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June 23, 2009

Anthony Kim


THE MODERATOR: Okay, Anthony. Thank you for joining us here for a few minutes at the 2009 Travelers Championship. Your first appearance here. You're coming off a good week. You had a top 16 U.S. Open last week. So you've got to be feeling good as you head into this week. Just some opening comments?
ANTHONY KIM: I am. I'm excited to be here at the Travelers. This is my first opportunity to come play out here. I've heard nothing but great things about this golf course and Connecticut. So I'm excited to be here. Try to build off a pretty solid week last week, and make some more birdies.

Q. What is the state of your game? What are you feeling good about? What are you working on to maybe improve on what's going right?
ANTHONY KIM: Well, I think the first thing that was effecting my golf game, the biggest thing was the fact that I wasn't completely healthy, and I'm almost there. I've gotten over all those little injuries everybody keeps talking about. So now it's just time to go ahead and work on my swing a little bit more, and start making a couple more putts.

Q. You're supposed to play in the CVS, right?

Q. So how did that change everything from then until now? You didn't head up there, did you?
ANTHONY KIM: No, I heard they dropped us. They dropped the five guys that made the cut. So we just after the Open on Monday, it's all kind of a blur. But on Monday I got off the course about 11:15. Went to the hotel, packed up. And about 12:00 I was on a plane. Got here at 12:20 or 12:15.
Played nine late yesterday, about 6:00, 6:15, and just hit one ball. Didn't putt. Just played the back nine And just to get the feel of the golf course. It's in tremendous shape, but it's playing so much different than the Open that I wanted to get out there and see the golf course, see how the greens were rolling and what kind of shots I'd need around the green.

Q. Last year you had a couple of victories and the Ryder Cup experiences, just what has it been like for you in the standpoint of excitement and building your career?
ANTHONY KIM: This year has been very frustrating to say the least. But I'm getting to live a dream out here. I mean, every young kid who grows up playing sports wants to be a professional athlete, and I finally had that opportunity. And last year I had some pretty good success.
But definitely was looking for far bigger and better things this year and it hasn't turned out that way. But it's a long year. Like I said, I'm getting back into good shape. You know, if I come out and peel off some wins, it will be another great year. So I'm looking forward to the rest of the year, and see what kind of success I can have.

Q. Can you talk a little about the Open and the conditions of the on-again, off-again? How difficult is that for a golfer to adjust to?
ANTHONY KIM: It really wasn't too hard. The fact that the tournament got dragged out till Monday was the only thing, because I was excited to go on up to Rhode Island and play in the CVS. But it looked just as bad up there when I saw the little bit of it on TV yesterday. So maybe we got a bit lucky.
But I think when you're younger, you grow up playing and you don't use an umbrella, and you just go chip and putt and try to get the ball in the hole as fast as you can.
It's called the U.S. Open. Everyone's allowed to try to qualify for the event. If you're an amateur, if you're just a local guy that tried to qualify and got lucky enough to make it, you had the same opportunities as everybody else. You know how to play in the rain. It's obviously just a huge test of patience.

Q. You mentioned how the injuries stressed course management. You go here the shortest course of the season. What is that going to do for your goals for the season as far as imagining the course?
ANTHONY KIM: I think the whole key is driving the ball. When I drive the ball well, it's the straightest club in my bag, that's including my 7-iron, which is I guess a good and bad thing.
But I like to hit driver everywhere, and that's caused some problems for me early this year when I haven't been able to get the ball on the fairway. But last week I drove it fairly well. Even though I had a couple of misses, I drove it fairly well.
So if I'm driving it well, I'll try to take advantage of my length and maybe drive the reachable 15th or get to the par 5's in two. But if not, I'm going to have to use the course management that I've learned early this year to hit 3-woods and 2-irons off the tee, and get the ball in play, and try to get the ball in the hole from there.

Q. You had some injuries early this year. Was it mainly the shoulder? Could you just talk about how you were able to come back from that win? What you had to do? And last week where you were starting to play and the way you played last year?
ANTHONY KIM: There's been quite a few injuries, but I don't even know where to start. But my shoulder was bothering me, and I was having a little bit of trouble with my thumb.
I'm better. I'm ready to go. Worked out this morning. Worked out yesterday. I'm excited that I'm getting my body into the right shape so I can at least attempt to hit a golf ball correctly. So it's been important for me to get back into shape mentally as well. It's not just physical.
But if you feel good going on to the golf course about everything you're doing, you're going to have a better chance to play better golf. So I'm excited about that opportunity.

