The American Express

Sunday, January 24, 2021

La Quinta, California, USA

PGA WEST Pete Dye Stadium Course

Si Woo Kim

Press Conference

MICHAEL BALIKER: We'll get started. I'd like to welcome the winner of the 2021 American Express, Si Woo Kim, to the interview room. This is Si Woo's third career PGA TOUR victory. Posts an 8-under 64 today in the final round, wins by one stroke, and Si Woo was also bogey-free in three rounds on the Stadium Course this week. And this is also Si Woo's first win since the 2017 PLAYERS championship and his second victory on a Pete Dye course.

So, Si Woo, a lot of exciting stuff there. I wanted to get your thoughts on winning your third PGA TOUR title.

SI WOO KIM: So I had many chances since PLAYERS. I had many chances to win, but I couldn't make it, but finally I made it. So I tried to keep composure and I made it. I'm so happy with that.

MICHAEL BALIKER: We'll go ahead and open with questions.

Q. Two, if I can. First, I wanted to ask about just your thinking on hitting driver off the deck on number 11.

SI WOO KIM: Yeah, I hit driver today on number 11. There was water on left side and I thought I had enough distance for my driver. So I tried to keep it safe, so that's why I didn't hit the 3-wood and then I tried to use the mount on the right side, so that's why I hit the driver off the deck there.

Q. Also, I don't know, I could have this wrong, but have you served your mandatory military service and if not, when do you plan on doing that?

SI WOO KIM: No I didn't do the service yet, but I'm planning on it as a Korean, but I don't know when I will go there. So that's my answer.

Q. How much do you like Pete Dye golf courses?

SI WOO KIM: Yeah, I have great memories with this course. So for Q-School, I passed the Q-School on this course, and then I have great memories and then that's why I feel confidence whenever I come to this course. So that helps a lot for me this week, especially I try to focus on the memories that gave me good scores, so that's why it drove me to the win.

Q. How aware were you that you hadn't made any bogeys in the three rounds on the Stadium Course this week?

SI WOO KIM: Yeah, I had two bogey-free rounds on the Pete Dye course this week. I tried not to think about making bogey or not. So also like I just tried to focus on every shot, every circumstances, so that helps me to focus on my game and then to win and -- I didn't even know I did bogey-free round.

Q. How aware were you of what Cantlay was doing in front of you when he had actually taken the lead and that you needed those two late birdies?

SI WOO KIM: So on the back nine there's a lot of birdie chances and I had to know what's going on, so that helps me how to play my game the final round. So I kept watching the leaderboard. I knew that Cantlay played really well. So I knew I have a lot of chances on the back nine for birdies, so I tried to keep patient and I believed in myself and I got the chance on 16 and 17 and that's when I could make it and I'm happy with that.

Q. I heard you say on the TV broadcast that you had not slept much the night before. Is that normal for you when you're in contention? And how much sleep did you get last night?

SI WOO KIM: So every year I had a chance to win, but I couldn't make it, so I had a lot of thoughts in my mind last night. I tried to sleep but I couldn't sleep, so I even took melatonin last night, but still I didn't sleep very well.

Q. Take me through your thoughts. What were you feeling as you attempted the putt at 17?

SI WOO KIM: So I wanted to have the least mistake on 17, so I wanted, at least I want to go to make the playoff, so I tried to focus on speed and then actually Max Homa's putt helped me a lot, so I knew how it goes. So I just focused on speed and I hit it very confidently.

Q. How would you describe your fist pump? You were more excited than usual.

SI WOO KIM: So before No. 16, I really needed a birdie to make the playoff, and after I made the birdie on No. 16, I felt more confident. I felt more comfortable. So I tried to hit it more confidently on 17's putt, so that's how I made it.

Q. With your third PGA TOUR win now, you're the second highest Korean with most wins on TOUR. Just curious if you think you can reach K.J. Choi's total wins of eight on the TOUR and does this win also change your goals for the rest of 2021?

SI WOO KIM: It feels great to get into the second player as to make the third win of Korean golfers. So I cannot say that I just achieved what K.J. Choi did because he did a great job in his eight wins. But I don't know, I can't say that I achieved that. I don't think about it now. But just, like, my goal this year is to have a win and I got it already this year and I just want to have one more win this year and then I try to get into the TOUR Championship.

Q. As a follow-up, the last two times you held the third-round lead you shot even par in the final round on both events. Just wondering if the experience there had made you change your strategy at all today to this final round?

SI WOO KIM: So when I missed the win, when I had the chance to have a win, I didn't play very well. I had a lot of ups and downs. So I tried to play aggressive and then that actually made me lose.

So actually, my coach talked to me about it a lot and even this week we talked about it and he told me just, you know, There will be chance anytime, so you just have to keep waiting and be patient, keep composure, and just believe in yourself. So that's what I tried to do and then I tried not to be emotional and that helps me to the win.

MICHAEL BALIKER: Well, Si Woo, thanks again for taking some time. Congratulations and best of luck the rest of the season.

SI WOO KIM: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
104128-1-1044 2021-01-25 00:42:00 GMT

ASAP sports

tech 129