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April 11, 2018
Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii
Q. So excited. You're at the top of the leaderboard. You had what, one bogey today and bunch a birdies out there? What was the round like for you?
SHANSHAN FENG: Uh-huh. I just start the round with a bogey. I mean, I hit a perfect tee shot. Just miss-hit my second shot a little bit; just missed that up and down.
After that, I started to make a few pars. Actually, I saved like quite a few pars, because I thought I only hit like one green in the first five, six holes. Maybe five holes.
After that, I think my confidence is back. Like I started to feel more comfortable. Then I made my first birdie on that 16th -- 15th today. After that, three in a row.
So, I mean, I was feeling really good after that. I think my ball striking is okay, but I think my putting has been pretty good. So very happy about that, because I've been struggling with my putting.
Yeah, very happy about that round today.
Q. What was the key for you playing in this kind of wind?
SHANSHAN FENG: Well, like I always say, I like playing in the wind because I think I just like it. I even get like more excited and more -- like more excited in the wind, because a lot of people would be like worrying, Oh, my God; it's so windy.
I'm like, I wake up and I'm like, Yay, it's windy. So, yeah, that's what I always feel, and that's why in this kind of situation I still stay patient on the course and still stay doing my routine. That's it.
Q. Just trying to keep the ball low?
SHANSHAN FENG: Well, depends on the -- you know, if it's -- yeah, for the drive I would say yes, because even though it's downwind it releases more.
But then I think the shot into the green, we can't really hit them too low because the greens are starting to firm up a little bit compared to Monday. When we played the practice round it was super soft; it's now getting firmer.
Q. You mentioned struggling with your putting. Did you work on that a lot in the break after ANA?
SHANSHAN FENG: Actually, I changed a putter, because I use the same one -- it's still the same one, but, you know, I made some changes. A lot of people told me when I putt my toe is up, so I did adjustments and stuff and actually found out that I couldn't putt.
So I ask Callaway, I was like, Can you get me a new one just like what I got at the beginning? Then I got a new one, and I'm putting like before again. I'm actually putting well.
Q. What kind of club is it, what kind of putter?
SHANSHAN FENG: Callaway --
What putter is that, Odyssey?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yeah.
SHANSHAN FENG: White Hot RX.
Q. So it's the same one you were using before but just a different putter?
SHANSHAN FENG: Different -- yeah, different specs, yeah.
Q. Is this your best round this year?
SHANSHAN FENG: I don't think so. 5-under is -- it's not the lowest score, but I would say that it was a pretty good round today, yeah.
Q. Based on the wind, everything.
SHANSHAN FENG: Yeah, but I never really compare my rounds together. I mean, every time I'm focusing on shot by shot, so I think that's what I did really well today.
I did well the whole day actually. Yeah, I mean, it was a good round.
Q. Do you feel any pressure being No. 1?
SHANSHAN FENG: Well, I did.
Q. At first?
SHANSHAN FENG: Well, I did feel more pressure because like every time I see (indiscernible) it's like Rolex Rankings No. 1. I'm like, Oh, I'm No. 1. A lot of people like medias and people will remind me that I am the No. 1.
Then I started to feel like, you know, I was a little bit different, because what I used to do was actually start like a slow starter for the first two rounds. Then I started to play well on the weekends, especially Sunday.
Now, I'm actually doing the opposite. I'm doing better before Saturday, but then Sunday is the time that I have to move up a little more than moving day, and I actually struggle.
So I think I have -- I did talk to myself. I said, Hey, don't worry about that No. 1 thing. Just play. Bring out my A Game and just enjoy. I think I did really well today.
Q. Does it seem like it's been 22, 23 weeks since you've been No. 1?
SHANSHAN FENG: Maybe. I don't know. (Laughter.) Am I still?
Q. You are still No.1, and it's been 22 weeks.
SHANSHAN FENG: Okay.
Q. Does it fell like it's been that long?
SHANSHAN FENG: Well, I mean, like I said, I had some free weeks. This is only my one, two, three, four, five, six event this season so far. So, I mean, I'm trying to get more and more comfortable for my position.
Like I know like what So Yeon was saying, too. Said she felt a lot of pressure because people were like questioning her like when she was outside of top 10. They were like, What are you doing? What's wrong with you? It's like, Nothing wrong.
So, yeah, I think that's normal for everybody. I'm trying to get more and more comfortable for that.
Q. When you got No. 1, when you kind of flashback, did you ever think that was possible?
SHANSHAN FENG: No. Well, when I started to play golf, no. Because, I mean, I started to play golf when I was ten. I could only like practice, go to a range to hit balls for like hour and a half, two hours every day; tried to play a round every week.
We were off hitting balls off the mats, and by the time we were at the ranges it was dark already. We couldn't really practice short game. That's why when I just got on the tour my short game was like way behind the others.
Yeah, and then -- yeah, I mean, I talked to my friends who like we used to play golf together and grew up together. I was like, Did you ever think I could be world No. 1? They were like, No. Not me either. I mean, nobody.
But, yeah, that is my goal last year, because I've been in the top 10 in the world for quite a few years already pretty steady. I was like, You know what? I'm 27 already. If I want to get to No. 1, this is the time.
So that was my goal and I did it.
Q. When you first started out did you even know who No. 1 in the world was at that time?
SHANSHAN FENG: I think back then it was Annika. Wait. Yes, I think it was Annika.
Q. I know you talked about at one point playing for ten years and maybe starting your academy and stuff.
SHANSHAN FENG: Well, I did start my academy. This is my 11th year; last year was my 10th, so I did start my academy, but I'm not retiring yet.
I mean, I just became world No. 1 at the end of my 10th season. I couldn't believe, you know, I was still improving. I still think that I still have more spaces to go. I'm not the best yet. So that's why I want to keep playing.
And also, I really want to play another Olympics. Yeah, last time, I mean, I was in Rio. I had good results, but I didn't really enjoy the whole process because I was so nervous the whole time.
This time if I can go to Japan I really want to enjoy how an Olympian's life is like. Then, yeah, other than the competition, I want to enjoy, too.
Q. What kind of feeling do you get from China when you do well or if you're leading today? What kind of feedback do you get from home?
SHANSHAN FENG: Now people are actually getting more and more used to, Oh, she made other top 3. Oh, she won another tournament. They're getting more and more comfortable.
But I think the No. 1 thing, the No. 1 position is really inspiring a lot of people back home. I think we have our juniors, like junior players increase, increasement. Is that what you say?
Q. Yeah, growing.
SHANSHAN FENG: Growing, increasing like every year. Like 2015, like you know the kids that are playing the tournaments, they have to register with the China Golf Association first. So there were only like more than 3000, 2015; 2016 was like 15,000.
SHANSHAN FENG: Then last year it was more than 30,000. So the growth has been really, really good.
So I'm happy to see that.
Q. Did you got recognized when you go home?
SHANSHAN FENG: Not very often. Yeah, I would say still -- golf is getting more and more popular, but still, I mean, people don't get to watch us on TV that much. They can only watch us like sometimes online or on those -- on the channels that you have to pay.
Q. Olympics must have helped quite a bit. (Indiscernible.)
SHANSHAN FENG: Yeah. I mean, like I said, you can tell by the numbers how many more juniors there are right now.
And I do think that now we have four -- well, four girls on the LPGA; we have two guys just made it to the PGA last season; then Hao-Tong Li's is in top 50 in the world. He made the cut at the Masters and he won on the European Tour early this year.
I think Chinese golf has been improving.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports