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September 27, 2016

Sergio Garcia

Minneapolis, Minnesota

JOHN DEVER: Welcome back to the 41st Ryder Cup. Pleased to be joined by Sergio Garcia. Sergio, in 1999, as everybody knows, you were just 19 years and you jumped into the Ryder Cup race. You've been playing in this event for almost half of your life, every couple of years. How special of a week is this for you? You've been doing this for awhile.

SERGIO GARCIA: It's very special. Everybody knows how much I love The Ryder Cup, and what can I say. It's great to be back here in another Ryder Cup Team for Europe, and it's going to be a great week. So we're excited about it. Obviously it's not going to be easy, but it's always a great challenge and you know, we can't wait to start.

JOHN DEVER: Your team has won three in a row here. Does that ratchet up the pressure on your team, because you could go to uncharted territories, or does that allow you to play free and easy, that winning streak?

SERGIO GARCIA: No, I think the pressure is always going to be there, even if you're winning three, losing three or winning one, whatever.

I don't think that really matters that much. At the end of the day, it comes down to going out there Friday, Saturday, Sunday and playing well and helping your teammates and everyone around, and that's what we're going to try to do.

Obviously, yeah, we have the possibility of winning four in a row, which would be amazing. First time in European history, so hopefully we'll be able to do it.

Q. The U.S. obviously have one of their best golfers from past as a vice captain. What sort of impact do you think Tiger Woods can make for them despite not playing?
SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know, it's going to be interesting to see. Obviously I think it's a good thing for the U.S. Team. But we'll see. Obviously I can't tell you what happens on the other side of the wall because we don't know what's going on there; the same way they don't know what's going on in ours. But it's going to be interesting to see how everything pans out, I guess.

Q. You've played in a lot of Ryder Cups, as mentioned. Can you pick out one moment that really stands out to you as your favorite?
SERGIO GARCIA: Difficult to pick one. The Ryder Cup, it's so unbelievable. I even have great moments of the ones we've lost. It's very special.

Obviously 2012 was amazing with the comeback that we did here in the US. That's one of the biggest moments. But my first Ryder Cup, even though we lost it, there were so many great moments. Our first victory, or my first victory as a Ryder Cup European player when we won at The Belfry, so it's difficult to just pick one.

Q. You've played in a fair few Ryder Cups. For those of us who haven't, can you explain the moment of stepping on to that first tee with a huge gallery there, just describe it, paint a picture for me.
SERGIO GARCIA: It's difficult, it's difficult to describe it. Like we were talking about it the other day, even when the rookies come and you try to tell them what they are going to feel, what they are going to see and stuff, you never get to the level that it is. It's so amazing. It's such a unique experience.

I think that's one of the reasons why we fight so hard to try to get on this team, and to be able to not only play for your continent and your country, but to have these great experiences with your partners, and a lot of those feelings that you go through, not only on the first tee, but throughout the week.

Q. The perception is that you guys are better as a team, the camaraderie is always greater on Team Europe compared to maybe the U.S. How do you explain that, given that you guys are from six countries, they are from one, and for so many years; is it something that's ingrained in the continent given that team sports is a bigger deal in Europe?
SERGIO GARCIA: Maybe. I think probably it has to do with The European Tour. I think that our Tour, it's a lot closer between the players. I think that when you come out on The European Tour, you share rooms with players and things like that. That doesn't really happen here on the U.S. tour.

So I think you build more relationships on The European Tour. Don't get me wrong, I think that the PGA TOUR is a great Tour. Obviously it's amazing. But it's a little bit, I would say, less personal than The European Tour might be. So I think that probably is one of the reasons why our relationships are easier to kind of get along and build those up.

Q. A lot's been made of the U.S. with this task force that they put together after the last Ryder Cup, and there's been some kind of fun tweaking of that by some of the guys. I just wonder what your reaction has been to that; do you view that as kind of them just searching for the answers and do you expect to see any changes out of that?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, obviously they are looking -- they are looking for something. They know that -- I mean, the numbers don't lie. Obviously, The European Team has been very good the past 20 years or so.

