September 10, 2020
Rancho Mirage, California, USA
Mission Hills Country Club
XIYU LIN: Especially when I got here the last two rounds, I realized I think they made the fairways a little bit tighter and the rough is very, very long and it's definitely really hard to hit out of the rough. So I know hitting like as many fairways as possible is definitely one of the keys, but I'm always very comfortable with my drives, and I think I did really good today.
Q. You did really well with the putter, too. Is it rolling differently right now? We're in September versus when you're usually here in March.
XIYU LIN: It's very different. As you know, last week I was in Florida, so I thought the same Bermudagrass will play kind of the same, but it's still slightly different, and I think as the week goes on the greens are getting faster and faster, especially all the downhill putts.
It's funny, I couldn't quite remember what it was like in March because every time I've played here I feel like now it's March. I just cannot believe it's September. So I think with this week what I definitely know is I have to stay below the hole, and when sometimes there is a putt you're just happy with two putts and move on.
Q. What a day for you to start here at the ANA Inspiration. I know the last hole was a little iffy for you, but how are you feeling after day one?
XIYU LIN: I feel really good. Last week I made quite a bit of changes because I didn't play really well at the British Open and Wal-Mart, so I was kind of like -- last week was a little bit of kind of refreshing. I think today I had a really good tee time starting off first and it was nice and cool in the morning, and obviously this year the course has changed a lot, but the Bermudagrass is kind of close to what I practice on in Florida. Even though I didn't have a really good finish, I'm still really comfortable with the round.
Q. I heard you changed your irons leading into this tournament. What was it like getting used to that?
XIYU LIN: Well, I changed the irons -- I got my irons last Thursday, so I've only been hitting them for like a week, but my old irons, they were good, but just a little bit out of control with the spin and the new irons I really like the feel of it. I mean, the last two days we've been trying really hard to get the landing numbers.
I think especially a good thing here is I will think a little bit more careful and try to avoid the short side and it actually helps on this course because you really need to play smart.
Q. With the changes this year, how did you prepare or how did you strategize when you first saw the course during the practice rounds?
XIYU LIN: Well, I was really surprised the way the course is at this time of the year, especially the grass is different, and I think the rough is longer definitely. So I always know here the key is hit the fairways and hit the greens and try to avoid the big numbers, so I'm pretty happy actually how I'm doing it today.
Q. We also know you have a good relationship with Kelly; you guys seemed to be trading birdies back and forth. What was that like? Does that help you when your playing partner is also doing well?
XIYU LIN: Yeah, I mean, after the front nine we were seriously thinking we should pair up at the Dow next year because I think on the front nine there was only one hole that neither of us made birdie. She had a really, really good round and I know she's been playing really good, and yeah, obviously having someone playing well and who also speaks Chinese, and we talked a lot besides golf, so I think it's really a pleasing day today.
Q. What's there to work on for tomorrow? You'll have a later round, won't be starting first off like you did this morning, but what are you going to have to change to keep the momentum into tomorrow?
XIYU LIN: I think my putting can be a little bit better. It's not like I'm putting bad, it's just I have a couple holes that I know it's breaking a lot, but I just didn't quite trust it, so I think I'm going to work on the putting a little bit. But my approach shots are really good today, and also I hit lots of fairways. I think I'm just going to keep that going, just have a really clear mind when I walk up to shots. That's it.
Q. You mentioned that you started and it was cooler in the morning; how did the heat getting warmer throughout your round affect your round in any way, and how will you prepare for tomorrow's heat in the afternoon?
XIYU LIN: I think today it's pretty pleasant for me. Well, I was well-prepared because from two weeks ago since I see the forecast, we were thinking how we're going to prepare ourselves. For me, I brought all the white shirts I could bring, so this week I feel like I'm going to wear white every single day.
The other thing is this morning was pleasant, and honestly last week I was in Orlando, and it was so hot with the humidity. I think I can do better with the dry heat, so right now so far it's still been pretty good, and I think tomorrow just maybe using the umbrella, stay under the shade, it's going to really make a change.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports