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February 20, 2019
THE MODERATOR: Good morning everyone. Thank you so much for joining us here in the media center at the Siam Country Club. I am Kristen Yoon with the LPGA Communications Team here at the 2019 Honda LPGA Thailand with some of the top female competitors in the world.
No. 7, Minjee Lee; No. 3, So Yeon Ryu; No. 2 Sung Hyun Park; and reigning World No. 1, Ariya Jutanugarn. We're going to start with Ariya. The tour travels to 11 different countries around the world. This stop must feel a little more special for you.
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: (Through translation.) I come here over ten times already, and every time I still get as nervous every time because we have so many fans coming to cheer for me. So it's a little extra expectations, but I'm hoping to do my best every week.
THE MODERATOR: Minjee, similarly you can attest to playing in front of home crowds after coming off a two-week stretch in Australia.
Talk to us about what it's like playing in front of home crowds, and how does it affect your mindset when you tee it up.
MINJEE LEE: Yeah, it's really special. Obviously I played two weeks at home and it's been great. Like there is so much, like loads of support. Everybody comes out and just wants to cheer you on and wants you to do well. So it's really nice to have everybody out supporting you, so, yeah, it's good.
THE MODERATOR: For Sung Hyun and So Yeon, this is your first appearance of the 2019 season. We're so happy to have you guys here. Can you talk to us about how your off-season went and some of your goals for the season?
SO YEON RYU: Yeah, I think my off-season was quite long. I had six weeks in Korea and like about five weeks in Dallas and I like six weeks of like golf-free like period of time, and then I practice like about a month.
Well, Dallas was a little cold so, like to be honest, I thought even though I practice really hard I felt like I couldn't really do everything I wanted to do because weather was so cold. I was like, Maybe this is the time I need to be back on the road, and then I'm so glad to be here. It's like definitely more than warm.
I feel really pleasure to be here. I was, you know, like kind of expecting to be it's everything new, but it just feels like I played tournament yesterday as well. I'm really happy to be back to the road, and looking forward to meeting a lot of Thailand fans this week.
SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) So since I finished playing at CME I rested for an entire month, ate a lot of great food, traveled, and really worked on my game in practice.
Last season I had three wins, and so I'm looking for more this season. It would be nice to have a major win as well.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it to the floor for any questions.
Q. Question for Sung Hyun. What can we look forward to this year that is different in your game? What did you learn last year that you're going to try to do differently in 2019?
SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) So last year beginning of the season I felt a little uncomfortable for myself with my game and also like a lot of pressure. This year I'd like to get myself comfortable. So that's going to be like different, make myself comfortable during the season.
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: (Through translation.) The golf course are unbelievable. We have the best weather and the best hospitality. Welcome everyone. Come and try all (indiscernible.)
Q. Ariya, off-season did you get the driver out of the bag? If so, on the par-5, 18, will we see it?
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: (Through translation.) As far as the driver, I've always taken it out in practice rounds, but as far as the tournament, I will have to see if I'm comfortable. Never know. (Laughter.)
Q. Minjee, you were pretty clear on your goals of what you wanted to achieve last year. What are your goals going forward for 2019?
MINJEE LEE: I sort of set more statistical goals this year. Obviously like I really wanted to break into the top 10 in world rankings last year. I am now. Obviously everybody wants to be world No. 1, so I think to get there I got to get my process first. Just got to focus on that.
Q. So Yeon, great to see you here.
SO YEON RYU: Thank you, me too.
Q. In the off-season it looks like you're practicing Pilates a lot on Instagram. Can you tell us why you do Pilates? Why is it good and how does it help your game?
SO YEON RYU: I started Pilates since I was 17 and I always loved it. A lot of people think like Pilates is similar yoga, but it's completely different. Pilates really help you out to make your body more efficiently I would say.
So you have to feel like every single muscle and you have to feel like even like every single bone I would say. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I think Pilates really help me out to moving better, so I'm just always love to doing it.
And then, well, that's a good thing I'm doing it for golf, and also I started Pilates because of golf as well, but it just became my hobby. I just really enjoy it. Then when I'm doing it, I really feel like this is a time I sort of like treating myself. I think that's the way kind of like how I love myself.
Q. Minjee, in the off-season I know you put down the clubs for a bit. What else did you get up to? Read any books? What did you enjoy doing?
MINJEE LEE: Yeah, I read quite a lot of books actually. I did hang out with my friends quite a bit. Yeah, I don't think I really did practice that much.
I was always doing something, going to the beach, you know, just having some time off for myself. Yeah. I did get through all the (indiscernible).
