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June 28, 2007

Angela Park


RHONDA GLENN: Ladies and gentlemen, the early leader, the first round is Angela Park, who finished the day at 3-under par 68. Angela, frankly that's sort of a surprisingly low score. I think from what we had been hearing most of the early practice rounds that the players were believing that this was a very difficult course, that the greens were going to be difficult, that it was exceedingly long for a par 71. How were you able to do that?
ANGELA PARK: I don't know. I putted extremely well out there today, only 27 putts. I think that was the main key. Coming into this week I realized that the greens were very difficult and the course was playing very long. And I'm not a very long hitter. I thought I would have to back up on my short game and my irons, which I did well today.
RHONDA GLENN: On hole No. 6 which was the first measured driving hole you hit your tee shot 267, that's pretty good.
ANGELA PARK: I caught that a little good, maybe downhill and downwind, yeah.

Q. We just had one 18 year old win a Major, are you trying to get in on the action yourself? I think you're actually three months younger than Morgan was. Does age enter into this thing anymore?
ANGELA PARK: I hadn't thought about that. But any win is a win. If I can get any win I would gladly take it right now.

Q. Anything really surprise you about the course today, pin placements, anything like that?
ANGELA PARK: No, I thought it played very fair, especially since it rained a little bit the last two days and the greens were holding up a little. The wind out there, it wasn't windy at all during any of our practice rounds, but it was a little bit windy.
Nothing surprising. I really like the layout and the pin placements were fairly fair.
RHONDA GLENN: Have you played in North Carolina before?
ANGELA PARK: No, never.

Q. I'm just wondering, you were in contention at the McDonald's, do you take anything out of that experience, anything you learned on Sunday?
ANGELA PARK: Yes, every tournament that I play in I try to learn something new. I've been in contention a couple of times and McDonald's, a Major. I learned a lot of things and I'm more confident coming into this week because I've been in the position before.
And so I just try to be patient and just play well tomorrow and the next couple of days coming up.

Q. Could you tell us a little bit about your background? Did you play at the Women's Amateur Public Links in Kansas City a couple of years ago?
ANGELA PARK: I think I did.

Q. Does your mother own a business in Brazil?
A. Yes.

Q. Could you talk about that, the fact that you were born there and some of your history going back and forth between I guess the U.S. and Brazil?
ANGELA PARK: I don't go back very often, just occasionally. I've been back about three times in the last ten years, so not very often at all.
My mom actually still lives there. When I was eight my dad and I and my brothers we all moved here to California. And now currently I live in Orlando.
My mom still owns a business in Brazil and she goes back and forth during Major Championships or major tournaments, so she's here this week.
RHONDA GLENN: What's your mother's name?
ANGELA PARK: Her name is actually Angela, too.

Q. You haven't missed a cut all year, which is pretty remarkable for somebody making their first trip through the league, so to speak, how do you explain that? That's almost inexplicable?
ANGELA PARK: I just try to be consistent out there. That was one of my goals coming into this year, actually, not missing any cuts at all this year.
So I think that goal set has made me be so consistent.

Q. What are the other ones?
ANGELA PARK: Rookie-of-the-Year and a win.
RHONDA GLENN: What did you say?
ANGELA PARK: My other goals were getting Rookie-of-the-Year this year and get a win.

Q. Could you talk about your decision to turn pro last year at such a young age? Was it a difficult decision or was it easy? Were you considering college?
ANGELA PARK: I was actually considering college the end of my sophomore year in high school. During that summer I didn't play very well, but I decided with my parents that I was going to turn pro right after high school or whenever I could.
So it was not a very difficult decision, it's what I wanted to do and what I really looked forward to. If you ask me if I regret it, since everyone always asks me that, I don't regret it at all.
RHONDA GLENN: How early did you say, "When I grow up, I want to be a golf professional"?
ANGELA PARK: I started golf when I was nine, so around 12. The first day I picked up the golf club I was so in love with it. I was like, "Dad, let's go to the range."
So it wasn't a very hard decision at all. To see the ladies out there on TV gave me great motivation, I want to be on TV, too, and playing great golf.
RHONDA GLENN: Who were some of the ones you saw on TV that inspired you?
ANGELA PARK: Especially Annika. I looked up to her very much when I was younger, and of course Se Ri, since she was one of the Koreans. My dad was, like, "You've got to be like her."

