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June 22, 2005

Sergio Garcia


THE MODERATOR: Let's welcome our defending two time champion, Sergio Garcia into the interview room. You have just shot over par here once. What are the secrets of this course, what do you like about it?

SERGIO GARCIA: I guess since the first year I played here in 2000, I really liked the course. I like what I see. I feel comfortable on the tees. I know which kind of shot I want to hit every time. I feel pretty good on these greens too. I usually manage to do pretty decent.

I am really looking forward to this week. I've had good success here. It is probably my best course on Tour. I just want to keep it going.

Q. How has Sergio Garcia changed since last year; what is different?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I guess probably in the way I approach the game, I probably changed a little bit. Probably don't take it as seriously as I used to when I am out there. I mean I do take it seriously but I don't get maybe as frustrated as I used to. I try to go along with it a little bit better. I think that has been helping me a little bit, to stay kind of stay up and not worry about when you hit a bad shot or make a bogey here and there. I guess probably believing in my ability to come back also helps.

Q. Why don't you take it as seriously as you used to?

SERGIO GARCIA: I say I do take it seriously but I don't get maybe as frustrated as I used to on the course.

Q. That is because you won here?


Q. Why is that; I'm sorry?

SERGIO GARCIA: Just the way it is. You kind of mature as you get older and you learn and you realize that golf is important and, no doubt about it, I love to play golf and I really enjoying playing to try to win tournaments, but it is not really that big of a deal. You know, at the end of the day you still have to go there and have fun and have a nice life, enjoy your life, don't get frustrated because you go out there and play a bad round of golf. That is how I'm trying to do.

Q. How do you feel you are playing coming off the US Open and the strong finish you had even though you weren't in the Top 10 until the very last day there?

SERGIO GARCIA: I was tied for sixth through the second round. I feel good. It is a shame because I really felt like I played well enough to be a lot closer than I was. Unfortunately Saturday I played with Vijay. I didn't make a putt all day, none of us, so I really felt like I shot the two highest scores I shoot on the we be even 7-570 the way I play.

So it is a shame but I still felt good about my game. I felt like, you know, I performed nicely on that course. That was the first time I was playing that course. And I tied for third on a major, that is never a bad thing. So I am happy about it. I would love to win, no doubt about it, but there is always next week.

Q. By not getting as frustrated on the course anymore, how much do you think that has helped your golf game?

SERGIO GARCIA: It has helped a lot. It helps me, my caddy, everything that is around me. We are all happier. It is something that you have to realize yourself, you have to find the best way possible of getting into your system. So I think I've been able to do a pretty good job at that. I am going to keep being the same way. I really enjoy the way I've been playing and being out there on the course. So I'm looking forward to keep it up.

Q. You are in a kind of unique position where you are no longer the youngest guy on this Tour. What are you seeing in guys who are coming out on Tour, who are younger than you; do you feel they come out with greater confidence than you did when you came out?

SERGIO GARCIA: They probably do, yeah. I think that golf, it is very fortunate at the moment, it is doing really well. I think that we have a lot of good golfer's all over the world; not only here, a lot of youngsters coming out with a lot of potential and it is great to see. At the end of day that is what it's all about, trying to make the game of golf better and trying to keep making a future in it.

So I think all these new kids coming out are looking really, really nice and hopefully there are plenty more to come.

Q. Do you feel there are more players that are coming out on Tour that can contend right away and win right away?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, I think as we talked about, the players are getting better and better as the years go by. The youngsters coming out are getting better and better as they play through their amateur careers, you can see that. You can see when they come out here they know what they're doing. It is a bit new for them because it is with the big boys and professionals now but they know what is going on. They've played pro events as an amateur and they've got a bit of a fill for what is playing out here and that is why they're doing so well.

Q. Do you come here with the confidence in your putter that you gained at the Congressional, Pinehurst notwithstanding?


Q. Are you still as confident in your putter as you were at Congressional; you didn't lose anything at Pinehurst?

SERGIO GARCIA: No, no. Don't get me wrong, I didn't really. On Sunday I made a couple of putts for birdie, but as I always said, making putts is huge, but the most important thing for me is putting a good stroke on it. Although Saturday I didn't make a putt, I felt I hit a lot of good putts. It just didn't want to go in. Some days they do; some days they don't. You have to get through that. But the feel is still there. I feel like I am striking the ball nicely. I feel like my tempo is good, my rhythm and my stroke is feeling nice, so at the end of the day that is the most important thing for me.

