“I know I've been working so hard for all these, so I deserve this.”
When COVID-19 struck in 2020, Xiyu Lin made the decision to stay in the United States to continue working on her game while the Tour went on hiatus. The all-around work on the course through the pandemic as well as the Tour’s shortened season led to Lin becoming a more confident, well-rounded player in 2021. As she sits on the 54-hole lead for the first time in eight-year career as an LPGA Tour Member, Lin said she’s proud of the effort she’s put in over the past year.
“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,” said Lin.
The last time Lin played in the Lion City was 2016, and she recognizes the journey she’s been on to get to this moment of her career. “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,” said Lin, who finished T38 in her last appearance on the Serapong Course. “So I just try to feel like a rookie here, so just feeling excited to play.”
For now, Lin is simply focusing on the shots ahead of her, and trying not to let the pressure of becoming the second Rolex First-Time Winner of the season get to her.
“If I win tomorrow, I'll tell you how you feel,” joked Lin. “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.”