Q. Where do you play your golf when you're home in Orlando?
ANGELA PARK: I belong to Orange Tree. It's very narrow, tree lined.

Q. Are you aware of the fact that Payne Stewart used to, even though he was a member at Isleworth, used to go to Orange Tree before the Opens because it was so narrow, to try to get used to that narrowness?
ANGELA PARK: Now I know. But I heard Tiger goes there occasionally, too.

Q. You hit 13 fairways today. Obviously, that's good preparation.
ANGELA PARK: Yes. Last week actually I was hitting my driver terribly. I was kind of worried coming into this week, since I knew the fairways are usually narrow, and the rough is usually really hard to get out of in U.S. Open events. So my coach thankfully came over here and we worked on a few things on my swing and got it going.
RHONDA GLENN: Did you play Rochester last week.
RHONDA GLENN: Rochester is a U.S. Women's Open type of golf course, very much so.
ANGELA PARK: Very, very narrow. I actually struggled the first day and came back the last two days.

Q. Did you start playing golf while you were still in Brazil and also I'm wondering how many languages do you speak? Do you speak Portuguese?
ANGELA PARK: Yes. I started playing golf when I moved here.
RHONDA GLENN: How many languages?
RHONDA GLENN: Portuguese, Korean, and English?

Q. Congratulations on a fantastic first day. You get off to that red hot start, three straight birdies, you're 4-under with 16 holes down. At any point how hard is it to not look up at the leaderboard and say, "Wait a second, I've only been a pro for just over a year, this just isn't supposed to be happening"?
ANGELA PARK: I didn't think it wasn't supposed to be happening, because I've been in contention at McDonald's, as I said before. I was really thrilled to be out there and have three straight birdies on the first three holes. I said, let's keep it going. But unfortunately I had a bogey on 17.
RHONDA GLENN: How did you make the bogey?
ANGELA PARK: I kind of hit my driver way to the right into the pine, I guess that's why it's called Pine Needles (laughter). I hit it way right, and I said, okay, let's chip it out. I kind of chunked it out and it popped up on me, and I hit 9-iron and I had about 25 feet, 30 feet and it barely lipped out.

Q. You've already had three first round leads this year, including McDonald's. Why are you such a fast starter and what do you think you can learn from your approach to first rounds and early in the tournament that can help you finish it off?
ANGELA PARK: I think it's because the first round you have nothing in your mind. Everyone is starting fresh. Everyone is starting on the same page. I don't want to say this about myself, but I kind of take the first round when I play well -- I take it as a granted. I don't appreciate it as much as I should. I should look up to the other days and say, I'm going to play like I played the first day and prepare myself the same way; and not sit back and relax and hopefully I'll play exactly the way I did the first day.
I guess coming in tomorrow I'll be more prepared and more relaxed and more confident about my game.

Q. On the computer they've got the Brazilian flag by your name. In your mind are you Brazilian or Korean or American? Because you can rightly lay claim to being any of the three. Do you have citizenship in multiple places?
ANGELA PARK: I have citizenship in Brazil right now. When people ask me are you Brazilian, Korean, American, I think I'm three of them all mixed up together. I'm not fully Korean. I speak English very well. I'm very accustomed to your American culture. But I was also born in Brazil, I speak the language, and I have family from Brazil. So I kind of mix and match everything together.

Q. Did you go to school here in the United States?

Q. What university did you go to?
ANGELA PARK: I didn't go to a university, actually. I turned pro before I graduated from high school. I did go to high school and elementary school and middle school and high school here.

Q. You just went to high school here?
RHONDA GLENN: Great round, thank you very much.

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