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June 18, 2019

Jin Young Ko

Chaska, Minnesota

THE MODERATOR: We are here with Jin Young Ko, four time LPGA Tour Champion, including this year's ANA Inspiration. Jin Young is in the 12th week at No. 1 in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings.

She is competing in her 2nd KPMG Women's PGA Championship and tied for 11th last year in her championship debut.

Jin, this is your 11th event of 2019. You haven't finished outside the Top 30. You're playing very well. What have you been working on and what has brought your game to this good level?

JIN YOUNG KO: Last on No. 16, my rank was over 30, I think so I know I will try inside 29 or inside 22. So, I get 17 and 18. I finish at the top 22 or 23 and then this make me happy and I'm always try hard by myself on the course and then I'm just -- my goal is always finish the inside Top 30. So, it's good. Doing great.

THE MODERATOR: Do you think this is the best golf you've ever played in your life right now?

JIN YOUNG KO: Actually, I don't know, but I tried always the best in my life but, yeah, I'm having great season now. I won two times already so I'm looking forward.

THE MODERATOR: This is your second time playing in the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. What do you think about this event? It's one of the biggest events we have all year.

JIN YOUNG KO: I'm always happy to be playing KPMG Women's PGA Championship because food is really amazing and then like kind of always happy and the course is great and then all the volunteers say really -- make me happy, like smile, always smiling so I'm really happy on the course.

THE MODERATOR: You played your Pro-Am this morning, 18 holes. What does the golf course look like for you?

JIN YOUNG KO: Course is like little thicker rough and then greens little firmer. Bunkers like always downhill or just like not uphill. Try middle of the green from second shot and try to make more birdies so it's going to be good, yeah.

THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.

Q. How did winning a Major Championship change your life?
JIN YOUNG KO: Just one thing is change -- many people's notice me. I walk around on the road and many people oh, are you Jin Young Ko? That's it.

THE MODERATOR: You get recognized now. Is that cool?

JIN YOUNG KO: Sometimes good, sometimes little bit tired.

Q. What's the biggest challenge when you come to a course you've never played before for a big event like this?
JIN YOUNG KO: I think biggest one is like I think being nervous on the course and just try -- how much do I focus on my game. That is a really great important things, I think, yeah.

Q. So you're not from the States and are obviously not from Minnesota either. What are your initial impressions of the State so far since you've been here?
JIN YOUNG KO: Weather is really good and I heard about milk shakes. Chipping little bit with practice. Having fun, yeah.

Q. Getting a milk shake is the best. My second question is 16 looks like a hole over 400 yards, one day they might move up the tees. What variables going to be aggressive on this hole or maybe being a little bit more reserved you have for the tee shots?
JIN YOUNG KO: Depends on wind and depends on my length. So, I talk with my caddy. If tee is going forward, still I will still make a shot and lay up. 40, 50 meters shot. I'm just like -- I like safe shot, yeah, at the Major for sure.

Q. Your English, you're doing beautifully. How much are you practicing English and how important is it to you to be doing this basically on your own?
JIN YOUNG KO: I'm doing -- I'm doing -- I'm studying English every night at the You Tube and then I don't know. I think my English not good so -- but I'm always try to think, always try talking English with rest of people and, yeah. Thank you.

Q. What kind of videos are you watching on You Tube?
JIN YOUNG KO: Like Korean. She doing Korean -- she's Korean but she is study like Brit English.

Q. Your caddie then, too, right?

Q. This week we talk a lot about Inspire Greatness. That's the theme of the championship and this week's events. The people that inspire you and have inspired you throughout your career, especially the women that have inspired you, can you talk a little bit about someone, a woman in your life that has inspired you throughout your life both on and off the course?
JIN YOUNG KO: I think first is for sure my parents, my mom and father and I don't know, I'm just thinking by myself, other players. So, I don't know. I don't know which one is best on the course than me.

THE MODERATOR: Is there any golfer as you were coming over to the LPGA Tour and even on the KLPGA was there a golfer who was particularly helpful to you that you relied on?

JIN YOUNG KO: Yeah. She's Hee Kyung. She played maybe four years on this Tour so she was with me. She helped me a lot on the course or outside in my life. We tried always like having dinner or lunch. She's always fun, yeah. I like her.

THE MODERATOR: Anything further for Jin Young? I'm going to close-up with one question. I know you're a big Brooks Koepka fan. He came so close at the U.S. Open.

What do you like so much about Brooks Koepka and do you use that to inspire your play?

JIN YOUNG KO: I don't know. I met him in my dream (laughter) and then we had really great time. I'm always fun watching on him. He always like poker face and then like stone. He's not move, moving, just stone. So I like him and then I like big guy.

THE MODERATOR: Just like him. There's nothing wrong with that. I see. Jin is off at 2:44 off No. 1 with Nelly Korda and Cristie Kerr. Thank you so much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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