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October 29, 2004

Sergio Garcia


SERGIO GARCIA: I actually was, yeah. It's not nice when you finish and you see an official waiting for you. I didn't even know it was for me because I never felt like I did anything wrong.

So, you know, we talked about it. I told him everything I did and everything that went through my head, and he thought that it was -- that it was correct.

I told him that if I felt like I cheated, I would be the first one not playing tomorrow because I couldn't live with that. But I don't feel like I've done anything wrong.

GORDON SIMPSON: Clearly he agrees with you.

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, I mean, we talked about it and he told me what was going on and I told him what happened. And, yeah, and he thought that it was correct, you know, and that's all I can really say.

Q. There were a crowd of about 500 people surrounding the green. When you walked to mark your second ball, obviously at that time someone found the ball, no one is waving to say, "Hey, we have the ball here"?

SERGIO GARCIA: To tell you the truth, I never really even gave it a clear look to try to see if somebody found it and nobody let me know. So in my head, you know, I was just thinking about playing my second ball. So I don't know. I guess it was quite a bit into the woods. But I never really thought about it.

Q. That was your decision, you decided not to look for the original ball?

SERGIO GARCIA: Because nobody told me, "We found a ball," not my ball, but "we found a ball" or anything. I just wanted to continue playing my second.

Q. How close was the second ball?

SERGIO GARCIA: It was probably about 12 feet.

Q. Wouldn't you normally, though, go and have a look?

SERGIO GARCIA: It depends. It depends where the ball is headed to. I mean, if you see...

Q. Did you see it bounce or anything?

SERGIO GARCIA: No, I didn't. I just saw it going straight, straight to the trees, so I didn't know where the ball was. You know, it could have been anywhere. It hits a tree, could have been right next to the green or out-of-bounds. But I never really took a look, and I just wanted to -- I knew that it probably wasn't a very good place, so I just wanted to play my second and try to make my fourth. Unfortunately I didn't.

Q. Is there any reason why you declared it a provisional ball and then decided not to look for it?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, first of all, I kind of looked and I didn't know if it was a hazard, so because it wasn't, I just said, you know, I'm going to hit a provisional. But as soon as I started coming out of the tee, I thought, you know, I don't even want to play that. I'm looking good with a second and I don't want to get into that. That was my thinking, and when nobody told me that they found anything and I really wasn't making any efforts to find anything, then I decided to play my second. I thought, it was probably nobody can find it or I don't know.

Q. So the second shot, your provisional ball landed 12 feet away and could have influenced your decision not to look for the first ball; is that fair to say?

SERGIO GARCIA: It could, yeah, but, yeah, maybe that could have influenced a bit.

Q. As John explained the situation, did you fear the worst and know it would have been disqualification?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, I thought about that, yeah, but I didn't care about it. As I said, the most important thing for me was feeling bad within myself, and that's a lot heavier and a lot how -- how can you say it -- it has a lot more prize than winning the Volvo Masters or a major, whatever tournament it is. I couldn't live with myself feeling that I did something wrong. That's why, you know, I didn't feel like I did.

Q. But you did fear the worst?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, the worst of what, being disqualified?

Q. Yes, when he started to explain that you could be disqualified.

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, the way he put it, yeah, I thought, yeah, but to tell you the truth, it doesn't bother me that much. You know, you get disqualified, you get disqualified. As I told -- as I told John, throughout my career, I've called myself probably three or four penalty shots that, you know, even I remember one two years ago here where even the referee didn't want to give me a penalty shot and I was like, "No, no, but the ball moved." He was like "Are you sure it moved, that it just went like this?" I said, "No, the ball moved." I said, "Well, I'm sorry, it's going to be a shot." I said, "No, it's not your fault, you don't have to be sorry."

Q. Did your mind go back to Sydney when you saw it was John?

SERGIO GARCIA: I had a little flash, yeah. (Laughter.)

Q. Did you at any time or at any point before 18 go back to the incident and discuss it with your caddie and in this case, did it take some of your rein for the rest of the next six holes?

SERGIO GARCIA: Hold on, I didn't --

Q. Did you discuss the incident after No. 3 with your caddie?

SERGIO GARCIA: No, not at all, not at all. We play every hole as a different hole and we don't care, you know, how we start or...

Q. So you didn't imagine any kind of problem at that point?

SERGIO GARCIA: No. I never even thought, I was actually surprised when I saw John in the scorer's tent, because I was like, "Who did something wrong?" It never got through my head.

Q. So it didn't influence the quality of your game on the front nine whatsoever?

SERGIO GARCIA: No. If you think about it, after the third hole, I mean, my game -- if you look at it, my game was spot-on.

GORDON SIMPSON: You're 5-under.

SERGIO GARCIA: No, not that. I'm saying, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, I had birdie chances on every hole, good birdie chances. Unfortunately I didn't manage to make any, but I was putting probably within 15, 18 feet every time. So, you know, my game was spot-on and as soon as the third hole went away, I was trying to focus to get it back. You know, I was thinking, let's try to get this round back to even par, at the worst, or 1-over, and you're still there. I managed to do a little bit better than that.

Q. Did you specifically say to Glenn and the people around you not to look for the original ball?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I couldn't. I couldn't because I'm 190 yards away and the people are on the green.

Q. Wouldn't Glenn actually go and look for the first ball?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I told him not to, yeah, because I was talking to him and I was saying, you know, we're going to play the second. I don't even want to know about the first one. When nobody told us, you know, there's a ball here or we found a ball or we found something or whatever, then I thought, you know, perfect, I'll just keep on going and try to make a putt for 4.

Q. Apart from this incident, what did you think of your game today?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I think that, you know, it's a shame that it started a bit shaky. Just really a bad thought, a bad swing thought in my head on 3 and hit a really poor shot. But after that, I played 16 really -- sorry, 15, really good holes of golf. You know, I finally got some putts going on the back nine with some nice birdies, but even though on the front I didn't, I had some good chances that I could have got one or two back on the front.

Q. Would you give us the birdie putt distances on the back nine?

SERGIO GARCIA: I had a good putt on 10. Actually, it was a funny story on 10. I was looking at my putt and it was probably about a 25, 26-footer, left-to-right, and I actually thought, first one that came to mind was the Ryder Cup. I thought, geez, this is just like my singles game where I was a couple over par and I made a big putt on 10 to get things going. And it was a very similar putt. You know it was the same break, pretty similar distance and so I had a good thought in my head and knocked it straight in and I thought, well, here we go.

Then on 11, I hit it just on the right bunker with a second shot and blasted out to about four feet.

On 14, I hit a nice low 8-iron to about 16 feet and made that.

Then on 17, I hit a very, very nice, probably the best shot I hit today, very nice cut 3-wood from 241 into the wind. Hit it to about 15 feet for eagle and just hit it a hair too soft and missed it just left.

Then on 18, I hit a nice wedge to about eight or nine feet and made that.

Q. Is that your best back nine at Valderrama?

SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know. You guys know better about the stats.

I remember I shot 64 in the last round at the American Express when it was a par 72. I want to say that probably shot 32 was the best that day, so it probably is, yeah.

GORDON SIMPSON: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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