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May 26, 2004

Ignacio Garrido


MARIA ACACIA: How are you feeling about defending the title?

IGNACIO GARRIDO: Well, it's nice to be here. Obviously, just walk in for the first time, the same fairways that I won last year and all of the shots coming back to my mind, it's a good feeling and actually I wasn't playing very well at the beginning of the day and ended up playing better just remembering how I hit them last year, so it's been quite a nice feeling and I'm sure it will be the same when I go out there tomorrow.

Q. How would you describe your season so far?

IGNACIO GARRIDO: The same way I would describe the last two or three years. I have been just finished with the changes I was doing in my swing, and everything was very unpredictable. You're thinking that change that it's going to be positive, hopefully, in the long term, and it's been quite a mixed bag. I've had my best performance of my career and also some bad weeks. Probably the bad weeks, I was expecting them but I wasn't expecting to do as well as I've done in these two years in certain events.

So this was pretty much what we were expecting, but, well, obviously what we are looking for is to settle the new swing from now on and probably in a short while, just being a little more solid and much more steady.

Q. Which will you be thinking about most, the new swing thoughts or the happy thoughts from last year while you're out there, can you balance one out?

IGNACIO GARRIDO: Well, it's funny to say that the swing that I've got at the moment is not very similar to last year's. It wasn't easy to keep going after last year's PGA because you know that you've got a few things still to change, and, well, if you can win a PGA with the swing the way it was, well, you start thinking, well, should I really continue. But I had taken my decision before the event, and it didn't change the plan.

Well, I've had a little bit of a struggle at the beginning of the year because the last change we had to do, it wasn't easy. Well, I'm looking forward to it. It's been quite hard and mentally it has not been easy, because to go back and work hard on your swing again after such a big achievement, it's not easy, but I'm happy that I did it, even if the results at the beginning of the year haven't been very good and I'm sure that it will pay off in the future.

Q. What are you basically trying to do?

IGNACIO GARRIDO: Well, I'm basically trying to get a swing that is able to perform at any level in any circumstance, and also, to be able to repeat it and give me the possibility to play every shot I want, which sounds pretty easy, doesn't it? (Laughing).

Actually, not many people achieve it in their careers, and I don't know if I will achieve it, but I've seen signs that I can, and that's why I keep working quite hard on it.

Q. What exactly have you done to your swing? What is the change of it?

IGNACIO GARRIDO: You want me to go through the whole thing that I've done in three years? I think it will take us awhile. (Laughter.)

Q. In a sentence.

IGNACIO GARRIDO: A lot of things. My swing before, before I started changing, was a very independent swing. I mean, it wasn't really connected. That's probably how I can define it. There were a lot of compensations to make the ball go straight. Obviously by working hard on it, you get used to your compensations and when you get everything together, you can put good results. My short game saved me in the past many times, but I got to the point where I thought, well, I'm working really, really hard and I can't keep progressing.

Luckily, I had Domingo Hospital's influence, and, well, we decided that it was a good idea and he said, well, it's your decision. We are not talking about a player that has never done anything, and this could go either way. You can suddenly become a much better player or you can be struggling for a while, and, well, at that time, I didn't have any exemption. I had to earn my card for the next year, so it's a big step to do, because the first few changes were really, really tough. But I thought, I mean, I played golf for because it's my passion. It's not only a way of living. I thought I really want to be a good player and I'll give myself a chance. That's what it has been.

And the changes have been there were two or three big changes, but, obviously, when you get into it, some other things come across that you have to deal with, and that's basically what we are now, just trying to fix everything together and also trying to let my instinct play again, because it has been away for three years. I've just been relying on technical basis for three years when I've never done that in the past. I've been a very instinctive player. My short game has suffered a lot, and still suffering, but hopefully, everything will come together.

Q. You must have been tempted, were you not, just to keep things as they were rather than to dismantle everything after you won a tournament of this magnitude?

IGNACIO GARRIDO: I was, but probably only for a couple of seconds. Yeah, really, when I look back, I thought that the reason why I had that trophy in my hands was because I had decided to make the change. It wasn't the right thing to decide that I didn't want to do it anymore.

Yeah, it was a difficult decision to take, but as I said, it had been taken before, whatever it would happen. And if I had missed every cut, by ten shots, I would have kept doing it, and if I win the PGA, I thought it shouldn't make any difference.

Q. How long was it before you won the PGA that you started changing the swing, was that a year before the PGA?

IGNACIO GARRIDO: About a year and a half. It was a three year plan.

Q. So you're halfway through it?

IGNACIO GARRIDO: No. It's two years and a half now.

Q. When you won the PGA?

IGNACIO GARRIDO: Yeah, halfway through, that's right.

Q. Do you feel closer to the completion now than you did going in last year?

IGNACIO GARRIDO: Oh, yeah, my swing is better than last year's. But, that doesn't mean that I can perform and score as well as I could, or as well as I would like to.

But, potentially, it's better. I'm sure in the future, my golf will be much more solid than what I showed at the PGA last year. That's the whole thing, and that doesn't mean that I'm going to be winning the PGA every year if the swing is better because it doesn't work like that. This game is not like that, and it's not something that is as logical as the best player wins, because it doesn't happen pretty much any other weeks, luckily.

Q. Changing your swing is obviously a frustrating process, and a lot of players who have done that have buckled beneath it. How important was winning this tournament in terms of keeping passion alive, as you've mentioned, keeping your spirits up?

IGNACIO GARRIDO: Well, the passion was there. I didn't really need to win a tournament like this to know that I was in the right way, because just watching the ball fly on the range and feeling that the swing is much more solid, is good enough. The main problem would be, even if you win the tournament, if you win it just because you hole every single putt around and you know that the ball is not going where you want and you can't see any improvement in striking the ball, it's not a lot.

But, obviously, if you see that that new swing can handle the pressure very well and can perform the way it did, it's a great back up for the future and for continuing working on it.

End of FastScripts.

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