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April 24, 2013

Sangmoon Bae


CALVIN KOH:テつ Welcome to the Ballantine's Championship, thanks for coming.
SANG‑MOON BAE:テつ Thank you for inviting me.
CALVIN KOH:テつ You finished tied for 20th last year, you played on this golf course several times, what does it take to be the first Korean to win the Ballantine's Championship this week, do you think?
SANG‑MOON BAE:テつ So as was the case last year, I flew from the U.S. to take part in the Ballantine's Championship 2013 and win the trophy.
Last year the first round was pretty bad and it had some repercussions in the remaining three rounds.テつ So this time around, especially I'm going to put a lot of concentration and focus on the first round.
CALVIN KOH:テつ Speaking of the U.S., you started your career on the Asian Tour before moving to the U.S. where you enjoyed one Top‑10 this year on the US PGA TOUR.テつ Are you back as a better player, do you think?
SANG‑MOON BAE:テつ So I now have a new caddie and a new coach, so I think that everything is going in the right track.
I know that my score, my performance, has yet to prove those new changes, however personally, I am pretty much satisfied with my overall performance and how I've played.
Still there is some room for improvement.テつ I still need to prove all these changes and reflect those in my better scores.テつ But, however, still, I'm pretty much satisfied with the process that I am having, and I still am pretty satisfied with the long game and the short games, but yes, I know that I have some room for improvement, but I'm pretty confident.

Q.テつ So you talked about how you met now a new coach and a new caddie, so please introduce who they are and what are these new coaches and caddie highlighting compared to your previous coach and caddie?
SANG‑MOON BAE:テつ So as for the caddie, I've changed a lot of caddies since last year, so I met this caddie starting from early this year and was on the field together starting from the Sony Open this year.テつ So I'm quite satisfied with my new caddie and I think that we have good personalities.テつ He was working for seven years with Nick Price before.
With regards to my coach, I didn't have a coach when I was playing in the U.S., so it's my first time to actually have a coach this time around.テつ He is Rick Smith, he is in his 50s, and he is a very famous coach.テつ He has also a very good personality, he's fairly fun to be with and we have great trust in each other and getting good lessons and having fun playing with him.

Q.テつ So you talked about how you are satisfied with your performance, but you still have to prove that with your score, so what exactly do you see has improved?テつ And I understand that you are also aiming for a trophy this time around; so who do you think is your biggest rival?
SANG‑MOON BAE:テつ So when I said that my performance is improving, I mostly talked about my swing.テつ For example, when I feel tired or when I feel exhausted, I have a tendency to hit my ball toward the right side, but, however, working with my new coach now, I've been getting good suggestions and advice.テつ So it's been really easy to understand how to rectify my problem.テつ It's been very helpful.テつ So I think that I'm on a very good track.
So your second question had to do with rivals.テつ Yes, there are a lot of competition in this match, and instead of giving you a clichテδゥ answer, I would say that‑‑ well, I was expecting that Dustin Johnson and Zach Johnson would be playing this time around and I realised that they are not going to be in the match when I got here.
So it's a little bit regrettable and I feel sorry that we don't have the opportunity to play on the same field this time around.テつ But other than those two, I think that we still have a lot of good players from Europe, Japan and also from Korea who has that home base advantage.
So I also will be doing a lot in making a lot of effort in order to have my name on the top of the leaderboard.

Q.テつ So what do you think is most needed for you to win in the U.S.?
SANG‑MOON BAE:テつ Well, you have to have a strong mind and strong guts.テつ Obviously you need a strong mind and strong guts.テつ However, I think you also need to be born with those capabilities besides making efforts to get them and also self‑confidence, you need to have confidence in yourself.
As I talked about earlier, I'm getting a lot of confidence about how I'm playing on the field and I think that I'm in the process of continuously improving and I feel that I'm almost done with my preparation.
So I try not to be impatient with the bad performances that I sometimes have on the field, and I think that this process is a right of passage for me.テつ So after this process, I will have the opportunity to upgrade myself one or two notches.
CALVIN KOH:テつ You've lived in the U.S. for some time now, do you feel that you've settled down there and it allows you to focus on your golf game?
SANG‑MOON BAE:テつ Well, it's a very good question, and I feel at home in the U.S. right now.
Before arriving to Korea yesterday, I felt that my home is in the U.S.テつ But after arriving yesterday here, I felt very nice to be back home and I feel that I can recharge in Korea.テつ And I think that this one week in Korea is going to be really important for me to satisfy the rest of the schedule that I would have in the U.S.

Q. テつWell, before you even get to your rest of the tournaments in the U.S., I think this that this week is going to be really important and getting a good score is going to be very important in the Ballantine's 2013; so what do you plan to do?
SANG‑MOON BAE: テつI haven't had my practise round yet, so I have yet to identify how the green speed is this year and how the course condition is.テつ However, when it aside from those course settings, I think I understand that the green undulation at Blackstone is very severe and serious, so playing on the green is going to be really difficult and challenging.
So my No. 1 priority at this time is going to be iron shots.テつ I think that depending on how you shoot that iron, I think that where you place your ball on the green, it's going to make a huge difference because of that severe undulation on the green.テつ Depending on the position, your putt could record like three or four on the same green.
So my No. 1 priority is going to be iron shot, and second, of course, is going to be putting.

Q.テつ I think if my memory is correct last year, right before the game, or during the game, you suddenly decided to change your club.テつ So obviously depending on how the course condition is; do you have another plan to do so or do you have a backup club ready this time around?
SANG‑MOON BAE:テつ So if my memory serves correct, I talked a lot about irons in the press conference right before the game last year, and I changed my shaft, depending on my club, like ten times before the game.
As also you mentioned, in the first round and second round, I used different sets of irons.テつ But this time around, starting from last winter, I've been using my same irons and I'm very much satisfied with my club settings.
So I think that club‑set‑wise, I'm ready to go, so I'm planning to no longer blame my tool for my game.
So again, I'm very satisfied with the clubs that I have and I'm good to go.
CALVIN KOH:テつ We that, we wish you the best of luck this week in the Ballantine's Championship.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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