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August 8, 2008

Sergio Garcia


KELLY ELBIN: Sergio Garcia, ladies and gentlemen, in with a 3-over par 73. Second round of the 90th PGA Championship at Oakland Hills Country Club. Sergio is at 2-over par, 142. After 36 holes. Three shots behind leader J.B. Holmes. Sergio, it looked like it was a good start, but a struggle throughout the back nine.
SERGIO GARCIA: No, it wasn't. It wasn't at all. It wasn't a struggle at all. Unfortunately things didn't really happen for me on the back nine. I played the back nine better than I did the front. And it's a hard course. It's very difficult and this is a Major. It's not supposed to be easy. We're pushed to the limit and but things can happen at any time. So I just hope that I got rid of my bad moments today and hopefully I can have a good weekend and have a chance on Sunday.
KELLY ELBIN: Could you go over the three birdies and the others, please.
SERGIO GARCIA: Birdie on 2. I hit a really good drive and an 8-iron from 181. Hit it to about 18 feet for eagle. Hit a good putt, just missed.
I didn't hit a good shot on the next, pulled it left in the bunker. Tough bunker shot. I hit it to about 10 feet and missed it.
Then on 10 I pulled it a little bit with my driver. Didn't have much of a shot. And then ended up making a pretty good five.
I got a little bit unfortunate on 11 because I felt like I hit a good drive, unfortunately it just caught the edge of the bunker. Then I hit a good second but the wind switched straight into me and I caught a little gust of wind came up just short. Hit a good chip from short of the green to about eight or nine feet and hit a very good putt that unfortunately didn't go in.
Then on the next I hit a good drive, I hit a very good 4-iron from 250, hit it about probably 18 feet behind the hole. I hit a good putt and just missed it. Made a good four.
Then on 17, I hit a good shot, probably two yards farther left than I needed to, just caught the slope to the left, had a long putt, up and over and left-to-right from probably about 50 feet. Hit it just a little too soft. I hit it about six feet short, hit a good putt, unfortunately misread it a little bit, missed it just low, to about two feet. And I hit another good putt, unfortunately it missed right again. I hit it inside right and it broke almost a cup and lipped out on the left side. So that was pretty much about it.
KELLY ELBIN: Very good. Thank you. Open it up for questions.

Q. Some of your fellow competitors have said it's a tough course, but it's almost unfair. Your thoughts on that.
SERGIO GARCIA: It is a tough course.

Q. Do you agree?
SERGIO GARCIA: It is a tough course, yes.

Q. Is it unfair?
SERGIO GARCIA: Did I say that? But it's a tough course. It's really tough. But it's playable.

Q. I know it's a Major but is it more relaxing and fun playing with the two guys you've been playing with than playing in another group?
SERGIO GARCIA: Definitely. Good friends of mine, obviously Camilo and I, we have a good relationship. Same with A.K., and two wonderful players. It was good fun to play with them. Yeah, we kept each other happy, telling each other stories and things like that. So it makes it a little bit easier to go around this course when you're comfortable with your pairing. So yeah, that was probably a nice thing.

Q. Can you just give us your thoughts on your position and trying to move up now through the field a little bit as the weekend sets in?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, obviously golf is a funny game. I probably should have shot 2 or 3-over yesterday and probably should have shot even or 1-under today and it's actually the other way around.
But I feel like I'm still in good shape. This tournament is not going to be won, I don't think it's going to be won by 1-under par. So I just need to make sure that I stay around where I am and maybe a little closer to par if I can and I'm sure that will -- that's going to have a chance on Sunday.

Q. Obviously this is one of the toughest courses you're going to find in the country. Where do you see your opportunities though; do you think you're just going to have to be as patient as could be and let everything come to you? Are there any spots where you can try to attack at all?
SERGIO GARCIA: There are some holes that you might be able to, but you have to hit, have to hit a good tee shot, obviously the par-5s if you hit a good tee shot you have a chance of making birdie, maybe eagle. Then if they play 6 like they played it today, which I thought it was a great idea, and it's the way it probably should be played all week, it's a much better hole from there. You're going to have a chance there at making birdie. So there are some possibilities if you are playing nicely. You have to pick your spots though. It is a course where making a lot of pars is not going to hurt you. So a lot of pars, a birdie here and there and not too many bogeys and you're in decent shape.

Q. You said it's tough but it's playable. Earlier in your career at a younger age you might have been more frustrated and voiced more verbal frustration with a course setup like this. Now you seem to be saying, it's tough but I can play it. Do you think that mentally at this stage of your career you're --
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, the gray hair is all due to you.
Definitely. I mean obviously as you get -- as you grow older you tend to you try to calm down a little bit more and realize what you have to do, that it's going to help you be the best player you can be out there.
So obviously we know it's tough, but it is playable. If there's guys that are shooting 3-under par and 2-under par and around even par, obviously it's a tough Major and we know that. We are not used to seeing this kind of Major on a PGA Championship, but it's still a Major, so you just got to realize it and just keep playing hard and hopefully you will be there on Sunday.

