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April 3, 2019

So Yeon Ryu

Rancho Mirage, California

THE MODERATOR: Welcome back into the ANA Inspiration media center. It's my pleasure to be joined by world No. 7 So Yeon Ryu. So Yeon, take me back to your memories from your win here in 2017 and jumping into Poppy's Pond.

SO YEON RYU: I think I said this several times. Grace Park was always my idol star since I grew up. I watched on TV like she was jumping in the Poppy's Pond. Since then I think this tournament became one of my favorite. I always dream about like one day I'm going to jumping into the Poppy's Pond and then one day I want to see my name on the bridge.

And then just dreams came true. Every time when I come here I just feel so blessed and then so motivated to keep playing well and well. I am looking forward to have more of my name on the bridge.

THE MODERATOR: Monday night is the annual champion's dinner which you were at this year. How special is it to start your year at the ANA Inspiration with other past champions?

SO YEON RYU: Yeah, last year was my first time attending the party. I was so honored to be there. So many of the great past champions, like the history was all there. We never really get -- well, it's quite rare chance to get to have opportunity to meet like previous players, and then like everybody shared a memory when they won the tournament and it was really, really special.

THE MODERATOR: You're making your tenth start here at the ANA Inspiration this week. You've never missed the cut; you've won. What is it about Mission Hills and the Dinah Shore course?

SO YEON RYU: One of the thing I really like about this golf course is you need -- they require like all 14 club. You have to hit like wedges through all the way to the driver. That means like this golf course definitely has some character. I think few of the par-5 is reachable par-5. I think definitely the signature hole is 18, especially when they moved the tee forward.

And I really enjoy all the ball shaping at this golf course. And then because rough is thick, you have to know a lot of the different type of chip shot. So I just really enjoy everything about this golf course.

THE MODERATOR: You're making just your fourth start of the 2019 season this week. A bit after slower start maybe by your standards. How are you feeling about where your game is now?

SO YEON RYU: Yeah, you know, to be honest, I wasn't really happy with all of my tournaments for the last three tournaments and this is my fourth. The one thing I realize was I think I really need to have back my confidence. I knew my swing wasn't really great in Asia, and that one really made me just losing the confidence. Then I just kept talking myself to like, You're not ready, you're not ready, instead of, You're going to be ready soon, you're going to be ready soon.

Right now I just have a different mindset. Like no matter what, I know you're great player and just trust yourself and just enjoy this game and think about the one ball at a time instead of the whole picture.

I really try to be positive at this moment.


Q. Starting off slower with only four events, will you be slowing your schedule out throughout the rest of year?
SO YEON RYU: Yeah. I think I'm going to play a little less than last few years. I am planning to few of the tournament in Korea, so still going to play about like 24, 25, I think. For the LPGA, definitely going to play less, like 21, 20, yeah.

Q. So you are going to play three more events in Korea? Is that KLPGA events or...
SO YEON RYU: Yeah, well, you know, I left KLPGA since 2012 and I haven't really back much, and then I miss my Korean fans. After I played UL International Crown last year in Korea I sort of realized how much I missed playing in front of my Korean fans.

I wanted to play a little bit more than I usually played, so that's why I plan just a little more in Korea. Like to be honest, last year I felt like I was little burnt out and that's the reason why I decided to cut down a little bit of the number.

If this year going to be my last tournament, I mean last season of my career, I maybe going to play just 30 and just walk away. But I want play long as I can, so I really want to make a balance between my personal life and professional golfer life. That's one of the biggest reason why I'm going to play less this season.

Q. When you go to a major now, does it seem like there are more players to beat, more serious contenders than when you joined the tour? Could you compare the depth of the field?
SO YEON RYU: I think 2009 was my first year at this tournament. Back then was Nabisco. To be honest, golf course setup was much tougher than these days. Grass was longer, thicker. Grass around the greens the grass was longer and thicker.

I felt like even though the fairway width was still same, but because the grass was longer felt like fairway was much narrower. I felt like that was a really even like tougher challenging than these days. I guess when golf course is really, really tough, that's the time you can really can see the who is the really great golfer.

Well, it's bad to say who is average golfer and who is great golfer, but I feel like that's sometimes how you see who deserve to win the major. So in that way, compared to ten years ago, I feel like more player with compete each other compared to ten years ago.

THE MODERATOR: How does your preparation differ during a major week, and especially when where you've won before?

SO YEON RYU: Well, I always enjoy the prepare my major tournament with my coach. He's coming. One of the thing I want to make sure to work with him for prepare the major. I just want to have a lot of skills around the green. I think that's one of the main thing to win the major. Make less bogey and make a lot of birdies.

And then when rough is really thick and then when we have not many experience to working -- I mean, like chipping around the rough -- you have a chance to lose some skills. So I would say short game work is most important preparation to win the major tournament of the year.

Q. You mentioned wanting to play tough golf courses. How does this golf course compare today? You've played it now couple days. Is it closer to where it was in 2009 when you thought it was really tough, or is it closer to where it's been the last couple years where it was more of a bomber's golf course?
SO YEON RYU: Like compared to two or three years ago it's definitely longer, the rough is longer and the green is faster. So I'm excited to play this tournament this week, because I feel like finally this golf course have more character like when they have ten years ago.

THE MODERATOR: Playing a more limited schedule, how does that affect your goals for this year?

SO YEON RYU: Well, actually when I first time decided to like cut down some number I was bit frustrated. What if I cannot play well? What I need to adjust different goal kind of stuff? I think that one just made me think about the result too much, so I'm really working on think about the process instead of result.

To be honest, I didn't set any of the goal. Just my goal is just focus on the present instead of just whole thing.

THE MODERATOR: Any further questions for So Yeon? All right. Best of luck. Thanks for joining us.

SO YEON RYU: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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