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November 18, 2010

Young Nam


First Round 65 -5

Q. A nice day?
YOUNG NAM: We'll see. I've been hitting it well but I've always had driver problems with back then when I was sick for a while. So I had my yips and it's always been in my head. So I've been striking it pretty well than when I really won back maybe six years ago. But after the illness, when you shoot 90s all the time and you're trying to hang in there with your tee shot, it sort of gets to your head but now I'm starting to hit it really well again. It's just once in awhile, the tee shot creeps in there. Like Singapore last week, I was 5-under and all of the sudden, I just had a brain lapse and it just killed me. I hit it out-of-bounds three times, and I got a nine and that kicked me out of the tournament.
I'm just happy. UBS gave me the sponsor's invite, so I'm just hoping I can use it wisely and just play well.

Q. You're playing on a sponsor's exemption so something to prove as well?
YOUNG NAM: Yeah, there's always pressure, but getting the invite is usually for good players. A mediocre player like myself getting it, I'm really happy, but it's to show -- at least make the sponsors at least worth it.
I mean, I'm happy today. I played well.

Q. You talked about the problems with the driving, have you tried to remedy it, see a teacher, change drivers, whatever?
YOUNG NAM: No, it's not the driver. It's never the driver. It's always the guy who swings it. The driver is always the same. Anyone can hit if he's swinging well. For me it's always been mental for me. When you have the yips for about four or five years, and it's just -- you get negative thoughts in your head.
So golf I think is a lot to do with mental. So I'm swinging it well and so on the range or the practise rounds, I can't miss the fairway. If I try to miss it, it's hard for me to miss a fairway. And for tournaments, you're trying to play too well and you're trying to play really well. If I can control it, who knows. But like I said, I'm very happy I played well.

Q. On this golf course, generally you need to hit that many drivers, is it?
YOUNG NAM: You do -- you don't, but the driver holes, you must keep it in play. I mean, it's a tree-lined golf course. It's not an easy golf course. So the greens are all -- they funnel off. They are not flat greens, so you have to be a really precise hitter. It's a great golf course and it tests your skills.

Q. The birdies were from close range, or was the putter running hot?
YOUNG NAM: You know, I'm hitting my irons really well. I doubled 18 to shoot 5-under, so you know what, and double -- it was -- the tee shot, I sort of missed it right. I started having thoughts in my head and I missed it a little right but I had a pretty decent lie out of the rough and I just hit it too far.
Today I hit it really well. I missed a lot of short putts. I made one long putt, so it sort of evens out.

Q. With the problem with the driving, is it hard to fight the demons in the mind?
YOUNG NAM: It's the hardest thing ever. It's frustrating because I wish, you know, when you don't play -- if you don't hit it well during practise rounds, you don't have -- there's actually no hope. You don't really look forward to the tournament.
But when you're hitting it really well, and then all of a sudden in the tournament, it goes well, you just hit it out-of-bounds two or three times, you're in trouble and that's frustrating.
But like I said, I learnt to enjoy the game more because of my illness and I got over it, so I got a second chance at the game and I'm happy. It will come around. I think it will come around, but like I said, it's mental for me.

Q. It has been a few years now, but I remember you come to a golf course like this, big tournament like this, playing well, it sort of putts things into perspective for you, doesn't it?
YOUNG NAM: It does. It does. I just come out here to enjoy myself. This week, especially, getting a sponsor's invite, I just told myself, you know what, let's put an effort and make this sponsor's invite worth it.

Q. Trying to look in your card, as well?
YOUNG NAM: I don't know if I -- you can always say that, too. But you know me, I love the Asian Tour. It's always been a family, all of the players and stuff, all of the staff. So I don't really think about it too much. I just go out there and play. You know, we are out there to go out there to win. Yes, the money is good, you're out there to win and if you have a chance, you want to go out there and try to win it and if you don't, it's a nice payday and just have fun with it.

End of FastScripts

Note: Young Nam was diagnosed with spinal meningitis in 2004 and was told he faced a 50 percent chance of dying. After a spinal surgery, he regained his wellbeing and started playing sparingly again until 2007

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