Jiyai Shin with the Ricoh Women’s British Open trophy


Jiyai Shin (South Korea)

Jiyai Shin, the reigning Ricoh Women’s British Open champion, welcome back to Royal Pines for the third time. I’ll open the questions.

Q. You’re very serious about this because you’ve been in Australia for three weeks. Where have you been staying?
JIYAI SHIN: Staying in Brisbane.

Q. A few days ago I saw you out here.
JIYAI SHIN: Yes. Two times practise round already.

Q. Were you staying with friends?
JIYAI SHIN: Yes I stayed with my friend and with my father. The first week I was with my trainer but he had to go back to Korea.

Q. Is it cold in Korea?
JIYAI SHIN: Yes, very cold. There is a lot of snow and there are so many players in Korea who come to a warmer place.

Q. I haven’t seen you since you won $1 million at the ADT. You won three LPGA events last year and are now a member. How does that feel?
JIYAI SHIN: I am so excited. At the last ADT tournament my goal was to survive until Sunday, not win. I tried my best and on Sunday I won so I was surprised.

Q. You’ve won a major and you’ve won in Japan. Why did you feel that your goal was only to survive until Sunday?
JIYAI SHIN: I think that you must be lucky at that tournament because the final day we start from an even score. I was thinking the winning score would be four or five under and on the final round I did two under par so I found it hard pin positions and a hard wind.

Q. Do you like that format?
JIYAI SHIN: Actually I don’t like it. You get more pressure.

Q. Will you play full time on the US LPGA?
JIYAI SHIN: Yes and sometimes I will play in Japan because I am a Japan member too. I will play in seven tournaments in Japan.

Q. There is a lot of pressure on you in America. Do you think it will be harder or easier to be away from home?
JIYAI SHIN: First the big problem is my English. My goal is to try. I don’t think it will be easy or hard. I will just try.

Q. Were there a lot of expectations at home in Korea?
JIYAI SHIN: Yes. Every tournament in Korea everybody focuses on me so I get more pressure. Somebody asked my “why at this tournament are you no good?” I thought, “I was second.” He said: “Yes but you didn’t win. This for you is no good.” I thought second was a good job. They are thinking that I mostly won. There is always big pressure.

Q. Everyone is aware of how good the Koreans are. What is the secret to success?
JIYAI SHIN: I think about a real family. We have a strong mind, a little more hard training and we eat the Kim Chi so a little more spicy power. (Kim Chi is a spicy Korean side dish).

Q. Your family supports you?
JIYAI SHIN: Yes. My father comes on the golf tour with me. I think that is very good. I practise harder because I have that support.

Q. Dean Hearden is going to caddie again for you this year?
JIYAI SHIN: Yes.

Q. Did you buy a house?
JIYAI SHIN: No, not yet. At the ADT Championship many players told me, “You buy my house!” I have a good choice.

Q. You said you were worried about your English. Is that because of the LPGA’s position on English or just day to day?
JIYAI SHIN: I speak English very well but I feel more comfortable. Actually English is not a big problem.

Q. How do you feel about your game right now?
JIYAI SHIN: I have a good memory so I feel very comfortable now. It is show time. I have done a lot of hard training and I am ready.

Q. Did you sing a pop song recently?
JIYAI SHIN: Yes I did, last month. I have a single out next week in Korea. It is a remake. It is translated “Don’t Say Goodbye” in Korean. The money is going to charity.

Q. Are you a good singer?
JIYAI SHIN: I like to sing songs but I don’t know.

Q. Where will your first LPGA event this year be?
JIYAI SHIN: Hawaii.