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April 7, 2011

K.J. Choi


TOM NELSON: Let me welcome K.J. Choi to the interview room. K.J., in his ninth Masters appearance, who previously had a best Masters finish of third in 2004. He's got seven PGA Tour and eight international victories, and he had a splendid round today of 67.
Let me open it up to any questions people might have, and we'll have someone interpret, as well.

Q. What happened there on the back nine? You really caught fire. Can you ex-how things went there?
K.J. CHOI: I think the bogey on the 11th hole, it was a good shot -- I hit a good shot but ended up in the left rough and I made a bogey on that hole. I think that was like medicine for me; if I had saved par, I probably would have been too excited and maybe lose my rhythm.
On the 13th hole, I hit a nice second shot and I think that kind of started the momentum.

Q. There's been a lot written about you putting some hybrids into your bag, specifically for Augusta. I'm curious, is there any specific examples today where a new club that you put in helped you to hit a great shot or make birdie?
K.J. CHOI: Actually, it didn't really help me that much today, because I had a slow start. Using the hybrids on one hole I had a par and the other I had a bogey.
With any new club and any new routine you pick up, you need at least three weeks, 21 days to get accustomed to it. It's been two weeks since I've put the clubs in the bag. I just need to stay patient and keep using the clubs and I think it will be good from there on.

Q. What is it about this place that seems to bring out the best in your game?
K.J. CHOI: This course, when you look at the scores, you have to really focus to be able to hit the greens. The greens are firm very slopey.
I think I feel comfortable because I know where to hit the ball on to the green and I know where to attack the fairways.
The fact that there's so many galleries here on both sides of the hole, on any hole, any given hole, it really enables me to focus. It's easy to set the target.
Back in 1999 when I won the Korean Open at Seoul Country Club, this course has the same aura and same atmosphere as Seoul Country Club. There are a lot of tall pine trees over there. The greens are firm really protected, surrounded by the pine trees. And even the winds can get gusty here. It really, it's like a stadium so to speak.
I think the fact that the gallery here, they are so supportive of the players; the Masters has its own tradition; all of those elements really make me feel comfortable playing here.

Q. Can you tell us more about the birdies on the back nine, the clubs that you hit and more details?
K.J. CHOI: 13, I had 235 yards, hit a 5-wood to six feet, 2-putt birdie.
The 14th hole, I had 141. I hit an 8-iron, four feet, birdie.
15, second shot, 237 yards, 5-wood into the bunker, chipped out to eight feet, birdie.
17, second shot 162 yards, 8-iron, three feet, birdie.
And the last hole, 205 to the pin, I hit 3-wood underneath the tree, curved a slice to 60 yards, pitched it on the green, 40 feet for birdie.

Q. Curious how many hybrids were in your bag, and would you mind identifying them?
K.J. CHOI: I currently have three hybrids, No. 4, 5 and 6. They are very easy to stop on hard greens. That's why I put them in the bag.
THE TOM NELSON: K.J., we wish you all the best this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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