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April 4, 2010

Yani Tseng


THE MODERATOR: We're here with Yani Tseng, the 2010 Kraft Nabisco champion. Congratulations, Yani. You got off to a hot start, eagling the second hole, birdieing No. 3. Can you tell us about your round and how you're feeling right now.
YANI TSENG: Yeah, I'm still very excited right now, and I played very solid today. I had an eagle on the second hole, and I know today is going to be my day. I just keep telling myself commit to the shot and keep my tempo right, and just keep smiling all 18 holes, however I play, however if I make a three-putt or anything. Just keep smiling, and I called my psychology teacher this morning before I played, and I had a really good talk with her, and she told me a lot, and it helped me a lot with today.

Q. Was there ever a point in the round where you felt like your lead was not secure?
YANI TSENG: Actually I feel all the way around, I feel like four-shot lead is not enough for this golf course because this golf course is really tough. You can -- just one hole you can make two shots different. Suzann missed like three, four putts in the back, otherwise she would be on top with me, same thing. And the back nine is always tough. That's big pressure on a major. So I really just told myself, don't look at her, just however she's playing, I'm just doing my job, and then hit on the green and play safe. Actually on the back nine, I didn't be aggressive on the back nine.

Q. You mentioned you spoke with your teacher before today's play. What were some of the things -- some of the advice that she gave you, and who is it?
YANI TSENG: She Dr. Graham, but I don't know the first name. But she's Dr. Graham. It's my first time I feel nervous, like last night. I never feel nervous before the tournament starts, but I tell her I have a really good sleep, but I just feel very nervous before that. So I was thinking ahead, playing ahead, thinking how can I talk to media, how can I jump in water, what's the purse, and what should I do if I miss a putt. So many things like that come through my mind.
So she just told me when you think about this and then you just think about commit to the shot and tempo and keep telling me, head up, shoulder back, and enjoy the walk on the golf course. If I hit a bad shot, she told me just think like a champ. I just keep telling me I'm a champ; I want to think like a champ from the start, the first tee, until the end. That's very important for me today, just think like a champ.

Q. You started one shot down, and by the time you walked off 6 you had a huge lead. Were you surprised that you were leading that big that quickly?
YANI TSENG: No, I don't feel that because I just want to play my game. Like I said, this course, you can be like -- you can lose three or four shots on one hole. So I just don't feel like -- I want to feel like I want to keep making birdies.
No. 9 was a big save for me because I was kind of in a little trouble first shot, and second shot, it was a good save for me on No. 9. I think that was kind of the turning point and made me feel a little more confidence to go through the back nine.

Q. What was going through your mind as Suzann's chip was rolling toward the hole?
YANI TSENG: Geez, that was a big chip. I was scared to look, and when I looked back, I saw the ball just past the hole, and I was like -- I just looked down there, like oh, geez. I'm happy that missed, because you know, that was for eagle, and I have to make that putt for win.
I was really scared that she made that putt. There was just so many things coming through my mind for just like five seconds. And then the last part I was shaking my head, just okay, two putts to win the tournament; just make two putts.

Q. You talked about that shot on No. 9, and it was kind of a risk. I mean, you could have played it safe. What was going through your mind? What was your decision-making process to take that shortcut?
YANI TSENG: I just don't feel like we need to play safe because it was only nine holes, and my caddie was telling me it's only nine holes, too. But the way I think, only nine holes I can be aggressive, and the way he thinks, he thinks we should play safe. And I think it's a very easy shot for me to just hit low, just like yesterday I have -- on No. 6 I hit a little low cut. I just told him that's the shot we're going to hit. I feel easy and confident. And then I asked him what do you like. He said, I don't like it. He just told me, I like hitting it safe. But I said, okay, line it up for me, I want to hit it this way.

Q. Who all jumped in with you?
YANI TSENG: I know my caddie was jumping with me and my mom, and I don't know who was jumping. It seemed like lots of people jumped with me. But after I jumped in, because I jumped like all the way to the middle, and then I told my caddie, I don't know how to swim, can you help me to get on the top, because I was trying to get out because I don't know how to swim. I just kept jumping there and told my caddie, can you let me get out here, because it was a little scary.

Q. It was deeper than you expected?
YANI TSENG: I don't know, I think it's about five, six feet, because first time I played Q-school I looked at it, so I know that's fine.

Q. You and Suzann had so much fun playing together yesterday. Was it different today with the final-round pressure and all that?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, it's much more pressure today, but I'm still trying to have fun with her, because on Sunday every shot is -- every shot counts. Like today I just feel like I'm playing my own game. It's kind of like playing a match play with her, too; just more important to stay in my own game. Stay focused. That's what I wanted to, and keep smiling.

