good idea that I go last because I was putting very well this morning, so when they suggested that I go last, I just said, okay.

Q. My question goes to all four of the players. I'm sure that you're all happy with the win today, and this would mean that you can prepare well for next week. As you know, next week we have the KEB Hana Bank Championship. I would like to ask all four what kind of play or what kind of golf you expect for yourselves next week.
SUNG HYUN PARK: For one, I don't think So Yeon and I.K. are going to play in that tournament. As for myself, it is my sponsor's tournament, so I look forward to it, and I especially look forward to playing two consecutive weeks of golf in Korea.

Also, last year I was the runner-up at that event, so I'm looking to do better than runner up this year, and I have a good feeling.

IN GEE CHUN: Although today was a single match play, this week I've been playing with these girls all week, and it was a lot about teamwork, and we spent a lot of time together.

So I think going into next week's tournament, I'm going to miss them a lot, and I think that I might feel a little lonely. So I hope that I can build on today's win and keep the momentum next week, and I just want to have faith that I can do well next week, as well.

Q. I.K., as the eldest of the team, I'm sure having spent time with these girls this week have had time to observe their personalities or their quirks, so having spent a lot of time with them this week, can you say anything about the personality of the other three players? And although this event does not have an official captain, I'm sure as the eldest you might have taken on making decisions at crucial moments, so were there any such crucial moments, and can you share your thoughts about having that role?
IK KIM: Somehow I ended up being the eldest. These girls all have very different personalities, so when an issue came up, we would have different opinions, so what I did was I constantly asked them their opinion, and I think I listened more.

For instance, yesterday So Yeon thought it was a good idea that we go to the practice range and Sung Hyun joined, and then In Gee, she had a thing with her friend but she canceled her appointment with her going out with her friend to be with us, and So Yeon bought us dinner, so I think with our team, you don't want too many chefs in the kitchen, so I was the one who kind of kept quiet and more reserved, if you will.

Q. So Yeon, you visited Sung Hyun on the first tee for the singles, and I wanted to know what the background of that was.
SO YEON RYU: As you know, I was the last to tee off after the third round, so I had a lot of time on my hands, and I knew that So Yeon was perhaps feeling the most nerves, and she was probably under the most pressure, as well. And she was the first to tee off, so I really wanted to make the time to go down there and lend her my support.

Q. Arnold Palmer said the hardest tournament to win is the one you're supposed to. I want to ask each of you, do you agree with Arnold? And now that you've done it, was there any time out there either today or this week when you said, man, this is hard?
IN GEE CHUN: I would have to agree but also note that in any sport or even in life, those moments when you really have to do something are the most difficult ones. So I really want to pat ourselves on the back for overcoming such difficulties to win this event. So I just have to say I'm really happy.

SO YEON RYU: I would agree with Arnold Palmer 10,000 percent. I think, however, once we started playing and once we started to focus, then we did feel less pressure than before we started to play. And with the four-ball matches for three rounds, we didn't change our teams, so Sung Hyun played with I.K. and I played with In Gee, and I think the teamwork was fantastic. And so that's what kind of eased the burden and allowed us to have fun out there.

I think for me personally, our match against Australia was the most difficult one.

SUNG HYUN PARK: So I think I especially had a difficult time with this event that we had to win, but I had a blast with all the players, including In Gee, and I think the most difficult time was during -- I think it was round 2 when I was kind of struggling in the morning, and I felt like I wasn't helping I.K. That was, I think, the most difficult moment.

IK KIM: For me, I learned a lot, and I really cherished this opportunity to play with players who have such a great sense of responsibility. I also tried to have that sense of responsibility as I played this week, and I think that if we were to select a team, I think this is really the ultimate combination.

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