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BALLANTINE'S CHAMPIONSHIP


April 23, 2013


Yong-Eun Yang


ICHEON, SOUTH KOREA

CALVIN KOH:テつ Y.E., many thanks for coming to today's press conference, thank you.
No Korean has ever won the Ballantine's Championship before, but you were the first Asian to win a Major Championship.テつ Can you be the first to win the Ballantine's Championship as a Korean again?
Y.E. YANG:テつ Yes, thank you very much for your comments.テつ As you mentioned earlier the Ballantine's Championship was held in Korea for several years now, and as you mentioned, no Korean player has ever won the game.
So as a Korean player and as an individual, I think that I could have done better.テつ So this time around this year, I'm going to do my best so that we can take the trophy.
CALVIN KOH:テつ You have obviously played at the Blackstone Golf Club before, and last year you finish tied for 15th, your best result in the Ballantine's Championship.テつ What do you think is needed to win this competition here at Blackstone?
Y.E. YANG:テつ So obviously the greens are kind of slow but I think they are in good condition, and the fairways are also in very good condition.
I played nine holes today as practise, and I learned the second shot is going to be really critical to make the difference here.テつ The green undulations are kind of serious for the greens, and depending on where the pin is on the greens, I think that's going to make a whole lot of difference.
So again, I'm going to try my best with my second shot.
CALVIN KOH:テつ Obviously you're based in the U.S.; what are the things that you look forward whenever you come back to Korea?
Y.E. YANG:テつ So I come to Korea and play every spring and fall, so as always, it's very good to be back home and play in front of many Korean fans who cheer a lot for me.テつ And I'm very appreciative for having this opportunity to be part of the Ballantine's Championship 2013.
After the Masters Tournament, I feel at home to play here in Korea.テつ And again, I'm very appreciative to Ballantine's for giving me this opportunity.

Q.テつ So if you look at your scores in the U.S., I could tell that out of four rounds, you would really do well in three rounds, but you would do relatively less well in one of those rounds.テつ Why do you think this is the problem?
Y.E. YANG:テつ I don't know accurately or precisely, but I try my best, and I guess that psychological burden may be driving down my performance a little bit.
So I'm trying to do my best in order to play consistently in all four rounds.テつ So going forward, I'm going to do my best to play consistently during all four rounds.テつ So I guess it's going to require extra concentration this time.

Q.テつ So if I go back and watch your interviews with the foreign press, I remember that you said in 2012, you had some shaky performances because of that mental issue.テつ So in 2013, I read in some of those interviews that you tried to bring up that mentality and also tried to enjoy more during your game; what types of training did you do in order to actually do that mental soundness?
Y.E. YANG:テつ Well, I didn't do anything special.テつ But I did try to concentrate more on the game itself and to have some peace of mind during my play.
In 2012, obviously I tried to do too well.テつ I guess I was over‑ambitious at some points so that would affect negatively my overall performance because I was pressuring myself too much.テつ So in the meantime I would forget my swing rhythms and overall it would affect my performance.
So this time around, I'll trying to be less ambitious and throw away that over‑ambition I had in 2013.テつ Instead of trying to be too ambitious, I'm going to focus on one and every shot that I swing so that I can be in a rhythm.

Q.テつ This morning, you were seen joking and laughing a lot with your caddie during the practise round.テつ What were you laughing and joking about?
Y.E. YANG:テつ Well, it was nothing special.テつ I just had small talk with my caddie.テつ We talked about what we did during the last week and I also talked about the friends that I met here in Korea two or three days before I came here.テつ So, nothing special.テつ

Q.テつ This time I understand that you arrived earlier than other players to the Ballantine's Championship; did you do anything special to relieve the stress?
Y.E. YANG:テつ No, nothing special, but I did try to overcome my jet‑lag.テつ Normally after I check my game and after the Masters, I normally arrive Monday or late night on Sunday, and I would relatively have little time to prep for the Ballantine's Championship.テつ But this time around, I made sure that I have more leisure time in order to make sure that I'm ready for the game.
So Masters, it's important, however Ballantine's Championship, they invited me every time, every year, and I personally feel sorry for not actually winning any of the championships.
So this time around, I try to be in Korea early on, enjoy Korean food, take good rest, overcome my jet‑lag so that I can be in a terrific condition.

Q.テつ So I guess that explains how strong your willingness is to win the Ballantine's Championship 2013?
Y.E. YANG:テつ Well, as I mentioned earlier, I got the invitation from Ballantine's a lot, several times, and I never really reciprocated with good performance or good results.
So I wanted to be more prudent and cautious this time and actually try my best in order to get some good results out there for the gallery and for all of the people.
So I wanted to make sure that I had this step‑by‑step preparations ready.テつ So normally, I would arrive on Monday and practise for one day on Tuesday and get to the games.テつ However, after one or two days of break, after the Masters, I made sure that I arrived here earlier than other players so that I can overcome the jet‑lag and ultimately so that I can reciprocate for the invitations that Ballantine's extended to me over the years.
So, again, yes, I am trying to be really be more focused with my game this time around, and that is why I've arrived here early.

Q.テつ So in 2012 Korean Open, you had some issues with your right elbow and I think that affected your backswing.テつ So I understand that you've been training a lot in order to put that backswing into place.テつ So, any changes?
Y.E. YANG:テつ Well, I think that it's been improving a lot.テつ During the last winter I practised to make sure that my right elbow doesn't go up when I do a backswing, and I think that practise paid off and I've seen a lot of improvements.
So when it comes to my form, I'm quite satisfactory, and the reason why I haven't been able to score well in the past games is because I had some issues with my putting.
So swing‑wise, I think that everything is in place and I'm near perfection, but I also have to work on putting.

Q.テつ So I noticed in practise today, you took two putters to the field, and you just talked you had some issues with the putters, are you thinking about replacing the putter you've been using so far?
Y.E. YANG:テつ Whenever you come to different courses, you have to adjust yourself, and this time around, I've noticed that the green speed is kind of slow compared to Augusta.テつ So I'm kind of deliberating which putter I'm going to use, depending on the speed and the weight of the putter.
So tomorrow we have a Pro‑Am, so I think it's going to be a good opportunity for me to test again my different putters and adjust depending on the green speed.
So tomorrow, I'm going to be deciding whether I'm going to use the existing putter or whether I'm going to go back to the putter I used to use in the past, so the decision is going to come tomorrow.
CALVIN KOH:テつ With that, good luck for the Ballantine's Championship this week, thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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