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January 22, 2019

Haotong Li

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Q. Welcome back to Dubai. Thrilling week for you as defending champion, always gives you a little bit of a different feeling.
HAOTONG LI: Yeah, it's quite a special feeling for me because only the second time being defending a title, which is quite happy I can be here again.

Q. Last year, that was such an epic victory for you, especially going down to the wire with Rory. It was mainly just the two of you all day.
HAOTONG LI: Yeah, I've been playing solid all week that week, and yesterday I did a little bit of practise round on the back nine. Pretty much every hole, I can still remember every shot from the exact point. It's such a great memory.

Q. I think with eight holes left, you were two shots behind Rory just before everything changed. What were you thinking at that time?
HAOTONG LI: Well, at that time, I felt like if I just got beat from Rory, it's fine. It's not a big deal. If I got beat from someone bad than me, I'm probably going to feel bad (laughing).

Q. I think things changed for you when he dropped a shot on 16 and you maintained a positive attitude and he had to match your whack to back birdies on 17 and 18?
HAOTONG LI: Yeah, yeah, especially the last four holes, especially on hole No. 15 from outside the green, I made the putt, which is quite lucky and which is the turning point.

Q. Tell us about the last putt on the 72nd hole. I think it was about four foot but must have felt about ten.
HAOTONG LI: That was more than four foot. It's like 12-foot. And my caddie said I was outside left. I said no, it's inside left. I mean, just putt that ball, and if not in, whatever, playoff, finish second's fine. It was a great feeling and pretty much got a lot of go things going from there.

Q. Tell us what you have to do this week. How does it course lay out for you?
HAOTONG LI: Still pretty good. Pretty comfortable. Especially last week, the season starts, just have to get used to it. Playing on a course again in a tournament. Now I'm kind of finding rhythm a little bit.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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