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November 7, 2015

Haotong Li

Shanghai, China

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, tied second now after day three. Would you talk a little bit about your game today.

HAOTONG LI: I felt that my performance is excellent today from my expectations. I started the day with four birdie. I had already prepared the night before that I'm going to be facing a lot of stress and it's going to be a very intense challenge and also I'm probably going to see a lot of fans there cheering.

But since I already prepared myself for the day, I felt that with what I had done today is out of my expectations. I feel that I did really well today.

Q. Your participation in the HSBC junior program, did that help to you grow and help you to do so well here in the HSBC Champions?
HAOTONG LI: It definitely had a lot of support and help from the HSBC CGA Junior Programme and it's good for a junior like me to get the feel and challenge of the game while I'm still a youngster. I want to thank HSBC once again for providing the CGA junior program for allowing young golfers like me to grow and develop.

Q. While you have experienced participation in the Web.com in the States now, with the lead now going into the fourth round, how tense have you felt?
HAOTONG LI: I started getting used to the intensity because of the way I played on the Web.com, the challenge and the competition was so intense that sometimes I felt like I cannot breathe properly.

But every week, I want to do better in order to gain a guard but right now, my status right now, I already get used to the intensity that I will be facing in the game.

Q. You still have not had a perfect weekend to win the tournament, but going into one of the top golfers right now -- day four, do you feel there's any sign -- how do you feel about getting that trophy at the very end?
HAOTONG LI: This tournament is so big, it's too big -- I know that the final day, a lot of people are going to be hitting a lot of birdies. But that's why I thought that my target, my goal of this tournament would be making the top ten, because making the top ten will already be a highlight and a milestone for my short career.

I hope that tomorrow I can do well and finish at the position of where I want to.

Q. Do you think you can win?
HAOTONG LI: I don't think so (laughing, shaking head).

Q. What club on 15?
HAOTONG LI: 5-iron.

Q. And how did you prepare for stress last night, and because of that, were you able to have fun today instead of not being able to breathe?
HAOTONG LI: Well, I felt that, yes, less stress for sure, because after yesterday, I had a lot of thinking and I know that today there's going to be a lot of friends and fans there to support me, which is going to make it feel stressful or tense. But after stepping on the course, I don't feel that intense no more, and after I made the first four birdies, my attitude towards the game started changing to be a lot more relaxed while playing today's game.

So yes, I felt better after last night's thought and preparation before today's game.

Q. Right now, you're probably getting to a position that none of the Chinese golfers have ever done, so after tomorrow, your World Ranking will probably climb significantly. So will you change any plan or strategy for next year?
HAOTONG LI: I really don't know, so let's see how tomorrow falls, because if it's destined for me to do something good, you cannot stop it. So what I will try to do is I will do my best tomorrow and see how things go.

Q. Will it feel different this year compared to last year in how you played and approach the game, because after your experience in the United States and the PGA TOUR, it feels a little bit different. Can you explain or elaborate how different it is?
HAOTONG LI: The biggest difference is I saw that there are more fans coming to support me. Back in the day, in such a big tournament, when I started getting under par, I would get very intense. But right now, even if I'm doing an under-par performance, I still want to do better and hit better, so this is the biggest difference from the past.

Q. You have always said when it comes to you, you can hit any shot. So do you feel the same today when you're making a run?
HAOTONG LI: Not really, because I have never thought about this, that I can make it to this position right now after day three. So the main factor will be, one, because of the home court; and secondly, the support from the fans; and thirdly, majorly it's about luck, because I feel that I made a lot of lucky shots today. I made a lot of birdie putts that I am not used to making.

In the past, I don't really -- I haven't been able to make five-yard putts that easy like today. It might not be that much, but it's more than what I always did before. So I have to thank the fans, because for a couple of shots, I felt that it's the fans's support that helped push the ball into the hole.

Q. Tomorrow you play with either Dustin Johnson or Jordan Spieth. How do you feel about that?
HAOTONG LI: Pretty cool. Must be fun. Hopefully they are nice guy. (Laughter).

Q. No matter what happens tomorrow, how much will that help with experience for later?
HAOTONG LI: To me, this has to be a very good experience, probably a lifetime experience that has never happened before to me, and it would be a very good approach for me going into the last day. I wish that I can keep doing well, like how I did these past three days, and still, I want to emphasize that a top ten finish will be my goal and milestone to make for this year's tournament.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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