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March 28, 2018

Shanshan Feng

Rancho Mirage, California

THE MODERATOR: I'm glad to be joined by World No. 1, Shanshan Feng, currently in her 20th week atop the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings. She has nine LPGA victories. This is her ninth time here at the ANA Inspiration. Welcome back to Rancho Mirage, Shanshan. I know you finished up and played in the morning wave of the Pro-Am. How does the golf course look out there?

SHANSHAN FENG: The golf course is in great shape, because I played the other nine yesterday, and I played the front nine today. The greens are rolling, the rough is pretty high still. I mean, everything is in good shape, and I really like it.

Q. You're playing in your ninth ANA Inspiration with the best finish of sixth here in 2014. You've played well here, but maybe never quite contended out of that one. Is this a challenging golf course for you? What are your thoughts on playing here at Mission Hills?
SHANSHAN FENG: Well, I thought that normally like a tight course like this and a lot of the times that we would actually have a lot of wind, I thought it would be a good course for myself.

But I don't even know why I've never really played super well here. But who knows, because before I won the LPGA championships, before that year I never had a top 10 in a major, and I always struggled on the course but then I ended up winning that year. So hopefully this year I can make my record become a little bit better at the Dinah Shore golf course.

Q. You continue to sit at World No. 1, like I said, in your 20th week. So many people hanging close to you. I know at the beginning you said, "I was lucky. I had it during the off-season." But now you're at World No. 1 while you're playing. Does that change your mentality at all about thinking about staying at World No. 1 or trying to maintain that?
SHANSHAN FENG: Well, of course, if I can stay as long as possible. I mean, but I'm really not thinking about it, but of course, people keep telling me I'm World No. 1, World No. 1 for how many weeks in a row now of course that's going to give me a little pressure because I think people expect the World No. 1 to do well all the time, which, we don't.

Normally I'm a slow starter, so I'm not surprised to see myself finishing out of the Top 10 the last two weeks that I played. I think I'm still working my way out there to try to get my A-game back. I think my putting is improving a little bit. So hopefully this week everything will be there.

Q. You just mentioned your putting. Has that been a concern to you or is that an area of weakness so far this year?
SHANSHAN FENG: I think my putting was pretty good in the Bahamas, but then afterwards I was -- I did some changes on my putter, and I think I'm still not like so used to it yet. But I do think that the changes were good, so I'm getting used to it.

I've been working on putting from Monday until now, and I think my putting has improved a lot, and I'm feeling more and more comfortable about the way that I putt now. So I'm feeling confident about my putting.

Q. A follow-up to that, So Yeon Ryu was in yesterday, and she said being No. 1 changed the expectations more than winning a major, in that if she wasn't contending or trying to win all the time, it was like, what's wrong, what's the problem. Are you feeling that yet, and how will you deal with that?
SHANSHAN FENG: I don't think so. Like I said, because I know that even though I'm the World No. 1, but I'm not going to win every week. I think even though last year I became World No. 1 at the end of the year, but throughout the year I did win three times, but I just missed like two cuts and I did finish like in 40s, 50s quite a few times in the year. So I mean it happens.

So I'm not really thinking why am I struggling or anything like that. I'm just trying to bring out my A-game every week and just try my best every week. Because I know if somebody plays better than I do, then they become world number one. But I know if I play well again, I can be No. 1 again, so it doesn't really matter.

Q. Inbee was in here and we were talking about how this is usually a bomber's course. But she felt like the rough being up and thicker this year that it played to her advantage. Do you feel that way as well?
SHANSHAN FENG: Well, I think the rough has been pretty long the past few years, I think. But I think, of course, if the rough is long, it's good for us. Both Inbee and I are not super long. I'm around 250 average. I mean, back like ten years ago when I first got on the Tour, 250 was kind of long. Now 250 is actually over 100. I think I was like 110 on the driving distance, something like that. But the girls are now hitting like super long.

But if they're long and wild, then it doesn't work here. So I think it's good.

Q. Do you ever feel like you need to gain distance? Obviously, I'm asking the player currently ranked No. 1, but do you ever feel like you need to gain distance to keep up, or do you think that everything that's in your arsenal right now is enough?
SHANSHAN FENG: Well, I do think that the last two years I did lose some distance. So I'm working on the swing a little more. I'm working on the turn of my body. I do think that actually I gained maybe a few yards, like five to ten yards on my driver.

Q. This year?
SHANSHAN FENG: I think so. Like started from maybe Singapore. So I'm feeling good. I mean, because I think my strength is actually my accuracy. So the other girls will be hitting -- when they're hitting maybe 6-irons -- or when they're hitting 9-irons, I might be hitting 7-irons, but if my 7-iron is more accurate than their 9-iron, then it doesn't matter.

Q. You mentioned you haven't had the best results here. You've still had a couple pretty good tournaments. From the time you first got here, what have you learned about the course, or how do you feel differently about the course? Because some people say it takes a while to learn about the golf course.
SHANSHAN FENG: You mean this year?

Q. No, just from the time you started until now, what have you learned about the golf course.
SHANSHAN FENG: I think this golf course, I think that we can actually be more aggressive because like a good ball striker, especially, including myself, because I know putting is not one of my strongest parts, so if I can give myself as many birdie chances -- I mean, as many birdie chances as I can, of course that's going to help me to be able to shoot low scores. If I want to have a chance to win this week, I guess that's what I have to do, just be more aggressive.

Q. Just one quick question that applies to this place, can you swim?
SHANSHAN FENG: I can. I'm not like really good at it, but I will survive in the water (laughing). And I don't know how deep that pond is, but I do believe it's not covering -- it's not that tall, right. So I won't have any trouble in there. The more I'm worrying is breaking my legs, yeah. But if I can jump in, I can break my legs. It's okay.

THE MODERATOR: It would be worth it to break your legs?

SHANSHAN FENG: Oh, yeah, it would be worth it.

THE MODERATOR: So when she comes in here on a stretcher, it's worth it.

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