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June 1, 2013

Shanshan Feng


KELLY THESIER:テつ We'd like to welcome our current leader, Shanshan Feng into the interview room, congratulations, a great 4‑under par round today and a challenging golf course.テつ Just take me through the round and how you were able to get things going for yourself out there.
SHANSHAN FENG:テつ I think I started the round with confidence, because even though I didn't have a good start yesterday, but I did have a really good finish.
So I think after a few pars, and then I made like four birdies in a row.テつ But then after four birdies, I was like, oh, maybe I'm doing well right now, and then started to have a little thinking.テつ And then I started to make a couple of bogeys.
But I think 4‑under round was still pretty good, a pretty good score.
KELLY THESIER:テつ A very good day.テつ You were telling me earlier, you started off 3‑over early on in your round yesterday, and then made it 5‑under the rest of the way.テつ What did you find in your game at that point that you were able to really get yourself going?
SHANSHAN FENG:テつ The reason why‑‑ the second hole, I didn't know the greens were that firm.テつ I didn't expect that, so I hit it over the green and chipped it on and 2‑putted.
Then the third hole was a very easy par 5, and I actually hooked my drive, so it went in the long stuff where, you know, I had to take a drop.
Then I think my driving hasn't been very well this week, but I think my iron shots and putting has been real good, so I think that's it, yeah.
KELLY THESIER:テつ When you look overall at the past year, I know we are going into next week where you are going to be depending champion at the Wegman's LPGA Championship, you became the first player from China to win on the LPGA Tour in that event, your first victory on the LPGA Tour and a Major Championship, quite a lot of attention brought to you.
What has the past year been like for you and how has it changed being a winner now on the LPGA?
SHANSHAN FENG:テつ I just can't believe it's been a year already.テつ I think time just flies while we are on Tour.
I think after that win last year, it really gave me a lot more confidence.テつ And then after that one, I think I won two more tournaments maybe last year.テつ Then actually this year, I haven't been playing real well.テつ I've made three Top 10s on the LPGA but like seventh, eighth, ninth, nothing like really up top.
I think right now I'm in good position this week, and if I can have some good results this week, it's definitely going to give me more confidence for next week.
KELLY THESIER:テつ And I know, speaking of playing well this week, you made a big change for your game, changing clubs this week.テつ Kind of what was the decision behind that, and kind of give us an explanation as to what clubs you're playing now.
SHANSHAN FENG:テつ I changed my club sponsor this year to HONMA.テつ It's a Japanese club company.テつ Actually, before, I was using the old clubs.テつ I was using HONMA.テつ So it didn't took me long to use the new clubs.
This is the first week with the new clubs, and right now I'm feeling really, really good.テつ Nothing's really different, but I think just more effort, so I like them.

Q.テつ You said you've had three Top 10s; what's been the reason that you haven't been able to contend or maybe finish higher or even win?
SHANSHAN FENG:テつ Well, actually, I had a little issue with the club sponsor, because they wanted me to trylike last year, like beginning of last year, I was supposed to change like a new set the same as what I was having, and then they wanted me to try the new clubs.
So I said no, can I use the same thing, and they just keep sending me the new clubs.テつ So I kept using the old clubs, so the clubs were really old and the clubfaces were worn down.
So I wasn't having enough spin on shots, so I couldn't stop the balls on the green.テつ And I think after changing the club this is week, it's been pretty good this week.

Q.テつ Can you talk about, you took two weeks off before this event.テつ Was that to just learn with the new clubs?
SHANSHAN FENG:テつ Not necessarily.テつ I played the tournament in Japan after Kingsmill, and then so I was going to take Mobile off, but I was planning to go to the Bahamas, but I couldn't because my Visa; as a Chinese, my American Visa is only single‑entry for five years; of course, if I keep staying in here.
And then I was going to actually get my Visa the week after Japan, and then the American embassy there kind of received like a strange package of powder, some kind of powder, and they were kind of scared and then it shut down for like three days.テつ So I couldn't get my Visa on time.テつ And if I would go to Bahamas and this week, I would actually need to go back to China and get my Visa and then fly back for Wegman's, which really doesn't make sense to me, because I want to make sure I have good condition going to Wegman's.テつ So I had to give up last week.

Q.テつ You have a lot going on.テつ How do you concentrate on golf?テつ Is it hard with all that to focus on golf?テつ And when did you get the new clubs and break them in, so to speak?テつ Was it this week or when did you first get them?
SHANSHAN FENG:テつ I did the club testing Monday right after Japan, which was the week of Mobile, Monday.
So I think I'm always a positive person, like what he just said; instead of playing in Bahamas, because I had time off in China.テつ So I was thinking, okay, this is a good timeテつ to try the new clubs out.テつ So I did try for like ten days maybe.テつ They felt pretty good.

Q.テつ What was the reaction back home to your victory?テつ Everybody remember's Se Ri had a major breakthrough and now you see all of the players from Korea that have followed her.テつ What was the reaction back home, and do you hope that ten years from now that there are a lot of people from your country out here playing on the Tour?
SHANSHAN FENG:テつ Well, I mean, actually it wasn't like a big deal in China.テつ It was not because it wasn't good enough; it was because people didn't know a lot about golf.テつ So they didn't know a major, what does it mean, you know, winning a major.
But I think it was a little different for tennis, because Chinese won Gold Medals at the Olympics in 2004, and back then, people actually started to watch tennis.テつ That's why when Li Na won tennis there were a lot of people that knew about tennis and knew how big it was.テつ It's a little different for me because they still really don't know what it means.
But I think golf is in the 2016 Olympics and if somebody from China can do well, I'm sure it's going to change everybody.

Q.テつ Going out there today, three or four shots off the lead, were you just thinking to get in contention or you have to go low or what?
SHANSHAN FENG:テつ I have a habit.テつ I have a habit that I don't look at score boards during the rounds.テつ Not even after like any rounds.テつ I do look at scoreboard only after the tournament.
I think that really helped me a lot, because like last year, I won six tournaments.テつ I would say if during the final rounds I'm checking the scores, I would lose three or four.
So I didn't know how I was doing until you said I was leading.テつ Well, if I'm leading, then yeah, I'm leading, whatever.テつ I'm just checking it out from my mind.テつ I'm just focusing on every shot, and tomorrow is just a normal day.

Q.テつ How did you find the course conditions and the weather today?
SHANSHAN FENG:テつ I think because I started early today, it wasn't as windy in the morning.テつ So that's why I made four birdies in a row.テつ And then I think the back nine, the wind started to pick up a little bit, which it was harder to get the balls close to the pins.

Q.テつ Mr.Guan, the young man who has been playing in this country for a while now, we read about how he's creating more interest in golf in Japan, and obviously with your LPGA win, is it getting there, or is it far behind as far as trying to get people interested and knowledgeable about golf and playing?
SHANSHAN FENG:テつ I think it is improving.テつ Like end of last year, I was named best non‑Olympic athlete, so because last year golf was not in the Olympics, and that was the first time a golfer has been nominated for the award.
And then, like we all know Guan Tianlang right now who is only 14, and we are from the same hometown.テつ I watch him growing up and how he started playing golf and now he's actually made the cut in the Masters.テつ I think there are a few more really good juniors that are coming up, so I think it is improving.
KELLY THESIER:テつテつ Thank you very much.

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