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May 21, 2013

Sergio Garcia


STEVE TODD:  Sergio, thank you for joining us.  First time at Wentworth for a little while.  Just thoughts on the week ahead and being here this week.
SERGIO GARCIA:  Yeah, I'm very excited about it.  Obviously here on the European Tour, second biggest tournament after the British Open.  Amazing group of players playing this week, on a tough golf course, so I'm excited about the week.  I'm excited to take a nice look at the course tomorrow, as I did today, playing the front nine.  Should be an exciting week.
STEVE TODD:  A great start to the season for yourself, I guess safe to say you come in with confidence pretty high this week.
SERGIO GARCIA:  Yeah, it has been a pretty solid start of the year.  We have not had any wins but we've been close several times.
Yeah, I'm also feeling good about that, if I can get rid of a little bit of a cold that I have.  This weather is not going to help me very much.  Other than that, it should be a very exciting week.

Q.  Is this the first time you've seen the course since Ernie made the changes, and what do you think of them?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Well, I've only played the front nine, and so I could see some differences from 2002, I think was the last time I played.  I think probably the back nine is where you see most of the big changes.
But you can totally see that the course has become a much tougher course.  You know, it used to be a lot of solid scoring situations that you could have out there.  Now, you still have some but not as many as you used to; so you just have to be a little bit more careful with it I guess.

Q.  8?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Yeah, 8 has changed quite a bit, yeah.  Even though the water was always there, that used to be a good, birdieable hole.
Now, you know, even if a pin is on the front, it's quite narrow, danger on both sides.  It's not like you have a bail‑out area that you can go for, so you have to use some good shots out there.

Q.  Good to see you back here.  What was it that brought you back?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Well, I think that the Tour has been trying to have me back here for awhile.  Unfortunately it hasn't been able to happen.  I think this year was obviously a bit extra special having all the players from The Ryder Cup here, being such a big event and so forth.
So you know, just wanted to make a little bit of an extra effort to be sure we could make it here.  It kind of fit nicely into the schedule.  I had four weeks there, so I could come and play this one.  Yeah, I'm excited about it.

Q.  There was a suggestion that changes to the tax that came in for the Olympics last year helped your situation, as well; is that the case?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Well, I think it has.  I think it has a little bit.  Obviously I don't think it's great still but it obviously has a little bit, and that obviously helps, too.
But I think the main reason was obviously that they wanted to make this tournament extra special this year with everything that happened last year with The Ryder Cup and everything.  So you know, it was worth it to make a little bit of an extra effort to come and play.

Q.  Can you clear up how much the wicked Spanish revenue take off you now and how things have been‑‑
SERGIO GARCIA:  I'm not going to get into that.  My lawyers and my accountants take care of that, and I'm not going to get into numbers here and all those things.  Thanks.

Q.  Can I ask something less controversial then; why don't you like Tiger Woods?  (Laughter).
SERGIO GARCIA:  Well, who do you not get along with and I'll ask you the same question.  I mean, obviously you can't like everybody.  I think that there's people that you connect with and there's people that you don't.  You know, it's pretty much as simple as that.  I think that, you know, he doesn't need me in his life, I don't need him in mine, and let's move on and keep doing what we're doing.

Q.  When did you first realise that?
SERGIO GARCIA:  A while back.

Q.  Any particular incident?
SERGIO GARCIA:  No.  I don't think‑‑ it's never really been like a true connection like I would have maybe with Luke or Lee or Adam Scott or some of the other guys that I get along with well.

Q.  How are you going to react if you're drawn him in a tournament, or, indeed, in The Ryder Cup?
SERGIO GARCIA:  It's great.  It is what it is.  It's fine.  It doesn't mean that I cannot play with him.  It's just another player, obviously a good player.  It's just when I'm playing with someone I enjoy, there's a bit more talking going around, and when you're playing with someone that you don't fancy as much, you're just a little bit quiet.

Q.  Would there be a handshake?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Of course.

Q.  On the same thing, Sergio, do you feel any vindicated about what happened at Sawgrass‑‑
SERGIO GARCIA:  What do you mean?  That's a big word for me –

       Q. Vindicate, right; that your version of events has been shown to be the correct one by the fact that the marshals have come forward and backed up your side of the story; do you feel that has put you in a better light?
SERGIO GARCIA:  I don't know.  I don't know if it's done or not.  I try to tell the truth as much as possible to everybody.  And you know, usually the truth usually always wins.
So that's all I can do, and I think that we should kind of all move on and kind of forget‑‑ well, difficult to forget, but kind of move on about what happened and everybody has seen what they have seen.  Life goes on.  So it's one of those things that it was unfortunate that it happened, but you know, it happened.
STEVE TODD:  On that note of moving on, do we have anymore questions on the tournament?

