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July 22, 2007

Sergio Garcia


BERNIE McGUIRE: Sergio, there's no easy way to say this, but I know you're bitterly disappointed.
SERGIO GARCIA: No, I'm thrilled. Of course, you know, I felt -- I definitely struggled a little bit on the front nine. I had my opportunities. Unfortunately I didn't convert.
But then I felt like I played great on the back nine. I felt like when you need to play well, I rarely missed a shot, and I just couldn't really make any putts. Then when I started going a little bit, I made an unfortunate bogey on 15.
I hit some good shots coming in. It's just one of those things. I was hitting 3-iron, so it's not an easy shot. Having to wait 15 minutes in the fairway doesn't help when you're trying to win the British Open. But, you know, I still felt like -- I still don't know how that par putt missed. I'm still trying to ask myself, trying to find an answer on that.
And then, I don't know, I should write a book on how to not miss a shot in the playoff and shoot 1-over. It's the it is way it is. It's guess it's not news in my life. I just have to move on and hopefully do better next time.

Q. As you're standing on the 17th tee in regulation, Padraig's adventure is kind of unfolding in front of you. You have a clearer view than usual. What was going through your mind?
SERGIO GARCIA: What was going through my mind? I was trying to say -- I was telling myself, just play two solid holes, and I didn't know until I started walking towards the 18th tee, I didn't know if he made double or triple. I knew he hit it twice in the water, I think they said. I know he obviously made a putt for double. And I knew par was a winner.
I tried to play the right way. It's not an easy driving hole. So I made a good par on 17, hit a great putt, unfortunately it didn't break.
On 18 I hit a great tee shot. And as I said before, when you're one shot in front, hitting a 3-iron into a green where there's danger everywhere, having to wait at least 15 minutes to hit your shot doesn't help. It doesn't help at all. I wasn't very happy about that.
And then unfortunately just didn't cut it, went in the bunker. Hit a great bunker shot, just a little too far. And I hit a great putt. I thought it was right there. I thought it was in and kind of went a little left and lipped out. So that's the way it is.

Q. Does the pain of losing, particularly the way you did, hurt more than the satisfaction of playing well? One could argue that you were the best player throughout the course of the week, and a centimeter here or there with the putts and you've got the Jug. I was wondering about the mix of emotions you're going through right now?
SERGIO GARCIA: I'm fine. I'm disappointed. But the week is over. Padraig played well today and well enough to win. So just have to get better, I guess. There's nothing else I can really think about at the moment.

Q. I'm just wondering, when you've missed putts by a fraction over and over and then a shot hits a flagstick and bounces 15 feet away.
SERGIO GARCIA: It's funny. It's funny how some guys hit the pin or hit the pin and go to a foot. Mine hits the pin and goes 20 feet away.

Q. It's just not meant to be?
SERGIO GARCIA: It's -- you know what's the saddest thing about it? It's not the first time. It's not the first time, unfortunately. So, I don't know, I'm playing against a lot of guys out there, more than the field.

Q. How tough is it carrying the lead into the last round of a major and particularly since you led all three days? Is will a pressure there?
SERGIO GARCIA: Definitely, definitely. I was definitely a little bit nervous at the beginning and it's understandable. If you're trying to win an Open Championship and you're leading and you're not nervous, then you must be dead.
But I don't know how I managed to do these things. It seems to me like every time I get in this kind of position I have no room for error. I need to miss one shot and I really get many good breaks. The birdie I made on 3 I made out of a divot on the fairway. And then missed a couple of putts and hit a couple of not very good shots, but actually not that bad either. That's it.

Q. Did you know where you stood? You started the day three shots and next day you were four ahead. I just wondered did you look at the leaderboards?
SERGIO GARCIA: I always look at the leaderboards, always.

Q. So you knew what was going on?

Q. By my count 15, 17 and 18 in regulation and all four holes on the playoff you missed on the high side by just an absolute fraction.
SERGIO GARCIA: They all touched the hole.

Q. Is that just -- is that the first time it's ever happened to you?
SERGIO GARCIA: (Laughing). Obviously you haven't been watching me much (laughter). You only watch the guys that make the putts and get the good breaks and things like that.

Q. What was that 15-minute delay avoidable or was it one of those things? What were you seeing in front of you?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, the first -- I guess the first kind of five minutes or seven minutes you couldn't avoid because the guys were in front of -- they were putting. Then it seemed to take a long time to rake two bunkers. I don't know. It took a long time, a very long time. It's not fun, not fun standing there, when you know you're hitting the ball well and you know what you have to do. You know you need to hit -- if you get me with an 8-iron or 9-iron, still not easy, but at least -- but you're hitting a 3-iron and you know you need to make par, it's not very easy.

Q. First shot you waited all day, 18?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, obviously you're not going to -- it's not about waiting. We waited on some of the holes, but we waited for the guys to finish. I'm just not happy about the extra a lot of time it took to get everything ready for me to be able to hit my second shot.

Q. You hit driver on 18 in the playoff?
SERGIO GARCIA: I needed to, two back.

Q. But you hit an iron off the tee in regulation. Did you feel like you just needed to play it safe?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, well, I mean, I'm trying to play the right way. Unfortunately you guys cannot know the feeling of standing there and it's a tough driving hole. I could have hit drive, definitely I could have hit drive and then I could have hit it in the burn like Padraig did or Stewart Cink did or I could hit a good drive, definitely. But I'm trying to play the right way, trying to make sure I'm in the fairway, make sure I get a shot to the green. I know I have to make four. So I'm playing it easier off the tee, tougher to the green, but at the moment it feels like it's the right way.
And the way I was hitting my long irons, I was flushing 3-iron after 3-iron on 12, on 14, straight at the pin. So I knew -- on 16, too -- so I knew I was able to do it, I was comfortable with it. But I definitely would like to have hit that shot a little quicker.

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