CME Group Tour Championship

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Naples, Florida, USA

Tiburon Golf Club

Xiyu Lin

Flash Interview

Q. All right, here with Xiyu Lin after her third round to the CME Group Tour Championship. Been bogey-free for two rounds, and then had a bogey early on this third round. How do you manage that? I know the round still ended up being really great.

XIYU LIN: Yeah, I think the early -- I mean, I know eventually I will make a bogey. I will never -- it's a good accomplishment, but I will never set a goal as I don't want to have any bogey for 72-hole. That's not quite reality.

So I think the early bogey comes in with a little bit of frustration because it was a three-putt, but then I just keep telling myself there is plenty of opportunity out there.

And especially on this course, the first four is pretty hard to get through, so I kind of like, you know, get it around even par, 1-over, is not the end of the day.

So I think I kept that mindset and I did really good before I make the turn, so that sets pretty good tones going into the final -- I mean, the back nine for me.

Q. Yeah, you had not one, but two streaks of birdies. I think four before the turn and four right there at the end of the round. What does it feel like to put together two strings of birdies like that?

XIYU LIN: I've been hitting it really good, so I actually still left couple out there. You know, I just think this course, it's not easy with the wind direction today, and even yesterday there was lots of side winds. You really need to think of the shape of the ball and think where you want it to be on the green.

I think today I'm striking them really good, and when I saw the Porsche the 12th, I was trying go for it. My ball lands literally two inches short of the hole. That's just something -- when I got on 16 I'm like, yeah, not an easy pin, but I'm just going to go for it.

I think I mentioned in Japan, Japan week gave me lots of confidence. This is the last week of the year. I just want to be as aggressive as I can.

That has been my strategy throughout the week and I think it works out really well.

Q. How much does that change going into tomorrow, if at all? How much more aggressive might you be knowing it's your last round of the year and just a few strokes back of the lead?

XIYU LIN: I mean, I guess for me, I'm in a good position that I am chasing but I'm not too far behind, so just anything could happen. I don't know what's the wind situation going to be, and then I guess on Sunday everyone will have a little extra pressure on their shoulders.

For me, I think it's just another day and just the final 18 hole before I finish up the season. I think I'm already so proud of what done this season, and whatever I do tomorrow is just what they call the cherry on top of the cake. (Smiling.)

Q. Love that. I did want to ask about the season as a whole. I know there was a quiet period in there, but you played some super solid golf. What's been the key for you even the last two seasons? What's been the key this year. Anything besides confidence that's been clicking for you?

XIYU LIN: I think actually this season, even though it didn't look quite that way, I actually struggles a lot mentally. I think from last season, to be honest with you, in the off-season I obviously wasn't happy with the fact that I haven't win, so I think even my team, like all of us, been trying a little too hard.

So I did some not very smart club changings and changing shaft, swing, like try to just like work out like where is that one shot that I'm missing.

Then it turns out like when I kind of struggle around International Crown and missed those cuts and had poor performance in Vegas, kind of get me a little warning.

Then we sit down back together and like rethink again and thinking like this is not about what I need to do. It's just about the timing. So I think from that on, it's been a lot better.

Like I enjoy it a lot more playing in a tournament. Not so pressure. But I still came close like lots of time, and actually Jeeno and I was playing together last few rounds and we talked about it. You're one of them and I'm one of them, but there is just nothing I think I need to recall and say I need to fix this.

Overall it's a great season. I think I'm so proud of myself that through the struggle I still put out some really good score, really good weeks. And can it be better? Of course. Like I said, the biggest thing for me is just stay patient.

Q. Heading into tomorrow, three super solid rounds, I know feeling pretty confident. When you look at this kind of golf course, do you feel like you have an advantage that you know how to play this Florida golf? Does it really matter because everybody is on the same playing field?

XIYU LIN: Definitely this course, for so many years I play here I know a little bit, and I think it plays a little bit easier when the green is a little softer this week than the previous year.

I just think this course is so good design that you really have to get things together first four hole to just get through with even par or something. And then it's like plenty of opportunity holes by holes, and short irons and reachable par-5s and everything.

This course is in such a good design, it takes you so much the first couple holes and also finish with two really good holes. So I think I just say I'm just going to play my golf and I'm confidence I know this green, yeah, like you say, I play most of my golf in Florida practicing so the green being everything, I think I know a little bit about it.

Just going to try.

Q. Last one from me: From this year, even tomorrow, how motivated are you to keep this positive mental attitude you found in the last few months and with the stuff you have in your game? How much are you looking forward to next season with all the success you've had the last two seasons?

XIYU LIN: Yeah, I mean, this year is my tenth year on tour. Shanshan and I used to talk about we only going to play ten years on tour, so while she play a little bit more and so will I, but honestly, at my age, I start to see there is a finish line somewhere out there.

It's within sight. Not like for the rookies and first couple year on tour.

But then I think that actually gave me a lot more motivation, because I know there is another gears in me. I think as today I will call myself a pretty successful athlete. I think the next couple season I'm just going to keep working hard and see how high I can go.

I really have nothing to lose, and I think I'm in a really good spot right now. So, yeah, actually to me, surprising seeing there is a finish line actually give me more motivation.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
139239-1-1041 2023-11-18 21:59:00 GMT

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