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July 30, 2008

Anthony Kim


LAURA HILL: Anthony, thanks so much for joining us. You qualified for your first World Golf Championships event, so maybe just talk about being here at this tournament at Firestone.
ANTHONY KIM: Well, obviously being here means that I've played well over the course of the year, and this is a tournament that I definitely had my eyes set on starting off, and one of my goals was to make it to these events and be in the top 50 in the world by the end of this year. And obviously I'm playing pretty good golf.
LAURA HILL: And of course the buckle-off between you and Rory, any prediction?
ANTHONY KIM: Thursday and Friday, I'm not worried about the belt buckle, I've got to concentrate on my golf game (laughter).

Q. Last couple weeks you've been kind of right there on Sunday. I'm sure you don't need me to remind you. The back nines or last couple of holes hadn't gone the way you would have scripted them. I guess the cliché would be that was a learning experience. What's been your take on all that? Are you running out of gas? You've played a lot of weeks in a row. What's your theory?
ANTHONY KIM: The ball just hasn't gone in the hole, really. I treat every hole, whether it's the first hole of a tournament or the last hole, the same. And obviously when you have a chance coming down on the back nine or the last couple holes, you can play a little bit more aggressively if that's what it takes or that's what you think it takes. The ball just hasn't gone in the hole for me. I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing, and hopefully it'll be a different result.

Q. There was a little speculation about maybe that would fuel you to -- can you use that as motivation?
ANTHONY KIM: Absolutely. I mean, I'm trying not to think about the two tournaments I let fall through the cracks. But at the same time, I put myself there, and really, as a golfer, as a competitor, that's all you can ask for is to give yourself that opportunity. I believe if I just keep plugging away that it's going to happen.

Q. The week before a major, is it more or less difficult to concentrate on the task at hand with the tournament you're playing?
ANTHONY KIM: I haven't played enough majors (laughter) to know. But I prepare the same way and I really try to concentrate on the tournament at hand, and I really think this year that's what's been helping me, not looking forward to next week or not looking forward to the FedExCup as far as concentrating on the event. I'm doing a better job of focusing while I'm here.

Q. And you don't look at this course as being any kind of preparation for next week at all?
ANTHONY KIM: I haven't played --

Q. It's a tournament in itself?
ANTHONY KIM: Well, I've played almost every week before a major, or before the three majors I've played. And I haven't played great in the majors yet, but I'm learning how to play it. Definitely you have to play a little bit more defensively, and pars are a lot better than if you're playing the Bob Hope.
Obviously this course plays tough, and it looks like it's going to play tough this year, and hopefully I can get ready for the PGA.

Q. Did you ever watch this tournament on TV? Some people have heard Firestone when they get here. I don't know if you had any impressions.
ANTHONY KIM: Well, I don't watch too much golf. I like to watch basketball and football. But since it's not on, when Tiger was on TV, I definitely watched the shot he hit on 18 and it was completely pitch black and he saw those cameras, all the camera lights and all that going on. I really don't watch too much golf. Besides that memory, I don't really recollect anything.

Q. Did you see the shot of his going over the clubhouse with a 9-iron?
ANTHONY KIM: I actually did see that (laughter). I didn't know that was here. Yes, I saw that shot. But I guess those are the only two golf shots I've seen here.

Q. Is this your first WGC?

Q. Wow. Assess your year, then, I guess. I know you were extremely unhappy with the way last year played out, and obviously that factored into some of the fire in your belly this year. Is this tip of the iceberg for you, scratching the surface, more to come? How do you dangle that carrot for yourself?
ANTHONY KIM: I definitely put myself in some good positions, and I'm very happy about that. Hopefully after this year is over I can say that I was just scratching the surface. But what I'm doing is preparing the right way and definitely putting in the time.
Other than preparation, there's not too much I can do. I'm still the same competitor I feel like I was last year, just more prepared. And I feel like I'm thinking clearly and definitely learning from my mistakes more than I did last year.
So a very productive year, and I'm looking forward to building on it.

Q. Has the Ryder Cup started to -- been sort of dismissing that as it's been a hazy future and now it's just around the corner? Has that started to congeal in your head that you're going to be a part of that team? Are you blown away by that? What are you, 23?
ANTHONY KIM: I'm 23, yeah. It's such a tremendous honor whenever you get to play for your country. I was fortunate enough to do that in '05 at the Walker Cup. To put the red, white and blue for the Ryder Cup on is going to be amazing. It's a dream come true. I really can't explain to you how happy that makes me to be a part of that team.

