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January 28, 2012
LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA
JOE CHEMYCZ:¬† We welcome John Huh into our interview room.¬† John, with a 4‑under 68 today to move into contention at 13‑under par.¬† This being your rookie season, I know it's probably a little intimidating to deal with this so early in your career.¬† But let's first talk about your round today and the good points of it.
JOHN HUH:¬† Just putting.¬† I dropped two big putts over there in the hole, so that really kept my momentum going.¬† So that was pretty good.
Q.¬† Where were the big putts?
JOHN HUH:¬† It was the second hole and I believe it was 15.¬† The 2nd and 15.
JOE CHEMYCZ:¬† How far were those?
JOHN HUH:¬† It was more than 30 feet.
JOE CHEMYCZ:¬† Seven birdies today.
JOHN HUH:¬† Oh.
JOE CHEMYCZ:¬† You didn't know?
JOHN HUH:¬† I just know that I made two good putts.
JOE CHEMYCZ:¬† What else was good today?¬† You hit 14 greens, 10 fairways.¬† Pretty solid all the way around.
JOHN HUH:¬† Yeah, I drove it pretty good, and just trying to play a smart game.¬† Trying to put the ball on the fairway and green.¬† Trying to get a par as easy as I can, so I guess that worked out.
JOE CHEMYCZ:¬† Backtrack a little bit to Thursday's opening round with three eagles and what that was like?
JOHN HUH:¬† That was my first time making three eagles in one round, and it was awesome, especially while playing a PGA TOUR event.
I just hit it solid and good putts, yeah, I mean, there's nothing I can say about that.¬† Just hit good putts and good shots.
Q.¬† Talk about the course, talk about playing here.¬† How much do you like it?¬† And going into tomorrow, you're one of the leaders?
JOHN HUH:¬† Oh, it was my first time playing at Torrey Pines, and I was really looking forward to playing this event because especially they held the U.S. Open here, and I was watching the TV when they were having it over here.¬† So I was really trying to enjoy this course, and I did pretty well so far.
JOE CHEMYCZ:¬† Talk about being in contention for tomorrow and what that's going to be like?
JOHN HUH:¬† I'm pretty sure it will give me a lot of pressure being in contention over there, but I'm trying to learn.¬† It's my first year, so I'm trying to learn from it and trying not to throw anything out.
Q.¬† What did you learn today?
JOHN HUH:¬† I learned you've got to make a lot of putts out there.
Q.¬† Could you tell us a little bit about your background?¬† I know you were born in New York City, but you said you went to Chicago and Korea and L.A.¬† Tell us a little about your background and how you got into golf.
JOHN HUH:¬† Okay, first of all, my parents moved over there in New York around '85, something like that and stayed there until '90, which is the year I was born.¬† Then I went back to Korea and grew up until I was 12 years old.¬† Then went back to Chicago and played golf over there.¬† Just enjoying with friends.
Turns out this is something I'm going to really enjoy in my life and be part of it.¬† So I moved to L.A. and played golf.¬† Didn't really have success in my junior golf, but it was okay, and I had a chance to go to Cal State Northridge a little bit.¬† Didn't look like what I was looking for, and I just turned pro after a couple weeks.
JOE CHEMYCZ:¬† Couple weeks?
JOHN HUH:¬† Yeah, a couple of weeks.
Q.¬† How old were you starting out?¬† How long did you stay in Chicago?
JOHN HUH:¬† I stayed there for three years, I believe.
Q.¬† So L.A. about 15?
JOHN HUH:¬† L.A. about‑‑
JOE CHEMYCZ:¬† You were in high school.
JOHN HUH:¬† Yeah, my high school.
Q.¬† And you played for Crescenta Valley, right?
JOHN HUH:¬† I did.
Q.¬† I read that you weren't even the best player on your high school golf team?
JOHN HUH:¬† I was decent.¬† I was really good, but I was okay.
Q.¬† How does a kid that goes from being decent on his high school team end up on the PGA TOUR not very long after that?
JOHN HUH:¬† I didn't really have experience playing junior golf because I really financially it was kind of hard for us.¬† So we didn't really have a chance to play a lot of tournaments.¬† So I just worked hard and had a chance to go to Korea and play over there on the Korean Tour for three years.¬† I learned a lot from that and I'm here.
Q.¬† And the TOUR book says your dad is your swing coach or your coach?
JOHN HUH:¬† I mean, there are a lot of instructors that are trying to help me out, and my dad is like the big instructor for me.
Q.¬† So is your dad a golfer as well?
JOHN HUH:¬† He used to play golf a little bit when he was over in New York, but since he hurt his back and didn't really play golf at all.
Q.¬† You left college to go play the Korean TOUR, is that why you left the golf team at Cal State Northridge?
JOHN HUH:¬† No, actually, I couldn't play on the golf team over there because I had something going on with the NCAA.¬† I couldn't get any scholarships from any universities, so I just went there a couple weeks and turned out pro.
