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July 7, 2019

Shanshan Feng

Oneida, Wisconsin

THE MODERATOR: All right, welcome everyone inside the media center here at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic. I am now joined by our 2019 champion, Shanshan Feng.

What an incredible final round. How are you feeling now that you've just stepped off the golf course?

SHANSHAN FENG: Of course I feel really good because I think that, you know, I had a really good day today. All of the four rounds; 9-under today was actually the lowest. It's the lowest score for me in a while.

I didn't actually get to play with Ariya in the same group and I don't look at the leaderboard, so I actually had no clue what the others were doing before I finished the round.

Then the way that -- when I was walking up the hill on the last hole, 18, I saw there were so many people. Looked like they were ready to have the ceremony already.

So I was like, Maybe I'm winning already. So then after I mark the ball I looked up the leaderboard. I was like, Hang on. There are two person tied at 28-under. I was like, so I have to make this putt to actually be able two win.

So suddenly the little putt was -- made me a little nervous, but I've been playing really well this week and I was like, Just another good putt, good stroke, and it went in. I was really happy about it.

THE MODERATOR: You said on the green that this win, this round, really bolstered your confidence. How much did it do for you coming up into the rest of the summer stretch?

SHANSHAN FENG: Well, you know, I haven't been having a good year so far. I missed all three cuts at the first three majors, so I was, you know, kind of little lost.

But I knew that I'm just making changes to get better in the future. I was trying to gain a little distance. After I gained the distance and then I kind of lost the control about the direction and the distance.

But starting last week I felt like my iron game kind of came back. This week I think I got everything together, which is like what I said end of last week. I said, I just hope that I can be in the winning circle as soon as possible.

Actually this week I did it.

THE MODERATOR: All right, we'll open it up to questions.

Q. About those irons. Talk about the two on 16 and then on 18 you both stuck it awfully close.
SHANSHAN FENG: Actually I think I used 8-iron quite a lot on the back nine. I think the 14th hole, which I hit the 8-iron and then to tap-in; then 16 was 8-iron again and then I hit it to three feet; and last hole was 8-iron again and I hit it to four feet.

So I guess 8-iron was maybe my best friend this week. I think, you know, I'll just try to use my 8-iron as much as I can in the future maybe.

THE MODERATOR: When you came off the green there were so many people just cheering your name. For you, you said you wanted to get back in the winning circle as soon as possible. When you saw those crowds cheering for you knowing that you had won, how did you feel right away?

SHANSHAN FENG: Well, I knew that it would be a tough competition today because weather is nice, not much wind. This golf course is like a birdie or eagle contest, so I knew that I would have to go low to be able to win.

I just aimed for 30-under. That was my goal at the beginning of the week. If I can get to 30-under I think I can win. If I still don't win, then means it's just not my week.

So I was still going for the 30-under until the last hole. When I made a par on the 17th, I mean, I knew that I wasn't going to reach the 30, but I was still going hard for the 29.

That that's why I hit a very good second shot on 18.

THE MODERATOR: You said yesterday you were paired with Tiffany Joh, one of the funnest personalities on the LPGA Tour. You were with her again today. What was that like for you all over again?

SHANSHAN FENG: Well, I felt like I was very lucky, because the first two days I had Amy Yang, which is one of my best friends on the tour. So, I mean, the first two days were super nice. Then the third and fourth day, weekend, I got Tiffany Joh, so another very nice, funny person.

So I would say that I was very lucky to be able to be paired with them. Just really enjoy -- doesn't really matter how I played, but I just really enjoyed the whole process and the whole game.

THE MODERATOR: With a win under your belt what are your expectations and goals for the rest of the season?

SHANSHAN FENG: Well, my next goal is actually to win a major, so I think it's still not running out yet. I still got two more chances this year, so I will go for it.

THE MODERATOR: Any other questions?

Q. You said you weren't looking at the leaderboard. Where did you think you were when you got to 18 tee? Did you have any idea?
SHANSHAN FENG: I thought I was winning already because like everything was set and you could tell like around the green, like the people were ready for the trophy presentation.

So I was like maybe I was winning already. Then before I putt I looked up the leaderboard. Oh, now I have to make this one.

So, you know, just in case I don't want everybody to be waiting for us when we have the playoff. Just let everybody to go home as quick as possible, so I made that putt.

Q. You weren't playing as safe with your approach shot. You didn't even know? You were just like, I'm going to hit it close?
SHANSHAN FENG: I didn't know anything. I was going for it. Like I said, my goal was 30-under and I was 28 when I had one hole left. I was like, Even though I don't get to 30 I still need to go for the 29. That was what my goal was.

So I hit a very good shot and that was lucky enough, because if I knew, maybe I didn't know if I could hit it that close.

Q. So many people near the top of the leaderboard. How do you keep yourself from looking at the leaderboard versus focusing on going after the 30-under?
SHANSHAN FENG: I didn't know I was leading the tournament after three days. (Laughter.) My habit is I don't check the scores like during the tournament, the whole tournament. So even after the first day, second day, third day, I don't check anything.

And then until I teed off this morning. I was like, Oh, looks like I'm the last group, so maybe I was leading. I was tied with Tiff Joh and I didn't know what the others were doing. Just keep going, concentrate on my own goal, 30-under, and let's see.

THE MODERATOR: Is that something you've been doing even for forever, since you've been on this tour?

SHANSHAN FENG: Yeah, forever. So I've had like a few times it was pretty funny, because after I make the last putt on the final hole, of course the camera is going to be right on your face, right on my face.

I look like -- a few times I looked pretty confused. I was like, Why people are clapping? They're screaming. What happened? Then I looked up the leaderboard and I was like, Oh, I won. Okay. So actually that happened quite a few times, even including the Olympics. I didn't know anything, and then on the last hole I missed a birdie chance and the made the par and people kept clapping.

Then I as where are we? We're second, tied for second. I was like, How many people? He's like, Two. So I was like, Oh, looks like I got a medal.

That was when I knew it, you know? But I think it's a good habit. It can keep me concentrating on my own plan and stick to my own plan. Doesn't matter what the others are doing.

THE MODERATOR: That being said, you talked out there accepting your trophy about how much this meant to you. It's been a tough year. Talk a little bit more about how much this victory does mean to you.

SHANSHAN FENG: Well, my last win was over a year and a half ago, and the last season, even though I start the season as world No. 1, I didn't have any wins.

Then my rankings went from maybe No. 1 to like, I don't know, 30s maybe. Then I just couldn't stop it from going down. Especially like I was missing the cuts at the majors, of course that's going to hurt rankings.

But what I was always thinking was I just need to get my ball striking back, because my putting wasn't that bad. My ball striking was just a little bit lost, a little off.

So I think last week my ball striking started to be a lot better. I knew that this week I would have to go low, and I was very concentrated on every shot. Yeah.

I mean, that really helped. At the end, I was lucky enough to win by one stroke, but I would say that it's been a great win because I think now I got my game back, my confidence back, and I believe that I can win more in the future.

THE MODERATOR: Any other questions out here? All right, with that, thank you Shanshan so much. (Applause.)


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