May 25, 2023
Washington DC, USA
Trump National Golf Club
THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Sergio Garcia. Sergio, let's talk about your U.S. Open qualifier on Monday, your 66.
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, obviously very happy about that. It's never easy to go into a U.S. Open qualifier. I've only had to play two counting this one, but been fortunate to make it through both times.
Yeah, it's always a little nerve-racking, and knowing that you can't really make many mistakes if you really want to go through. But I was happy to play well, be consistent throughout both rounds, and then obviously give myself a chance ton the last hole to make a birdie and make it through.
Q. Do you have any plans for preparation heading into LA?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, not at the moment. I haven't really had a lot of time to think about it. I don't know if I'll go there before or not. But obviously we're here this week in D.C., then we have a couple weeks off. I also want to spend some time with the family.
We'll see. I might just go maybe a day earlier and just have a nice couple practice rounds and try to get as ready as possible for the Open.
Q. What was last week like for you, because obviously you had this long streak of playing the majors. Was it a bit surreal? Was it weird? How did you feel?
SERGIO GARCIA: No. To be totally honest, I think that -- I try to take things the way they are and the way they come. Obviously I'm not stupid; I know at some point I'll start playing less and less majors. That was going to happen at some point.
Obviously I would have loved to be there, but because of my ranking, and there's no other way to qualify for the PGA unless you get an invitation. I didn't get that. I was home, I was practicing, I knew that I had the U.S. Open qualifier coming, so I wanted to be ready for that and spend some time with Angela and the kids, and then I was able to enjoy watching Brooks on Sunday. It was nice.
Q. So you did watch a fair bit of it?
SERGIO GARCIA: I watched from the 12th hole onwards on the way to Dallas. They were driving me there, so I was able to watch on the phone and kind of see what -- obviously I was interested in seeing what was going to happen.
Q. Just talk about your form of late. It seems like you're finding some form right now. Obviously it reflected on Monday. How do you feel like the state of your game is right now?
SERGIO GARCIA: I feel like it's getting -- I'm working on it. I'm working hard. I feel like it's getting better and better. Still I don't feel like I'm definitely firing on all cylinders, but I really feel like I'm able to put some good rounds.
I think in Tulsa, I felt like I played okay. I didn't hole out very well, so that kind of cost me a little bit. Then obviously Singapore was nice, and Australia felt pretty solid, too.
Just got to try to keep going in that same direction, keep giving myself good chances throughout week in and week out and see what happens.
Q. Is there one thing at this point that you are tinkering with at all, anything that you're focused on right now in terms of your game, or is it just a matter of kind of --
SERGIO GARCIA: No, not really. Just trying to feel more and more comfortable with everything that I'm doing, not only physically but mentally. Just trying to be as confident and as committed as I can be out there with every single shot that I hit.
I think that's pretty much the only thing you can do. It's not easy, because if it was easy, everyone would do it, but we'll work on it.
Q. What does it mean for this tour to have Brooks, the reigning PGA TOUR champion playing, and also Bryson and Cam top nine as far as momentum going forward, not just this week?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, it's great. I think Augusta was great, even though Brooks didn't win, but to have three LIV players in the top four, that was amazing. To have another three guys in the top 10 at the PGA and one of them winning with Brooks, I think it shows that we are all putting in a lot of work here, that no one gives you anything for free, regardless of some of the things they said when we all decided to come and join and support LIV.
We still love the game. We care about it. And we try to play as well as we can.
Q. You've played in this area a bunch, Congressional and a lot of other courses. What is your sense of the enthusiasm for golf in this area?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, it's great. I feel like all over the world, people are super excited about the game of golf and watching, watching all of us. That doesn't change here. It's always been -- I've been fortunate to do well here. Not only winning at Congressional but also playing well there at the U.S. Open.
It's always been fun, and I would expect to see a good showing here, too.
Q. Just wanted to ask you a little bit about if you still communicate with Luke Donald, and the Ryder Cup situation, just your thoughts on it? I know it means a lot to you with the great lineage of Spanish champions in the Ryder Cup.
SERGIO GARCIA: I did. I talked to him two or three weeks ago. Obviously I had to make some decisions when it comes down to the DP World Tour, and I wanted to see where I stood in regards to the Ryder Cup.