Q.¬† Just a couple weeks?
JOHN HUH:¬† Yeah, I mean, yeah, a couple weeks.
Q.¬† What happened with the NCAA?¬† What were they saying?
JOHN HUH:¬† The year that I was going to college, they required 14 core courses, and I had 14, and actually‑‑ oh, sorry.¬† The year that I'm going to college they actually changed their rule to 16 core courses and I only had 14.¬† If I don't get 16, I don't get a scholarship.¬† And I took my summer school and tried to‑‑ everything I could do, and I was one course short so I couldn't get any scholarships.
So it turns out I have to go to Cal State Northridge and trying to play over there, but didn't like the way‑‑
Q.¬† What was the first college before Northridge?¬† I must have missed something.
JOHN HUH:¬† I mean, I've been talking to a lot of coaches, but the NCAA brought me‑‑ slowed me down because they couldn't give me a scholarship because I couldn't play on the golf team.
Q. ¬†At what point did you realize that your last name and at least the way it's spelled is used a lot in this country for different things?
JOHN HUH:¬† I didn't quite hear your question, sorry.
Q.¬† You say H‑U‑H over here it's usually someone asking them to repeat themselves, "Huh."
JOHN HUH:¬† Yeah.
Q.¬† At what point did you figure that out?¬† Has anyone ever given you a hard time about it?
JOHN HUH:¬† Yeah, when I was in high school, it was pretty annoying a little bit.¬† I mean, the bad point was trying to make fun of me a little bit sometimes.¬† But it turns out it's going to be good for‑‑ I know Boo Weekley has like a boo sound.¬† I'm trying to bring that kind of, too.
JOE CHEMYCZ:¬† He's trying to make it his trademark I guess.
JOHN HUH:¬† Yeah, kind of, yeah.
Q.¬† How's it going along?
JOHN HUH:¬† Yeah, yeah.
Q.¬† So do you hear people on the course yell your name out?¬† Do you hear them?
JOHN HUH:¬† Yeah, a little bit.¬† I'm sure‑‑ I'm looking forward to hearing that tomorrow as well as today.
Q.¬† You want the crowd to be yelling Huh?
JOHN HUH:¬† Yeah, that should be fine, yeah.
Q.¬† You practiced at TPC, you practice much with Charlie Wi?¬† I know he practices there a lot too.
JOHN HUH:¬† I met him a couple times over there.¬† Just didn't really quite have time to practice with him.¬† But I'm really looking forward to playing with Charlie Wi or K.J. or Y.E. Yang or a lot of those Korean players.
Q.¬† How much of an influence were they on you in terms of seeing what they've done and giving you the confidence to try this?
JOHN HUH:¬† It's a lot.¬† Y.E. and K.J. are big golf models over in Korea.¬† I would love to play with them and see what they did and trying to follow what they have done.
Q.¬† You sound like a very quick study.¬† As a rookie out here, what are your expectations and anticipations?
JOHN HUH:¬† It's my rookie year, and I'm trying to make a cut in as many as I can and try to keep my card.¬† That's it.¬† That's my first goal ever since I went through Q‑school.¬† So if I can do that, I'll be pleased with that.
Q.¬† You were talking about Y.E. and K.J. being idols of yours.¬† Did you meet K.J. last year and what was that like?
JOHN HUH:¬† It was 2008, actually.¬† It was a tournament that he has to play because he's the sponsor and I had a chance to play in that tournament.¬† He was leading.¬† But one hole he hit OB and I made par on that one, and it turned out that I won the tournament.
Q.¬† Did that give you confidence?
JOHN HUH:¬† Oh, yeah, that tournament actually gave me a lot of confidence, because I didn't really have success over there.¬† I was just making the cut over there.¬† But from that tournament, it was pretty big, a big tournament for me to just play there.
Q.¬† You were 18 when you won that?
JOHN HUH:¬† I think I was like 20, 19.¬† 19, yeah.
Q.¬† What has meant more to you, winning on the Korean Tour or coming through qualifying school here?
JOHN HUH:¬† That's tough.¬† I don't know if you're going to hear this, but I think winning is pretty tough because you've got to really play well to win one tournament.¬† So I guess the winning is the hardest part.
Q.¬† Do you consider yourself a Korean, an American, or a Korean‑American?
JOHN HUH:¬† Korean‑American.
Q.¬† What did your parents do that they were over here in the States?
JOHN HUH:¬† Oh, they just traveled together.
Q.¬† What were their jobs and why they were moving?¬† What was your dad doing?
JOHN HUH:¬† My dad was just doing everything he can do.¬† He has two kids, so he has to do everything he can.¬† Ever since I've turned pro, he didn't really work.¬† He was just being my manager kind of.
Q.¬† What were some of the jobs that you remember him having as a kid?
JOHN HUH:¬† He was doing business work with fabric stuff, little material.¬† That was like back in the day, yeah, a couple years ago.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports