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December 7, 2011
DAVE SENKO:Â Anthony and Webb, welcome.Â Maybe just get us started before we open up for some questions.
Anthony, you played in this event a couple years; Webb, this will be your first venture here.
Over the years, the guys have talked about how much they enjoy playing this team concept and this event.
Maybe Anthony, share your thoughts.Â You played here last year; you were T3.Â Just some thoughts on playing an event like that.
ANTHONY KIM:Â Well, it's a lot fun.Â Obviously we're not playing as individuals but as a team, so to be able to come out here and play a fun golf event, obviously I'm playing with a great player in Webb who has had a tremendous year, so it's a lot of fun.
It's more relaxed.Â You don't have to worry about hitting a perfect shot.Â I'm just going to try to hit it 20 feet from the hole because I know he's going to make it.
We're going to enjoy ourselves.Â As long as you have fun, it's basically what you came out here to do.
WEBB SIMPSON:Â Yeah, being my first year, I am excited.Â It's been a long year.Â I've played a lot of tournaments.Â Got my wife and baby down here, so it's a nice way to kind of finish the year and wind down.
This was my first time playing the course today, and really impressed with it.Â Looking forward to competing out there.Â I know Anthony and I are going to have a good time.
Our friendship goes way back.Â We're both competitors and we want to win the tournament, so hopefully Sunday we'll be sitting there in contention and to try to win.
DAVE SENKO:Â You mentioned you've known Anthony.Â Where did you guys first play against each other or meet?
WEBB SIMPSON:Â It was probably back when we were 11 or 12 maybe back in AJGA days or U.S. Junior Am. I can't remember.
He was always west coast for AJGA Canon Cup and we were east coast, so we battled it out a few times.
ANTHONY KIM:Â West coast did win.
WEBB SIMPSON:Â That one time.
ANTHONY KIM:Â Three times.Â (Laughter.)
DAVE SENKO:Â If you have a question, we've got a mic here.Â Just raise your hand.
Q.Â You're part of this wave of great young players in their 20s that don't seem it want to wait your turn.Â Just go ahead and win now.Â Can you relate to Keegan Bradley winning the first major he plays in, what that accomplishment was and what you thought of it?
ANTHONY KIM:Â Well, I didn't get to know Keegan that well this year.Â Obviously the rookies play a little bit earlier or later than the guys who have been out there for a while.
But the little I have gotten to know him, he's a great guy.Â On the course obviously he's not scared to win.Â I feel like a lot of the younger players are starting to step up.
As I said earlier, Webb has been a great year.Â There has been a lot of guys have won in their 20s, and looking forward to that success.
Hopefully we can keep it going and I can get it started again.
WEBB SIMPSON:Â Yeah, I mean, I think Anthony was one of the couple of guys that set the stage.Â I think he first won at 22, 23 years old out here.
For me, having played with a lot of these guys like him and Dustin Johnson for a long time, it's nice to see them win, because to watch a guy you played with your whole life, you're familiar with their game, they go out and beat the best players in the world, so you feel like because you kind of played with 'em you got to a chance to do that.
I think the more young guys that are playing well, the easier it is for other young guys to do the same.
Q.Â Can you talk about when you first met what you remember about each other.Â Give us a little more on how the friendship developed?
ANTHONY KIM:Â Well, we actually fought each other the first time he with met.
No, I really don't remember when it was.Â We were young.Â Obviously played junior golf.Â Webb has funnier personality than even people know.
Obviously on the golf course it's hard to get to know people's personalities.Â He's an easygoing guy.Â We both like to joke around and give each other a hard time, and hopefully we can keep that up and make some birdies along the way this week.
Q.Â I was curious, Webb, first week of December last year, where you?Â What were you doing?Â You had kind of gone almost to the line in terms keeping your card.Â Where were you?Â Getting ready for 2011, I suppose.
WEBB SIMPSON:Â Well, I was back at home.Â A lot of people didn't know this last year, I mean, you look at all my results last year, and they weren't at good as my first year on tour.
I knew I was getting better as a player and hitting shots that I wasn't able to hit the year before and was feeling more calm under pressure.
So inside I felt really good with where I was.Â I was excited for this year.Â I had a new caddie coming to work for me who is well experienced.
I didn't have huge expectations for this year, but I knew it was going to be a year where I was going to continue and get better.
I didn't put any pressure on myself coming out this year, but, you know, obviously my caddie helped me a ton, and in a slightly different place than a year ago.
Q.Â You said you felt like you were a better place going into this year.Â When did the results match your feelings?Â Was it runner up at Transitions or some other point in the season?
WEBB SIMPSON:Â Yeah, that was my first time really being in contention on Sunday since Las Vegas last year.Â I think I was pretty nervous there in Tampa.
So I think in New Orleans when I was playing with Bubba I was able to hit a lot better shots, quality shots down the stretch.Â That's why where I really felt like I can win and it's not that far out of reach.
Took a little longer than I wanted it to, but when finally happened, I had a lot of the same feelings at Greensboro that I did in New Orleans to draw from.
Q.Â Anthony, is this a year you're eager to turn the page on, or because of the form you showed in Shanghai do you wish it was a little longer?
ANTHONY KIM:Â Both, actually.Â I'm ready to start a new season; ready to play some better golf.Â It's happened before.Â I've had bad years and come back with good years.
So I feel like I'm finally over the injury mentally.Â The physical part has been fine.Â Right before I got down to the ball, I wasn't trusting the things I had worked on before.
So the month and a half I took off golf before I went it Asia did wonders for me.Â I didn't really expect it to.Â That wasn't the goal taking a month and a half off.Â But when I went over there and played a practice round on Tuesday, it all came back.
I don't know thousand happened.Â I was consistently hitting good shots.Â If I had putted a little bit better, I think I would have walked away a with win or two.Â I'm just happy to see the ball hitting the fairway, and I'm not taking 12 and a half minutes over the ball.
So it's been a long couple years, I will say that much.Â It's been tough.Â But I think I'm going to come out a better player for it.Â I've learned to be more patient and just enjoy being out there.
It's actually tougher to make cuts or be right on the cut line on Friday than just to win golf tournaments, I think.Â When you're not playing well, you're grinding to make pars, to make cuts, or you need a birdie on the last hole.
That's harder doing that every week than being in contention and being worn out because you're almost winning.Â I learned a lot, and I'm looking forward to a great Shark Shootout with Webb.
Looking to have a lot fun, and then we'll start in Sony.
Q.Â When you took all that time off, was it completely clubs in the closet, don't touch a club?
ANTHONY KIM:Â Well, I took, what was it, three weeks off.Â Clarke and Jones booked a great gig for me somewhere in New Jersey, so I played‑‑ I did an outing there.Â I had a fun day; shot about 85.Â I felt bad for the amateur, but we had a great time.
Then the clubs went away for another three weeks and I went over to Asia.Â So I played 18 holes of bad golf in that stretch.
Q.Â How surprised were you then that all of a sudden you show up in Shanghai and, Ah, here's the old swing?
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â ANTHONY KIM:Â I actually played in Korea the week before.Â I was very surprised.Â Golf is all about confidence, repetition.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â If you start‑‑ if you continue to hit bad shots, no matter who you are it'll start to bother you.Â You start to try to figure a way out of that funk.Â Sometimes the more you dig the deeper the whole gets and you can't get out of it.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â So I think that month and a half was necessary.Â I didn't plan it.Â I played a round today, and I'd taken a couple weeks off after you Asia just to get my feet back on the ground.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â It's been great.Â I hit it great today, and hopefully I can keep it out of the water for Webb on alternate shot day.
Q.Â Can you talk about how your games match up.Â In know you know each other fairly well.Â Talk about alternate shot.Â That seems to be the key one.Â You can get yourself out of it with a bad first day.
ANTHONY KIM:Â I don't think we've played very much over the last four or five years.Â Obviously Webb is a good putter.Â Alternate shot, you have to attack on the par‑5s and the short par‑4s.
Other than that, you want to make pars.Â I think we're both pretty aggressive players.Â We're used to chipping short‑sided shots probably.Â I remember in junior golf we had chipping contests all the time where you would have to high flop.
It's hard to do that out of the gravel.Â We'll hit at some pins and try to be aggressive and win this golf tournament.
WEBB SIMPSON:Â I mean, it's going to be a fun format.Â You know, there's going to be a little bit different strategy with modified alternate than regular alternate.
But I think this is a course where there are a lot of holes where you can hit 3‑wood or 5‑wood off the tee and lay back to a fatter part of the fairway.
But if we're both feeling good about our games and hitting it well, we'll probably just send it on a lot holes and try to give ourselves as many birdie opportunities as possible.
You look at the score the last few years, and guys take it so low here.Â I think the quicker we can get into the mindset of making birdies, the better off we'll be.
Q.Â You two are both good athletes.Â Was there a time where you ever just said, This game a too hard.Â Something else might be more fun.Â I want to do something else.Â Either one of you.
ANTHONY KIM:Â I don't know.Â I thought I was really good at every sport.Â My dad told me to take a good look in the mirror, and golf was probably going to be it.Â My options were pretty limited at that point.Â I realized I wasn't gonna grow anymore and not getting any faster and not jumping any higher, so I'm glad I chose this.
I get to play in events like this.Â It's nice to play with guys you grew up with.Â We've grown up together.Â Obviously we have changed, matured, some more than others.Â But we're growing up and become young men.
It's nice to do that with people that you get along with.
WEBB SIMPSON:Â I was a pretty good tennis player, and I was 12 years old and I had a girlfriend at time.Â She was a year younger.Â We went out and played and she beat me, and I said, All right, if a girl beat me who is younger than me, I'm done.Â So I pretty much put the racquet up at that point.
Basketball I was slow; I couldn't jump.Â So golf was about it for me.Â Once I started it, the other sports quickly went away.
DAVE SENKO:Â Thanks, guys.
ANTHONY KIM:Â Thanks.
WEBB SIMPSON:Â Thanks.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports