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November 3, 2010

Liang Wen-Chong


CALVIN KOH: Welcome to HSBC Champions. Your thoughts coming into the tournament?
LIANG WEN-CHONG: The annual HSBC WGC champions, I came here earlier to prepare for the game. I feel this is a great course, and I hope I can have a very good performance.
CALVIN KOH: Can you discuss your form?
LIANG WEN-CHONG: I feel great. You have to be very good in teeing. I'm trying to improve the performance in teeing and putting. I hope I can have a very good performance this week.
CALVIN KOH: Before we open to up, do you feel any pressure playing in front of your home fans this week?
LIANG WEN-CHONG: Sure, I do have some pressure. Because this is one of the most high-profile events in China. I believe a lot of players and golf fans in China all hope that Chinese golfers can have very good scores in this event.
I had a very good year and I'm in quite good shape. So I will focus and I will hope to play very good golf this week.

Q. Several months ago you had a very good performance in the United States and you created a very good personal record. Do you think you can keep yourself in good form for this week?
LIANG WEN-CHONG: I think the good performance in the United States has greatly boosted my confidence. I may be exposed in the future in the United States a lot more. And I think improving step-by-step, I just focus on every day performance and I always have great enthusiasm in golf.
I hope to keep up this form. However, anything can happen on the course. Sometimes you're in good state and you can have a very good performance.

Q. Do you think that the Sheshan course is a good fit for you?
LIANG WEN-CHONG: Well, I'm always thinking of a good way to improve my performance at this course. I think this is a rather cold season to play golf, but I do think that the weather forecast for this week is quite good for golf.
So I hope that I can have a very good performance and won't let you down for the next week.

Q. I have a rather sensitive question for you. Each year, we see from the press release that HSBC is dedicated to improving golf in China. We found that several years ago, we had eight slots for Chinese golfers. Well, this year, there are only four slots for Chinese golfers. So what do you think of the exposure of Chinese players in such an international event? We know that we have a very strong field for this tournament, and the field has improved every year.
LIANG WEN-CHONG: We know for each and every WGC event, only those winners of The European Tour or those who are ranked for the Top-50 in the world can be qualified for a WGC event. So I do think we have a very strong field here, and this is a great boost to golf development in China.
I do feel very lucky to be a part of this tournament. As to your question, I do think there are a lot of other factors in play. But I still feel that this is a very real opportunity for the players in China.
I would like to thank the China Golf Association for giving us this opportunity, and I also think that the success of the tournament is attributed to the efforts of everyone. I think everyone who is qualified for this event really works very hard, and I think China Golf Association has been working very hard for giving us this opportunity. Every golfer in China should improve themselves.

Q. We know that the Asian Games will be held in Guangdong soon, and you have also participated in the Bangkok Asian Games. What's your memory about participating in the Bangkok Asian Games? Do you have any contact with the national golf team of China do you have any good impression of them?
LIANG WEN-CHONG: Yeah, I participated in the golf game in Asian games in Bangkok in 1998. I remember that I started training half a year ago, half a year before the Asian Games. But now, the selection and the training started almost one or two years before the Asian Games. So I do think that the golfers who are going to participate in the Asian Games are well-trained and they are more well-equipped than us.
And the China Golf Association has invested a lot in developing the junior golfers. A lot of the young golfers are participating in the game and they have very good skills and performance.
For example, the HSBC Junior Golf Programme is also nurturing a lot of talent in golf in China. This is a great boost to the development of the sport in the country.
I am very thankful to the sponsors for their support to the golf, and I am also looking forward to more sponsorship to this sport.

Q. I have another question. I think the most competitive players are from Japan, South Korea and India, as we all know, golf has been developing very fast in South Korea. Do you think that we are still lagging behind, and what's the reason? Is it because of the technology, because of the infrastructure or training, or something else?
LIANG WEN-CHONG: Well, I think we should look at ourselves. The first golf course was built in 1984, so the sport has been developing in China for a little more than 20 years; while in Japan and South Korea, the golf has been there for more than one hundred years. We started late and we are still at the early stage.
But we are very glad that golf has been developing very rapidly in China thanks to the investment and support from the China Golf Association and other sports administrations.
I started learning golf in the early 1990s. I remember when I played in those junior programs, junior tournaments, there was only a few, 50 or 60. Now we have a lot of tournaments for juniors in China, and the field is improving a lot. So looking ahead, we believe there will be more and more young and junior golfers in China.

Q. In the next two days you are going to play with McIlroy and another player, Goosen, who is very strong. One is a major winner and one is a very famous Irish player. Do you think you will be inspired or are you feeling any pressure from playing with them?
LIANG WEN-CHONG: I played with Goosen many times, and on the last day of the PGA Tour, I was playing with him. I do not feel any pressure playing with him, because I'm quite familiar with him.
I remember on the last day of the PGA Tour, I was in the same group with him. There are a lot of audience and spectators, and almost all of the spectators are shouting loud his name. So you do feel a lot of pressure and tension there.
But I kept calm and played quite well, but this time, I'm back on home turf, so I feel quite confident. I believe a lot more spectators will be shouting my name instead of his name. So here I'd like to thank all of the fans and audience and I hope you can continue to support the HSBC Champions.

Q. Talking about the Asian Games, let's suppose the national team of China won the gold medal, or in the next Asian Games; would the government change the attitude about the sport of golf? Because we know that the government is quite restrictive about the development of sport.
LIANG WEN-CHONG: Golf is a few sport relatively in China. Sometime in the year 2009, we had very good news that golf will be included in the Olympic Games. I think this will be a strong boost to the development of the sport. We are very positive about the future, and we do see a lot of investment in the sport.
I think a lot of Chinese people will be turning their eye to the Asian Games. This will help to boost the popularity of golf. If we can have a very good performance and positive result in the Asian Games, this will be a strong promotion of the sport; if the national team can get some medals, then the government and other social sectors will invest even more in improving the golf in China.

Q. You have played in the United States, Japan and the Asian Tour this year. You must be very tired this year. Do you have any plans for next year?
LIANG WEN-CHONG: Well, it depends on my performance on the rest of the games for this year. If I will be able to join the Top-50 this year, it will help me to get into The European Tour and American tour this year. Otherwise, I will play in the Japan Tour or Asian Tour.
If I'm qualified for the Top-50 in the official ranking, then I will be able to play in those world-class tournaments. So it all depends on the performance for the rest of the tournaments this year. And so I will really focus myself on these tournaments. I don't really care which tournaments I play most.
CALVIN KOH: Wish you good luck.

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