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October 11, 2020

Sei Young Kim

Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, USA

Aronimink Golf Club

Champion's Interview

THE MODERATOR: Sei Young Kim, you're a major champion. That's got to sound amazing. How are you right now?

SEI YOUNG KIM: I'm so excited. I'm actually really hiding my tears at the moment. It was a major that I really wanted, so very excited and happy that I got it done.

THE MODERATOR: Not only did you get it done, you got it done in record-breaking fashion. Your 266 sets the championship scoring record. Your final round 63 ties the championship scoring record. You had an amazing round today. Were you trying to push for that major title? Was it some adrenaline? What drove that round?

SEI YOUNG KIM: I stuck to my game plan. Just focused one shot at a time. I didn't want to play like this was my final round but just stick to my momentum that I've played all week, so that worked out.

THE MODERATOR: Inbee Park was right here for you. Inbee is such an inspiration to all of us, and she said, every time I made a birdie, she made a birdie, too. I know you said one shot at a time, but were you paying attention to what Inbee was doing ahead of you to stay ahead of her?

SEI YOUNG KIM: I did not look at the scoreboard once. I knew that Inbee was going to play great, but I had to just focus on my game, one shot at a time.

THE MODERATOR: Last year you won the CME Group TOUR Championship for $1.5 million. Now you're a major champion. Two of the biggest moments in your career. How does that feel to know that you have accomplished two of those amazing things?

SEI YOUNG KIM: Definitely a different feeling compared to the CME. Winning CME was great, it was really thrilling, but this one, is feels like a dramatic accomplishment to myself, so I'm very happy.

Q. Your caddie Paul was telling us over the last two days, you took a lot more ownership out there of your own game, making your own decisions. What prompted that? What started that?

SEI YOUNG KIM: It was a tough course. I'm glad to have had Paul by my side. I really tried to simplify my game because this was a tough course, and that worked out pretty well.

Q. How early on do you remember dreaming of winning a major championship? How little were you?

SEI YOUNG KIM: I dreamt of winning a major championship after seeing Seri Pak winning the first one for our country, so I didn't -- to be honest with you, I didn't know it was going to take this long.

Q. Now that it's finally over and you've got the big one, how much pressure did you feel to win a major?

SEI YOUNG KIM: I won't lie, I did feel the pressure starting last night. I actually arrived about 30 minutes later than I normally do at the golf course, but I really tried to stay composed during the tournament, during the round, and I'm happy that I got it done.

Q. Can you talk about before this week even how much pressure you felt over the years, because you've been a top player for a long time.

SEI YOUNG KIM: I feel the pressure every week but especially in a major championship. I've felt pressure every time I've played in one, and I feel it in the players' eyes when I come to a major championship, everybody is really eager to win this one, so again, nice to get it done.

Q. Do you realize how amazing it is to shoot a 63 in the final round of a major, while Inbee Park, a great player, shoots 65 and never gets closer than three strokes to you?

SEI YOUNG KIM: Including Inbee, in our group, Brooke and Anna, I knew that they were going to play well. I knew Inbee was going to play well. But I know Anna and Brooke didn't play as well as they wanted to, but in the back of my head I knew that Inbee was going to play well. But it reminded me of 2015 when I played with Inbee for a major championship. I actually didn't recall that until someone told me about that. But I really tried to stay composed again, focusing on my game, and got it done.

Q. Inbee mentioned that moment from 2015; how important is it to you to know that Inbee is proud of you and the rest of your country is proud of you?

SEI YOUNG KIM: I'm happy to have Inbee as a fellow competitor and a great sister. I look up to her, and I feel appreciative that she gave a compliment to me, and I look forward to competing against her in many other tournaments.

Q. Just a second ago you said that you showed up like 30 minutes late; was that for today's round? What happened there?

SEI YOUNG KIM: It was just today. I guess I was unconsciously nervous before going to sleep, so I set my alarm 30 minutes later than I wanted to, and I found out when I left this morning.

Q. You've been really close in several other majors; what was different about today?

SEI YOUNG KIM: Looking back recalling those tournaments, I think I was really playing aggressively trying to win, but this week I tried to stay composed, focus on my game, not worrying about other factors that might affect my game, and I think that helped overall.

Q. Was there an early shot today or an early moment that told you today could be really special?

SEI YOUNG KIM: I made a small mistake on No. 2 with my approach shot. I made a long par putt to keep my momentum going. I think that was a moment that really I thought changed it today.

Q. You've had Paul on your bag since the beginning, since Q-school actually. What made you choose Paul, and why have you stuck with him?

SEI YOUNG KIM: Before I came to the U.S., I actually saw Paul, and I saw how he prepared for each tournament, and I told myself I want to have him on my bag. So I reached out to him. I think it was the Q-school era. We missed the first cut together, but afterwards we won the next tournament, and ever since then we've been together. Glad to have him on my bag.

Q. What have you relied on him the most for? How has he helped you over the years?

SEI YOUNG KIM: The reason that I have ownership of my game on the course is just knowing the fact that Paul is with me as a friend and as a teammate, that just gives me comfort on the course, which I think we've had a lot of success together.

Q. We've been trying to reach your family, but because of all the phones coming in, apparently they haven't been able to reach your family. How much were you thinking about your family this week?

SEI YOUNG KIM: I think the thing I want to do most when I return home is hug my parents and my family.

Q. Sei Young, congratulations. You're now a major champion. What does that mean to you to be a major champion?

SEI YOUNG KIM: It means a lot. I feel so emotional. Yeah, it's a dream come true. I'm waiting for a while to reach my biggest goal to win a major tournament, so I'm very glad to win the first major tournament at the KPMG.

Q. What was your experience like here at Aronimink? This course was definitely a challenge, but you stood up to that challenge.

SEI YOUNG KIM: This golf course is really, really testing of the golf. I know it's not easy. Very big challenge. Yeah, I'm very -- I enjoyed the challenging, difficult golf course, so yeah, I'm very happy with that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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