Shriners Children's Open

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

TPC Summerlin

Tom Kim

Quick Quotes

Q. Really good round. Got yourself back into contention today. What was working for you?

TOM KIM: Just everything. You know, tee to green, I was really solid. Gave myself a lot of looks. Obviously you've got to finish them off, and that's exactly what I did. I putted great.

Left myself in some tough spots, but I think that up-and-down on 12 really kind of got it going. Then hit a really good tee shot on 13 but made a really good putt and made birdie. Just those little things that kind of kept the momentum going. Just felt really comfortable over the ball. That was the biggest thing. I wasn't rushing anything. I wasn't trying to force anything. I was just really calm, and yeah, just a great day.

Q. Dating back even to the Open, playing some quality golf here and again went over to the DP World Tour a couple weeks ago, does this feel kind of back to the consistent top-level golf that maybe you had at this time last year?

TOM KIM: Yeah, for sure. Mid-year I definitely didn't feel comfortable over the ball. I think that's because obviously playing a lot of different courses, just feeling a little uncomfortable got me in some tough spots.

Definitely been working really hard to get back to that place. I've been seeing a lot of good things at the end of this year, and obviously still got a long ways to go, but no, it's been really cool to see for me to be able to kind of play the way that I felt like I can keep playing.

Golf is obviously not consistent all the time. It's up and down. But it's kind of nice to see that good golf again.

Q. Obviously you didn't get to defend Wyndham. I know you were excited to come here and be able to do that this week. What has that experience been like? I know there's obviously a little bit more expectations on you, a little bit more responsibility you have to do. But through three rounds you're back up top.

TOM KIM: To be honest, it kind of hurts a little bit that I wasn't able to defend at Wyndham because I felt like obviously it was after the British Open, I was playing really well, felt really good about my game, but because of my ankle I couldn't really do anything.

Just makes me kind of miss the people over there and miss competing over there.

It's my first time basically defending a title on the PGA TOUR, and it's actually pretty cool. Hopefully many more to come.

Q. What's pretty cool about it?

TOM KIM: Just the vibe, feeling like you won this event last year, and I feel like because you won, you have the positive vibes and you kind of relive that winning moment, and it kind of gives you that energy of, okay, I have good vibes here and I'm comfortable around here and I've played well here, and just to be able to come back, especially now near the leaderboard, at least I have a chance on Sunday.

I think it's great for the tournament, and for me, I'm just glad as a defending champion I'm able to compete on a Sunday.

Q. We've seen a lot of 62s, 63s, 64s today and we'll probably see them tomorrow. What's the mindset being near the top of the pack?

TOM KIM: I think today obviously you see a lot of low scores, but it's just because the greens were a lot softer. They were really firm the first two days, and I think today they were definitely a lot more gettable, and I think that's why the scores were so low. But we'll see how it goes tomorrow. Obviously the greens might firm up, the greens might be softer, and I really feel like you can't -- because it's such a packed leaderboard, you can't really try to feel like you've got to make more birdies. You've got to play your own game, and if birdies go, great, but if it doesn't, it doesn't. You've got to stick to the game plan, and that happened what I'm going to try to do.

Q. Is this a course where you look at the leaderboard or you just put your head down and try and make as many as you can?

TOM KIM: I feel like you've just got to keep your head down, make as many as you can because once you start looking at the leaderboard and you see guys making birdies, you feel like oh, man, I need to start making birdies, and you start forcing things and almost go the opposite way.

That's exactly what I did last year, and I kept my head down and tried to play my own golf and see what happened, and it worked out last year, so tomorrow have a game plan, stick to it and see what happens.

Q. You're okay with having made bogeys this week as opposed to last year?

TOM KIM: Obviously the expectations are a little high because of the bogey-free 72 holes. But golf is very hard and you can't make no bogeys for 72 holes all the time. But yeah, it is a little --

Q. Just limit them tomorrow.

TOM KIM: Exactly.

Q. What was the best shot you hit today?

TOM KIM: You know, surprisingly I think -- I can't say exactly the best shot, but that drive on 16 was I think as good as it gets. I was already 7-under for the day, but momentum-wise I hit it really good, exactly in the middle of the fairway, and had 7-iron in. Downwind the other days I also had 7-iron in, so that really kind of -- I told Joe as soon as I hit it, that might be the best swing of the day.

But that up-and-down on 12, that bunker shot was key. It could have gone a million different ways, but to get up-and-down there, that kept the momentum going.

Q. I thought maybe you'd say second shot at 9. Take me through that one.

TOM KIM: It was a 4-iron. It was actually 227 cover. We were trying to hit this 230. It was 242 hole maybe, somewhere around there. Obviously that green is firm. You've just got to -- I was trying to tell Joe, I should just try to hit the shorter club and hit it harder so it can come out higher, but it was like, this is the only club that has a chance. I hit a 4-iron, obviously I was aiming a little left of where it landed but kind of gave myself room if it did that, and it hit in the perfect spot, almost came close to my first albatross, but wasn't to be. Still got to keep waiting.

Q. Heart start racing a little bit as it was getting closer to the hole?

TOM KIM: Not at all. I would have taken anything on that green. With that club, where that pitch is going, anywhere on that green I would have been happy, but that was just a bonus to be where it was at.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
138053-1-1002 2023-10-14 22:12:00 GMT

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