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May 1, 2021

Xiyu Lin

Republic of Singapore

Sentosa Golf Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Welcome inside the HSBC Women's World Championship. Here we are after day three here in Singapore. What are your initial feelings after surviving the heat today?

XIYU LIN: It's just so hot. But yeah, I mean, it's been an amazing three days and looking forward for tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR: I know you've been talking about how you've been working on your confidence. How much did that back nine today really help your confidence throughout going into tomorrow?

XIYU LIN: Well, I wasn't really paying attention like the leaderboards and stuff because to me the front nine was a little sketchy. I mean, I make two 3-putts. Just look like some weird mistakes and tend to leave some birdie putts short. I was telling my caddie, I'm going to be aggressive, like why I'm leaving all the putts short.

So going into back nine, which I thought back nine was the tougher nine, so I didn't really expect to play that well but I also know there are still lots of opportunities, so just need to stay really patient. I mean, the last couple holes was pretty unreal.

THE MODERATOR: Going back to the beginning, I know you bogeyed the first hole, but when you start off like that, what did you say to yourself or what did you mentally do to rebound from that?

XIYU LIN: The first hole I was really nervous. I thought like I'm going to hit longer because I'm nervous, but obviously I wasn't that nervous, so I left it short and left the putt short. So I just tell myself, like yesterday I had two bogeys and I bounced back with a birdie right away. I said, definitely I can do that.

Second hole was a tough pin but I managed to hit it at the right spot and make the putt. That was pretty huge.

THE MODERATOR: What was going so right with you on the back nine and when did you feel that momentum kick in.

XIYU LIN: I mean, I just really stayed in presence. I didn't really think of how many shots I need to catch up or anything, and especially Inbee was playing so well the front nine. So I was just trying to do what I need to do, and definitely the last couple holes, I make some very aggressive putts, like very clutch. So I'm pretty proud of myself.

THE MODERATOR: And that last one on 18, take us through that final hole.

XIYU LIN: The last hole, when I did the pin, I was thinking, wow, it was a tough one, but I didn't know they moved the tee up, so when I really got there and so it kind of gave me a new view of the hole because I never played here before. I hit a good drive and realize I still have a chance to go for it. It was a little in-between clubs, but that wind fits my shape of shot perfectly and hit a cut and landed right next to the hole.

Q. This is the first time in your LPGA Tour career you'll have the lead going into the final round. How do you think you're going to react tomorrow?

XIYU LIN: I don't know. I want to know, too (laughs).

Like everyone has their first time and I mean, definitely am going to try my best to enjoy every minute of it, and hopefully I learn something and I bring something out of it.

Q. And obviously you've played very well this week. What's been the most important part of your game to put yourself in this position heading into tomorrow?

XIYU LIN: I think for sure putting. I mean, of course, approach shots. But I've been very confident with my approach shot for a long time, and my putting's been a little bit on and off for the last couple weeks. But this week, it definitely works really well.

Q. Is there any particular reason why it's working this week?

XIYU LIN: I guess my mind is in the right place, yeah.

Q. Can I ask, what was going through your head on 16 as you watched Inbee and Hee Young shoot 7 and 9, and knowing that Inbee was probably the leader at that point, to see her shoot 7, what went through your head?

XIYU LIN: Well, I know that was a tough pin position. I was just like, I'm going to take a good look at this putt. Yeah, they have been through lots of drops and stuff, but I just try to stay just reading my putt because I got extra times. Yeah, I'm the first one finish the putt, so I'm happy I made the putt, that's all.

Q. Can you talk about the birdie on 18, how important is that going into tomorrow, because instead of being tied for the lead, you have a one-shot lead. Does that change your mental approach going into tomorrow, having even a small lead, but at least you know they are chasing you rather than you guys are all starting level?

XIYU LIN: Of course I'm going to take any shot I can take. But I think tomorrow, because it's a brand new experience for me, so I wouldn't -- I wouldn't -- I probably wouldn't tell you until tomorrow how today means to me, but today's round just gives me lots of confidence. I'm just going to do exactly the same things I've been doing. It's definitely a really important round.

Q. Did you say anything to Inbee after the 16th hole? While you were playing 17 and 18, did you ask her what happened with that double-bogey?

XIYU LIN: I saw her ball bounce on the sprinkler. That was really unlucky. We didn't really talk. I mean, on the course we are both kind of quiet and we're both so hot, I guess. I'm so hot, so I'm just trying to finish the round and get into the air conditioning room.

Q. We know that HSBC as a sponsor has done a lot to bring back the event this week, which I believe will give so much inspiration. Now that you've also played so well, what does it mean to you to have such support from HSBC this week?

XIYU LIN: Well, HSBC has been always a really big sponsor for the Chinese player because since we were young, we already got a chance to play the HSBC junior tournaments, and just throughout year, my rookie year, I already got a sponsor invite playing into this tournament.

So obviously very grateful to be able to play in Asia this year, especially the pandemic still going on and everyone make such a big effort making this tournament happen, so yeah, I'm very grateful that we are here.

THE MODERATOR: We've talked a lot in the last couple of events of how much work you've put in since the 2020 season to now, how satisfying is it to see all this work pay off to be able to hold a 54-hole lead for the first time in your career?

XIYU LIN: Well, I think for the amount of work I put in, I truly believe I would definitely -- it will definitely make a difference, but yeah, I didn't expect to see it at this week that soon. But I think that's also one of the keys I was so calm out on the course because I know I've been working so hard for all these, so I deserve this.

THE MODERATOR: How confident do you feel as a player this year, maybe compared to the last times you've played this tournament?

XIYU LIN: Oh, my gosh, last time I played this tournament was 2016. So yeah, because I had a really rough year 2017 and took me a long time to get through all these, and I think last year -- I mean, 2019, I've been having an okay year, but really last year I changed a lot thanks to COVID.

So coming back here and playing a different course, it's like a completely different experience. So I just try to feel like a rookie here, so just feeling excited to play.

Q. I know you and Meg an have talked a lot about the work you've put in. What work specifically have you put in to see your game get to this point?

XIYU LIN: Last year during the lockdown, I decided to stay in the States by myself, so I have lots of time on my hands. So my coach and I just decided to work a lot on my short game. Last year mainly was pitching and chipping around the green. So that's like something I improved a lot, and then when we restarted playing, I definitely see the improvement, and this winter, I was just thinking of being a better putter, so I also put lots of work in. It's since been working.

THE MODERATOR: You just said a couple questions ago that you feel confident that you want to win. What would it mean for you to win an event this soon and kind of your plan of getting more confident as a player?

XIYU LIN: I don't know. If I went in tomorrow, I'll tell you how you feel. But right now, still a long way to go. I mean, even the season still started. I mean, tomorrow, it will be first time I'm in this position. So I don't know what I'm going to be doing and feeling like. But I mean, it's just going to keep giving myself opportunities. If I don't do it this week, I'll do it another week.

THE MODERATOR: I love that mentality. And one last question from me before we wrap this up. I know we talked yesterday about how Shanshan was able to give you quite the awesome advice for the week and it seems to be working here. I know that yesterday you said that you haven't been taking that much time to warm up before your round. Did you do the same thing today.

XIYU LIN: Well, I still definitely taking a lot longer than Shanshan does. Well, she's -- I mean, it's just so nice to have her around again. Like this week, she kind of just been like a big sister, keep telling me I need to stay hydrated and under the shade, don't practice too much. You know what I mean, it's actually important here, the weather, it's so hot.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, everyone, for joining us and great job today.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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