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July 15, 2017

Shanshan Feng

Bedminster, New Jersey

THE MODERATOR: Good evening. Welcome to the 2017 U.S. Women's Open Championship. It is my pleasure to introduce our current leader, Shenshen Feng who finally, as she said coming off of the course today, made her first birdie on 18 after 17 consecutive pars.

1-under. She's currently 9-under and holds a one stroke lead heading into tomorrow's final round.

Can you talk a little bit about today's round and the patience you need and finally making that birdie on 18?

SHANSHAN FENG: Well, I think I mean on my first holes I had to save some really long par putts and then -- which I did.

So after that, I mean I started to feel more comfortable. At the beginning I felt a little bit pressure because it's my first time actually leading before the tournament finishes in the Major. Last time when I won the Major I came from behind so I never really led during the tournament.

So, I did feel a little bit pressure but I think I was -- I did pretty well under the pressure and then I started to hit the ball better, closer to the hole so I had some birdie chances.

But, I mean putting didn't really work today. I just couldn't get the line and the speed together. And then I was like okay, let's go to Plan B.

Plan B is like when my putting is not working I try to hit the ball closer to the holes so I don't need to worry about making the putts, and 17 -- 16 and 17 I hit very great shots into the green but I guess they weren't close enough so I still missed them.

Then on 18th I was like, "Let's hit them little more closer" and then I hit it to three feet and finally I made a putt.

I mean that birdie made my day today.

THE MODERATOR: You mentioned a Plan A and Plan B. Did you have a Plan C as well?

SHANSHAN FENG: Yes, I do. I mean Plan C is like when I can't even make shots and try to hit them into the hole.

THE MODERATOR: That's a great Plan C. We'll open it to questions.

Q. How do you think winning a Major will play out in China differently now that you're an Olympic medalist?
SHANSHAN FENG: Well, I would say after I got the Bronze medal last year there were more Chinese people, maybe they didn't play golf but they still got to know me because of the Olympics and I think it will be great if any Chinese can win Majors but I'm not going to say, you know, how big it is going to be, and let's see what happens if I win and then we'll know.

I can't really guess it.

Q. Given the President of the United States is here, can you describe the story that you met your President after the Olympics last year and what you said to him?
SHANSHAN FENG: You never heard of it?


SHANSHAN FENG: Really? Okay.

So, all of the athletes, the Olympians from Chinese team after we finished the Olympics and our President, Mr. Xi actually came to see all of us in Beijing and we were lined up and then all the medalists were on the first row where the President will come in from one side and start shaking our hands to go all the way around, and I was a Bronze medalist, I was closer to the side.

So it was like maybe ten people before me and then the President, here he came and I felt like he was like so how to say, so charming, felt like it was a ring around him and I was like, "Oh, our President such a President."

Then when it came to my turn, everybody -- he was just shaking the hand and move on for like one second or two, but when it got to my turn I held his hand, right? I said, "President, you're so handsome." (Laughter).

I mean I didn't even think about it, you know. I just said it because that was what I was feeling at the time, and I said that. He was shocked. He actually stepped back and then shake my hand again.

So, other than other than the two seconds I actually got to meet him, four seconds (laughter). I think that was great, yeah.

THE MODERATOR: I'm sure he remembers you.

SHANSHAN FENG: Hopefully I didn't say anything bad. It was compliment.

Q. You said you had a few nerves today but you also said that you don't watch boards. Is that something you plan to change tomorrow in this position?

Q. At no point do you want to know how you stand relevant to the field?
SHANSHAN FENG: Not really. I mean unless if I'm like maybe like way back, then my caddy will know, now, we have to be really aggressive, yeah. But, other than that, I don't think so.

Q. How important was it for you to stay as consistent as you were? It seemed like every single shot off the tee you were right down the middle of the fairway, every approach, you went right to the green.
How important was it if you were going to play even par golf, how important was it for you to make sure that you hit the ball as consistently as you did straight down the middle of the fairway?

SHANSHAN FENG: Well, I mean I can't really control, I mean, the result. All I can do is try to control -- you know, try to focus during my swing and try to do the right things, and I think really my swing has been pretty good so I'm hitting the ball pretty straight and I think that I believe that's a very important thing in the Majors because I mean the fairways and greens are -- just needs a lot of the accuracy.

And coming from last week it was great because last week I played the tournament in China and the golf course was so, so narrow. The fairways were maybe only 20 to 25 yards wide with out of bounds on both sides. I really did practice my long game.

And, so, coming to this week, that's a good thing.

THE MODERATOR: Perfect. Question in the back.

Q. How important was that bunker shot at 15 as far as just kind of holding things together; that was a rather spectacular recovery out of that bunker?
SHANSHAN FENG: You mean the one on 15? Okay. Yeah. Because that hole, the par 5, I didn't hit a very good second shot and then I left myself like a 70-yard bunker shot which I think is one of the hardest shots in golf. We don't normally practice that.

So, all I could do was try to -- I went through about like what I needed to do for the shot and then I just trying to feel it and I really hit a great shot.

After that, I mean, I felt great about my iron game. I put the ball really close to the pins on 16, 17 and 18.

So, I think yeah, of course, that would help because if I messed up maybe on the 15 that would have maybe come up with a bogey and then everything maybe would have changed after that.

THE MODERATOR: Another question.

Q. Are there courses that compare to this in China? What's your frame of reference in China for something like this, how does this course compare to what you typically would find in China?
SHANSHAN FENG: Well, this course, I mean it's just such a championship course that we have narrow fairways and we have very thick rough and the greens are really undulated so it requires a lot of accuracy.

It's not a golf course for long hitters. I mean just long hitters because long hitters can be wild and they'll be in trouble on this course. It's better for like straight players and then consistent players.

And I would say in China we have all kinds of different courses but maybe we have a lot more hilly courses. This one, it's a little hilly but I mean there are just so many different kinds of golf courses.

THE MODERATOR: Another question.

Q. Have you thought about what you might say to President Trump if you had an opportunity to talk to him?
SHANSHAN FENG: You want to talk about what I'm wearing tomorrow (laughter)?

Q. What are you wearing?
THE MODERATOR: We do, actually.

SHANSHAN FENG: I think maybe I'll bring out my cow shorts again because so many people ask for them. Maybe I'll wear them tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR: I do have one more question.

You said earlier about the crowd support. Can you talk about some of the fans, obviously quite a number of fans out here today.

Can you talk about the support you received while playing?

SHANSHAN FENG: Yeah. Normally, because I'm in the U.S. so there are normally not that many Chinese fans will come to the course to support me but I guess because I'm actually up on the leaderboard so a lot of Chinese people know that I'm playing well so they came over to support me.

I heard a lot of people, they were saying Chinese, speaking Chinese on the course, trying to support me. I felt really excited and I really wanted to make more birdies for them but I didn't.

At least I made the last one, so, to make them a little bit maybe more happy.

THE MODERATOR: I'm sure you did. Good job. Do we have any other questions? Shanshan, thanks so much. Congratulations again. One stroke lead heading into tomorrow's final round.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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