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An Interview With Jiyai Shin
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RHONDA GLENN:  Ladies and gentlemen, Jiyai Shin, who has had two fine victories on the LPGA Tour this year.  She's certainly one of the contenders this week in the Women's Open.  Jiyai, you are known for hitting very straight drives, maybe not as long as some of the players, but very straight.  How is that part of your game going to help you on this golf course, which is very long?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Yeah, this golf course is very long for me.  For other players, too.  Yeah, but this golf course, fairways so narrow, and then rough is so thick.

            So I have confidence in my driver, and with my fairway woods.  So almost par-4 hole I hit second shot I hit fairway wood, no irons.

            Q.  Oh, really?  Any irons on the par-4s at all?

            JIYAI SHIN:  No.  Just few holes, a few holes hit iron, but few holes hit fairway woods.

            Q.  Like 3-wood, 4-wood?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Yeah, 7 or 5.

            Q.  5, okay.

            JIYAI SHIN:  6, 5-wood.

            Q.  Big golf course.  You are paired with Inbee Park, the defending champion, and Amanda Blumenhurst, who is the reigning U.S. Women's Amateur Champion and just turned professional.  What do you think of your pairing?

            JIYAI SHIN:  I am very close to Inbee Park.  We are good friends.  So I'm very comfortable with playing with Inbee Park.  And then whose name again?

            RHONDA GLENN:  Amanda Blumenhurst.

            JIYAI SHIN:  Amanda.  Yeah, I heard before she won, but I've never played with her before, so I'm just waiting for Thursday.

            RHONDA GLENN:  All right.  Great.  Any questions?

            Q.  You turned pro at 17; is that right?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Yes, it is.

            Q.  So at 21, do you feel like a veteran out here?  What have you learned since you've come over to this country to play full-time?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Um, yeah, I turned pro 17 years old, but in Korea.  I played in Korea for three years, and then this year I start LPGA Tour full season, so feels like just lucky, lucky this year.  I'm just excited to join the Tour.

            RHONDA GLENN:  But you've been a professional for four years.

            JIYAI SHIN:  Yes.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Do you feel like an old veteran now?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Not enough, I think.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Not enough, okay.

            JIYAI SHIN:  Not enough.

            Q.  South Koreans are doing obviously very well.  There are so many in the world rankings, but nobody's been No. 1.  How big a deal would it be to be the first South Korean to be No. 1 in the world?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Yeah, now my money ranking is No. 1.  I have big chance for this year, but actually, beginning season, my goal is Rookie of the Year.

            And then just I focus on Rookie of the Year, and then maybe after November or October, maybe get chance for still leading, still top.  I try to No. 1 rank.  Try.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Would that be a very big thing in Korea if you were No. 1?  How big would that be?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Um, it's huge, actually.  It's big, because never Korean players No. 1 in the world, so I think if I get No. 1, it's a big sensation in Korea.

            Q.  After your first victory here this year, then you spoke of losing some confidence, right?  You said you lost some confidence before you won your second one?

            RHONDA GLENN:  After your first victory, you spoke of losing some confidence, after you won one, then you lost some confidence before you won again.

            JIYAI SHIN:  Oh, yes.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Tell us about that.

            JIYAI SHIN:  Yeah, before the Wegmans tournament, about two months my score is a little bit up and down, so a little bit lose the confidence, too.  But now, after Wegmans I won two weeks ago.  My confidencecome back, so I have confidence right now.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Before you won, what gave you the confidence to win?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Actually, before two months my putting so tough a little bit, my short putting so many mistakes.  And Wegmans two weeks ago, my putter is getting better, doing well, so I have confidence with my putter.

            And then this golf course very fast greens, and then I like fast greens, so just I like it.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Would you say that you're confident coming into the Women's Open, then?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Oh, yes, of course.  My first time U.S. Open is two years ago in 2007 at Pine Needles, but it's big memory for me, happy, because first time major tournament on the Top 10, so I'm very happy to play the U.S. Open.

