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April 26, 2008

Sergio Garcia


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Sergio Garcia, thank you for joining us after a third round 65, matching the low round of the week so far at this week's EDS Byron Nelson Championship. Maybe some comments about your day. Good one, especially 32 on the back side.
SERGIO GARCIA: No, it was a solid day. I played pretty good, gave myself a lot of chances at birdies. You know, the wind was totally different today so the course was playing quite different and it was hard to get to some of the pins early on when you were hitting long clubs into these greens.
Fortunately for us the greens were a little bit softer so we were able to stop it a little bit quicker than the past two days, and it wasn't quite as windy. But it's still a tough course.
I managed to -- like I said, I managed to hit my irons very well. I didn't drive the ball as well as I did the first two days or I've been doing. But I think that I can sort it out on the range in ten minutes.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: The course has obviously changed since you won here, but I'm sure you still have some good vibes as far as the area and the golf course.
SERGIO GARCIA: Definitely. This has been a good place for me, Dallas and the Texas area. I always look forward to coming back. It's a shame that Byron is not here with us anymore, but it's still a great event. Now it's even a better course than it was before, so it's a bit more challenging, and that always drives, I think, the best players to come and try.

Q. Are you going to a new putter or back to an old putter that you used to use?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, back in 2000 it was. Yeah, I had it at home. I was going through some of my old bags, and I saw it, and I put it down, and I loved it as soon as I put it down. It just gave me a good vibe, so I decided to go with it. Two weeks before the Masters I started practicing with it, and to tell you the truth, I felt like at The Masters I putted very nicely. Unfortunately I didn't really hole anything, but I hit a lot of good putts on those tough greens.
You know, the first couple of days, kind of like the same. I felt like I hit a lot of good putts. I made a couple here and there. I've been pretty good on my short putts. You know, finally today they started dropping. I guess at the end of the day, that's pretty much the only thing you can do, just give the putt the best chance possible, and then it's out of your control what the ball is going to do.

Q. Are you working with Stan?

Q. How long have you been working with him?
SERGIO GARCIA: I've been working with him since the Match Play.

Q. Is there much difference in the putter than what you had been using or is it something a little different to look at, or is it an entirely different style, as well?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, I guess it's similar to the ones I've been trying for the past month and a half or so. It's just that old feeling from years back when you did well and you holed putts and stuff. It's just always good to get some of those feelings back.

Q. What kind is it?
SERGIO GARCIA: It's a Scotty Cameron.

Q. Your irons, you're hitting them really well. Are you playing similar to the year you won? You were hitting it really close that year, too. Is it the same feeling for you?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, remember that? I remember I shot 65 on Saturday, too. I did drive the ball better that year. I think I missed one fairway only.
The important thing for me is keep getting some good confidence on my side and just make sure that I keep going forward. At least now I have a chance of -- a better chance of winning tomorrow. It's just a matter of going out there and probably having to play close to today and see what happens. But it's good to be there.

Q. In 2004 you had to play the 18th hole twice and won in a playoff. I'm wondering how different -- if you're in that same situation, how is it going to be to play 18 this time around?
SERGIO GARCIA: You can't tell. It depends on the moment. It depends how you feel at the moment. If you're feeling good, you'd probably get the driver out. If you're not feeling that great with the driver, you might hit like a 5-wood or a 3-iron, something short, and then play it a little bit more of a tougher hole but a little bit safer.
First of all, you need to get in that position, and second of all, it depends on what you're going through at that time.

Q. Speaking of confidence, how much does one round like today do for your confidence, a lot, or is it just a small building block?
SERGIO GARCIA: I think it's just building. I think it's just building up. You know, funny enough, even though I missed the cut at The Masters, I felt like I hit the ball nicely. Unfortunately the ball just didn't want to go in the hole and nothing really happened for me there. But I left the Masters thinking, you know, I'm really playing pretty good. Unfortunately I didn't -- I finished bogey-par-bogey to miss by one. But I didn't leave like other years, where I left the course thinking, geez, I'm not hitting the ball well or I'm not putting well or anything. I felt like everything was positive. The only negative thing was that I didn't play the weekend.
But I had some good practices last week, and I just -- I was looking forward to coming back and hopefully get some good momentum on my side.

Q. Kind of a non-golf question, you started the week with a pretty bushy beard, and it seems to be slowly disappearing. Is that intentional, or are you going to be clean-shaven by tomorrow?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, I don't think so. I think I'll leave this little bit. Yeah, it was a two-week-old beard. Some guys probably grow that in three days (laughter). Yeah, it was just something different. Unfortunately it looked better in the mirror than it looked on TV (laughter), for some reason. Unfortunately it's just not that full on the sides, and it just didn't look that great on the sides. So I decided to kind of shave it off and go with something that I've grown before.

Q. Do you reflect on last year at Carnoustie at all, and if you do, do you look back at it as a positive experience, a building block?
SERGIO GARCIA: I've always said it was a very positive experience. It was the kind of week that opened my eyes, that showed me what I can do and what I can handle. You know, unfortunately it didn't end up the way I wanted it or the way I dreamed it, not because I didn't play well enough, but because it just wasn't meant to happen.
So I guess that's the only thing you can think about it, and you move on. You take all the positive things -- at the end of the week, what I did there is I looked at all the positive things and the negatives. And the basket of the positive things, it was a huge basket full of things, and the ones with the negatives was almost empty. How can it be a negative week if things are like that?

