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February 17, 2014

Kiradech Aphibarnrat


LAURA NEAL:  We'd like to welcome Kiradech Aphibarnrat to the interview room in your very first Accenture Match Play Championship.
I know you're excited to make it to the field.  Maybe give us some comments on playing in this tournament for the first time.
KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT:¬† So great.¬† So proud of myself to‑‑ my first time to be here.¬† And to play with top 64 player in the world.¬† It is very special.

Q.  When is the last time you played a match play tournament?
KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT:  We don't have any match play in Asia, but for my game, I think I have a chance to play a team event, and I love to play with the match play.

Q.¬† What was the last time you did play match play, whether it was a practice or anything, a match play‑style?
KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT:  The last time was end of last year, the Royal Trophy.  It's the team match play, but we play in the single in the last day, and was my success, I win three point off Asian team.  So I have a lot of confidence with the format.

Q.  Have you ever played in desert golf, like this?
KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT:¬† Long time ago, maybe it would be more than five years.¬† But after I hit ‑‑ I play for two rounds and the course is very nice. ¬†Perfect.¬† The condition is great.¬† If you put on the low positions it's tough to make two putt.

Q.  Is this your first time in Arizona?
KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT:¬† No, I'm playing‑‑ last week I played in the Waste Management in Phoenix.

Q.  Different environment than what you're used to?
KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT:  No, it's the same, the weather, hot and humid.  Here it's a little bit dry, but I get used to the weather.

Q.  Can you talk a little bit about how you got started playing golf, what you like about it, anybody you patterned yourself after?
KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT:  I start playing golf about 8 years old with my dad.  Every day after school I have to follow him to the range, after he work.  And I'm just a kid, don't like to do homework.  And my dad saying if you love to play golf, he will help me.  So I just go straight away to hit the balls.
I didn't like golf my first couple hours, but different like football, the ball just keep moving, you can kick it.  You can several tennis balls, but a golf ball just stand and you just hit the ball, it's tough, interesting, that's why I love it.

Q.  Any players that you've followed when you were a kid?
KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT:  It would be Tiger, the best golfer in the world.  Last few week I was like 54 in the World Rankings.  I hope to be 64, right on the number, to play with Tiger.  Even I lose, but fun to play with the top players.  And you get a lot of experience from him.

Q.  Why do you think your style is suited for match play?
KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT:  Well I have a lot of distance.  And I make a lot of birdies, I attack the pin.  So the match play you can make a lot of birdies and you can make a lot of mistakes.  But if you make birdies, it's good for the match play.

Q.  Talk about changing your name when you were younger, is that common?
KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT:  In Thailand we believe in luck.  And I can say when I was a kid in my own name I win a lot in my career.  But when I train for first year, I didn't have success at all.  We went to the temple and we believe if you got the right letter you get more luck.  And after I change I believe I got a lot of luck.  Plus I win a couple of events and had success last year, as well.
LAURA NEAL:  Can you talk about your first round matchups?  You're going to be playing Henrik Stenson, who has won this tournament before.
KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT:  I have played with Stenson last year, after he got on fire.  He won Dubai and the FedExCup.  Such a good player.
But I love to play with the top players, because in match play everything happens, you have nothing to lose, and try to play best as I can.  And the result, I'm happy with the result.  So whether I win or lose I'm happy to be here.

Q.  What role do you think luck plays in a tournament like this?

Q.  Luck.
KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT:  Yes, you need to be lucky in the match play, and this type of golf.  You hit it on, doesn't mean you can win the match.  It's tough to make par.  I can say if you play 18 par you might win the match.

Q.  Do you have any problem finding food to eat?
KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT:¬† No.¬† In the States‑‑ I've been here like four week, this is my fourth week, and easy to find Thai food, lovely.¬† I can eat everything.¬† I love steaks.¬† I can eat everything.

Q.  Where were you when you found out you were in?
KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT:¬† Last week I was spending a week in LA, with my friend's house.¬† And Friday night‑‑ no, maybe Thursday or Friday night was big surprise because I thought someonegoing to pull out and the numbers would be 69 or 70 enter the event.¬† But 67 is the last position to enter.¬† So I'm excited.
LAURA NEAL:  Very good luck this week.  Thank you so much for your time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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