            Q.  Do you have a teacher?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Oh, yes.  Yes.  I have.

            Q.  Here?  In the United States or in Korea?

            JIYAI SHIN:  No, he's from Australia, just we start McDonald's Championship, just one month ago we start.  And then he teaching my putter, and my address, like my shot address, setup, so after I got some teaching, my putter and shots are much better.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Where is he located?  Where does he live?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Australia.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Australia?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Yeah.

            RHONDA GLENN:  What is his name?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Steven McRae.

            Q.  You mentioned that your focus at the start of the year was Rookie of the Year.  Was being No. 1 in the world part of that or No. 1 on the Tour part of that?  And are you surprised that you've had this much success so early in your LPGA career?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Of course, because I'm all the time dream to play LPGA Tour, and then now I play, and then I top on the Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year.  I'm very surprised myself, yeah, my play or my ranking.  I'm very surprised, because in LPGA Tour, so many good players out there, so I'm very surprised.

            RHONDA GLENN:  You were a very small girl, I believe, when Se Ri Pak won the U.S. Women's Open.

            JIYAI SHIN:  Yes.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Do you have any memory of that when she won?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Oh, yeah, I saw the 1998 [Women's Open] Se Ri Pak won.  It's amazing for me, because before Se Ri Pak won, I never know the sport of golf.  And then Se Ri Pak won.  I watch it on TV.  Oh, itlooks like very interesting game.

            So after Se Ri Pak won, my friends, Inbee Park, many players started golf.  She's our idol, actually.

            RHONDA GLENN:  So she inspired you to start playing, you and Inbee Park and others?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Yes.

            RHONDA GLENN:  What year were you born?

            JIYAI SHIN:  1988.

            RHONDA GLENN:  So you were 10 years old?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Yes.

            RHONDA GLENN:  When Se Ri won the Women's Open.

            Q.  Did you grow up with Inbee Park?  Did you know her in Korea?

            RHONDA GLENN:  Did you know her when you were a little girl?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Yes, a long time ago, maybe 10, 11 years old we played a couple of times, and then she, after maybe 13, 12 years, she came to States, so we long time, no see, and then about three, two years ago we meet again.

            RHONDA GLENN:  She came over, I believe, to go to the David Leadbetter Academy, didn't she, Inbee?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Yeah.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Didn't she come over for that?  Anyway, she was away from you.  Okay.

            JIYAI SHIN:  Okay.

            Q.  You've talked before about when you win tournaments, you dedicate them to your mother.  How do you do that?  What do you do after you win to honor her?

            RHONDA GLENN:  You dedicate your tournament wins to your mother?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Oh.

            RHONDA GLENN:  How do you dedicate them to your mother?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Not only for mother.  I dedicate to my family and fans.  Not only mother.

            RHONDA GLENN:  But have you dedicated some just to your mother?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Oh, yes, of course.  Of course.

            RHONDA GLENN:  How many tournaments would you say you've dedicated to your mother?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Most.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Most of them?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Yes.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Why is that?  Explain.

            JIYAI SHIN:  Because my mom in 2003 my mom got car accident, and then my mom passed away.  That happened.  So I'm very sad, but she gave to me more strong mind.

            So I think all time she care for me upstairs, from upstairs all time.  Every time I fight for my mom, too.

            RHONDA GLENN:  That's very nice.  Very nice.

            Q.  Are you still writing songs?

            JIYAI SHIN:  (Laughter).  Yeah, of course.  I very enjoy sing a song.

            Q.  Don't you write them yourself, too?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Just one.

            Q.  Just one song?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Yes.

            Q.  Do you have any more in your mind?

            JIYAI SHIN:  Oh, sometimes.  Sometimes.  I like just music, and then songs.  So...

            Q.  Who are your favorites?

            JIYAI SHIN:  In States?  My favorite singer is Celine Dion and Mariah Carey.

            RHONDA GLENN:  Thank you so much for being with us, for being so gracious, and we wish you a lot of luck this week.

            JIYAI SHIN:  Thank you very much.

 

 

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