Q. How challenging was it to stay calm after that 17 green given how well you've been hitting the ball on the back nine?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, you know, it's really, I mean to tell you the truth, I was calm. Obviously I was a little pissed off at myself on the 18th tee, but I was calm because I didn't feel like I hit bad putts. It's not like, oh, geez, I yanked that one or this or that, I just misread them. Obviously the pin was in a much bigger slope than it looked and I thought that I really thought I was going to make my second putt. I felt like I'm going to give it a run, I don't want to hit it soft and lose it right. I was hitting it probably an inch and a half left of the hole and I thought just make sure you get a little bit of speed on it. So it holds its line and it broke like hell and then I obviously misread the next one again. So I was feeling -- obviously you never feel good after making a double, but I wasn't feeling that bad. And I knew that I had a tough hole coming up and I needed to be at my 100 percent to be able to make par or birdie if I wanted it. I had a good chance of making birdie, unfortunately I just misjudged the speed of the green.

Q. One birdie today on 17, one birdie on 18. What do you think of that as a finish?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, unfortunately none of them were mine, so it's tough. I mean it's just the two tough finishing holes. 16 is not a given either. So it's just, you just got to realize that and play it as well as you can and hopefully get out of there. If you get out of there with two pars, maybe a par and a bogey at worst, you're not losing a lot of ground.

Q. If the PGA of America came to you and they said, we're sensitive to the criticism we're hearing, we don't want this to turn into Shinnecock on the weekend, what would you suggest to them, given the golf course, they have to make it fair but still competitive?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, obviously it depends on the weather. If the weather is going to be like it's been the last couple of days, like it was today, it was fine. It's not out of control. Obviously it's not easy, but you hit it, if you hit a proper shot you can still get to it. Like I said before, I love what they did to 6 today. I think that's a hole that it should be played probably from there every day. It's a much better hole. And it's still not an easy birdie hole. Because we, I mean Anthony, Camilo and I, we all three hit good tee shots and none of us made birdie. And actually Anthony struggled to make par. So it's not a given.
And you got to realize that the course is playing to the limit and you got to give us a breather here and there and that was, I thought that was a very good move moving that tee up a little bit on the par-3s there too, you know. It all depends. You can -- the good thing about this course is you can mix it up so well. You put an easier pin, you can put the pin back a little bit, you got a tougher pin you have to move the tees up a little bit because then it might get a little bit ridiculous.

Q. Can you give us the degree of difficulty on the big slingshot you hit into 12 over the trees?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I mean, the difficulty of it obviously is making sure you get good contact. I knew if I got good contact that I was never worried about getting it over the trees. So I was hoping to hit it in the front bunker maybe the back bunker, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to stop it as firm as the greens were. But obviously the shot came out absolutely perfect and it was a sky high 4-iron, flew just on the green and nice to stay on the back fringe.
It was a nice shot. Obviously not the best shot I've ever hit, but it was definitely one to remember this week.

Q. Monty shot 84 today finished 20-over, he's not going to play again until Gleneagles, and can you see any way that he can make his way into the team, get a wild card?
SERGIO GARCIA: It's not my choice. Obviously I'm going to try to make it by right. And I think that will give him a better shot hopefully. But Monty is obviously, we know how good a player he is, this kind of thing can happen in this course. You get a couple bad breaks here and there and you lose it a little bit in your head and it's just, you know, it's like a downhill, you can't stop it. So it's sad to see but he's a good player, he'll rebound and hopefully he'll have a couple good weeks and make sure he's at least ready to hopefully be in it or get picked if he needs to.

Q. You birdied 12, you hit a great shot into 13, how much did not making that putt set you back and what was the tough aspect of that putt?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, it just broke, it broke a lot. I hit a good putt there too. The thing is, you know, when the greens get this quick and this firm, it's a little subtle breaks that break a lot more than they usually do. You can't hit those downhill putts as firm as you would like to because then you're running them by four, five feet. But unfortunately we just, Glen and I, we just misread that one. I felt like that it was going to break a little more, so I kind of hit it between what he said and what I thought and unfortunately it just broke a little more.
But like I said before, I don't mind missing putts if I hit good putts. That doesn't bother me. Because it's just a matter of time. And I felt like today, yesterday I made a lot of good par putts, today I made a couple here and there where at the beginning and then I hit some good putts on the back nine, unfortunately, they just didn't drop. So it's just the way it is sometimes.

Q. Could you just run me through your club selection shot selection on No. 6 today. Talking about that tee box way up.
SERGIO GARCIA: I hit driver. It was into the wind. So it was a hard wind. We needed to hit a really good drive to get it on the green. We finally were probably about 10, eight yards short of the green there. And I hit a pretty good shot, just a little left towards that bunker and it just ran five inches into the rough. And nestled down a little bit and I just, I just caught a little bit too much ball on my third shot and hit it just over the green. But I felt like that was the way that hole should be played usually.
KELLY ELBIN: Sergio Garcia, in at 2-over par, 142. Thank you.
SERGIO GARCIA: All right. Thank you.

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