Shriners Children's Open

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

TPC Summerlin

Sungjae Im

Press Conference

JACK RYAN: We'd like to welcome defending champion Sungjae Im into the interview room at the Shriners Children's Open. Sungjae, if you could just give us some thoughts on being back here at TPC Summerlin defending your title and this will be your second title defense on the PGA TOUR. Just some thoughts on that.

SUNGJAE IM: I'm extremely happy to return to TPC Summerlin as defending champion. I always feel great when I come back here, and I hope to continue this good momentum.

JACK RYAN: Making your first start of the new season, what are some goals you have coming into this season?

SUNGJAE IM: The key to having a good season is to have a strong start in the Fall Series events, and that's always been my goal, and likewise for this year.

JACK RYAN: Coming off your second appearance at the Presidents Cup, what did you learn from that experience in terms of your own game and just about yourself?

SUNGJAE IM: Playing in a team event is definitely different than individual competition. There was a lot of anxiety and nervousness playing in the Presidents Cup, but from that experience I think I can have success out here on TOUR when it comes to clutch moments. I want to continue that good momentum that I had in Charlotte.

Q. You had a pretty special final round last year. What do you remember from that round just from start to finish? What stands out for you?

SUNGJAE IM: What I remember the most is getting on that birdie roll that I got on, five straight birdies on No. 9, I believe, and just coming to the end of the stretch, I looked at the scoreboard and I was leading by quite a few shots. I was pretty nervous, but at the same time pretty happy.

Q. I was wondering if you could talk about playing a tournament like this. Most of the courses you play are pretty difficult, but this one you need to make a lot of birdies. What's the mindset when you start a round knowing that you've got to go really low?

SUNGJAE IM: You're right, definitely this course requires a lot of birdies to stay on top of the leaderboard, but ironically for some reason I'm able to make a lot of birdies when I come here. But just want to continue that success and also score a lot of birdies this week and try to finish strong.

Q. The last three years your career has gone on a great trajectory. Young Tom Kim is now facing potentially a similar situation, having to deal with a lot more people asking about him and a lot more media, a lot more focus. How do you think he's equipped to handle what's coming for him?

SUNGJAE IM: Tom Kim has definitely great potential to become a big star. I'm glad he's doing well. I'm happy as a competitor, as a friend. Him doing well motivates me to do well, and likewise the other way.

I think we're going to have some good competition and good friendship.

Q. Is it exciting for you to see the future that you're part of, of Asian golf and Korean golf really taking off?

SUNGJAE IM: Definitely I love to see the Asian golf success out here on TOUR, including myself, and I'm glad Tom is doing well. But it really proves that we can compete out here with the world.

To answer your question, yes, it's really good to see Asian golf rising.

Q. All the cities you get to go to, you get opportunities to go see different things. Have you made it down to the strip? Have you been to the shows? Do you like to check out the casinos down there on the Las Vegas strip, or is this just a golf trip?

SUNGJAE IM: I try to stick with my profession, and I'm a golfer. I'm here to play golf. I love to have fun, but I'm here to play a tournament.

Q. No shows at all? Haven't seen any of the big Vegas shows?

SUNGJAE IM: I don't recall the exact show that I saw, but I did go to downtown once and saw some events and had fun once out there.

Q. If you weren't playing golf and you were here, what would be your game of choice, card game, dice, whatever?

SUNGJAE IM: Blackjack. Easy.

Q. I was wondering if you could talk about the value of playing these fall events, especially with the schedule change coming next year, if you were intending to keep playing in the fall and playing this tournament.

SUNGJAE IM: Most definitely. I don't know which course I will be playing, but there are courses in the fall and tournaments in the fall that I like and that I've performed well in the past, so I'm sure I'll take that into consideration when I'm choosing what to play.

JACK RYAN: Thank you very much to Sungjae and his manager Danny Oh for translating for us. Best of luck this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
125437-1-1002 2022-10-04 22:39:00 GMT

ASAP sports

tech 129