Danielle Kang knew something wasn’t right after competing in Hawaii two weeks ago. The five-time LPGA Tour and major champion opened up about on-course anxieties right before the LOTTE Championship and after a T33 finish in Oahu, she made the decision to withdraw from the HUGEL-AIR PREMIA LA Open to focus on herself before heading around the world to Singapore for the HSBC Women’s World Championship.
“As a competitor, it's not fair to play when I don't really feel like it and that's not fair to me as a golfer and my team because we work hard and why I didn't really feel like it was because I wasn't in it 100 percent,” Kang said. “To tune up the game, I saw (my coach) Butch as soon as I landed. I went back home, I saw Butch as soon as possible on Sunday and we all decided that, you know, maybe just fine tuning my game. But I needed to work out and get my body prepared and to be able to swing the way I can with authority and things like that. So, it was a good work-in-progress. I worked with my trainers, Jimmy -- great physio and fitness center slept in every day. It was really good.”
Kang is adjusting to the COVID-19 protocols and keeping to as much of a routine as she can, bringing her own workout equipment for her hotel room and painting essentials to draw while sequestered after each day on the course. If anything, Kang said she’s most ready for the heat, which she prefers to play in rather than colder temperatures.
“The heat, I don't know, I think it slows me down. I can't run around like a headless chicken like I normally do. I can't get too emotional. It's too tiring. I can't walk that fast. Everything just I think slows down and I think that's a good thing. Gets you to breathe,” said Kang. “I prepare with different types of Vitamin C drinks and I drink a lot of Airborne on the golf course, nice energy, steady energy and knowing when you need sugar spikes and everything like that. Pretty aware of my body. I think that's one thing that I do have going for me in the heat.”
As she prepares for another week out on the LPGA Tour, Kang said she’s set a strategy with what she’s been working on at home and from what she gained with the week off. “I think trusting my game and trusting my short game, that's one part that I can trust, my wedges. And this golf course I think having the green speed and knowing the breaks on the greens and things like that, the golf course knowledge will be really helpful,” said Kang. “I've been here years prior. They changed a couple holes. With all that said, I think just focusing on the present and trying to play the shot in front of me would be the most important for me.”