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January 28, 2011

Anthony Kim


JOHN BUSH: We have Anthony Kim in the interview room. Anthony, a 67 today. Great start with four birdies to start the round. If we could just get some comments on your day?
ANTHONY KIM: I really played well today. I had my coach surprise me this morning, and he actually came out to watch me play. He was on his way through to help some other players and stopped by.
So we worked a little bit before I went and teed off, because I felt like I was just unsure of where the ball was going. And the first day I was scrambling so well that the score really disguised how I was hitting the ball.
So to get a little help from him was very nice. I just got off to a great start. Hit a good drive on 1, hit it to about five feet, made that. And hit the next shot on 2 to about three feet, made that. Hit a great shot into my third hole, had a 15-footer and made that as well. My last birdie came when I hit a 5-iron to 20 feet and made that.

Q. As tough as the North is to hit the fairways, I know the South is very difficult for other reasons, but is it almost a relief to stand on the tee at the South and a little easier to hit the fairways there?
ANTHONY KIM: It's definitely easier to hit the fairways. But I don't think it's because the fairways are a little bit wider. I think it's because they're less slanted, and there's less -- there's fewer holes where you have to work the ball into the hills.
I mean, on 10 on the North course, you have to hit a fade into that fairway to even keep it in there. So, the fairways are just a little bit wider, but it's obviously a flatter surface so easier to keep the ball in play.

Q. Who is your coach?
ANTHONY KIM: Adam Schreiber.

Q. And did you find something that kind of clicked this morning when you worked together, and, if so, what was it?
ANTHONY KIM: We did. We've been working pretty hard since I've been able to practice. But I developed so many bad habits when I was injured for two years. So we're still working that out.
I finally got into a position where I could play golf. It still wasn't perfect, but I could at least advance the ball and try to make a couple birdies here and again.
So we did a lot of work, but for some reason it just clicked on the range today when he told me to pull my right arm back a little bit when I was taking it back. So I just went with that swing thought all day, and it worked out very nicely.

Q. Shooting what you did today, I mean 67 on the South course, do you feel like you left some shots out there?
ANTHONY KIM: I do. I mean, every golfer's going to tell you they left some shots out there. It's a bitter feeling. It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth when I get done with the round that I know I just three-putted and let one go. I hit a great putt and had a tough one for my first.
But I'm really close. I know I've said it a million times. I'm not going to say it again. I've just got to go out there and make a couple birdies and see what happens.

Q. How difficult has the last couple years been mentally and how have you dealt with it?
ANTHONY KIM: It's been very difficult. Not to be able to perform at my best, even when I am trying to work has been a hard pill to swallow. But I'm finally healthy. I've got no excuses. I'm just ready to practice, grind out my game and try to contend for some tournaments.

Q. Speaking of that. You're two back going into the weekend and you say you're healthy. Give us your estimation on Anthony Kim wining this weekend?
ANTHONY KIM: That's a sucker question for me. I'm not going to answer that. But I'm going to do my best to keep thinking and doing what I'm doing. That just means I'm going to play smart.
If I have a tough shot, I'm going to be okay with making a bogey now and again out here. It's such a difficult golf course. The greens are getting so firm that if it you do short side it, you have to make a 15-20 footer for par. If you don't, you should be okay with that.
I'm going to try to keep a level head out there. Hit some quality golf shots and hopefully some putts will fall.

Q. This isn't like the NFL where they put out an injury report every week and everybody knows what everybody's injuries are. Did you get questions from people about where have you been who don't understand what you've gone through physically? Just do you think people out there wonder what's happened to Anthony Kim?
ANTHONY KIM: Well, I think my injuries have been more documented than my play, so most people know what's wrong with me. It's been my thumb for a while. The other little nagging injuries have come because of my thumb.
Now that that's fixed, I think I have nothing to say about that except now I have a solid base to work off of. I'm just going to practice and see where that gets me.

Q. A lot of guys don't like being in that Tiger environment to play, but you seem to kind of thrive in it. Can you talk about playing with Tiger? I know you've done that some here and there?
ANTHONY KIM: Right. Well, I was playing in my Pro-Am and I walked by Marshall, and he said did you see your pairing? And I said, no, I did see it. But who am I playing with? I forgot. He said, Are you scared? I said, I play golf for a living. My job is to go out there and work as hard as I can, play against the best and see where it stacks up.
Now Tiger has been somebody I've looked up to for a long time and still do, so I have a lot of respect for him. But when I'm out there, it's not about playing with Tiger. It's about playing as good as I can play. If that means I end up holding the trophy at the end of the weekend, I would love that.

Q. After criticisms of your off-the-course stuff being fair or is that something that's been blown out of proportion? Is that something that may be related to your injuries that people are misreading about you? What is that?
ANTHONY KIM: Well, obviously, I've said it before, but so many things get blown out of proportion and regardless of what happens I've got to do a better job of being more private about my life.
I'm a pretty free spirit, and I think that gets me in trouble just because I don't mind if somebody sees me out with my friends. But it's like playing a game of telephone. One story leads to another and another, and all of a sudden, you know, I'm in a different country. So I just try to limit the places I go now and just try to be more discreet about it.

Q. As a follow-up to that, Anthony, kind of an unusual thing. What about the two pet monkeys? What's that all about?
ANTHONY KIM: Well, I've always loved animals. I have two dogs at home, and I've always wanted monkeys.
I think it's the movie, "Dunston Checks In" or something. I saw that when I was little. And I said it would be pretty cool to have a couple of monkeys. I was playing golf like one, so I figured what better time than to buy them now.
JOHN BUSH: Wrap up your card for us, 9, 10, 11.
ANTHONY KIM: 9, I hit driver, driver into the greenside bunker to wedge it out to about five feet and made that. 10, I hit a 3-wood, wedge to about 135. Hit it two feet and made that.
Probably 11, my worst swing of the day, hit a 4-iron and pulled it left. Really didn't have much choice but to give myself a 15-20 footer and missed that for par.

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