Q. Did you get a scouting report of the course before you committed? And then can you just talk about how the course is playing differently?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, I did have a friend come and take a look. You know, we always enjoy -- when we come to a tournament, we want to come fully committed and wanting to do well. You know, you've got to feel comfortable with what's under your feet.
Yeah, I had a friend, actually Camilo's caddie, Gary Matthews, he came here, and he did me the favor of coming and checking the course, and he said it was awesome, it looks very, very nice. We drove around, and it looks just impeccable. So I said, perfect. I was always committed, so I didn't have to change anything. I was looking forward to seeing the new course, seeing how it turned out, and I'm happy to be here and doing fairly well.

Q. Kind of echoing his question, are there shots maybe that you would play last year when the course was different as opposed to shots that maybe you wouldn't play this year or new shots you have to play?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, you've got to realize, the course is -- you've got some similar looks, but the course is pretty much a totally different course, I mean, starting with the greens. There's not one green that is the same as it was last year. A lot of the views off the tees have changed, like where you aim it and everything, the targets. So it's just a matter of getting used to it.
I think, like I said before, I think it's good. I think they made a good mix of some tight holes, some a little bit wider ones, some really long holes. What people don't realize is that nowadays you look at a scorecard and you see 7,200 yards, and you think that's not that long a course. But this is a par-70, so it's quite a long course.
As you can see, the scoring is not unbelievable, so it's quite tough.

Q. What hole out here would you say has changed the most from your viewpoint?
SERGIO GARCIA: Probably 2. 2 has changed a lot. I mean, it's much longer and the green is totally different. But there's a lot of them.

Q. Where they split the two greens on 5 and 9?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, that's changed, but the part of the green that was never used -- the greens actually look similar. They have different humps, but the shape of the greens is similar if you take away that connecting green.
But I think -- I don't know, probably some of the -- yeah, 2 is probably one that comes to mind. 10 has changed a lot, bunkers on the other side, and the green is different. So 10 has changed a lot.
11 has changed quite a bit. I think it's a much better hole now. It gives you a better chance of going for the green and actually getting something out of it. No, overall I think the job D.A. Weibring and J.J. and Harrison Frazar did has been good, and I'm looking forward to seeing it settle down as the years go by.

Q. How do you change the way you play 10? You say it's changed a lot. How have you changed the way you've played that?
SERGIO GARCIA: I think it's a much better driving hole now. The fairway is the way it's supposed to be with the bunker there. Before it was -- you know, the bunkers were on the right and the fairway sloped to the left so it was an awkward tee shot. But it hasn't changed much.
Today I hit driver. It was into the wind. I've been hitting 3-wood and 5-wood the last two days. And the green is just a tighter green. Instead of going sideways, it's going more straight at you. It's got some good movement on it. At the end of the day it just plays like --

Q. Have you gone for the green at 11?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah. I haven't been too successful.

Q. But every day you've tried it?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, it's actually -- I love the way they've worked that hole because they made it quite a tough layup, which I think a short hole like that should be. And then if you go for the green, it gives you a little bit more room, but still, it's going to be an easy up-and-down no matter where you hit around the green. So I think it's a good mix. Like I said before, it's a much better hole now.

Q. Do you think things like giving a high-end sports car to a caddie is a good way to get more players to events like this?
SERGIO GARCIA: I think it's a better way of getting more caddies here (laughter).

Q. Can they influence you guys?
SERGIO GARCIA: It's just a plus. At the end of the day, it doesn't -- it's a plus for your caddie, which is nice, but we don't go, oh, they're going to give him a car so I should play there. No, you play where you feel you've done well, where you feel comfortable and where you've done well, so you know you can perform. At the end of the day if there's other things that you can add to the package, it makes it even better.

Q. He'll still try to talk you into it, won't he, your caddie?

Q. We need to go to this because I can win a car?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I mean, I guess he probably would, but he doesn't need to because I'm here (laughter).

Q. I was asking about 11. You've birdied 11 two straight days after bogeying it the first, and I was wondering if you had tried to drive it --
SERGIO GARCIA: I parred it the first day.

Q. 11?

Q. Two straight birdies after that. I was wondering if you had changed your approach on that hole at all?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, I hit -- first two days it was into off the left, and I hit a driver. Tough hole to play when the wind is into off the left with all the water on the left. I didn't hit a good drive the first day. I hit not a bad drive yesterday, made a good up-and-down.
Today it was a little bit easier because it was down off the right, and I still didn't manage to hit a great shot with a 3-wood, blocked it a little right, and I hit a great chip. I made a nice probably about 11-footer.

Q. I think you said on TV that your father has also helped you with your putting?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I mean, I worked a lot with my dad in the past on putting. I've been working hard with Stan Utley on that matter for the past about -- just over two months, two and a half months, of course, always with the supervision of my dad, which is my coach in general.
But I think it's good to get a different opinion once in a while and when you're working on things and you don't seem to be able to get to the end. So I'm happy with the way I'm swinging the club, so that's why my dad is still there. When we struggled with the short game we decided to go with Stan, thanks to both my caddies talked me into it, and I'm glad they did.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Sergio Garcia, thank you very much.

End of FastScripts

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