An Interview with: KOHKI IDOKI
KELLY ELBIN: Ladies and gentlemen, the 74th Senior PGA champion, Kohki Idoki, from Japan. Kohki today shot 6 under par 65 to win the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid by two strokes here at Bellerive Country Club. He will be helped out today with this press conference by an interpreter who will translate the questions. First of all, Kohki, congratulations and tell us how it feels to have won this championship.
KOHKI IDOKI: It's one of the greatest things to become a PGA Champion. And I cannot think any more.
KELLY ELBIN: Can you tell us when you thought you had a chance to actually win the championship? Was it one particular shot or on a particular hole where he felt like he had a good chance to win.
KOHKI IDOKI: I don't think to win any more, until the final holes. I believed if I made the 2 putt on the 18th hole that I could win.
KELLY ELBIN: Let's open it up for questions.
Q. Is this the greatest thing you have ever done in golf?
KOHKI IDOKI: It is one of the greatest things to win in this game, so I cannot imagine any more. I cannot understand any situation that would be more important.
Q. What will be the reaction in Japan to your win?
KOHKI IDOKI: My performance to make the birdies and that, it's the same as in Japan. And I was surprised to tear up when I was putting for the win. I was surprised also with the huge galleries on the course. I was very excited. Thank you very much.
Q. Could you please talk, if you could, about how you got into golf, how you started the game many years ago, just a little bit about you and how you got into golf. Did you come from a large city, small town? Just anything about your life earlier.
KOHKI IDOKI: When I was nine years old I liked to play golf to look at the neighborhood. I grew up at the country club in Osaka and that's a famous golf course there in Japan. So I wanted to be a professional golfer to look at the poster and the figures, and I respected the professional golfers.
KELLY ELBIN: What were your goals this week? Did you want to make the cut? When did you start thinking about winning?
KOHKI IDOKI: I didn't imagine I would win until the third round. But I continued playing my best all week and I didn't imagine I would win this week. But I can't believe that I am the champion.
Q. What, if anything, did you know about the City of St. Louis before you arrived here this week?
KOHKI IDOKI: Earlier this week, I arrived on Saturday and I did running at the Ritz Carlton and I got to know the area that way. I took some runs and I talked with the local people, and I enjoyed it very much.
KELLY ELBIN: Did you go to any favorite restaurant or do anything special this week?
KOHKI IDOKI: I enjoyed a meal at the Ritz Carlton restaurant. I liked to have a meal in front of the hotel. It's very comfortable to have my dinner outside. I liked it very much.
Q. The embrace with Joe Ozaki after the 18th hole, wonder if you would talk about what that meant to have Joe Ozaki waiting for you after you finished on the 18th.
KOHKI IDOKI: When I got to have eligibility for this championship, Mr. Joe Ozaki invited me to go with him. And every time I asked him about the United States, Mr. Joe Ozaki mentored me for all my golf life when I became a senior. And I respect Mr. Joe Ozaki.
Q. When was this, was this your first trip to the United States? First trip?
KOHKI IDOKI: It is my very first time to visit the United States. I prefer to just stay in Japan.
KELLY ELBIN: Kohki Idoki, the 74th Senior PGA champion. Congratulations.
KOHKI IDOKI: Thank you.
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