MINJEE LEE: Really good.
Q. (Regarding which male player Ariya would play against.)
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: I couldn't decide between two, Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka.
Q. Minjee, your brother just turned pro. Did you give him some advice or do you follow his progress closely? Do you still sort of give him a hard time that you're the best golfer in the family?
MINJEE LEE: Yeah, he did turn pro earlier this year. He's done great, really well on the European Tour.
Yeah, I mean, he's going to do great. Even just his personality, just his confidence, it's just all there. Yeah, he's great with everybody, great with fans.
I don't know, he's pretty competitive so he thinks he's better than me. I'm not going to quote him on that one.
Q. (No translation.)
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: I recently appeared in some environmentally sensitive ads on TV and I'm asked about further advertisement opportunities. I'm will do anything that helps the country environmentally, socially. I did the (indiscernible) advertisement with Key Bank, and looking forward to more opportunities.
Q. Ariya, you played in the Japanese Friendship Cup with men and women. Do you think this is something that the LPGA might consider, men and women playing in the same competition? Seemed to be very exciting.
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: (Speaking in Thai.)
Q. And in English?
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: (Laughter.) I really had fun at the Friendship Cup last year. Got a chance to play with (indiscernible), so hopefully on LPGA some opportunities similar to that, you know, men with women. I'm looking forward to playing.
Q. Just a question for all, I guess. ANA Inspiration is not that far away. It's a major, of course, the first major. Are you already mentally preparing for that when you're out preparing for this tournament? Are you working on shots that you think you will need for that course, that tournament?
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: (Through translation.) Well obviously I just really want to focus on this week. It's too far away to be thinking about shots at the ANA. Each week I'm focused on doing well, focused on the shots I need to be doing well.
It's probably not going to take different shots week in to week out.
Q. What do you have to do, what will your game have to do to shoot that kind of score this week? What's the key for you around this golf course?
SO YEON RYU: Well, actually just I think the green is the best shape I've ever seen. Rolls really, really great, like perfect roll, so if you miss the putt it's totally your problem. It's not about the golf course or something.
I think to win the tournament have to do well everything, and I think particularly this year the putting.
Q. Question for Ariya. Can you answer in English? This week you're at home. What's the one special thing you get to do this week that you don't get to do when you're away from home? How many people do you think will come out, friends and family? Do you have a whole list of tickets at the door?
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: Actually, I'm going to say always love to be back here because all the fan here, they give the best support ever. To be honest, I love the food here, so go out and keep having like good food all the time.
Q. Do you have a list of people coming out to watch you?
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: I wish they coming actually. I give out like hundred people. Maybe in the beginning they might come only ten. (Laughter.)
Q. Minjee, what is the best thing about being a professional golfer? You wake up in the morning, Top 10 in the world; you've won LPGA golf tournaments. What keeps you going and what keeps you inspired?
MINJEE LEE: I think competition. I mean, I think I come across as not that competitive, but inside obviously everybody is competitive. Everybody wants to win out here. I think that's my biggest motivation.
Q. (Through translation.) Who is your biggest feared rival?
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: (Through translation.) Everybody here is very capable, very skilled. I'm not looking at certain people. I'm focused each week on myself, on improving myself shot by shot. That's always my mental.
Q. Ariya, favorite Thai food this week; what should we all eat while we're here?
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: To be honest, you can eat anything. (Laughter.)
Q. Give us a dish, one we've got to try while we're here this week.
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: Actually, Pad Thai is too simple for you guys. I would go with like fried fish with like fish sauce. That my favorite ever. I love that one.
SO YEON RYU: I think Thai dessert is really great.
THE MODERATOR: Let's open that up to the remaining players. What food have you had this week or in Thailand that you would recommend or that's been your favorite?
SO YEON RYU: I think first thing I have is always Pad Thai. Like soon as I arriving here I order pad Thai automatically.
Then I been liking the sticky mango rice. This year we had like huge mall in front of our hotel and their dessert are unbelievable. So I just seems like I just like everything about Thai food.
Then Thai food plus chile is just amazing.
THE MODERATOR: Minjee or Sung Hyun?
SUNG HYUN PARK: (Through translation.) Personally I enjoy all kinds the food and I especially like (indiscernible) this week. I think that's all I'm going to eat this week.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Minjee likes all the noodles. All the noodles. (Laughter.)
Q. For all you beautiful lady pros, how do you take care of your facial skin, because you all look beautiful and radiant?
SO YEON RYU: I'm sponsored by this company in Korea for facial masks. You know, if you want to have a really good skin, you should buy this facial mask all the time. (Laughter.)
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports