What they said: K.J. Choi

July 03, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: AT&T National transcript archive

COLIN MURRAY: We welcome K.J. Choi to the interview room here at the AT&T National. I know not the result you were looking for, but all in all a good week, another high finish, and really playing well this year. Shaping up to be a great year for you.

KJ CHOI: Yeah, even this week and this year is a very fantastic to play. My swing and my body is more better than last year, my great short game and good rhythm. Today I was very impressed playing with Nick Watney. On the front nine three times 15, 20 feet and make par. Good putting and everything. He makes it, fantastic. Today Nick Watney is a wonderful player. Does a very good job playing, fantastic.

AT&T National is always first-class tournament. I'm happy to be defending 2007 champion and second place this week.

I'm very proud how I played so far. On 15 a little bit hurt on the back, the high side a little bit temperature, so I was a little tired, and the hard swing on the left side in the deep rough and hit it 60 yards short in the bunker. Very bad lie and I tried to get it out and chipped over and two-putt double bogey. It's hard on 15, 16, 17.

Then last three holes were 1-under par. So far so good this week, fantastic play. Everything, spectators and the golf course and volunteers and everybody did a great job this week.

Q. On your second shot on 15, where were you trying to hit it, and did the grass make it pull left of the bunker, and how difficult was that bunker shot??

KJ CHOI: Yeah, seeing the ball is a high ball but behind grass is too tall, then hit it with a 5-wood and a little pull, again, release. It's a low shot in the left side bunker. Always in the bunker, bounce in the soft, and then the middle of the bunker. But that ball is harder, then it hit the back and come down is only one foot, so very difficult position. I best hit it in the bunker, 55-yard shot a little bit over.

Q. Before the tournament started if someone said you're going to finish at 11, would you have thought you would have won??

KJ CHOI: Yes, if someone would have told me that 11-under, if I would have shot 11-under, I would have thought that would be the winning score. But even Nick Watney, even if he would have missed one or two putts, he would have been 11-, 12-under. But Nick Watney just played too well today. He played like a champion, so there was really nothing that I could do. All I can do is try to get more rest and just prepare for the next tournament.

Q. The birdie putt on 14, when that went in, did you think you were going to win??

KJ CHOI: I wasn't really trying to -- I never really tried to win the tournament, especially because this course is so tough. When I tied him on the 14th hole, I knew that there was still a lot of holes to go, and I knew the remaining holes were more favorable to Nick Watney, and I knew the 15th hole would be a turning point. That was a key hole, and I missed it. So I think that was the turning point of the match.

The tee shot is a very difficult tee shot. It's a very far distance. I tend to hit it on the right side on that hole this week, so when you hit it on the right side, the rough is very difficult, so you really don't have a chance if you miss the fairway there.

Q. Why did you say that you thought that the remaining holes would be more favorite to Watney than to yourself??

KJ CHOI: It's because Nick Watney is able to carry the fairway bunker because he hits a draw, hits a draw shot. Even if I tried to hit a draw, I don't think I'd be able to carry that bunker. So I try to just hit it on the fairway, just be a little bit more conservative, be safe, hit it in the fairway, but I just happened to pull it, so that's what happened.

COLIN MURRAY: K.J. great playing this week.