October 20, 2021
Busan, South Korea
LPGA International Busan
Q. Welcome back to Busan here in Korea. What is it like to be back in Korea?
LYDIA KO: Yeah, actually it hasn't been long since I've been back in Korea. I came here to play my sponsors event. So nice to come here twice over the span of a month.
And it had been a while before then since I had actually played in Korea. So get to come in and be able to play here, makes it a little different without having fans, which is just a huge aspect in playing in Korea. They love seeing the LPGA here. They love their golf.
So I'm going to miss them this week, but always grateful for the opportunity. And I know that this tournament wasn't easy to have been hosted. So super excited for a great week here in Busan.
Q. I know this tournament is a lot different than what we saw in 2019. But what's it like to be back at LPGA International Busan, and what are your thoughts and feelings as you play the course?
LYDIA KO: Yeah, I don't think the course setup has changed much over the past couple years. Skipped last year, but, you know, it's kind of the way I remembered it.
It's a pretty tricky golf course. There's some birdiable holes where you need to kind of take advantage of. But the 18th I think is a signature hole, a tough hole coming in.
But you definitely need to be on with your ball striking, and I think putting is a big factor. They have some big greens. So having good speed control is going to be key on the greens this week.
Q. Speaking of signature holes, the Aon Risk-Reward Challenge hole this week is No. 11, the par-5. You're in the top five of the leaderboard for the Aon Risk-Reward Challenge. What are some of your strategies that you'll have taking on that par-5 No. 11?
LYDIA KO: That one I need a good drive. You can run out down and right, and then on the left there's the two bunkers that most of the players can reach. And if you do it in the bunker, I think if you get a good lay, you can actually hit it on the green.
But I think it all starts off with a good drive. The green is pretty wide sideways, so being on the right side of the green is important on that hole, of any other hole on this golf course.
But I think I just kind of have to take it as just any other hole. I know it's just one of the 18 holes that we play here. And I'm sure if it's like the last one of the year and I know that I have to do something for me to get the Aon Risk-Reward, I guess, at the end of the season, then my tactics might change.
But at the end of the day, like that is a great part of our season, but I'm trying to play well and play the best I can in this tournament. So I have to play smart and be aggressive.
Q. This is one of the homestretch events. We are winding down to CME Group Tour Championship. What is something that's been on your mind as we close out the season, and how are you assessing your game and reflecting on this past season?
LYDIA KO: I started my season off really well. I had a bunch of top 10s. And I think in the middle of the year I struggled a little bit, but I was able to kind of get my form back just before the Olympics.
And I think medaling at the Olympics was a huge confidence booster again. And, yeah, I think it's been pretty consistent. I struggled in my putting a little bit over the last couple weeks. But it was one of the best ball-striking weeks I've had in a long time.
So I'm hoping that I'm able to kind of combine the goods for these next events, in any season event, or how well or not as good you played, you want to finish the season off on a strong point. So I'm hoping to do that in my next three events to finish up.
Q. I know it's definitely different from 2019, there won't be fans on the course this year, but what does it mean to be able to still compete in the only LPGA Tour event in Korea this year?
LYDIA KO: Yeah, I think as players we're very, very grateful to Korea and the city of Busan, BMW and everybody involved for making this happen.
I know that even domestic events were starting to get back into the rhythm of things of what it was like before COVID, but being overseas it's very different, and I know that COVID is still a factor in a lot of these countries. And for a mass group of players to come into their country, it's not an easy decision. And I know that this wasn't easy and there were a lot of time, sweat, maybe tears for this tournament to be hosted.
So, yeah, I'm really grateful, and I'm sure everybody that's here is very grateful for this opportunity. You know, being a South Korean player, I always feel proud to be able to come back here to Korea and to play here.
And even though, yes, this year it's a little different without fans, I'm hoping that a lot of people will be able to watch the coverage and support all of us.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports