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May 27, 2009
RODDY WILLIAMS: Sergio, thanks very much for coming straight here and joining us this morning, and welcome to The European Open here at The London Golf Club. Obviously a good performance from you last year, lost out to Ross Fisher, but the final round in particular was a good final round. Must be nice to be back here.
SERGIO GARCIA: No, definitely, it was a good tournament for me last year. Unfortunately Ross played unbelievable.
But no, it was good. Looks like the weather is going to get better from tomorrow onwards, which we are looking forward to, and then hopefully let's have another good week and see if we can go one better than last year.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Obviously a good week will get you back up to world No. 3, you've been bumped down a place by Paul Casey.
SERGIO GARCIA: No, it doesn't bother me. Paul has been playing very good this year and he deserves to be in that spot, and now it's just up to me to play well and see if I can climb up a couple of spots.
Q. What was the most important aspect of playing here at The London Club last year that you learned for this year?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, the course is playing different than it was playing last year until Sunday, because it was dry all week. It was very good weather and the course was playing very, very firm.
It was windy like it's been the last couple of days, but you were getting so much roll on the fairways; the course was playing totally different than it is this year.
There's a couple of new tees and a couple of par 5s, too, so it's made a bit of a difference. I guess it just depends on how the week goes on with better weather probably towards the weekend, the course will get firmer again, and then it will play a little bit more like it was playing last year.
But at the moment, it's obviously playing much longer.
Q. Going back to the Paul Casey thing, is there much rivalry between you, you're top Europeans, to be the top European in the ranking at the time; would that mean something to you?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, it's nice, but it's not -- I don't know, I mean, I don't get to the year thinking, okay, I've got to finish or I've got to be the top European in the World Rankings.
I get on trying to play the best I can and trying to do the best -- I play my best game possible and see where that takes me. If somebody plays better than me, if it's European, even better, but it doesn't bother me. It's nice to be the top European ranked, but you know, the more, the merrier. The more Europeans that are there, the better for us.
Q. So rather an a rivalry, a camaraderie is better?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, I would say so. I'm not going to get frustrated if Paul or Henrik or somebody else gets in front of me in the World Rankings. I don't think it works that way.
Q. A year ago, you were full of confidence; where are you now? ?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I'm here. (Laughing)
Well, I think that definitely last year coming off the victory at The Players Championship, I was starting to kind of climb up and getting a lot of confidence after that.
This year, I started okay and then I find of calmed down a little bit, if you may say, the last probably two or three months. But you know, I'm looking forward to getting back into it and hopefully start playing the way I know how I can play and see if we can get back to where we were towards the middle and end of last year.
Q. Do you have a huge amount of enthusiasm now?
SERGIO GARCIA: I definitely have more than I did probably a month or two ago, so I'm looking forward to that.
Q. Along those lines, you hinted at situations in your life off the golf course that weren't maybe as perfect as you might like and they were affecting your game; are you still affected by things off the course?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, it's better. I think that you get through things, and it just makes you stronger.
I definitely feel much better. I feel happier on the course, and I'm definitely more looking forward to playing than maybe I was a month or two ago. So that's a very positive thing, and now it's just up to me to do what I know I can do and see where we go from there.
Q. The problems of the past month or two haven't been in the swing?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, obviously I haven't hit the ball well. I think it's been mixed, a mix of probably being a little bit down and not really feeling like playing much or something like that.
And when that happens, obviously your head is not in the right place, and you're not thinking the right things, and that obviously affects your game, because your mentality is not where it should be.
Q. Were you close to taking a break maybe, just to feel better about things?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I have my breaks, so it's not like -- no, I wasn't thinking about taking three months off and doing nothing, no.
Obviously I can't complain much about my scheduling, because it's not like I play every week. I have my two or three weeks off here and there, and I try to make sure to get the most out of those weeks when I'm back home with family and friends and try to enjoy my free time as much as possible.
RODDY WILLIAMS: What's your schedule coming up the next few weeks leading up to the majors?
SERGIO GARCIA: After this week, I'm having three months off -- (laughter).
No, I'll take next week off, and then I have three weeks on in America with Memphis, U.S. Open and Hartford, and then have a couple of weeks off and the British.
Q. Have you actually played Turnberry?
SERGIO GARCIA: I played it Monday, yeah. We were doing a thing forte lore made, and we played on Monday. The weather was beautiful: Cold, windy, rainy.
No, but the course is looking very good, though. The course is looking in very nice shape and green. The rough is quite thick. It looks pretty good.
Q. In a sense of a links is a links, but again it isn't; it's a slightly different sort of links, Turnberry.
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think the weather is going to depend a lot in the scoring there, like I guess every British Open, but I definitely feel like if we get good weather, the scoring is going to be quite low. I don't think that the greens are as severe as some of the links might be. The bunkering around the greens is maybe not as difficult as maybe some other links courses.
We are closer to the water, so there is not much protection on wind and it can probably get quite windy there. We will see. It all depends how firm it plays, too, and all those things.
Q. Was that your first time there?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, I played in '96, British Amateur.
Q. And how did you travel back from there to here?
SERGIO GARCIA: By plane.
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah.
Q. Just going back to Turnberry, you were talking about the rough, that is up, is it?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, it is. It is in spots. Like I said before, it's quite green at the moment, so I mean, if they get good weather in the next month or so, it will probably dry up a little bit and be a little bit more playable.
But there's some spots where if you hit it, you're going to struggle, too. Obviously you're definitely struggling to get it to the green, but you're going to struggle to get it 50 or 60 yards.
Q. A quick one on tonight, who do you support when it's Barcelona against Man United as a Real Madrid fan?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, but I am Spanish, and I am supporting the Spanish team.
Q. And going briefly back to the breakup in March, I was interested whether that had an effect in the physical aspects of practice; did you practice as hard as you normally would?
SERGIO GARCIA: I did, actually, but when your head is not where it should be, it doesn't matter how much you practice, because you are not thinking about what you are doing.
Q. So you went through the routine but didn't --
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, pretty much. I did practice but obviously because my head wasn't where it should be, I didn't see results and it was getting me even more frustrated.
Q. What's the biggest difference between '96 and now at Turnberry do you think?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, to tell you the truth, I only remember a couple of holes from '96.
Q. 16 and 17 are totally different from what you remember in the Amateur?
SERGIO GARCIA: 16 is definitely different, yeah. It's a lot more of a dogleg.
17, I just can't really remember it that much from '96. I mean, obviously you have the tee back on 10, too, and 3 and a couple others.
But yeah, it's 13 years, so you have to expect to see some changes. But I thought the course was nice. I thought I liked it, so I'm looking forward to going there and hopefully do well.
Q. Are you staying at the hotel?
SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know yet.
Q. You mentioned how your mind frame and enthusiasm for the game is a lot better now than it was a few months ago; was there one thing that happened that sparked your passion again?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, I think it's been getting better slowly. I think that my family has really helped a lot and my friends and being around me and trying to make sure that I am going the right way.
It's just one of those things that you've got to be a little patient and we are looking forward to keep going now.
Q. Has it affected your business relationship with Greg in any way?
SERGIO GARCIA: No. No, not at all.
Q. Being at Turnberry, did it get you dreaming of the Claret Jug again?
SERGIO GARCIA: Every time, every time I get to a British Open, I dream about the Claret Jug. I've always said it, The Open is my favourite major, one of my favourite tournaments. So I love it, I try to play the best I can, and I've been fortunate enough to have two or three good chances at it.
So I'm looking forward to having even more, and see if we can get it at least once.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Well, The Open is a few months away but this week you have The European Open, so good luck this week and thanks very much for your time.
End of FastScripts