BEDMINSTER, N.J. — On to the next for the LPGA’s latest major winner.
After a brief celebration in her home of Las Vegas, Danielle Kang, who won the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship just nine days ago, wasted little time in getting back to work and preparing for this week’s U.S. Women’s Open at Trump National Bedminster.
“I’ve been on cloud nine and I’ve been trying to come down from it just so I can focus on this week,” Kang said during her Tuesday press conference. “It’s been incredible.”
Kang won her first LPGA tournament and first major with a birdie on the 72nd hole at Olympia Fields, and exaltation followed. The relief on the green was palpable. A week after her triumph, Kang told GOLF.com that she was “relieved, more than anything.”
“I feel like I can breathe,” said Kang, who tees off at 12:52 p.m. Thursday. “I’ve been waiting for that win for so long … Whenever people would say, ‘You had such a great amateur career, what happened?’ I’m like, nothing happened. I’m OK with where I am, just one thing I regret was not winning while my dad was alive.”
Kang lost her father in 2013 after a battle with brain and lung cancer. She paid a touching tribute to him following her PGA win, honoring him at his grave with her caddie bib.
“I did, I tried,” Kang said of trying to win for her dad. “I gave everything I could. I hope that he was able to see [my win], and I know that he was with me.”
But Kang and her caddie — after a brief celebration with DJ Steve Aoki in Vegas — quickly turned to their next test, preparing to play what Kang calls “a stressful golf course” in Trump National Bedminster. She’s focused on figuring out her strategy, and not on the ancillary discussions around the president’s golf dealings and past comments about women — a theme in the press conference room on Tuesday.
Twice, @cbrennansports has asked an LPGA pro about Trump. Twice, the USGA moderator has asked the next question. (Hint: Not about Trump.)
— Steve Politi (@StevePoliti) July 11, 2017
“We get asked a golf question, we are free to answer any of our opinions,” Kang said when asked why players seemed to shy away from answering questions about the President’s comments. “We’re here to play a golf tournament. We’re here to play a major championship hosted by the USGA. We’re all just really happy to be playing the U.S. Open.”