Q.  Did you ever share your dislike for Tiger with Seve?  Did he ever have any advice about how to handle something like that?
SERGIO GARCIA:  No, not really.  No.  I think we had more interesting things to talk about than that.

Q.  In the playoff against Paul Goydos, did you hit first on 17 or did he hit first?
SERGIO GARCIA:  He hit first.

Q.  Second question; does the memory of your first 70 holes in Sawgrass out weigh the next two?
SERGIO GARCIA:  For sure, yeah (laughing).  No, don't get me wrong, there's no doubt that I had a great possibility of winning the players for the second time, and it is a little bit disappointing.  I was a little bit disappointed about the actual outcome.
But, at the same time, I was happy of knowing the way I played, the way I kind of handled myself.  I didn't hit that bad of a shot.  Actually I just hit it a little bit too soft.  But the shot was exactly the way I wanted to hit it.
We all know what the 17th hole can do and what can give and take away from you, and I feel fortunate that it has given me for the most part, it has given me a lot of good things.  And unfortunately this year, on the last round, it kind of took it a little bit away from me.
You know, I was trying to win the tournament.  I thought that if I had the possibility of birdieing a hole, if 17 was easier to birdie than 18 with the wind conditions that we had; so that's why I tried to hit it somewhere close on that right side and see if I could make a birdie.
And knowing that 18, which is not an easy‑‑ and I don't feel very comfortable on that hole, knowing that with the wind from the left, I could easily lose the ball right a little bit and make par or maybe bogey; I knew that if I was 14‑under going into 18, I had a little bit of liberty to play that hole.  That's what I tried, but unfortunately it didn't happen.
You know, it was a great week.  I felt like I played good for over the whole week, and that's what I tried to take away from it.

Q.  You said that you wanted to answer the call from The European Tour to The Ryder Cup team are playing; do you feel that overall The European Tour now are suffering because so many of you guys are now playing much more in America:  Lee, Luke, yourself; the Tour here might be suffering a bit because of that?
SERGIO GARCIA:  I don't know, it's difficult to say.  I've played both tours for 14, 15 years now, so I've always loved The European Tour.  I love what The European Tour stands for; the feeling that you get on The European Tour, not only with the tournament, but the players, within the players and everything; it feels like it's a little bit closer together.  It's a little bit more like a family.
So that's some of the reasons why I kept playing on The European Tour.  I love coming back here and kind of disconnect from the U.S. a little bit and see my Spanish friends and Italian friends and Argentinians and so forth.
So it is difficult to assess that, though, because the U.S. Tour obviously is so strong, you want to be a part of that, too, if you want to become the best player you can be.
So you know, it's difficult to say, you know‑‑ the ideal thing would be to play a lot of tournaments in both, but we can't do that.  We'll last five years and then we'll be done.  So I think we all try to support our tour, which is The European Tour, as much as we can, and we try to play our minimum in the U.S. and kind of mix it up together.

Q.  What's your current attitude towards majors and your chances of winning them?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Well, I think that I tried to go with the best attitude possible.  I tried to give myself a chance of winning every single one of them that I entered.  And I give my best on every single tournament; not only in the majors, but every single tournament.  Sometimes my best is pretty good and sometimes my best is not that good.
I think that's all I can really ask myself for, give my best on every given week and you know, just hopefully I peak in one of those four weeks that we have throughout the year and I manage to win some of them; if not, the only thing I can do is keep at it and keep trying.

Q.  So when you were quoted as saying that the best you could do is finish second winning a major‑‑
SERGIO GARCIA:  Yeah, I think that was obviously‑‑ I was a little bit frustrated at that time.  I just came out from not shooting a great round that kind of put me out of that Masters.
So yeah, but you know, it doesn't mean that I don't go into those tournaments thinking that I don't have a chance of winning; obviously I do.  But I know how difficult it is, too.  So I have to play really, really well in order to be able to do it.

Q.  Is there one that you feel theoretically, potentially fits you?
SERGIO GARCIA:  I love The Open.  I think The Open has definitely always been my favorite, and I would love to ‑‑ if I could only win one, I would love to win The Open.  But you know, I'm not going to get picky on which one (smiling).

Q.  It's been confirmed today that from 2016, the anchor ban is going to come in; what's your opinion on that?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Well, I guess the decision is taken.  Fortunately for me, it doesn't affect me.  I did use it for a little bit, but I never really felt that comfortable with it.
So I think it's going to be a bit of a bother for some of the other guys, but I think they will figure out a way to get their game around it.
Obviously I stand behind the decision of the R&A and the USGA, and you know, I think that we should all do the same thing and just keep working on our games.
STEVE TODD:  Thanks for joining us, best of luck this week.

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