So obviously they are looking for something extra to make sure that they can get back winning more Ryder Cups. I mean, I'm fine with that. Obviously I respect all of that, and they are going to try to find whatever works for them.

We know what works for us, and that's why we try to keep it the same way. You know, we'll see. It's going to be interesting to see. I think if The U.S. Team manages to win maybe a couple of the next four or five, then it will be like, oh, yeah, this is working. If they don't, then they will probably try something different. So we'll see.

Q. You've been a member of some memorable partnerships in Ryder Cup over the years. Can you talk a little bit about the dynamics of a partnership in the team play?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I think when it comes down to pairings, obviously you want to be paired with a nice player, but I think we are all good players here. So that's a given. But I think at the end of the day, one of the most important things is to get along really, really well with your partner; to be behind him at every single point of the game. It doesn't matter if he's playing well, bad or so-so.

So I think the most important thing is to make sure that you make your teammate feel as comfortable as possible, and if you manage to do that, then usually you're helping him relax and play better. It's not easy to do, but for us it seems like it's easier to achieve than maybe in the other team.

You know, I mean personally for me, I look at The European Team and I couldn't tell you a guy that I wouldn't be comfortable or happy playing with. I think that kind of says it all.

Q. You obviously had a disappointment in 2010, when you missed out as a player. How important was it for you to be involved in that match as a vice captain, and was that important to where you are now playing in your third match in a row?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yes, definitely. It definitely was important. Obviously I would have loved to be a part of it as a player, because at the same time, even though it was a great experience as a vice captain, it was hard to be there and really only be able to do so much. But it was definitely nice to feel the warmth of the people, to see how much they care about you and to be with the guys and help out a little bit and all those things. So it was definitely important, yes.

Q. Is it more satisfying to win The Ryder Cup away from home, and especially this year when you've already been written off as the worst team in years by Johnny Miller?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, Johnny says a lot of things. Obviously he's not always going to say the right thing. But I think that -- I don't know if it's better or worse winning it at home or away. I think that the feeling of winning The Ryder Cup, it's amazing no matter where it is. So obviously it feels like it's a little bit tougher away. But you know, once you win it, that feeling, that sensation that you get, it's very unique and it doesn't really change that much if it's at home or away.

Q. How do you think Arnie's death will affect the mood this week? Do you think it will inspire the Americans, or was he such a universal figure that it will equally affect both teams?
SERGIO GARCIA: I think it definitely affects both teams. Arnie was a legend, was a great man. He helped our game not only in the U.S. but all over the world.

We also feel very sad for his loss and we miss him very much. So I don't know, I don't know how it will affect the teams if the U.S. will push on a bit more or we will or -- that will happen as the week goes on.

Definitely it's something that you don't want to start The Ryder Cup with sad news like that. But you know, unfortunately, it's the way of life, and I'm sure that he'll be out there looking down, probably talking to Seve a little bit and seeing who is going to win it (smiling).

JOHN DEVER: Absolutely.

Q. When a team has won three straight Ryder Cups, what is it that that team would need to be most wary of in terms of facing wounded opponents?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I think probably the most important thing is knowing that it's not a done deal. Even though we are on a good run, it's going to be tough, and we've tried to tell all of them, all the rookies, that you have to fight hard. This is going to be -- it's not going to be easy at all. It's a strong U.S. Team. So you have to stay very, very aggressive, and as confident as you can be out there.

So you know, we'll see. We'll see what happens from that moment on when we start on Friday. But it's obviously exciting to have the possibility of winning four in a row, which has never been done on the European side. You know, we like to take that possibility and make it a real thing.

Q. Comments like Johnny Miller's and Davis saying this may be the greatest American Team ever assembled, are they things that are talked about in The European Team room? Are they motivating factors, or do you just dismiss them?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, they are pretty much motivating factors. Obviously everybody has -- you know what they say, opinions are like -- we all have one. So everybody's allowed to have their own opinion, and that's what they think, and that's great for them. But we know what we have and that's the most important thing for us.

So at the end of the day, you don't win Ryder Cups with your mouth, you know. You win them out there on the golf course. So that's what we'll see, which team is the best.

JOHN DEVER: Sergio GarcĂ­a, thank you for your time.

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