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Media Center Interview With Candie Kung
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RHONDA GLENN:  Ladies and gentlemen, we have with us Candie Kung who finished as runner‑up in this U.S. Open, certainly her highest finish.  She is a USGA champion.  She won the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship in 2001.  Candie, what was it like when you were standing there practicing putting, hoping for a playoff?  How did you feel when you heard that Ms.Ji had made the birdie and beaten you?

            CANDIE KUNG:  It was a little disappointing, but, you know, I'm happy where I finished at 1‑over for the week.  I came in here thinking about finishing even par for the whole week, and I was very close to my own standard.

            Nothing I can do.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Questions?

            Q.  How difficult is it to know that there is nothing that you can do?

            CANDIE KUNG:  I wanted to say, I keep saying to Jane, the TV announcer, and I keep telling her, that was very costly on 17 with a wedge hitting in a bunker making a bogey out there.  That's pretty much the only thing that I was thinking about, that 17.  It was costly.

            But again, there's nothing I can do.  It's over.  I had a lot of very good breaks out there today, made some very good putts coming in.  Nothing I can do.

            Q.  Coming off your round yesterday, were you feeling pretty confident when you started to play today?

            CANDIE KUNG:  Yes, definitely.  I've been hitting the ball very good the last three weeks, and it was just the matter of putts going in the hole.

            I was birdieless the first two rounds, and I keep telling myself to stay positive.  They're going to go in on the last two days, which they did on some of the holes.  That's all I could do.  Stay positive.

            RHONDA GLENN:  You started out with two birdies today.  Tell me, what club did you hit into No. 1 and how long was your putt?

            CANDIE KUNG:  No. 1, I was debating, the wind was coming from the left into, and I was debating to hit more club or less club.

            I did pick out more club on that one, and it came out about 15 feet left of the hole.  It was a little downhill right-to-left.  It was quick, that putt.  And it went in.

            RHONDA GLENN:  The club you hit was

CANDIE KUNG:  It was, I believe it was a little 8-iron.

            RHONDA GLENN:  No. 2?

            CANDIE KUNG:  No. 2, I had a perfect hybrid in my hand.  I knew if I hit it up there, hit a nice one up there, it's going to be pretty close.  It ended up five feet past the hole.

            RHONDA GLENN:  No. 8?  What club did you hit?

            CANDIE KUNG:  No. 8.  What was No. 8?

            RHONDA GLENN:  It's a par-4.  You had just bogeyed No. 7.

            CANDIE KUNG:  9 is a par-3.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Right.

            CANDIE KUNG:  8 is the par-4.  Oh, that was a great putt there.  I pushed my 6-iron a little bit out to the right, and it took the slope, came back towards the hole, and I had about 25-feet downhill.  It was a double‑breaker right-to-left, left-to-right.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Then on 12, the par-5, what club did you hit to the green?

            CANDIE KUNG:  12, I hit a wedge in there.  Up to about three feet.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Three feet.  Questions?

            Q.  If anybody told you you played the last two rounds by my calculations 5-under par, total, would you have thought you'd have won this golf tournament starting out?

            CANDIE KUNG:  What is it again?

            RHONDA GLENN:  If anyone had told you you had played the last two rounds by his calculations 5‑under par, would you have believed that would have won the golf tournament?

            CANDIE KUNG:  Like I said, I was thinking even par would win the tournament.  Even par towards the end of the week is going to win.

            That's what I was pushing, I didn't really push myself to get to even par, but I it just happened that the birdies were coming along, and I got closer and closer to that even par number.

            Q.  How much did you look at the leaderboard coming down the stretch, and what were your thoughts when you saw Cristie kind of backing off?

            CANDIE KUNG:  0.  I didn't look at the scoreboard at all until I made my last putt.  All day.

            Q.  Talk us through No. 17.  What club did you hit?  How was your lie?  And the second shot, how long was the putt?

            CANDIE KUNG:  17?  I had that same thing happen to me, I think it was first round or second round.  The wind was blowing right-to-left, too.  And I knew I had to hit it out there towards the middle of the green, let the wind take it back.

            And I just, I didn't, I didn't aim out to the middle of the green enough, and the wind took it.  That was a little wedge.  I was playing for 105 yards and let it release towards the hole.

            That wind just took it, ended up in the bunker.  It was a good lie in the bunker.  I've been pretty sharp out of the bunker, but there's nothing I can do with that bunker shot.  I mean, it was straight down.  It was straight down towards the hole, but not a whole lot of anything.

            That was hard to stop it, and I heard that everything was roaring about, it almost went in, yeah.  It was close.  Then I made some putts from coming back left-to-righters yesterday, so I was pretty confident with that putt, and it almost went in, too.

            RHONDA GLENN:  How long was the putt, would you say?

            CANDIE KUNG:  15 feet.

            RHONDA GLENN:  And had you played from that tee at all in the practice rounds?

            CANDIE KUNG:  No.

            Q.  Without looking at the leaderboards, did you have any idea that you were tied for the lead coming down the stretch?

            CANDIE KUNG:  I did not know at all.  But all I knew was I'm going out there to try to get myself back to that even par number.

            Q.  Is that your typical, you don't like to look at leaderboards?  Never do?

            CANDIE KUNG:  No, no.  I set a goal for myself, and whatever happens happens.  You know, Eun Hee went out there and made that last putt.  She finished at even.

            Q.  I'm wondering if you knew that you were tied on the 17th tee, would you have played maybe for the safer part of the green?

            CANDIE KUNG:  Well, that's what I was trying to do, and I happened to not aim enough right, and the wind took it.

            It was hard to tell the wind from that tee box because of all the trees on the right side about 50 yards.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Who told you that you were tied after you finished and holed out on the last green?  Who told you that you might be in a playoff?

            CANDIE KUNG:  I saw the leaderboard.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Then you looked.

            CANDIE KUNG:  I holed out and then I looked.  And I was like, oh, I won.  Okay.  That was a costly 17.

            Q.  Is this a course you'd like to come back and play again for a U.S. Open?

            CANDIE KUNG:  Yes.  Definitely.  It's very good course, very good course for the tournament, for the U.S. Open.

            They can move the tee anywhere they want, you know, like 10, but I was lucky that my caddie knew where, you know, the USGA can possibly put the tees everywhere they want, and make the course as tough as possible.

            RHONDA GLENN:  You averaged 257 yards off the tee today, which is quite a bit longer than any day previously, even though the fairways were slightly damp.  Did you feel like you were swinging harder or was your swing more efficient or just having a good day ball striking?

            CANDIE KUNG:  That's probably just having a good day, you know.  The ball went straight down the middle of the fairway.

            RHONDA GLENN:  That's good.

            Q.  Do you know the winner, and if so, can you tell us much about her?

            CANDIE KUNG:  Yeah, I know the winner.  I know the caddie.  I never really played with her, but I've been joking around with her the last few weeks for some reason.

            She was on the putting green all afternoon when I was out there, also, and I was just joking with her, you've been out here, did you sleep her last night?  She's a great girl, and I'm happy for her to win.

            Q.  I heard that you went and worked with the VISION54 people in April.  What did you work on specifically there?

            CANDIE KUNG:  Yes, I did.  I was overthinking on a lot of stuff on putting.  I was mainly there for my putting.  I'm a great ball striker.  I can get it from tee to green, no problem, but I have a problem getting the ball in the hole from the green.

            So I went there, and they told me to keep myself not thinking too much, try to use the same thinking that I have for my tee shot and my second shot into putting, which it helped.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Candie, well, that was a fine finish and a great 36 holes.  Thanks so much for joining us.

 

 

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