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November 9, 2018

Gaby Lopez

Hainan Island, China

THE MODERATOR: I'm going to say happy birthday to you.

GABY LOPEZ: Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: You've given yourself a lovely, lovely birthday gift. Tell us a little bit about that first of all and then we'll open the floor. How is that?


THE MODERATOR: Obviously you didn't expect that, right? You probably were dreaming about it.

GABY LOPEZ: Yeah, it's been a great week. No. 17, as soon as the ball left the club, my 7-iron, I knew it was a good shot. The ball landed and then I turned around and my caddie, he said, It went in. I'm like, No way.

I mean, I didn't see it go in but I just believed him.

THE MODERATOR: A dream come true.

GABY LOPEZ: Yes, for sure.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Maybe you can give us an overall assessment of your performance so far.

GABY LOPEZ: Yeah, it's been a great week. I love this place. First time I came here in 2016 I knew I liked the golf course. You know, the people and the hotel is just -- everything is so convenient.

I'm just really very lucky and grateful to be here.


Q. (Through translation.) Actually in the just-concluded Buick Tournament Danielle won, and she celebrated her birthday on the same day. By the same token, with the HSBC in Shanghai the champion celebrated his birthday. Yours is a today. Tomorrow is the final day. Did it occur to you you might celebrate it with a lovely birthday present, so to speak?
GABY LOPEZ: I hope so. Danielle is a good friend of mine and I knew that she won in her birthday week. It was very special and she's a great friend of mine.

It would be a dream come true for sure to have a great round tomorrow and to get that trophy, but I just cannot let myself think of the future. I cannot think of what's going to happen tomorrow or what do I need to do.

I really just need to be in the moment, enjoy the present, and, I don't know, just keep smiling around the golf course.

Q. You were playing with Ariya today; likely playing with her tomorrow. What's the challenge of playing with the world No. 1, and has that helped push your game?
GABY LOPEZ: You know, playing with Ariya, it's -- I think I'm very fortunate to be sharing the golf course with the world No. 1 golfer. You know, it's just I don't take it as extra pressure. I take it as, you know, I'm right here because I can do it. It's not because of luck. It's not because I've been having good bounces around the golf course. You know, I'm just very, very excited to do it again tomorrow.

I don't know what's going to happen, but these days have been really, really nice and very, very motivating for me. You know, I would love to share more golf courses with her.

Q. (Through translation.) The very beginning today you caught a few birdies; in the middle of the process you made a couple errors. Could you just relive some of the moments during the whole process?
GABY LOPEZ: Yeah, you know, this golf course, it's a good challenge. It's hard. It's not easy, especially with the wind blowing 30 miles an hour. So I just knew I was going to make mistakes. I know that I'm going to make mistakes tomorrow.

It's just matter of forgiving myself as quick as possible and pushing myself into having lots of patience, which actually that was the key for today. I had a great finish, and I think hopefully I can keep that tomorrow as well.

Q. So your birdie on 18, about how long was it?
GABY LOPEZ: 21 feet.

Q. How did you feel standing over it?
GABY LOPEZ: You know, actually my grandpa just passed away a couple week ago, and every since I was in the hospital with him I told him I was going to get him a win and he would see it.

Unfortunately he didn't. I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, but he was on my mind in that putt. I remember saying, you know, just a question like, Do you believe me? I'm like, Yes, I trust you.

I hit the putt and I made it. It's very, very special to have those moments of peace, you know, very calm. I feel right now very calm. Of course I was nervous during the round, but I don't know, I guess I'm just trusting.

Q. You have had spark in you all week. I've noticed that. Think it's eyes from above maybe?
GABY LOPEZ: Yeah, I guess. I would love to have him here, but I guess he's in a better place.

Q. What was his name?
GABY LOPEZ: Jose Lopez.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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