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October 24, 2018

Li Haotong

Shanghai, China

THE MODERATOR: Talk about your goals this week at the World Golf Championships - HSBC Champions.

LI HAOTONG: I just want a chance to play better, and to have a good performance, as well, and to enjoy this great event, great week here.

THE MODERATOR: What is your most memorable time this year?

LI HAOTONG: Well, of course, winning, to be able to get such a good result at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic this year, certainly gave me a post for this year's performance.

I want to thank the CGA, the China Golf Association, for giving me that good chance to compete across the world and to have that opportunity to win such a great event. It has been an amazing year.

Q. Looking at the statistics this year, you played pretty well on The European Tour, but for some reason, not so well in the United States. Is there any particular reason? Is it the environment or any other reason for that?
LI HAOTONG: Well, this year, I'm still getting used to the new environment because this first year, I played a lot of tournaments and particularly trying to cope with the new environment there in the United States.

Particularly, in the United States, when I participated, most of the tournaments actually have a pretty good lineup. It's pretty tough to handle.

So next year, I'm going to have focus more on some particular tournaments in order to perform better, and definitely I'm going to have a lot more improvements coming next year.

Q. This week's World Golf Championships - HSBC Champions here, is there any expectations coming into this year's tournament?
LI HAOTONG: Of course, a chance to try to play better, and I feel that I will have a breakthrough this year because I have pretty good momentum and I'm in pretty good shape. I'm definitely looking for not only a good score here this week here at the World Golf Championships - HSBC Champions, but also to have a breakthrough.

Q. If your goal is to enjoy the game and the golf course, and how can you enjoy to that level, what kind of detail do you have to get done?
LI HAOTONG: Well, the opening driver is actually very important on this golf course because the rough is pretty difficult to handle. So if you can have a pretty good drive, it will give me a better chance to maybe grab an eagle and grab a birdie. So the opening is very important to play this golf course.

Q. Do you finds playing in front of an expectant home crowd, does that boost you or does it give you more pressure?
LI HAOTONG: Well, it is a lot of pressure, but I think right now I'm much better to compare. I think three years ago, I was one behind in the last or second group. So I enjoy it more and I'm more used to it I think.

Q. What would it mean to you to win what is obviously Asia's major? This is now a really massive tournament now with a very high profile in the world of golf.
LI HAOTONG: Well, it definitely means a lot. Especially if you win this event, then I have a five-year exemption on the PGA TOUR. I think this is a huge thing for everyone. Hopefully I can have a good result this week and have a good season to finish.

Q. Right now, being back into the world's Top-50, is there pressure to keep that World Ranking, or do you have better goals that you have to achieve?
LI HAOTONG: Well, definitely, when I was out of the world's Top-50, the pressure is pretty high. But following the couple of weeks, I'm picking up momentum and I'm in good shape. That's the most important than the ranking because I have to put more focus to keep myself at a high level and to keep stable and keep in good shape. That's more important than just focusing on the ranking.

Q. It seems like now you did have a better result comparing to all the great China pioneer golfers. Is there a particular reason? Is it about your mentality, your personality, your skill set, or all of the above?
LI HAOTONG: I feel that I'm actually not better than them at all, but good things comes when you have more practise, and by looking at some of the new younger generation now in China golfers, such as Ye Wocheng, we have a very good potential in China golf to be able to match up with other Asian countries like Korea, Japan and Thailand, to be able to have more than ten golfers in the world's biggest stage and at a high level of golfing championships.

Definitely it's a good thing that China is happening, not just playing better, but now overall, to have a better level with the young Chinese golfers.

Q. Sometimes playing golf is pretty tough to handle, so during your training, your games, matches, where is the fun part that helps you in supporting your passion to play better in golf?
LI HAOTONG: I am trying to find more joy in every single tournament that I play, but I do feel that playing golf is a fun thing. It's an interesting thing, and as long as I can keep this kind of positive attitude, I will definitely play better and enjoy it more.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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