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May 4, 2008

Anthony Kim


DOUG MILNE: We'd like to welcome the 2008 Wachovia Championship champion, Anthony Kim. Congratulations, final round 69 today, more than convincingly got the job done. With the win comes a two year exemption on the PGA TOUR through 2010, gets you into certain invitationals, 4,500 FedExCup points brings you up to 4th in the standings so far. A lot going on. Just add some opening thoughts how you're feeling.
ANTHONY KIM: It's been a wonderful week. I have to thank everybody who helped me get to where I am right now, my family, of course, and all the people that have helped me out the last 211/2 years of my life, 22 years. It's been a long ride, but it sure is worth it.
DOUG MILNE: Earlier this week when you were in here, you talked a little bit about the confidence factor was a little too high at times, maybe a little more walk than talk. You obviously were prepared to back that statement up this week.
ANTHONY KIM: Well, I felt pretty confident about my game all year, and the scores haven't been there. But they've been getting a little bit better week by week. This was amazing.
DOUG MILNE: On that note, we'll take some questions.

Q. You looked very comfortable out there. Were you as comfortable as you appeared?
ANTHONY KIM: I was actually pretty comfortable. I thought I'd have a couple more butterflies in my stomach on the first tee and felt pretty calm and confident about my game, and I was really happy with the way I was thinking out there. I wasn't getting too far ahead of myself, so I was really comfortable.

Q. Does it feel like you thought it would feel, or do you feel anything yet?
ANTHONY KIM: You know, I'm a little bit --

Q. You were beating yourself up for not doing it earlier last year and now you're finally there.
ANTHONY KIM: I'm a little bit numb right now, but that walk up 18 was the best feeling in my entire life, and I'll never forget that feeling. I had chills going up and down my spine. I want to recreate that as many times as possible now, so I'm going to really work hard.

Q. How important was it for you to get off to a good start today to make sure that margin stayed there?
ANTHONY KIM: I think that was pretty important. I would have been happy with nine pars on the front nine, maybe a birdie (laughter). But I felt like my game was really coming around and when it came down to crunch time that I would be there.
Fortunately I got a couple putts to fall on that front nine. I think I had 11 putts on that front nine, so that was pretty good. I just tried to keep that rolling.

Q. Does a place like this get you ready for a major?
ANTHONY KIM: Absolutely. The greens are as firm and tough as any major I've played, and I played the U.S. Open last year and the PGA Championship. I think those would be the harder greens that we play on. I'd say the conditions were easily as tough.

Q. Can you talk about what kind of a role Eric Larson played in this, and would you mind repeating the story how you guys hooked up?
ANTHONY KIM: We were friends -- we started hanging out a little bit last year, and we got to be pretty close. Things weren't working out with my caddie, and I didn't feel like we were thinking alike on the course. I wanted someone I could hang out with off the golf course, as well.
It just so happened that he had a week open and I had a week open, and I said, "Let's do it," and he was on. So I gave him a four-week trial, and this is the third week, so I'd say he's got a pretty good shot at getting the bag (laughter).

Q. Wasn't he Calc's caddie? Did you have to ask permission, or how did that work?
ANTHONY KIM: Well, Calc brings in friends during the year, and I think Eric wanted a steady job. And if things didn't work out with me and Eric, I'm sure Calc would have wanted him back to come in probably 15, 16 weeks a year. I think from what Eric has told me, Calc was totally cool with it, and Calc and I are friends. It's awesome for him to let me borrow Eric, and now I'm going to have to keep him.

Q. The numbers are kind of staggering. You set the tournament record by three shots, and you're the first guy to win by more than two. Your reaction to that?
ANTHONY KIM: I didn't know any of that, but it feels great. I can't tell you how excited and happy I am. Like I said, I'm a little bit numb right now, but this is what I've been dreaming about my whole life, and fulfilling this dream is awesome. I'd like to keep going and working hard and see how good I can really be.

Q. Do you realize your life has changed slightly?
ANTHONY KIM: I knew my life was changing on 18 green when I was lining that putt up. It was so special, and I'll never forget that feeling. It's just all these emotions were starting to run through, and I realized what I had done, and all the hard work is paying off.

