CME Group Tour Championship

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Naples, Florida, USA

Tiburón Golf Club

Sei Young Kim

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: All right, I would like to welcome everyone inside the virtual media center here again.

Pleased to be joined by last year's CME Group winner, Sei Young Kim. Sei Young, how are you doing today?

SEI YOUNG KIM: I'm very good. I'm very happy to be back warm weather.

THE MODERATOR: I was going to say, it's such a different environment than in Houston. What was last week like for you at the U.S. Women's Open?

SEI YOUNG KIM: Course is really tough, yeah, and then final round rain delay so we was play on Monday, and then it was little cold weather. Not little. Really cold weather.

So, yeah it was tough because all the muscle little stick, so. But, yeah, but wasn't like satisfied, but, yeah, it's good. I have good experience with that.

THE MODERATOR: Was it enjoyable that you were able to play now another major championship as a major champion yourself? Was that a cool experience for you?

SEI YOUNG KIM: You mean last week?

THE MODERATOR: Yeah, to play last week your first major as major champion.

SEI YOUNG KIM: Yeah, definitely, because before the major tournament I feel like a little bit pressure, but I try to enjoy the even major tournament. Major tournament little special because course little different.

Yeah, little different because you need a lot of skill and then if you need -- if you got the wrong spot could be a lot of risk.

So, yeah, it's very fun to play all the major tournament.

THE MODERATOR: That's wonderful. You are now entering a tournament where you're defending champion, and in two of the last three starts that we've seen you, you have won.

So for you, do you ever think about your win last year at CME? Do you remember winning that $1.5 million?

SEI YOUNG KIM: No, I didn't. Yeah, I was like I just play well, and then last tournament -- CME is last tournament, so I just finish strong and then back to home and spend time with family.

Yeah, just thinking. And then, yeah, I'm very, yeah, happy to win that big tournament. So, yeah, it's great. It was great.

THE MODERATOR: Do you remember that fist pump on 18 after that birdie on the 72nd hole?


THE MODERATOR: The last hole, the awesome birdie you had. Do you remember that birdie?

SEI YOUNG KIM: Yeah, I remember. When I think about that I still like goosebump. Yeah. So, yeah, it's amazing. So I didn't know that Charley was tie -- me and Charley was tie because I only think about Nelly. She's just leader. I thought she's behind me.

So I didn't know that before made the birdie if I make it I'm going to win. I thought just two-putt, even two-putt could be, yeah, win.

But, yeah, after make the -- after win I realize Charley was there. So was wow.

THE MODERATOR: Since that win, 2020 has definitely not been what everyone has expected because of COVID and having to pause the season. But since that win you've been a major champion; you've added another win.

Overall what are your feelings about 2020? How have you felt about your game this past year?

SEI YOUNG KIM: Beginning year I felt really good because I played the Boca tournament, and then, yeah, couple tournament beginning year.

Just setting goals. Okay, in this year I try to reach my goal. But with the COVID everything is a little different, so I change -- I just back to my country and then think about it, what can I do for the future.

So I just, okay, just take a rest and then play some KLPGA tournament, and then, yeah, just try to keep the same feeling. Yeah, and then back to the U.S., States, and then play couple tournament and I win the major tournament.

That was -- that is amazing cool. Yeah, very accomplishment to me.

THE MODERATOR: I was going to ask, what do you think you're most proud of this year?

SEI YOUNG KIM: Definitely, yeah, major tournament, win the major tournament. This is one of my wish list, yeah, so I'm very happy to win the major tournament in this year.

THE MODERATOR: What's interesting is you are also in contention to possibly become the Rolex Player the Year. What would that mean to you, if you were able to close out 2020 with that award?

SEI YOUNG KIM: It's means a lot, because before I come to States I really want to world ranking No. 1. Okay, so I just setting goal every year. Just like three times win and just step by step, and then it can be reach someday.

Yeah, so I think it's almost, so I just try best this week. Uh-huh.

THE MODERATOR: Do you think about becoming the world No. 1?

SEI YOUNG KIM: Yeah, yeah. Uh-huh, because that's my goal.

THE MODERATOR: Your ultimate goal?

SEI YOUNG KIM: Yeah. Not ultimate goal, one of the goal. Yeah.

THE MODERATOR: One of your ultimate goals?


THE MODERATOR: As we look ahead to this week, what are some of the expectations you have? Have you been on the course yet? What do you like most about what Tiburon will offer in December?

