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September 25, 2008

Anthony Kim


DOUG MILNE: Anthony Kim, thanks for joining us for a few minutes here after round one of THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola. Great playing. You just continue to amaze us. Last week's performance, today, 6-under par, 64. You commented on the way in that you were surprised the course is playing that hard. Just a few comments.
ANTHONY KIM: Well, the course is playing a lot tougher than I had heard about. I thought it was going to be -- the winning score was going to be around 20-under again, and I don't think it's going to get there.
The greens are so firm out here you have to take some less aggressive lines and just try to two-putt on some of these holes, and when you do have an opportunity, make a birdie or two.

Q. How much was the emotion of last week, how does that play into your good play today?
ANTHONY KIM: Well, you know, it took me a couple days to get over that celebration, that party, (laughing) but I'm over it now. I'm just focusing on this tournament.
Obviously it's nice when you walk up to a green and you've got a couple people, "Nice job at the Ryder Cup. Way to bring the Cup back home," little things like that. I feel like when I'm happy, having a good time, I'm going to make some birdies.
So it was a good vibe out there, and definitely looking for this tournament for me to start playing better at this tournament.

Q. So much of your game, though, is confidence. They talk about you, they talk about your confidence. It's got to be sky high coming off that and coming into today.
ANTHONY KIM: It is. I played very well the last day against Sergio, and I learned a little bit about myself. I figured something out on the putting green this morning, and it was the most basic thing you can think, but it was to keep your eye on the ball (laughter).
Now that I've got that under control, I'm going to try to make some more putts.

Q. A little wind out there. It wasn't that easy. Eight birdies was a lot of birdies to make today. Was it the putting? Was it the iron play?
ANTHONY KIM: Well, it was almost everything in my game that was clicking pretty well out there. If you don't drive it in the fairway and you get a dicey lie in the rough, there's no way you're going to keep the ball on the greens out here.
I hit a shot from 113 yards and we played it as 80 yards. The greens are just so firm that you have to hit the fairways. Everything pretty much went well, so I took a couple aggressive lines and it worked out, and obviously keeping my eye on the ball helped.

Q. Given your few days of practice and knowing how the greens were rolling, being new, would you have thought a 64 was out there?
ANTHONY KIM: I didn't really know what score was out there. I had heard the greens were really receptive last year, and so I didn't know what to expect. And obviously it took me a couple days to get over that celebration that we had on Sunday night, so I wasn't expecting too much. Just taking what the course gave me today.

Q. What was so hard about the celebration (laughter)?
ANTHONY KIM: Well, I did a lot of reading that night (laughter), so my eyes were tired (laughter.)

Q. What did you read?
ANTHONY KIM: I don't know. I forgot (laughter.)

Q. Do you think it would have taken you longer, more than a couple of days, if the U.S. had lost, or do you think it would have been easier to rebound, or what?
ANTHONY KIM: I don't know. I mean, we won, so I wasn't -- I really couldn't tell you what it would feel like to lose. I felt like we were going to win the whole time we were out there. Obviously we were supposed to be the underdogs, but in my mind we were going to win the Ryder Cup.
I couldn't tell you what it would feel like. I might not have made it out of Kentucky if we lost that Ryder Cup (laughing.)

Q. I know they're totally different, but can you contrast the feelings of, say, Wachovia and the Ryder Cup, first win and a win like that?
ANTHONY KIM: You know, I can't even compare the two. It was an amazing experience to win my first PGA TOUR title, and to play in the Ryder Cup was a dream come true, as well. You have to win to get on that team, or you have to play really well to get on that team.
So it's like what came first, the chicken or the egg. I don't know, because if I didn't play well enough to make that team I wouldn't have that opportunity. So I can't compare the two, but they were both memorable experiences.

Q. Could you try and compare the feeling of accomplishment within yourself that night in Charlotte, compared to Louisville?
ANTHONY KIM: Well, it seemed like everything happened so fast. I can't believe the year is over after this tournament for me on the PGA TOUR. Last year I felt like a minute wouldn't go by and I could do 80 different things, so everything is flying by.
I feel like I'm in college again. I'm enjoying being out here. I'm enjoying everybody's company, and obviously playing some better golf. Time has flown by, and I'm just trying to hold on to my seat and not go off track and just keep grinding away.

Q. One of the most delightful moments for us as fans and journalists was when you finally shut out Sergio, but you weren't aware that you had. Tell us what was going on in your mind? We watched it on video and video replays as you walked off to head to the next tee, and then all of a sudden -- what were you told that -- Hey, it's over. You've won. What was your feeling? Because it was a joy to watch.
ANTHONY KIM: It was a joy to make that putt, as well (laughter.) But I really didn't know what was going on. I figured I had done something wrong if they were calling me back to the green. There was a sign just right of the tee box, and it said 14 on it. It was -- I thought that was a tee box sign. It was actually just the walkway sign for that hole.
I'm doing the math in my head, I'm like, He's dormie now. When I got up to the green and he gave me the sign that it's over, I really couldn't believe it, because in my mind we still had a hole to go. But it was as sweet for me as it was for everybody else, I'm sure.

Q. What did Zinger say to you that night at the celebration?
ANTHONY KIM: Well, there was so much reading going on I don't know (laughter.)

Q. Did he at all make fun of you for walking off?
ANTHONY KIM: Oh, yeah. I mean, I expected that. I make fun of myself for that because that's ridiculous (laughter.) I was focused; I guess that's a good thing.

Q. How does one get over a happy Ryder Cup hangover, Advil, sleep, massage? What's the formula?
ANTHONY KIM: Lots of food, lots of sleep. I think I watched probably -- we'll say like 12, 14 hours of TV. Just relaxing, hanging out with my friends. I have a few friends that flew in and got to experience the Ryder Cup with me, and obviously I travel with a couple people.
So it's been great. Just trying to enjoy the moment. This Ryder Cup hangover doesn't feel as bad as a college hangover (laughter.)

Q. Any Golf Channel infomercials during that TV time?
ANTHONY KIM: No. I didn't need to go to sleep yet, so I wasn't tuned in (smiling.)
DOUG MILNE: If you wouldn't mind just running us through your birdies and little descriptions and club choices.
ANTHONY KIM: 3, I hit driver off the tee and I had 70 yards in and hit it to about two feet.
4, hit driver, sand wedge to about two feet.
7, hit driver, sand wedge to about eight feet, made that.
9, I hit -- I made about a 15-, 18-footer for birdie.
10, I made about a six-footer for birdie.
11, hit it over the green. Felt like I got a little unlucky on that hole and kept it on that top ridge in the rough and putted that one and made it somehow.
15, hit a good driver, 5-wood, made a six-footer for birdie.
And 17, hit a pretty poor drive, a great second shot, and made about a 15-footer for birdie.

Q. What iron did you hit at 17?
ANTHONY KIM: 8-iron.
DOUG MILNE: Anthony Kim, congratulations on a great first round. Good luck tomorrow.

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