Luke obviously is a good friend, but he made it -- I wanted him to be sincere and tell me the truth, and he pretty much told me that I had no chance. Obviously that made my decision a little bit easier.
It was sad because I felt like not only because of my history but the way I've been playing, that I probably could have a chance, but it didn't sound like it, so that's what it is.
Q. Now that you opened that up, Sergio --
SERGIO GARCIA: I didn't open it up, he opened it up.
Q. Fair enough. When you listen to Luke Donald and you listen to Zach Johnson, they continue to say that guys on the outside that aren't playing on the DP World Tour or on the PGA TOUR have a chance to get into their teams. But it sounds like in your conversation, it was pretty clear that you had no chance.
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, it didn't sound like it. It sounded like my chance was slim to none.
Q. Did he indicate why?
SERGIO GARCIA: You can ask him about that.
Q. If he was here I would definitely ask him about that.
SERGIO GARCIA: I'm sure you'll bump into him and let's see what he tells you.
Q. Obviously you're disappointed by the fact that you spent I don't know how many years playing Ryder Cup, how much you committed to Ryder Cup, how much you committed to the DP World Tour, and yet this is how you get treated in the end? How do you feel about that?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I mean, it's not ideal, but at the end of the day I think we all make the decisions that we think is best for us. I made what I thought were the best decisions for me and my family and my game, and they're making what they think are their best decisions. I would think so.
I'm not going to hold them responsible for it or anything like that. I'm not going to -- that's what they want to do, it's fine, then I'm going to do what I think is best for me. It's as simple as that.
Q. When you decided to make the leap to LIV, did you feel like Ryder Cup was going to be in jeopardy?
SERGIO GARCIA: I mean, I was hoping not. You knew that it was a possibility, but you were -- I think we were all thinking and hoping that they would be smart about it and still have options open, because at the end of the day, I'm still European. I'm Spanish, and I want the European team to win and do the best they can there and have the best chance at winning the Ryder Cup, obviously.
I was excited about the possibility of playing with Jon again, and I know that Jon was also excited about that possibility, too. Unfortunately it doesn't look like it's going to happen, at least for now.
But it's what it is, and you have to move on. I can't just be sitting here crying that I'm not going to play the Ryder Cup. It's what it is, and I just hope that all of them and obviously I hope that Rory recovers because I think the team is going to need him to be 120 percent if they want to have a chance of winning. Hopefully they'll all get there with the best chance possible and see what we can do.
Q. Going forward, if more LIV players win majors, what's that going to do to not only the popularity of LIV but also maybe putting pressure on the PGA to create more crossover down the road? Is that kind of in the realm of possibility that the more majors you guys pile up it's going to force the PGA to make some changes?
SERGIO GARCIA: I have no idea. I mean, I don't know what the PGA TOUR is thinking. I don't belong to that tour, so I don't know what they're thinking about, and I don't really lose any time thinking about it.
I think at the end of the day, I'm speaking for myself, but I think I probably speak for all of us here. We love playing golf. We love playing majors. We all try to do everything we can to play as many as we can and win as many as we can.
But I don't think we do it thinking, oh, let's win so let's see what the PGA TOUR does or they do this or they do that. No, we do it because we love the competition. We love trying to win those beautiful tournaments. Then whatever happens after that, it's whatever.
Q. Obviously we've got Valderrama coming up in a month from now. How much have you thought about being able to get back there and play competitively on that course and kind of what it means to you?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, I'm super excited about it. I think that it's going to be great. I love Valderrama. I love the possibility of going back there.
More than anything, I love that Valderrama is finally going to get the chance of having the kind of field that it deserves because for too many years, unfortunately, the DP World Tour has been promising me and other Spanish players that have been involved in the tournament playing there and the golf course itself, the club, that the feel was going to get better, that more great players were going to come and play, and it never happened.
I think that Valderrama deserves a lot more than that.
I think finally they're going to get -- it's just 48 players, but it's going to be the best field that they've ever had. I think that makes me very proud because it's in my country, it's on my favorite golf course, and I can't wait for everyone to go there, enjoy it, play it, and hopefully have a great time.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports