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March 10, 2009

Anthony Kim


LAURA HILL: Anthony, thanks for joining us. Welcome to your first CA Championship. I understand you have an exciting announcement to make before we open it up to questions from the media.
ANTHONY KIM: I do. I just want to say that I am now officially going to represent the Royal Bank of Canada and partner up with them.
I'm very excited about this opportunity that they have given me, and I want to thank Jim Little from RBC. We developed a relationship at the Canadian Open last year and have talked further this year and have felt like it was the right choice for me, the right fit for me, because I feel like they are a company that is growing in the U.S. and will be very successful. And that's my goal on the PGA TOUR and the rest of the world. Very excited to be with them and just grateful for the opportunity.

Q. Can you describe what you do in the process of reading the green?
ANTHONY KIM: Really, I'm just trying to get the overall feel when I walk around the cup. I think I walk around more than any other player on TOUR. I'm trying to figure out with my feet exactly what's going on, because it's so easy for the greens to trick your eyes.
But when you get the feel under your feet is where I feel like I get the most benefit. So when I'm going around, looking around, I'm really just paying attention to what I'm walking on. When I get up to the ball, I'm still reading the putt. So right before I pull the trigger, I have one thought, and that's where is this going to break and what speed, and go ahead and hit it, and hopefully it will go in.

Q. How much have you been thinking about Augusta recently, and what has been your impression of getting the opportunity to play that tournament?
ANTHONY KIM: I can't tell you how excited I am. It's been a lifelong dream to get a tee time up there. That's the first goal, is you have to be there to have an opportunity to win.
I remember when I was about 12 years old and watched Tiger win the Masters, I remember thinking that one day, I want that to be me. I finally had my first tee time there and had been actually invited before to go play out there and didn't want to unless I had a tee time.
So I'm looking forward to. It I'm sure it's going to be a special experience for me.

Q. You and Camilo have been dubbed the future of this TOUR once you-know-who leaves. I wonder how you feel about this, and I wonder if you can talk about your relationship with Camilo; is it a friendly relationship, intense, how would you describe him?
ANTHONY KIM: Oh, I don't like him. (Laughter).
Camilo, I think he was a senior when I was a freshman in college. He's a great guy, hard worker. I would say if there's something is that I've needed to improve, it's having the discipline to go out there and practice every day and work at it. Golf has come pretty naturally to me, and I don't think I've worked as hard as I've needed to to be a top-five player in the world. And I'm willing to put in the time now. I see what it's done for Camilo and guys for Geoff Ogilvy, and I definitely want to do that myself.
He does some special things. He's a guy that will -- if he doesn't beat you with his tongue, he'll try to out-work you, and that's something I'm trying to improve on, myself. I think he's a great guy. He's a good friend of mine. I hope that we are part of that future, and I think if we work hard enough, we'll get there.

Q. Without this affiliation of the RBC, do you think the Canadian Open would be on your schedule, being the week after the British? I realize you played last year, but what do you think?
ANTHONY KIM: I definitely think the RBC connection helped. Just to go even last year, it's a company that my agent has been talking about for a while. I feel like they put so much effort and money and time, that it really is turning out to be a great event.
They are playing at a course that a lot of people are knocking, at Glen Abbey. I think it's a great golf course, first of all. People want to see tournaments won not just with pars but birdies and eagles. What a great opportunity to give the Canadian fans to watch the best tournament in the world come around and play some good golf.

Q. How have things gone so far for you since The Ryder Cup last year?
ANTHONY KIM: TOUR Championship was great. Can't get too greedy. I had a pretty good year last year, and I think there's a lot of room for me to grow, which I'm very excited about. Although I had some opportunities to win and let them slip away, I still had two of them under my belt now and have a lot more confidence going into this year.
Now, I didn't get off to the best start this year, even though I finished second at Mercedes. I don't feel like I've played very well and I've taken some time off in the off-season to take care of some little nagging injuries that I had. For the first time I feel like I'm healthy and I'm working out hard. I lost two belt loops or pant sizes, so I feel pretty good about that.
I'm trying to make the right moves to become a better player, and it's going to happen. It hasn't happened so far, but it will happen.

Q. Obviously there's been traditionally a great emphasis on the crowd, and talking to the organizers at the Honda, they love big galleries and they are willing to put up with just about anything just to have that atmosphere. Do you sense that the sport may be changing and there might be a shift in that direction?
ANTHONY KIM: I'm used to people talking on my backswing and cell phones going off. I mean, my dad was two feet away from me and would say whatever he felt like saying at any given time.
So that's how I grew up, learning how to play golf, and I'm sure that's one of the things that people talk about most with Tiger is that he can play with distractions. The game is changing. There's more fans coming out, and it's great. I love playing in front of big crowds. I think The Ryder Cup was the biggest crowd I ever played in front of. That was probably the most fun round of golf I had that last day.
So if we can get more people out there cheering and more people involved in the game, that would be awesome.

Q. There's some thought that the younger guys out here are less intimidated by Tiger than the guys who have been dealing with him for ten or 12 years; do you think that's true? Do you agree with that, and if not, why not?
ANTHONY KIM: I don't know about that. I think -- I haven't gone head-to-head with Tiger. I think he has a great track record of beating people head-to-head, and especially in the final group. Not too many people, but maybe a handful of people, have won playing with him.
At the same time, the young guys haven't proven themselves, either. Guys like myself, and I know Camilo, we haven't done enough yet to warrant somebody saying that this guy has a legitimate shot.
Now, he's back. We have to pull through and we have to win some golf tournaments with him in the field. I think things will change.

Q. What are your thoughts on No. 16, and is that a drivable par 4 for you? And if so, what conditions would it require for you to pull the trigger on that?
ANTHONY KIM: I'll let you know after I play 16. (Chuckling).

Q. Bob Rotella commented after the advertisement ran, which almost everybody enjoyed, about Tiger walking in the locker room, that sort of a thing, that it was not a bright thing for you guys to do and that you are all afraid of Tiger Woods. That was a pretty strong comment for him to make. What do you think about that?
ANTHONY KIM: I didn't even hear about it.

Q. He sort of said, it's like you guys are giving him ammunition, saying you are all afraid of him.
ANTHONY KIM: Well, I have a sense of humor, so ... (laughter).

Q. Judging from your comments earlier, I gather you have not been out to Augusta; do you plan on going beforehand and what are you most looking forward to?
ANTHONY KIM: No, I have not been out there. I think I'm going to head out there after this tournament, Monday or Tuesday, probably spend a couple of days and then head back and go to Arnie's event.

Q. What do you look forward to when you get there?
ANTHONY KIM: I'm looking forward to playing that 18th hole and trying to see exactly what I'm going to need to do throughout the round to get me there, and hopefully I'll be there late on Sunday.

Q. Are you going to play the other 17 holes, too?
ANTHONY KIM: Just 18, 18 times. (Laughter).

Q. There's so much talk about youth collectively, yourself, Rory, maybe a Dustin Johnson. Do you sense any competition amongst that group to see who will rise up?
ANTHONY KIM: I don't see the competition between -- when you're playing against -- look at Kenny Perry.
When we are playing in a tournament, it doesn't matter. You want to step on everybody to get to the top. That's just the way it is. I think genuinely, guys are happy for each other for putting on a good show when the younger guys are doing well. I don't think it's really about age right now, even though there is some younger guys playing well.
LAURA HILL: Anthony, did you have anything else?
ANTHONY KIM: Oh, I've got one more thing. Since our partnership with RBC I've been known for my belt buckles out here, so I got something for Jim, if he could come up here and take this. (Presenting belt buckle)(laughter) thank you.

End of FastScripts

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