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BALLANTINE'S CHAMPIONSHIP


April 24, 2012


Kyung-Tae Kim


ICHEON, SOUTH KOREA

CALVIN KOH:テつ Many thanks for coming to today's press conference at the Ballantine's Championship.テつ Tell us, what does it mean playing at home this week after spending so long in the U.S.?
KT KIM:テつ First of all, this year, I played several games in the United States, and then I spent the last two weeks in Japan.テつ During winter training, I tried to improve some areas that I felt needed improvement, and I also tried to attempt new things.テつ All of this combined in the earlier parts of this year, I had some difficulties with my game.
But during my two weeks in Japan, I have sort of regained my feel for the game.テつ Especially my shots.テつ And it's been a while since I've been in Korea, and I'm in good condition.テつ So I look forward to this week.
And I've been taking part in the Ballantine's Championship for the past four years, and last year, I made it to the Top‑10 for the first time.テつ And personally, I prefer this golf course over the Jeju golf course, so I'm looking forward to this week.
CALVIN KOH:テつ You had a very successful amateur career.テつ You started your career playing in Asia and in Japan.テつ How important has this helped you now, especially that you are playing in the U.S.?
KT KIM:テつテつ I have played in Japan, and when I first went to Japan, of course there were some difficulties, but I began to love the game more.
In the United States, I feel that I have the potential or the skills to play a good game, but of course there's still a long way to go.テつ There are many things I need to improve.
My experiences in Japan and Korea have helped me to build my confidence, and so I'm sure that it will help me as a play PGA tournaments and also major championships.
So a lot of things were at first very unfamiliar with the United States, and I've overcome that and I'm working on some areas where I need improvement.

Q.テつ Last year if you look at the competition, the greens had two or three tiers, and we had a lot of bad weather and a lot of fog.テつ So this year they say the weather is going to be a bit better, but I'm sure that there are other variables that will determine your score.
KT KIM:テつ The greens on this golf course are very difficult, and depending on where the pins are, the location of the tee box can also be different.テつ So it's very important when you choose which golf club you are going to play with.
And also, I think with the par 5s‑‑ there are some very difficult courses, but I think the par 5s and the short distance holes are a little bit better to tackle, and there's a lot of middle holes that you can use your short irons.
I think for some of the greens, it looks like you can get a birdie, but because of the green, sometimes you get a lot of bogeys.テつ So I think there is that room to get a lot of bogeys, so I would like to focus on the par5 holes and the holes with the short distances so that just in case I make mistakes later on, I can make up for it.

Q.テつ Yourself playing the Tour, and Bae Sang‑moon playing very well; do you think there's a chance this year we could have a Korean winner of the Ballantine's Championship?テつ And which other Korean players should people look out for?
KT KIM:テつ Coming into this year, we have not had a Korean winner since Ballantine's has hosted the Championship.
But I believe we have the confidence to win.テつ Of course there is Mr.Bae Sang‑moon, but there is also very young talented golf players out there.テつ I think for this particular golf course, I am thinking that for the foreign players, it will take some time for them to adjust to this golf course.テつ So I hope that we can win, and I think we can win this tournament.
And when you ask the question about, you know, are there any Korean players to look out for, I don't want to‑‑ I don't think I can pinpoint any one, because a lot of Korean players right now are very capable and very skilled.
So this week, I think we can look forward to a very talented Korean player winning the tournament.

Q.テつ So you said you prefer this course over the course in Jeju, so basically what you are saying is that the golf course here suits you better.テつ In what areas do you think it suits you better?
KT KIM:テつ I'm not saying that I don't like the Pinx Golf Course in Jeju Island, but I just feel that on this course, I end up using the clubs that I like more, and also, the greens are very hard.テつ So I'm a bit more confident with my iron shots.テつ So with the greens being difficult, I think it's a bit of an advantage.
Also in the Jeju golf course, I think the Jeju golf course has advantages for players who can hit very far, and also, there is wind.テつ So if you have a lot of strength, I think it helps you.
But on this golf course, you have to have a very strong short game.テつ You have to be good at using your iron shots.テつ And also, if the ball does not‑‑ if the ball does not go towards the pin, sometimes because of the green, you'll see that the ball will roll down like ten to 20 metres outside of the pin.
So I think for these reasons, I like this golf course better.

Q.テつ I think last year, you did quite well at the PGA TOUR, and there has been a lot of expectations regarding your game on the PGA TOUR.テつ We have seven championships left for the PGA TOUR, but I think in the earlier stages, your game was not as high as your expectation.テつ You talked about how you had a hard time adjusting, so if you could elaborate on that.テつ And we have seven more tournaments left, so what are you changing or what are you working onto change the momentum?
KT KIM:テつ Last year, I didn't really think of it as a really big challenge.テつ I wanted to gain some experience.テつ I was quite comfortable on the PGA TOUR, and I didn't set up very high goals for myself.テつ And so as a result, I got some good outcomes, and I was able to gain confidence and that led to some good results on the PGA TOUR.
So personally, I thought I got a lot better.テつ But this year, you know, I've set very high goals for myself.テつ I've taken on the challenge and so I think it's sort of worked as a pressure for me.テつ Things did not go as I thought.テつ In the winter season, I worked on my swing and my short game.テつ My shots, there was nothing really wrong with it; it was just I was trying to work on it and I wasn't used to it.テつ With the shots and the approach, I practised on the greens a lot and I think my putting struggled a little bit.
But two weeks in Japan, I've done well, and I've grasped‑‑ I think the game has come back to me.テつ My shots have returned, so I think this week, I will be able to get some better results.

Q.テつ What is your favourite club?
KT KIM:テつ For under one hundred yards, 90 meter distance, 52 wedge.テつ 9‑iron i prefer 120 to 130 meters.

Q.テつ So with Bae Sang‑moon, I think sometimes you compete with each other and you're the same age and you're also friends, so there might be maybe some rivalry.テつ In Japan, you had similar careers and then in the United States, you are both working to get some good results.テつ If you could talk about, especially Sang‑moon has been doing very well, so maybe that acts as a motivation for you, so if you could talk about your relationship, is there rivalry?
KT KIM:テつ Well, Bae Sang‑moon and I are very close, and yes, I'm very happy that he's playing very well.テつ I think he went to the United States, and so early on, he's been doing such a good job.テつ And I think from last year, his game has been really good.テつ So that's been an inspiration for us that we can do it, as well.
I think he's motivating not only me, but also players who are about the same age and who are also playing in the United States and who want to do well.
I think with Bae Sang‑moon, he's been getting some good results, and in Japan he had a lot of good results and he went to the United States.テつ I think that's helped to build his confidence.
So there's a lot to learn for him.テつ He's very good at his game, and he's very composed when he's playing his game.テつ So I think there's a lot to learn from it.
CALVIN KOH:テつ Good luck.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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