Shriners Children's Open

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

TPC Summerlin

Tom Kim

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: I would like to welcome 2022 Shriners Children's Open champion, Tom Kim, to the media center today. Thanks for joining us.

First time defending a win. You weren't able to defend at Wyndham because of your injury. Talk a little bit about your emotions and being back to a place you're defending and seeing your picture in the clubhouse.

TOM KIM: No, it's a great feeling. Obviously it kind of sucked to not be able to defend my first title, but it's great to be here. I'm really looking forward to hopefully defending my title this week.

A lot of great memories. Played really well last year and played the course and it's looking look it's in great shape. Really looking forward to it.

Q. You're heading into the week 16th in the world. Talk about your game plan heading into the weekend.

TOM KIM: Just stick to my game plan. I've been playing well. Really end of this past year once we made the trip to the UK I started to play really well. Had a good finish to the end of the season.

I have a good game plan this week. It worked last year. Hopefully just -- can't do one better than a win, so hopefully I can repeat something like I did last year.

Q. You mentioned kind of getting off to a better run starting with The Open. That also coincided with a coaching change. How much stock do you put in the work you did with Chris to get you back on a more consistent track here?

TOM KIM: Yeah, you know, I've learned so -- obviously this was my first year, so just that transition of seeing new golf courses, and last year when I felt like played so well I played golf courses I was used to.

Suddenly I'm playing really firm, long, penalizing golf courses. Just the adjustment was -- it was just the adjustment factor. I got into some spots where I feel like I didn't really want to be in. Working with Chris really helped me understand more about my game.

I've learned so much this year from Cam and even from Chris just combining everything I learned so far this year. Everything at the British Open really showed results-wise, but I wasn't really far off. Having a new perspective helped me get more comfortable with myself, and especially out here when you're not comfortable and thinking a lot, doesn't really help.

So just kind of transitioning to Chris and just him helping me understand a little bit more was -- helped me beneficially.

Q. Has it been more swing or just like strategy stuff?

TOM KIM: Just I didn't really make a lot of changes. It was just a step-by-step process. I haven't done -- haven't made a huge difference with my golf swing. You know, a little bit of technique here and there, little bit of strategy here and there. Just everything in general. (Microphone cut out.)

Helped a lot for me at this second part of the season.

Q. You were over in Europe for a couple weeks. What do you feel like you gained from it going there and playing?

TOM KIM: I think, you know, obviously it's a great experience -- Wentworth was an event I always wanted to play as a kid, and I thought it was a great opportunity with the new PGA TOUR schedule to do that. Never been to France, so wanted to experience that.

Obviously the Olympics next year, going over there and experiencing Europe and seeing the beautiful places and being able to just test the golf course before, if I did play the Olympics, takes the pressure off prep.

No, it was great.

Q. If you weren't defending this week, would you be here? Would you play any of those fall events?

TOM KIM: For sure. I think for me, I love playing golf, and it would drive me nuts to just sit at home for five months and not do anything.

I would pick a schedule. I would play in the fall for sure. I wouldn't know if it would be this week or last week. Wouldn't know. For sure I would play in the fall. 100%.

Q. Do you have other fall events on your schedule?

TOM KIM: As of now it would be the last event in Dubai for the DP World Tour.

Q. And then last year, pretty remarkable that you had never played here before and didn't make a bogey the entire week. Is that something you've thought about when you return here, that that first bogey this week is going to be devastating?

TOM KIM: It's definitely not an expectation to have this week. My caddie pointed that out, definitely expectations are -- it's so easy to set them so high because I didn't make a single bogey, 24 birdies, and you kind of have a feeling where you need to do it again.

Bogeys happen. I can't try to not make a bogey. I just got to try and make (mic cut out.)

But we'll know in the future.

Q. So do you have to medal at the Olympics or the Asian Games to get the exemption? Is that how it works currently?

TOM KIM: Yeah, so obviously those medals help. I think it depends on which medal. As I'm aware, with them having achieving gold they have exemptions for the military.

Asian Games looks like it is gold, but I think from the Olympics, from what I'm aware, a medal should take care of it.

Q. So green jacket won't cut it?

TOM KIM: Hopefully. (Laughter.) I'm hoping so.

Q. I have a follow-up about Lexi. You said there was a lot that can be learned from her game. Can you tell me what?

TOM KIM: Well, you know, she hits the ball very far. If I play with her, I would be worried. (Laughter.)

You know, obviously I'm not the longest hitter of the golf ball, so making sure -- I've never really been able to see them firsthand.

I've watched women's golf outside the ropes, but never been able to see them inside the ropes.

For someone as great as her, just to be able to see the way she plays, the way she goes around the golf course would be pretty cool.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
137877-2-1041 2023-10-11 18:47:00 GMT

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