MODERATOR: Haeji, 8 under, tell us how you did that. There’s a million ways to shoot 65. HAEJI KANG: I actually putted really, really nicely. I have actually been putting quite nicely starting ‑‑ from starting this season, so I was just feeling really confident being on the green, yeah. Q. That early first group of […]
MODERATOR: Haeji, 8 under, tell us how you did that. There’s a million ways to shoot 65.
HAEJI KANG: I actually putted really, really nicely. I have actually been putting quite nicely starting ‑‑ from starting this season, so I was just feeling really confident being on the green, yeah.
Q. That early first group of the day, we don’t often see the best score of the day in the first group of the day. You must have got hot right from the start.
HAEJI KANG: Well, I usually play better when I go off quite early in the morning. There was not much wind, so I think it was ‑‑ that was one of the keys on this golf course, when there’s no wind, then we just go for the flag and we just roll it in.
Q. It’s very annoying actually. Have you been here before?
HAEJI KANG: Yes, last year.
Q. How have your performances been? How did you find it last year and what did you learn then that’s going to help you this year?
HAEJI KANG: Well, I learned how to play in the wind last year. I mean, I played in many courses that is windy, but I think this course is especially like really, really super windy, can get really super windy, so like you’ve got to know how to play low shots and learn how to putt in like strong wind, yeah.
Q. Some of the players call it throw‑the‑yardage‑book‑out golf where the numbers don’t matter, the wind’s so strong, you’ve just got to feel. Would that be your take on it as well?
HAEJI KANG: First I’ve got to know the distance and then I can just calculate from there, yeah.
Q. You grew up in Queensland or you spent some time in Queensland?
HAEJI KANG: Yes, I actually went to high school Gold Coast for three years, so I played junior golf when I was growing up.
Q. Won the Queensland Junior Championship twice?
HAEJI KANG: Yes. Yeah, I actually won the Australian Junior Champion, too.
Q. Why did you come here?
HAEJI KANG: Every time I come here I feel like it’s my second home, so I feel very comfortable being out here and I like to hear all these accents and I feel like I’m home.
Q. Ask Haotong Li, he has an excellent Australian accent. Did you move here for golf?
HAEJI KANG: Yes, yes.
Q. I want to ask you about the unbelievable near miss you had in the Vic Open a few years ago at Spring Valley. Can you recount the story for us?
HAEJI KANG: Well, so on my 72nd hole I had to hole my second shot on a par‑4 to go into the playoff and I actually made it, so I was like ‑‑ so one of the competitors, she was actually drinking in the clubhouse. She thought she won it, but then we had to play in the playoff. But then I made a bogey and I lost.
Q. Waited five minutes, two more drinks, maybe.
HAEJI KANG: I know. I should have just played slower and made her drink a little more.
Q. What do you do from here, at this stage leading in the first round? We haven’t got all the scores in. What does it mean for tomorrow and the next three days?
HAEJI KANG: Well, you can’t really win a tournament on the first day, so I’ll just try to be as calm as possible, like just play like today and feel like it’s my first tournament of the year and just, yeah, be patient.
Q. So just your putter today, but you had a couple streaks, what, four in a row, four birdies in a row at one point? Were you putting them in close or were they sizeable putts?
HAEJI KANG: A couple of them were 20‑footers, a couple were close, but yeah, I think I putted really well in any ranges today, yeah.