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April 20, 2023

Keith Mitchell

Sungjae Im

Avondale, Louisiana, USA

TPC Louisiana

Quick Quotes

Q. 10-under and the lead so far in the morning wave. What worked out well for you today?

KEITH MITCHELL: Sungjae's golf game worked fantastic out there. Unfortunately, he only made one bogey today, and I bogeyed the same hole.

Other than that, we had a great time. He hit a bunch of laser beams and smiled, and I just tried to help when I could.

Q. How does this kind of your mindset shift from day-to-day here when you know you have to go out and get it today, and tomorrow for alternate shot, how does it kind of differ?

KEITH MITCHELL: We're still trying to hit the same shots. I would say today Sungjae hit a lot of shots in the middle of the green, so I tried to be a little more aggressive on my shots. Worked out sometimes. Clearly didn't work out a few of the others.

That's really it. Tomorrow we'll probably take a little bit more of a typical game day approach. Today we're trying to -- once the first player hits, the second player sometimes is a little more aggressive.

Q. Tell us the back story how you guys came to be a team.

KEITH MITCHELL: So when this event first became a team event, I remember Sungjae was a rookie, and all he did was just smile and high five and stripe it. I was like, man, this guy is going to be really good.

So jokingly one day, I was like, hey, we need to play Zurich, and he already had a partner. This year he finally thought my game was good enough to play with him and asked me to play, and of course you say yes.

Q. About as good as it could have gone for the first day together?

KEITH MITCHELL: As a teammate and team camaraderie, yes. I wish I had parred or birdied 1 and probably birdied 11. If I had done better on those two holes, I felt like we would have had a pretty awesome day.

Obviously 10-under is fantastic. I think Sungjae shot 7-under on his own ball, maybe 6-under on your own ball. I mean, it was unbelievable.

Q. When did he first reach out to you?

KEITH MITCHELL: Just a couple weeks ago. It was a late commit. I wasn't planning on playing, and when you have the opportunity to play with such a superstar, you say yes.

Q. We loved your team announcement so much. I heard you were teaching one another. Certain phrases you were teaching one another. I want to start off with, Keith, maybe some terms Sungjae has taught you in Korean and then vice versa.

KEITH MITCHELL: Team captain. Sungjae taught me team captain in Korean because he's my team captain. What is it?

SUNGJAE IM: (Speaking in Korean).

KEITH MITCHELL: He's my team captain. What else did we learn today? I taught him about Georgia football. Aren't you a Georgia fan now?

SUNGJAE IM: Georgia fan, Bulldogs.

KEITH MITCHELL: Big Georgia fan. So we taught him offense and defense. Remember the guy that throws the ball? What's his -- and the guy that catches.

SUNGJAE IM: Catches? I forget.

KEITH MITCHELL: We'll get you back tomorrow. I'm going to make him remember.

SUNGJAE IM: Quarterback?

KEITH MITCHELL: Yeah, quarterback and receiver. So he's now the biggest Georgia fan in South Korea. He's a Georgia resident now. That helps.

Q. Sungjae, would you join Keith for a game in the fall to go to a Georgia football game?

KEITH MITCHELL: Would you come, go to the Georgia game?


KEITH MITCHELL: He'd come. He plays golf every week. I don't think he has time.

Q. Are you guys best friends now?

KEITH MITCHELL: I've always been his best friend. I just wanted him to like me back.

Q. So like that relationship you guys have, it seems like you're having a lot of fun out there on the course. How is that maybe to be different than what you would normally do in a regular tournament? Does it keep it light and help your game a little bit?

KEITH MITCHELL: For me, Sungjae's played on team events, the Presidents Cup. I haven't been as good at golf to be able to play in one of those.

The team atmosphere, when you play well, it's double as much fun and as exciting. When you play poorly, it's like worse because not only are you upset with yourself, but you feel like you let somebody else done. So I just think the emotions are pretty much double this week because you're carrying both people's highs and lows together out there.

Q. If this great play continues, do you have team celebrations planned for good shots or anything?

KEITH MITCHELL: I think we're going to sit back and watch him hit laser beams. I'm going to smile, and whatever happens happens.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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