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October 20, 2021

Danielle Kang

Busan, South Korea

LPGA International Busan

Press Conference

Q. Danielle, welcome back to Busan. What does it mean for you to be back in Korea?

DANIELLE KANG: To be back in Busan in South Korea means a lot because this is one of the tournaments that I really look forward to. And it being my dad's hometown, it is a special place in my heart here. And, yeah, I'm just really happy to be back.

And I know it's been a really difficult time for a lot of people and for the country and all the people around the world, but I'm really thankful for BMW for hosting this tournament.

Q. Danielle, talk about how this is your dad's hometown. What are some of the memories that you think of when you think of Busan?

DANIELLE KANG: A lot of things actually, whether it's food, people, family, vacations. And even the beach, we used to come here, and there's a lot of memories, the smells, the tastes, a food, the vibe and the aura of this place.

Every time I come back, I feel really back at home. I came here and visited during summer vacations and winter vacations throughout elementary school, and I actually even attended elementary school here in Busan.

So I'm really, really happy, and it's like a very heartwarming place.

Q. Can you talk about the Squid Game thing that the BMW Ladies Championship gave all the players? What's it like to be back at this tournament in 2019? You were in the playoff with Ha Na Jang. But what do you remember most about this competition in 2019?

DANIELLE KANG: In 2019 I have a lot of great memories. I came here, I probably cried every single day. I saw my dad's colleagues come out and watch me. They made banners. I had so many fans in Busan. And I was so happy to be here.

And I really wish I could have won, but I felt like I walked away with a win because people really remembered my dad. My name was everywhere in the city of Busan, and that really made me happy for people to remember him, people that knew him. Everyone that came up to me, they know my dad, they went to high school or elementary school, whatever it may be, that makes me happy.

So those things I remember in 2019 were a lot of happy memories. And, yeah, a win is a win, but I actually felt like I walked away with a win. So I was really happy.

Q. One of the pictures I remember from 2019 that you shared on social media the other day was walking arm in arm in the fairway. How special was that moment for you during the playoff?

DANIELLE KANG: It was really special. A bunch of my friends came out and watched me. And they just comforted me, saying it's okay. And me walking away on that No. 10th green with my friends by my side, with the fans cheering me on, and I just felt so loved. And that's kind of like the win in life, right? And I should be really thankful, and I am very thankful.

So for me, that was a huge win for me. I can go on for days about what that picture means to me, how I felt that week, how I feel every time I come to Busan. It's a great memory place. For me to have that not just then, but it brings me family and friends and fans, everything, for that support, I'm just -- every time I look at it, I'm very, very thankful.

Q. How are you feeling as we enter? This is the homestretch for the LPGA season. How are you feeling about your game as we enter this week's competition?

DANIELLE KANG: I feel good about my game, but I don't feel solid about my game. That's just the truth. I had a really, really tough year. I know I haven't played as great as people expected me to play.

And expectations are all relative, but for me it's a progress and process, and I've been hitting the ball really, really well. And I know that sometimes some part of my game gets really hot while the other part of my game gets a little cold.

So I could have thought that I could play better here or there, but mostly for me I just need to find my consistency and build that foundation, and that's what I'm still working towards.

So this final stretch, excited and happy, but I'm just -- actually, I'm looking forward to, quote/unquote, the offseason. I've already scheduled my entire schedule for 2022. I'm just excited to keep playing. I love competing. And I feel like every day that I've been out here, I've progressed in a positive direction.

So I'm just excited to tee up again like I did last week.

Q. You mentioned the event last week and how every week to you is kind of a process. What did you learn about what you need to improve on heading into this week after your solid finish?

DANIELLE KANG: I left a lot of shots out there. There are some parts of my game, I don't think it's necessarily one event that teaches me, there's some things about my game that I wanted to be more solid and consistent.

So I'm really working on with my coach, Butch, and it's a process. And I know that sometimes we see that little light when I just get really hot. But you don't want to be too hot and cold either, right? You always want to be kind of steady.

And that's what we're striving for, and sometimes you've just got to fall onto it for you to go back up again. And for me I think I'm really comfortable with what I've been putting in the for the last few months, and I really like the process that it's going through. So I'm excited.

Q. Danielle, this has been quite a quick turnaround, from New York, to here, I know the travel was a little long. How do you balance being able to keep that energy up after travel like you just had?

DANIELLE KANG: I've been on the road for six weeks now. It's okay, actually. I'm much -- I'm doing much better than I thought I would be. It doesn't bother me as much.

As long as I have places to laundry. That's my biggest challenge, to be honest. If I sleep, I sleep. But the laundry is really difficult. Because I don't -- I can't pack that much. So it's jackets or whatever it may be, sometimes I can't find an iron or whatever. So those are the things, so...

Q. What does it mean to celebrate your birthday here today in Busan?

DANIELLE KANG: Yeah, it's my birthday. Yay. I know, I love my birthdays. My mom's actually in Busan. She can't come out and watch, no fans allowed, but she's going to drop some stuff off for me at the hotel.

I don't know, I'm just happy to be here. I've celebrated a few birthdays here. And I know it's unfortunate we can't go outside and do our parties and things like that, but it's really okay. I get a lot of happy birthday messages.

And I don't know, it's just a happy day. It's my day. So I always call it a birth month, so it's good.

Q. Talk about how Busan is your hometown, but you aren't able to go out and have a birthday party with your friends. If you look at this event now, it showcases one of the highest level of quarantine measures, and I think this would be in stark contrast to what you would experience in the U.S. now. So does that frustrate you at all, or does that impact your game, that the quarantine measures right now are so strict?

DANIELLE KANG: Honestly, I think that a lot of people are frustrated. And, in fact, a lot of people have lost their jobs. Businesses have closed.

So I think we need to keep our eye on the big picture and not sweat the small stuff. I think just being able to come here, I know the fans can't come out, but just to come here and play golf, I'm so grateful.

And I would like to do my part by giving hope to people, doing my best, enjoying the game, so that the audience at home, they can enjoy the game through TVs.

And I think that I'll just do my part until one day we'll all get to come to an event like this like we used to.

And I have to add that the view from the hotel is pretty nice, so I can't complain.

Q. In the 2019 event, you went to the playoffs with Ha Na, and you finished 1-up. So going into the tournament this year, are there any special thoughts that are going through your mind, and also have you talked with Ha Na?

DANIELLE KANG: I think the goal this week is to do well. And when it comes to playing golf, I don't think it's really about the other players. You have to play well. So I have to play well. There's a lot of good players. And I think this is the same every week.

And as I mentioned earlier, I really believe that the process is important. And I really want to win at Busan, so I'm going to do my best. I feel like I'm in good form, but with the game of golf, you just never know until the last putt drops.

So I just want to say that I'm going to do my best to win, because I think at least once in my lifetime I want to win at Busan.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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