SEI YOUNG KIM: I played yesterday Pro-Am, so course are same as last year. So it's, yeah, same strategy as much as last year. And then, yeah, greens are little softer, feels like little soft. So maybe if I can, I try to just aggressive play this week.

THE MODERATOR: All right. With that, Steve?

Q. You had so many birdies last week. What was working for you so well to make that many birdies, and how do you carry that forward to this week?

SEI YOUNG KIM: Last week I had, yeah, a lot of opportunity to make the birdie. With a lot of mistake, so, yeah, it was very up and down week last week.

So this week little more -- not little more -- I think this week, yeah, little shorter I think course length, so I able to take the maybe under the 7-iron. So, yeah, which means like little more aggressive play.

So, yeah, I think, yeah, it's most scorable this week. Uh-huh.

Q. You like being aggressive; is that fair?

SEI YOUNG KIM: You mean?

Q. Is it fair to say you enjoy playing aggressive?

SEI YOUNG KIM: Yeah, yeah. (Smiling.) Because my personality little enjoy the aggressive play. But if you have a lot of risk sometime avoid, just smart play.

But if I have a chance to take the risk or, yeah, I just go.

Q. And every player needs something to motivate them. In addition to defending champion, how much does Player of the Year motivate you this week?

SEI YOUNG KIM: It's a big motivate to me because I never had the Player of the Year in my life. So that's biggest in my career if I did that. But I don't want think about that in this week. Just keep the best my play and then, yeah, just enjoying this week. Yeah.

Q. Going back to earlier in the year, what went into your decision to come back to play on the LPGA? You played a lot of tournaments over in Korea. When did you know it was time?

SEI YOUNG KIM: After British Open I decide, okay, I want to -- looks like very safety, LPGA organization is very safety. So, yeah.

Before starting the LPGA in this year I was a little worry about the COVID, so, yeah, I didn't decide it. I couldn't decide it.

After couple tournament I, okay, I can do this. I want to play some LPGA. Yeah, I want to keep doing the -- yeah, reach my goal. Yeah.

Q. And you played alongside A Lim Kim on Monday. What impressed you the most about her, and I guess do you think she'll come join the LPGA?

SEI YOUNG KIM: I play -- she's a really good player. I had a couple times play with her in KLPGA. I knew she has good potential, talent, and she hits the driver really long distance.

Yeah, I think she must be a, yeah, good player.

Q. She's aggressive like you.

SEI YOUNG KIM: Yeah, she is very aggressive player when she play on the course. Yeah. Even final round of the U.S. Open she's very enjoy and then chill. Yeah.

Q. I have one more question. How much did winning this tournament and making that putt on the last hole last year you think put you in the position that you are right now to be Player of the Year and potentially No. 1?

SEI YOUNG KIM: That moment very special, because when you get same situation you can't imagine that situation. So can be more -- I can be more positive thinking. That gave me good energy, yeah, I think good memories.

THE MODERATOR: Did it give you a lot of confidence?

SEI YOUNG KIM: Oh, yeah, definitely.

THE MODERATOR: Do you think it definitely had a mark on everything that came this year? Do you think it was kind of like a jump start?

SEI YOUNG KIM: Yeah. After that tournament, win that tournament, I keep the -- yeah, imagine every each tournament, so that imagine and the thinking very help for my game. Uh-huh.

Q. When was the last time you played golf in that cold of weather?

SEI YOUNG KIM: Yeah, in Korea November until February really cold weather, so, yeah, I had a lot of experience with that cold weather, play that cold weather.

But I don't really like play in the cold weather.

Q. What clothes did you have to wear on Monday because it was so cold?

SEI YOUNG KIM: I wearing a parka and then I have body warmer I put under my T-shirt. And then, yeah, wearing winter glove and hand warmers.

A lot of stuff.

Q. Are you going to miss wearing that this week?

SEI YOUNG KIM: Oh, no. No. (Laughter.) Yeah.

THE MODERATOR: As we begin to wrap up here, just one more question. You win this event last year; what would it mean to you to be able to defend this event and win this week?

SEI YOUNG KIM: I never had like defend win, so, yeah, means a lot. I wish I could. Yeah.

THE MODERATOR: All right. We actually have one more from Beth Ann.

Q. What are your plans after this week? Will you go back to south Korea? The Tournament of Champions is not very far away. Do you think you'll play in that in January?

SEI YOUNG KIM: I don't decide yet, so I think about it. After this tournament back to Dallas, and then couple days staying Dallas and back to my country for spend time with the family and for Christmas, yeah.

Q. Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: All right, I think that will do it for us here.

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