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April 24, 2013

Kyung-Tae Kim


CALVIN KOH:テつ Many thanks for coming for today's Ballantine's Championship press conference.テつ Let's start off by this question.テつ Since turning professional, you have played all over the world, from Japan and Asia to the U.S.テつ How different is it for you playing at home this week in the Ballantine's Championship?
K.T. KIM:テつ So obviously ever since playing in the Shinhan Open last year, this is my first Korean game to play here in Korea.
I've been taking part in the Ballantine's Championship for six times in a row.テつ However, regrettably, my scores and my play were not that good.
However, this time around, I like the Blackstone course better than the one that we had in Jeju Island, so I'm going to do my best so that I can record the best score out of those six years.
CALVIN KOH:テつ Every golfer talks about coming into an event in the best of form.テつ Maybe you can share with us, how is your form looking this week?
K.T. KIM:テつ Well, my scores and my play beginning of this year was not that good or satisfactory.テつ My shots and putting, I think that if I do well with one thing that I would mess up with the other.テつ So that was the case for all four competitions that I had in this season.
So, however, this time around, I did prepare a lot and I think that my form has stabilised a bit.テつ However, I understand that on the first day, there's going to be a lot of wind, so I'm going to do my best to control my shots and my putter so that I can, based on this Ballantine's Championship 2013, actually bring up my form for the rest of the season.

Q.テつ So you just talked about how your score and your play at the beginning of the season was not that satisfactory.テつ So with regards to your swing and daily life, what types of efforts are you making?
K.T. KIM:テつ So several years back, I tried to increase my distance, and I think that it had relatively negative effect on my other performances.テつ So now I'm trying to go back to my past practise of swinging with my rhythm.テつ In the past I focused more on the swing itself and the technique.
However, now I'm trying to go back to my rhythm and focus more on timing.テつ As I said earlier, like two years ago, I started getting greater distances, and I think that I became more anxious and over‑anxious and it had a negative impact on my swing balance, and I'm going to go back to that rhythm.
Last week my shots were pretty good but my putts were not satisfactory.テつ So as I mentioned earlier, I will do good in one thing and bad in the other.テつ So this week I think that I'm trying to really recover my putting rhythm so that I can get bigger or greater scores.

Q.テつ So you mentioned how you've been taking part in the Ballantine's Championship for six years in a row now, and I'm sure that you will feel as sorry as the other players for not taking the trophy and letting the trophy go away to foreign European players and foreign players.テつ So in order to beat those big stars from Europe, what do you think is required for Korean players?
K.T. KIM:テつ I think that we already have a lot of Korean players with a performance to win a trophy.テつ However, as I mentioned earlier, it was the case in Jeju and it is the case here at Blackstone that winds are very strong around these golf courses.テつ Obviously European players, they are really much more exposed to these conditions and they are really good at overcoming those difficulties.
And another thing about this course is that the green undulation is very ere, and obviously the European players are much more exposed to those green conditions.テつ So again, I think that if we can overcome those putting conditions and wind conditions, I think that we can score better this time around.
So I've been taking part in this game for six years in a row, so I really want badly, myself, to win that trophy and I also hope that other Korean players can perform well.

Q.テつ So since 2010, I don't see any major changes with your swing, and you just mentioned that you're going to go back to getting your rhythm and timing back in place.テつ I remember in Japan, you had an interview and you said that when you swing, you're going to make sure that your swings are focused to make that draw shot possible.テつ Is that principle still valid, or on the PGA TOUR did anything change with your approach to your swings?テつ And with regards to your putter, I understand that you tested your putter this afternoon, so do you plan to have any changes regarding that?
K.T. KIM:テつ So in 2011 and 2012, I played a lot in the U.S., and while I was playing in the U.S., I thought that I should increase my distance.テつ However, that negatively impacted my balance.テつ So now that I know what the problem is, I'm trying to rectify it.
And I understand that in my past interview, I talked about how I like to play draw type of swings, and that was the case since I was young.テつ When it comes to irons, I like to have different shots ‑‑ when it comes to different techniques, I like to swing low, I like to swing high and I like to exercise many different types of techniques.テつ So not major changes will be there.
And with regards to the putter, I am experiencing the same kind of issues with the putter as was the case in the past.テつ So I'm trying to make a lot of efforts to sort out that issue.テつ And I'm using a (belly) putter for practise purposes and to fix my posture.テつ So I'm going to keep on using that same putter for practise purposes.

Q.テつ Did you find any changes with the course compared to 2011 and 2012?テつ And with regards to weather, as was the case in the past, we expect that this weekend it's not going to be that good in terms of weather, so any preparations that you're making with regard to that?
K.T. KIM:テつ As was the case three years ago and last year and two years ago, I think course‑wise, there is no major change.テつ However, compared to 2011 and 2012, I think that the green speed has become a little bit slower.
And with regards to weather, as you mentioned, the weather forecast for this week is not that good, and I think the first round last year, the weather was terrible, as well.
I personally like to shoot low balls and I think that in order to counter and to prepare for the wind, I think that I'm going to focus more on my short game.
And green undulation is also very ere for the course here.テつ So I worked with my caddie a lot.テつ I practised long putting so I would not lose any additional scores on the greens.

Q.テつ So you talked about how you're using the belly putter in order to correct your posture, so how exactly are you using it?テつ And obviously starting from 2016, the belly putter is going to be prohibited to be used.
K.T. KIM:テつ I talked about how my problem has been really persistent.テつ Whenever I do back strokes, my clubhead would start open, however it naturally has to close.テつ However, I would lift up my left shoulder and that would leave my clubface open.テつ So that was my core difficulty or core issue when it comes to the back stroke.
So using the belly putter, I've been trying to correct my posture so that naturally whenever I finish my putts, my clubface would close and my left shoulder would remain low.
So I think that it's been really helpful and useful in correcting my posture.テつ And personally, I think that the belly putter does give you a lot of advantage on the greens.テつ It helps you to produce consistent strokes, so I think that it does really help.
So I personally believe that since I'm not using it actually during the matches, I think that I'm not really sure whether it's legitimate to use it.
CALVIN KOH:テつ Good luck, K.T.

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