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October 21, 2018

Danielle Kang

Shanghai, China

THE MODERATOR: I present to you the winner of the 2018 Buick LPGA Shanghai, Danielle Kang. Congratulations.


THE MODERATOR: Your second career LPGA win. How does this one feel for you?

DANIELLE KANG: I'm actually still pretty stunned. It went by -- I don't know. I don't know what I'm feeling. I've just been kind of not really here. It just kind of feels surreal.

I've been going through a lot mentally, and now that -- the fact that even last week -- last week was such a win for me as well. I was able to get over a lot of anxiety I was feeling when I was trying to hit a golf ball. This week I just kept trusting my golf game.

At the end of the day, came out on top.

THE MODERATOR: Can you tell us about what today's round was like and fighting yourself and fighting the swing and then how things changed at the turn for you.

DANIELLE KANG: I was actually very frustrated even yesterday. Things just weren't going my way. The biggest thing that Butch tells me is to stay out of my own way. I just couldn't do that. If I had a short putt I just kept doubting myself. I couldn't putt freely.

The front nine was a little bit rough. For me, wasn't about the result; it was more so about what I was feeling on the inside and how I was dealing with things. I just needed to overcome all my insecurities and my anxiety.

After nine hole my caddie told me to step off to the side and he told me, Whatever you need to do to let your anger out and restart and refresh, you need to do that now. I told him, I said, Cameras are everywhere. I just want to hit the bag really hard. He said, Here's a wedge. Just smash it.

Honestly, I thank him for that. He told there are a lot birdies out there. I regrouped and we pretended we started the round brand new on the 10th hole. Then things change and momentum started going my way. I started hit ting it closer and felt better over the putts and shot 4-under on the back.

THE MODERATOR: And your mom was here to see the win, and your friends here dousing with you champagne after the round; your brother called you right after; he stayed up. What does it mean to have so much support from so many people?

DANIELLE KANG: I mean, at the end of the day, last week somebody asked me, Are you ready to play? I hadn't played for a little bit and I just said to them, I'm really, really happy where I am and with my friends and family, everyone around me. I'm happy just being me.

My mom hasn't traveled very much. The fact she was here for the Asia tournament, Korea and this one, I'm just super excited. I've been telling her, saying, Mom, I haven't been playing good; I don't feel good over the golf ball. She just comes out to the golf course and says, Just be you. Just play your game.

And my brother calling me this morning and telling me, Just play the way you've been playing. You've been playing great. You're consistent. Just give yourself opportunities. That's all he said to me this morning.

I just feel so loved, too. All my friends waiting around, especially we all need to catch a flight. They're just standing there. Yeah, I love my friends and family. I am very fortunate and very blessed.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Danielle.

Q. Today is such a beautiful day in Shanghai. We have our first winner of LPGA Shanghai. Congratulations.

Q. You have very tough image, so tough. If next year you come back to defending your champion, would you like to change a little bit your style, such as change the color of your hair? It's a relaxed question. Do you understand what I'm talking about?
DANIELLE KANG: The color of my hair is...

Q. Next year coming back to defending your champion would you change a little bit your style, such as change the color of your hair?
DANIELLE KANG: I don't know. Maybe.

Q. Your so tough image.
DANIELLE KANG: This isn't tough?

Q. Yes, very tough?
DANIELLE KANG: I want to look tough, though. I don't want look all soft.

Q. But next year very new image, fresh image. This is our expectation for next year.
DANIELLE KANG: I hope Shanghai is really happy that I'm a winner here, and I'm just so glad to be the inaugural winner of the Buick Shanghai tournament.

I don't know. This is me. You know, you get what you see.

Q. Were you watching the leaderboard today?
DANIELLE KANG: Definitely. I'm a leaderboard watcher. Everybody knows that. I tell that to people all the time. I knew that there were a lot of long hitters behind me. I was playing and Ariya and she's also a very solid player, former world No. 1.

I just knew I had to trust my short game and the girls are going to come in with birdies coming in. The back nine is more so birdie opportunities, so I just kept chipping away at it and made birdies.

Q. Was that one of your best back nines ever in the end of a championship?
DANIELLE KANG: I'm not sure. I mean, KPMG back nine was pretty awesome, to be honest. I think I went four birdie runs in a row, crazy par save, another birdie at the end.

It's not the necessarily what the score was for me, for me it was to be able to have -- I had a really tough chip shot on 17, and I actually -- that's my big pet peeve is to not have a short-sided putt to front pin chip. I don't like those. I trusted my skill and made up and down.

Then on the last hole I been telling my caddie that uphill to downhill putts I been struggling with a lot. I've been three-putting that a lot. I left that putt today on the 18th hole, but almost made it.

Q. Thank you. I like your hair.

Q. (Through translation.) Actually, as you mentioned, this is your second professional title. I wonder why you didn't get as many as you desired and what might be the restrictions preventing you from getting more?
DANIELLE KANG: Is he asking why I haven't won this year?

THE INTERPRETER: Why you haven't won more.


THE INTERPRETER: You could have won more.

DANIELLE KANG: I mean, they're going to tell me I have to go and catch a flight. We're digging deep there. I mean, I had to go through swing changes; I had the swing yips, the putting yips, to everything possibly you could think of.

Overcoming the mentality of the anxiety you feel over the shots, it's so much that golf does to you and the things that I had to deal with over the course of time that I've been on tour. You know, I'm just so happy to be where I'm at today. I'm just happy that I won.

More so than anything I'm finally at a place where I'm peaceful and happy with my game, with my life. There is just so much more you can get through. I hope I win more; I did the best I can. I'm going to keep working hard and keep giving myself chances and keep putting myself in contention. I'll win more. I'll play better.

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