Q. Were you surprised all the support you were getting off the first tee?
ANTHONY KIM: I was. I started getting some support last year during the final round, and those same people came back to root me on, and I can't thank them enough because I can feed off a crowd, and that definitely helped me this week.

Q. In retrospect, do you think maybe it's better to not have won last year and to have gone through what you went through to get to this point now?
ANTHONY KIM: I really do. I think if I had won last year, my practicing would have gone down to even less, and there wasn't much to go down (laughter). I might have been playing on the Hooters Tour (laughter). It might have been the best thing for me, just to get slapped in the face and realize that I can't win out here without practicing and giving it my all and focusing on every golf shot and on every practice round. That did wonders for me this year, and I'm just looking forward to the future now.

Q. Did you do any scoreboard watching today, or did you just feel like the way you were playing you didn't need to?
ANTHONY KIM: I did my best not to look, but I would look out of the corner of my eye. I wasn't tricking anybody because I was the only one that knew. But I tried not to look at the scoreboard as much as possible. But when I got to 4-under for the day, I took a peek up there and saw I was in okay shape.

Q. You pulled driver on the 8th hole when you were up by six at that point, that short hole, and some of us were kind of going -- you know, bad things potentially could happen. Was there a discussion about whether to start playing a little more safely? You kind of went gas pedal down all day long and didn't start playing defense.
ANTHONY KIM: Well, I feel like the best part of my game is my short game and my putting, and so if I could get my ball to an area where I can chip and putt, I feel like I have a pretty good opportunity. You never know what some of these guys can do. They can easily shoot 30 on the back nine. I know George McNeill shot 30 on the front nine when he was playing here. I needed to keep going, keep playing my game and not really lay back until I have four or five holes remaining.

Q. How much do you think -- I guess you've talked about your increased level of maturity. How much do you think that played into this, the win? Was there a point either last year or in the off-season or early this year that you kind of saw you were being immature and needed to change some things?
ANTHONY KIM: When I was saving all my energy to make a swing at a golf ball at a golf tournament, I realized that that's probably not the way to go. I wasn't taking practice swings so I would have more energy to hit a drive or hit a second shot.
You know, all that stuff is behind me. I was an immature kid last year, and I feel like I've grown up quite a bit, and I think that helped me so much this week, so much this year, and hopefully in the future.

Q. Which part of winning do you think is going to mean the most to you in the long run, I mean, just knowing the way you played? There's perks like Augusta, Kapalua, I mean, you put yourself on the Ryder Cup points list. What means most to you right now?
ANTHONY KIM: You know, I haven't even thought about all that, but just getting the monkey off my back. This has been a dream of mine for a long time, and I'm living it. I couldn't ask for anything more. This is a great field, and to come out on top here is more than enough. I don't need all that other stuff, even though it's a perk. But it just feels great to be on top here.

Q. Do you have a shirt and tie to match that jacket?
ANTHONY KIM: I do not (laughter).

Q. Who have your coaches been over the years? I know you've got a guy up in Michigan that you used to work with out of the desert, and I vaguely remember you had some Butch Harmon experience in there, or did I dream that up?
ANTHONY KIM: No, Adam Schreiber has been my coach since I've been 16 years old, 15 years old, and that's the only coach I've really had, besides my dad.

Q. Speaking of your dad, do you know what he was doing today? Was he watching?
ANTHONY KIM: I'm sure he was glued to the TV. I haven't talked to him yet. I haven't talked to anybody yet. But I'm sure everybody is pretty excited back home.
DOUG MILNE: If you'll just run us through your birdies, give us a description of clubs and so forth.
ANTHONY KIM: 1, I hit driver, pitching wedge to about five feet past the hole and made birdie there.
5, I hit two 3-woods onto the green to about 80 feet and two-putted for birdie.
No. 7, I hit a terrible drive and chipped out to the fairway and got up-and-down from about 130 yards and made about a 20-footer there.
8, hit a drive and chipped up and made a putt from off the green about 20 feet.
No. 14, I hit a 3-iron off the tee, sand wedge to about six feet, made that.
I hit driver, 3-wood to about 40 feet on 15, had two putts there for birdie.
And 16 and 17 were bogeys, so no more birdies.
DOUG MILNE: Anthony Kim, congratulations. Best of luck to you next week.

End of FastScripts

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