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June 5, 2004

K.J. Choi


TODD BUDNICK: K.J., 4-under 68 today, but kind of a roller coaster for you out there. Give us a little bit about your round today.

K.J. CHOI: The front nine I played okay, but the back nine a little bit of an up-and-down, so overall I was able to wrap it up really nicely. I think the course really fits me, just the whole surrounding, just the way the course is shaped up-and-down reminds me of South Korea and just the whole environment, I feel very comfortable.

Q. How do you feel about your position going into tomorrow? Good, bad, the way you're playing?

K.J. CHOI: I'm at least chasing the leader right now, so I think that's a better position to be in. I think it's very important going into tomorrow just maintaining my shot rhythm and getting enough rest tonight, and tomorrow I'll be able to focus better.

Q. How does this week fit in with your U.S. Open preparation, and do you know anything about Shinnecock?

K.J. CHOI: I heard a little bit about Shinnecock from my coach, Phil Ritson. I heard that the greens were very hard, the fairways were very narrow and that there's a lot of wind, so he even told me that I could probably even take my driver out and just go with my schooling and I'll probably be able to win the tournament.

Just playing well at The Masters, playing well right now this week, I've been playing well in the bigger tournaments this year, and I think that's a foundation. It gives me a lot of confidence going into all the bigger tournaments for the latter part of the year, so that gives me a lot of confidence.

Q. Mi-Hyun Kim and He Won Han have won the last two LPGA events in Hong Kong. Does that give you a lot of confidence, as well?

K.J. CHOI: Actually that's a good question because I think this area, the Columbus area, in a lot of ways is very similar to Korea, South Korea, because there's a lot of trees, you get some wind here, and just the elevation of the mountain just makes me very comfortable, and it also makes other Korean players comfortable when they also come here, so I think that's why they were able to play well.

Q. You said you've been playing very well with your short irons. Is there a reason for that? Have you worked on them lately and is there something about the fairways here that leaves you good shots in?

K.J. CHOI: Yeah, my swing is really good these days, but I think just the fairways, the grass on this course, it's in superb condition, and it just fits very well with the overall feel I have for my swing. And especially at impact, it feels very solid hitting off the fairways here, and recently I've gone through a little swing change, and I think that change has adapted to my body really well.

That's why I think my short irons are really good right now.

TODD BUDNICK: Can we just have your birdies and bogeys?

K.J. CHOI: No. 1, 9-iron.

No. 3, pitching wedge 145, 15 feet.

No. 4, 186, 7-iron, ten feet.

7, bogey, maybe 60 feet and a three-putt.

No. 9, 146 yards, a pitching wedge, maybe 20 feet.

10, 179 yards, an 8-iron, maybe two feet.

11, bogey, maybe 40 feet, downhill, three putt.

13, bogey, greenside and then maybe 20 feet and then chipping too far and then two-putt.

14, birdie, maybe ten feet. I hit 115 yards with a sand wedge.

15, maybe 15 feet, downhill, one putt.

16, bogey, I have 7-iron, 199 yards, left side bunker, and then 20 feet, two-putt.

17, second shot, 189 yards, an 8-iron, and then two feet.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you, K.J.

End of FastScripts.

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