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November 26, 2009

Hiroyuki Fujita

Ryuji Imada


CALVIN KOH: You guys got off to a very, very good start, 10-under. If you can share with us your round today.
RYUJI IMADA: Well, we made a lot of birdies.
Starting off on No. 2, I made about a 15-footer for birdie.
3, he had a putt from six feet.
4, another 15-footer right-to-left, great putt.
5, made a putt from about five feet for birdie. We were pretty much on a roll on the front side.
8, I hooked it to the bushes on the left but was able to make par.
9, made a putt from about ten feet just below the hole.
And again, he made a birdie, about six feet from the hole.
12, I hit my 7-iron to about two feet.
14, I made a putt from about 30 feet.
15, hit a shot to about 2 1/2 feet and made that.
16, hit an 8-iron to about eight feet.
Those are all ten birdies.
CALVIN KOH: Tomorrow you'll be switching to the foursomes format. What is your approach for tomorrow?
RYUJI IMADA: We haven't discussed anything yet. I know I'll be teeing off on the first hole, and that's about it. We actually use two different types of Titleist golf balls. I use the Red and he uses the Black. We haven't decided which one we are going to go with yet.
So we are actually going to go out there and hit some balls and try to figure out for tomorrow. I guess we'll figure it out this afternoon.

Q. You had a very good finish last year with another partner, but your first round score seems to be a very good come back this year. What do you think about this opening and what will you suggest to your partner in the next three rounds?
RYUJI IMADA: Well, you know, we had a great team last year, or I did. You know, it's just a matter of making birdies at the right time and the first day last year, we didn't really do that. And today, I think we gelled really well, the holes that I struggled, he made pars or birdied and vice versa, and we got it to 10-under.
He's obviously a great player, which accomplished a lot of great things in Japan. You know, he's a little bit older than I am, so you know, he gets me in the right direction. He's like a mood maker and also a great partner as a golfer, too. I don't think he's had a bogey today. As a partner, that's pretty much what you want. He did a great job.

Q. Did you give each other any advice on the fairways and did you read each other's putts on the greens?
RYUJI IMADA: Yes and no. We try to play our own game, but when I'm in doubt or when he's in doubt, obviously we asked each other a little bit.
But not really, no. We really didn't discuss our irons or what club we hit. We were pretty much on our own. But when in doubt, we ask each other, but not very often.

Q. Since Ishikawa has played really good in The Presidents Cup and become very big in Japan, he looks like a really big rising star. Do kids look at him as a future star of Japan and what do you guys think about this guy?
RYUJI IMADA: Well, I'll say, if you asked a hundred kids, they all probably will say, I want to be like Ishikawa. Everybody wants to be like him.
It's amazing to see him play golf. He's only 18. I actually got to play with him when he was 17, and it's amazing, not just the golfing skills, but the way he handles himself on and off the golf course. I know it difficult for him as an 18-year-old to be able to handle the media, to be able to handle all of the attention, but he does it so well.
I think he's going to be great. I don't know how great, but I know he's going to be great and he's going to do amazing things for Japanese golf.

Q. It seems like there's one more tournament going on after this on the Japanese Tour. What does the World Cup stand for back home? Back home is the Japanese Tour more important or World Cup?
RYUJI IMADA: That depends on the person. Obviously for me, the World Cup is more important, because that's why I'm here, but I can't really answer for anyone else.
HIROYUKI FUJITA: You can't really compare the World Cup to a regular golf tournament in Japan. There's a lot at stake as an individual golfer in Japan, but here, you're representing your country. I don't think that you can compare a golf tournament to the World Cup.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Thanks for your time today.

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