Q. Is this victory a lot sweeter for you than the major you won two years ago? You looked so happy.
YANI TSENG: Yeah, I feel so much different because like this week, I guess nervous last night. Last time I win a major, I don't feel nothing. I don't feel like I can win a tournament. I just feel I want to go out and play. I didn't even think about winning.
But this week I know I have a chance to win, so I called my coach, my short game coach, my long game coach, my psychologist to see what should I think about today, because I was really nervous and playing ahead.
So after I talked to lots of people and then they helped me a lot just to stay relaxed. And then my goal was smiling today, and I feel I did it. I smiled to the fans, to TV, to everyone here, just tried to make smiling.

Q. Can you just put this win in perspective a little bit? You haven't even been on Tour for three full years. You already have two majors. Is this about maybe where you expected to be when you first came out? Just put it in perspective.
YANI TSENG: No, no, no, I don't think so. I don't think I'm going to win two majors in three years. I think like this year I feel it changed a lot for me.
I really want to thank Annika Sorenstam because she came to my house and we sit down and talk about two hours, and she helped me a lot about my game, about the mentals, and she told me go step by step; you never put in your head, if this is a goal then you should know what you want to do now and then reach that goal.
My problem, just like last year, I don't have a good bunker shot. (Interview briefly interrupted by earthquake.)

Q. Yani, could you go through your eagle on 2, please?
YANI TSENG: Go through my eagle on 2? I had a pretty good drive, on the right side of the fairway, and the second one I hit a rescue -- no, I hit a 3-wood, like an easy 3-wood but I pushed it a little bit to the right side of the fringe. I just wanted to get close to the pin, and I chipped and I don't know if it's good, and then before the three feet -- three feet before the hole, and I know it's going to make it.

Q. Following up on Annika, you said you talked to her for a few hours. Was this before this season? Was that pretty recently? When did you talk to her?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, because every time I saw her I run out of words. I don't know if it's because she's my big idol. Every time I see her I'm just like shaking and I don't know what should I say.
But this time like my friend called her to see if she'd have time to come out and just talk with me because I feel like I was a little struggling last year to putting lots of expectations on this year like last year.
So after she talked to me then I just kind of focused on my status. That's how she told me, too; you can focus on your status. What's your problem, like driving, second shots, putting, and then you just go work on it, and then everything will just -- it will come, that you don't have to worry about too much. And then everything outside the ropes you need to just get rid of. When you get inside the ropes you just want to have fun and play golf, and you don't want to think about too much.

Q. So it was just before this season?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, January.

Q. Was that the first earthquake that you have experienced, and what was that like?
YANI TSENG: Absolutely, California is my first time. We have a lot in Taiwan, but this was big. I like it. Cool. It's like my big week. I hope nobody gets hurt.

Q. You did come to the desert just a few miles from here maybe eight years ago --
YANI TSENG: No, two, three years ago.

Q. Was it earlier than that?
YANI TSENG: No, I moved here like my first rookie year.

Q. When you did that did you dreamed that someday you'd move a few miles up the road and win this golf tournament?
YANI TSENG: No, I really don't think about this because the first time I play here is Q-school, and then first time I came here I know it's a good experience, good memories here, and everybody jumps in the water, and I always see it on TV. It's kind of my dream to jump in the water.
I won the first stage, so I told my friend, I'll jump in the water to feel it first. And then every year when I came here even a practice round, I just -- like I always imagined how could I jump in the water and then which way should I jump. It was fun for me to think about that because it's kind of crazy. I didn't win, and I was thinking I was ready to jump in the water.

Q. What did Suzann say to you or you say to Suzann afterwards?
YANI TSENG: She told me great job today, because she's really good competitor and was fighting until 18 holes. We never gave up, and we just kept playing very -- like she's playing very aggressive, I think, but I'm playing very safe on the back nine. We were just fighting very competitive. She played awesome on the back nine. She could have made those three or four putts and won the tournament.

Q. (No microphone.)
YANI TSENG: No, I didn't do anything special for this week, but I was really thankful that I didn't play good last week because that made me feel very relaxed to come out here to play better than like 9-over, because I shot 9-over last week. So I thought, I can do well this week, I just want to play better than 9-over. I don't put any expectation on me.
It was fun. I really feel very relaxed this week because, like I said, last year the first few tournaments when I'm playing good, so I just want to keep doing the same thing. So every time I went to a tournament I feel a little pressure, but this week I don't because I really played bad last week, so I don't have to think about too much.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, Yani.

End of FastScripts

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