Q. What is it like playing the week after a major or is it a letdown because the major is such high stakes or is it a relief because it is not nearly as tough a course?

SERGIO GARCIA: I think it is great. I think it is both of them - sorry, none of them. It is just a general week for me playing on this course; after, before, whatever, whenever, it is great. I really enjoy this course but I think you probably feel after playing a major a bit more relaxed when you come out and play the next tournament. The course probably seems a bit easier than maybe it really is and so it is -- you get -- if you played well in that major you come here with a good mentality and that can help you, but you know, it is also a bit tiring playing tough courses.

Q. A lot of the big name players don't come here; what makes you come back here year after year?

SERGIO GARCIA: I love it. I think it is a wonderful golf course. As we talked about, I've been quite successful here and the people are just -- just treat me really well here. I love New York. It is a wonderful town, wonderful city. I am always looking forward to coming back and plying here or when we play Long Island or places like that.

Q. You had some interesting fashion choices at the Open; are you participating in the design of your clothing these days?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I am working with Adidas on it, so I don't think it is going to come out yet, but it will be coming out soon, coming soon to a theater near you. No. But mainly last week we do chose what kind of shirts we want to wear and pants and things like that. I thought lighten up a little bit.

Q. You are working on it yourself; it is not something that is just being handed to you to wear?

SERGIO GARCIA: At the moment it is being handed to me. But we are working on coming out with a line, but it is not yet done.

Q. What are your thoughts about that? What you are thinking about?

SERGIO GARCIA: What am I thinking? Well hopefully the right thing. I don't know. My idea as a youngster, I've always liked, you know, to dress kind of like I am -- bright colors and I've always enjoyed having energy around me and I think, you know, when you wear something that looks nice but it has got some energy on it, some energy colors, it is always -- it always makes you feel a little bit better some. Those are some of the things we are working on and we are trying to figure out what is the best. Did you enjoy it?

Q. Very much?

Nobody has won this three times even though it is not a major; would it be a feather in your cap?

SERGIO GARCIA: That would be great. I think that, you know, any time you can -- not even three times but any time you can win the same tournament twice, it is something amazing and I've been fortunate to do it here. So I am looking forward to keeping it going and win as many as I can.

As I said before, I've always felt good on these course. I've always felt like it suits my game and hopefully I can give myself another good chance this week.

Q. Given the way you are playing now and the fact that you don't get frustrated or as frustrated anymore, do you think you are closer now to breaking through to a major than you have ever been?

SERGIO GARCIA: Probably, I will say so. It all comes together. The way you approach the game and the way to take what is going on in the course. If you mix it all, I feel good about it, I feel like I am getting closer and closer and it is just a matter of having things go your way that week and if you manage to do that, I am sure I will win one hopefully soon. If not, well, just keep working on it.

Q. You talked about how your mental approach has kind of changed this year. Is there anything in equipment or fitness or something else that has changed to help you play better this year?

SERGIO GARCIA: No. Pretty much I am playing with the same clubs I was playing for about a year. You know, my tournament clubs are pretty much the same, same driver. The putter, it is the new one, the new one they came out with, the new insert, so it is a pretty nice putter too. It probably made me get a better roll on my strokes.

Other than that, no. I have just been doing the same thing, working out the same way. So I think it is just a matter of, you know, relaxing a bit more on the course and, you know, being a bit more positive.

THE MODERATOR: Sergio is going to be hitting the old school Persimmon driver off the 10th tee as part of the Drive to a Billion Championship, so if you guys want to make fun of Sergio as he takes a hack with it.

Q. You've won this tournament going into the Open last year. You won it coming out of the Open in 2001. Were you taking a lot of momentum out of the Southern Hills in 2001?

SERGIO GARCIA: I did. I played very well in Southern Hills. Unfortunately I didn't have a good last round. I took a lot of positives out of there like I did last week.

As I said before, I enjoy coming back here to Westchester. All the people treat me real well, not only the fans but the guys in the clubhouse and everything, and I really enjoy the course. You know, as I said before, I think this course kind of gives me some extra energy because it makes me feel so good, so we'll see how it goes but it should be a fun week.

THE MODERATOR: Best of luck, Sergio.

End of FastScripts.

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