Q. You mentioned that you saw Tiger do a couple different things here, but you don't watch a lot of golf when he's not playing. Why should people tune in this week or the rest of the season if he's not playing?
ANTHONY KIM: Well, obviously when Tiger is not in, the ratings are going to go down a little bit. He's been the face of our TOUR, and it's hard to replace a guy like that, and you're really not going to.
But at the same time, there's still 81 players out here that can obviously play, and we're trying to do some of the things that he's done. And there's some young guys that may have an opportunity to make a name for themselves.
You're never going to replace Tiger, but at the same time, there's some good golf out here to be played, and hopefully somebody can make their name known.

Q. Do you think this place fits you? You've never been here. How do you think your game will fit this place?
ANTHONY KIM: Well, if I didn't go to batting practice, this would be perfect. But actually my body is a little bit sore from going to batting practice on Monday with the Red Sox. They might have needed me (laughter), so I was just getting ready.
I really like the way this golf course sets up for me. There's a lot of power fades that you need to hit off the tee, and I think having watched Tiger before, he hits some power fades, and obviously he's played well here.
Once my body gets back to where it needs to be, I feel like this course fits into my game pretty well.

Q. So no more batting practice for you?
ANTHONY KIM: Never again.

Q. Whose idea was that?
ANTHONY KIM: It was my idea, yeah.

Q. Why did you go to Boston?
ANTHONY KIM: Deutsche Bank media day.

Q. Why? It's not like you're the defending champion or anything.
ANTHONY KIM: Who is the defending champion there? Phil?

Q. Yeah.
ANTHONY KIM: They wanted to bring in two fresh faces, and Brandt and I were lucky to go and experience the Red Sox and the city.

Q. It's a nice thing, I'm just saying any more you don't get a defending champion show up to his media day, and they had you and Brandt go up to Boston for not only your own tournament, so to speak. I was just curious how that came about.
ANTHONY KIM: I have no idea. We got the opportunity, and I felt like it was too good to pass up, so I just did what I was told and showed up.

Q. It seems like I read a lot of commentary over the last day or so about you wearing red on Sunday. Did you see any of that, and do you have any thoughts on that? I mean, does red belong only to one guy, or what's going on there?
ANTHONY KIM: Well, after I got done with the tournament I had a couple people say, you know, why did you wear red? It was just the only clean shirt I had left. You know, you send everything into dry cleaning and I don't want to wear what I wore Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, the same combo that I wore at the British. It happened to be the only clean shirt I had. When I got done I realized what people were going to say. They don't want to see me in a dirty shirt.

Q. Did you give it any thought at all as you were playing?
ANTHONY KIM: No. The last thing I'm thinking about is my shirt when I'm making bogeys (laughter).

Q. Well, there was a case at the PGA in '06 where Luke wore red playing with Tiger on the last day and they made a big stink about it. Then coming here, Paul Casey had red set out for Sunday and that was his rotation and then he ended up in the last group with Tiger and decided to wear green that day.
ANTHONY KIM: I don't think too much about colors. As long as I'm matching, that's fine.

Q. You've been on a nice run with Eric Larson as your caddie. I'm just wondering, is that just coincidence? Has there been anything he's helped you with or that has been a benefit to you with him? And also, can you talk about what happened with him last week?
ANTHONY KIM: He's been tremendous in me growing as a player and as a person. I definitely think with him on the bag that I've grown. He just brings a new perspective, a great attitude every morning, and I feel like if there was something lacking before a round, it was being positive and being happy to be there. I feel like with everything that Eric has gone through, he feels happy to be out here.
I have to feel the same way. So when you're around people like that, that are happy and motivating, it's hard not to get some of that in you. And obviously he's helped me do that.

Q. And he couldn't get to Canada last week? Did you not know that until the last minute?
ANTHONY KIM: Well, I think he could have gotten back in, but at that point we'd been on the road for two or three weeks in a row and played six out of the last eight, so he just -- I told him to stay home and get whatever he had to get done because we have a big stretch coming up.

Q. You were talking about the Ryder Cup earlier, and as a young guy, have you talked to Paul yet about -- from here until now, kind of your expectations or any other veteran players to get some early insight?
ANTHONY KIM: Well, I was lucky enough to play with Chris at the Canadian Open when I kind of found out that I was going to be on the team for sure when I looked at the points list because that's obviously been on my mind.
But just asking questions whenever I can to anybody. I got to play with Phil today and Justin Leonard, and definitely just asking, what is it going to be like and what should I get ready for. They just said, keep playing golf and we'll have fun.

Q. Did you get any balls out of the infield in batting practice?
ANTHONY KIM: No, I didn't, obviously.

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