Q. After the U.S. Open, a number of players always say their brains are like mush after all the thrills and chills. Could you talk about the transition back to the tour mentally, a day or so after that happened. Is there difference in another week?
ANTHONY KIM: I would say there is a little bit more pressure in the majors. And that's why everyone wants to play so well. Maybe they put just a little bit more into it. But at the same time, every tournament you go into, you want to win. You want to give it everything you have and leave it all out there. And that's what I did last week.
Unfortunately, I wasn't in the hunt, and my mind doesn't feel like mush, because I was just trying to make pars and birdies. And the lead wasn't really in my mind till maybe 27 holes to go. I'm thinking if I put on six, seven birdies within a stretch of 14, 15 holes, I can get myself back in the tournament. But unfortunately the putts didn't fall. And I wasn't by the lead.
So I feel very fresh. I'm very excited about how I played the golf course. Because there were so many situations where I feel like even two weeks ago or three weeks ago, I would have tried to push and force the situation to maybe instead of hitting a 5-iron out of the rough, hitting a 3-iron. And last week I was forced to hit the 5-iron. So I'm really happy with how I'm thinking out there.
It seems like this course is made for somebody that can strategically play this golf course. And if that's the case, I feel like I'm in good shape for this week.

Q. Have you played today or are you going out this afternoon?
ANTHONY KIM: No, I just got here. And we'll be playing nine holes this afternoon.

Q. It seems like your emotions are always on display. You're an excited guy on the course. And a laid back guy in general. What is the best way to categorize your personality? Are you more of a fireball or a laid back guy from California?
ANTHONY KIM: I don't know. You're going to have to ask everybody around me. Like you said, sometimes I get real into it. And if I'm watching a Laker game and they're losing, you don't want to be in that room. You know, if they're winning you probably don't want to be in that room because I'll be running around.
It just depends on the situation. I feel like I'm pretty laid back most of the time. But when it's time to compete or if one of my teams are competing or if a friend of mine is on TV driving to win a NASCAR race, I'm excited and I get really into it. But overall, pretty laid back.

Q. What are your other teams?
ANTHONY KIM: I got the Dallas Cowboys, obviously, the Oklahoma Sooner football team. Lakers, Jimmie Johnson racing, the 48 car. That's pretty much it, I think.

Q. You like hockey?
ANTHONY KIM: I got to go with the Dallas Stars. I go to a couple of those games?

Q. Any baseball?
ANTHONY KIM: We're not in New York anymore, so actually a buddy of mine, a good friend of mine plays for the Cubs. So I'd have to say Chicago.

Q. Talk about the injuries being behind you now. How close to 100% are you? And do you see the rest of the season now?
ANTHONY KIM: I do. The injuries I feel are pretty close to all behind me. I think the problem with an injury is that when you start compensating for that injury, you tend to use one part of your body a little bit more. That's what I was doing. So to get back into shape was very important to correct my injuries.
I've had a positive outlook on this whole year, whether I was missing cuts or whether I was actually showing signs of playing some good golf. So I'm very excited because I know what I'm capable of, it's just a matter of time.
My mom tells me all the time, you know, Tony, you need to be patient. You need to be a little bit more patient. And it's going to end up working out. I believe it. I believe that I'm going to win golf tournaments, and win majors. But it's just about me being patient and really grinding through the tough times like I'm having you now.

Q. When you look at your scores from the Open, and you break them down, there's a whole lot of birdies and a whole lot of bogies. Have you always played that way, and how do you deal with that kind of round?
ANTHONY KIM: I guess it's kind of like how people describe my personality. Sometimes I'm up, and sometimes I'm down. But it's a little bit harder when you go on a birdie run, and you do make a couple of bogies, or you start out with a couple early bogies and make a couple of birdies to come back. But I'm trying to find that balance out there where I'm firing at less pins.
I did do that at the Open. Unfortunately I hit a great shot and you could make a bogey or a double. That's just the way the Open sets up. I've played many rounds this year where I've made 7, 8, 9 rounds, a couple rounds at least and made 11 birdies at Augusta.
It's been very draining to make quite a few birdies and not see the 65, 64s that I'd like to see out of my round.
At the same time it shows me if I clean up a couple areas of my game, it's right there. I just need to go ahead and do that and see what happens.
THE MODERATOR: Anthony, thank you for your time, and best of luck this week.

End of FastScripts

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