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October 5, 2005

Sergio Garcia


RODDY WILLIAMS: Okay, Sergio, thanks for coming in. Got you straight off the course, so perhaps you could just start us off with some of your initial thoughts on how the course is shaping up in the week ahead.

SERGIO GARCIA: It looks great. The golf course is in very good shape. It's a nice golf course. You have to drive the ball well. The rough is quite thick at spots, so it's a bit patchy. If you get unlucky you're going to have some bad lies, but the golf course is looking very nice. It's a wonderful golf course. You can see it's a place where the wind can blow a little bit, so I think it's going to be if the weather is supposed to be good, if it blows a little bit it's going to be very tough.

Q. How is your game shaping up this week?

SERGIO GARCIA: Not bad. I took three weeks off and I played last week. It was a decent week after those three weeks off. And unfortunately, I didn't play great on Sunday, but I'm looking forward to the week and hopefully giving myself a chance.

Q. What kind of player is going to win this golf tournament?

SERGIO GARCIA: The one that finishes 1st (laughter). You never know. I think that the field is a strong field, and anybody that's playing here can get it going and win here.

I don't know, usually somebody that hits it more or less straight and that's pretty accurate with his irons. The greens are fairly small, so you have to be pretty good with your iron play here. If not, you're going to have some tricky chips around the greens. So something like that. A mix with what I said at the beginning (laughter).

Q. How would you compare this course to, say, Valhalla or some of the other courses that you've played in Spain? Any similarities?

SERGIO GARCIA: Valhalla? That's not in Spain. Valderrama?

Q. Yeah.

SERGIO GARCIA: It's a bit different. Comparing it to Valderrama, you know, they're both tree lined courses. The Valderrama the trees are kind of like closer to the fairways. Valderrama is a bit shorter than this course, too. But they're both great courses. They're courses that deserve to host a big tournament like this one is.

I think that it's going to be a great event. We're looking forward to it. And the course is getting firm, so it's starting to play tougher and tougher as the days go on. It's going to be nice to see what happens.

Q. How much have you learned from the practice rounds? How much are you ready for this weekend and how do you think this course fits your strengths and your game?

SERGIO GARCIA: I like it. I played today for the first time, and I really enjoyed it. I felt pretty comfortable out there with my tee shots. I felt like I could see what I wanted to do on the tees. Of course, I mean, the more fairways you hit, the better it's going to be. It's going to make it a bit easier for you to hit to these small greens. And from the fairway you've got to be able to attack a lot of these; if you're not in the fairway it's going to be a bit tougher, you're going to have to shoot for the middle of the green and take your par.

Hopefully if I get down on the ball well, I should have a good chance. If not, then it will be a bit more of a struggle.

Q. Does it really matter where these events are held? You'd pretty much go anywhere with the field and how it's set up and the cut, that there isn't one?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, at the right time and the right place, yeah, you would. It's always nicer when it's somewhere that you like and it's not that difficult to get to.

Q. Do you like the West Coast?


Q. How often do you play out on the West Coast in terms of Tour stops and stuff? I can't remember how many times you've really come out to California.

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, West Coast, it's also Phoenix and places like that. That's what we consider West Coast. I'll probably play about four or five a year, something like that.

Q. Is there any concern about not for you guys, but the length any concern or thought about the length of it not being enough for this ball flight? This course was built in 1925 for a whole different style of game.

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I'll tell you what, the weather is very nice, but it's not extremely warm. And today there wasn't much breeze out there, but earlier this morning you don't think it's a fairly long course, but we were hitting 5 irons into 9, 5 irons I think it's into 6, so it's not that short a course. We hit 3 iron into 8, the par 3.

Don't get me wrong, we're going to be playing early in the morning every day, so it's not going to be extremely warm out there. The course is not going to play that short, so don't make a mistake. You've got to realize it's a par 70, not a par 72, so it's not that short a course.

Q. What was your game plan on 18?

SERGIO GARCIA: 18 was a bit downwind today so I was able to carry it over the first couple of trees on the left, and I hit a 9 iron in. But if you get no wind or just a little into the breeze, that hole is totally different. You have to keep it right of the trees, hit it just short of those right bunkers, and you're probably going to be hitting a 5 iron into that green, or a 6 iron or something.

This course, depending on the wind, it can change a lot.

Q. What about the greens? Are they difficult to read?

SERGIO GARCIA: No, I think that they're in very good shape, so if you hit a good solid putt, it's going to go in. It's just a matter if you get the right read, as we were talking. They do have quite a bit of movement on them, and a lot of little humps, things like that. They're not particularly easy greens, but the good thing is, because the greens aren't very big, if you hit more or less a half decent shot, you're going to have a good birdie opportunity. If you keep rolling those in and you have good confidence going, you can shoot a decent score.

Q. A lot of the American golf fans don't know a lot about some of the European players. Who are some of the young guys you know on the European Tour in your travels that people should look for this week, maybe some of the people that fans don't know about?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I don't even know who's here (laughter). That tells you how much I know.

Q. What about Henrik Stenson?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, for example. He's a good young player. Of course we have Ian Poulter, who is one of our good players, too, out of the young group. I know Paul Casey is is Paul Casey here? He's been playing well lately. And then you have guys like Luke Donald who's European but plays here in the U.S., and of course Adam Scott and all those guys, although he's not European. But I think it's pretty much you see what's going on. You have a couple young South Africans, Charl Schwartzel, who looks like he's going to be a pretty nice player. The player I played with today, Warren Abery, a pretty good ball striker. So there's some youngsters out there that can really play.

Q. Are you completely pleased with your fourth round scoring average, and can you tell me what you are trying to do or what you are doing this year to try to maybe focus on Sunday's scoring?

SERGIO GARCIA: No, of course I'm not pleased. I mean, I would love it to be 66.2 average (laughter). There's nothing really to it. You go out there and you try to play the best you can. There's no secret to it. Sometimes you play better, sometimes you play worse. But I would love it to be a little bit better, but I'm not disappointed. I think I've had some good rounds. I've had some not so good rounds, and it's not something that I'm worried. The only thing to work around it is to keep trying to get better.

Q. Can you give us an update on how Seve is doing? He's been pulling out of tournaments and stuff. Do you think his game is going to come back?

SERGIO GARCIA: I know as much as you do. I haven't been on the European Tour for quite a while now, and he's been out. I heard that he might be playing next week in Spain, at the Madrid Open. That was the last news I heard, but I don't know. I hope he's doing okay.

Q. What do you think are the most challenging holes on this course if you had to pick out two or three?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I think 18 is very challenging because it's a tough driving hole and quite a narrow green. So if you miss the fairway, it's quite difficult.

I think there's a couple very solid par 3s, but there's a lot of good holes. Holes like I think it's 14, long par 4, kind of down and up, that's a good hole. You have to hit the fairway, again. If not, you've got to catch a really good lie to have a good chance of hitting it somewhere close on the green.

There's a lot of good holes out there. It's a beautiful course. It's going to be nice to see how we take care of it.

Q. This is a big picture question. You're 25 years old, Ryder Cup hero. You've had fantastic Ryder Cups, ten Top 10s in majors. This is the end of the year. Are you at any point reassessing and saying here's what I want to accomplish the next few years in golf where you kind of formulate a game plan and mountain tops you want to climb?

SERGIO GARCIA: Not really. I just want to keep getting better. That's pretty much it. Of course I want to win majors and I want to be on the Ryder Cup team and hopefully win it with my teammates and everything and keep winning tournaments. But I just want to keep getting better. I want to keep focusing on golf the way I've been doing lately, just taking good care of it and just enjoying it as much as I can. I think I'm very fortunate with the life I have and how lucky I've been through my years, so I just want to keep enjoying that moment.

Q. Do you enjoy the game as much now as you did

SERGIO GARCIA: Definitely, even more, sure.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Sergio, thanks very much.

End of FastScripts.

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