An Interview With: Sergio Garcia

MARK STEVENS: I’d like to welcome Sergio Garcia.  Sergio, got it to 10-under, 7-under on the day.  You want to talk about your round and then we’ll have some questions?

SERGIO GARCIA:  Yeah.  I think it was a nice day.  Play in the morning, not much wind until the last, probably four, five holes.  We’re able to take advantage of it and play pretty nicely early on, the first 8 holes and stalled a little bit for about four, five holes and then I played nicely again the last four.

You know, we’re all very happy with the way it went and, you know, in a good position for the weekend.

MARK STEVENS:  Thank you.  Questions?

Q.  Sergio, you played here I think for a long time ago as a junior player.  Does that matter anymore?

SERGIO GARCIA:  Excuse me?

Q.  You played here since were you a junior player, did you not?

SERGIO GARCIA:  When I was 18.

Q.  Does that matter at all now?

SERGIO GARCIA:  Does it?  No, it doesn’t.

Q.  Help you or —

SERGIO GARCIA:  What I did 14 years ago, it’s — you know, can’t — so, I mean obviously I did very well there in ’98 when it was — I won the tournament as an amateur, I think I finished 3rd or something like that.

I played nicely here three, four times that I’ve played, I think, so obviously there are some things that I enjoy about the course.  I think that with the new greens it’s a different golf course now.

We’ve been fortunate to play it with perfect conditions but, you know, the course is going to get tougher as the week goes on if it doesn’t rain.  Look forward to hopefully playing well again the next couple of days and, you know, give myself a shot, a decent shot on Sunday.

Q.  Sergio, did you feel this type of round coming on?  Had you been waiting for something like this?  63 is pretty solid, obviously.

SERGIO GARCIA:  Have I?  Well, I did hit the ball nicely last week even though I missed the cut by one.  I putted like a dog, I putted really, really bad.

Yesterday I could have, probably could have shot somewhere around that, probably could have shot 64, 63 but I didn’t really make anything yesterday again.

Today, finally, I made some good putts.  I made a bomb on the 4th hole and a good putt on 5 when my long game wasn’t as sharp and then, you know, I managed to hit some close ones coming in.

So, you know, it felt like the game has been getting a little bit better.  Obviously, I felt like I hit some really nice putts yesterday but they didn’t drop and today I was more fortunate and they did.

Q.  I know you came close a couple years ago here.  I know obviously a win is big anywhere.  What would it mean to win at a place where you came so close?

SERGIO GARCIA:  Like you said, winning everywhere is great.  It doesn’t matter if it’s here or in your backyard, you know.  That’s what we always try, obviously, to try to improve, get as good as we can be and then have a chance at winning as many tournaments as possible.

So, today it was a beginning to hopefully put myself in a good position tomorrow but, you know, also we have to wait and see what happens this afternoon.  You know, there’s some guys out there that can shoot a good number and — but it definitely would be nice to get a W here.

Q.  You’ve played here a few times.  What does this tournament kind of do right as far as for the players and the way the tournament is run?

Do they do a pretty good job here?

SERGIO GARCIA:  Yeah, they definitely do.  I think that, you know, now with the new greens, obviously the players are looking at it a little bit different, little bit more challenging.  So, also, it’s right before the FedExCup.  So, you’re doing well you’re always going to come and play.

The bad thing is that it’s tough to get the top, top players because, you know, if they’re doing well in the FedExCup they’re probably going to take this week off to play three in row after this.

It’s a thin line between the kind of players you can get here.  But, you know, it’s always been a good tournament and that’s why it’s always managed to have a pretty good, solid field.

Q.  So why did you decide to play this week?  Any specific reason?

SERGIO GARCIA:  Because I missed the cut last week and I needed to do a little extra.

Q.  Sergio, kind of a big picture kind of question, at this point in your career you made a lot of money and those kind of things, I’m sure. 

What drives you in the sport?  What spurs you or motivates you?  You want to be No. 1 in the world, you want to win Majors?

SERGIO GARCIA:  Definitely not the money, you know.  That’s a thing that everybody talks about and, unfortunately, that’s all you hear when you hear the commentators on TV, they’re playing for this much and that much.

It’s kind of sad because I think that there are some players that obviously do look at that but I think that’s the minority.  I think that’s the guys that maybe are struggling to keep their cards and things like that.

The top players, what they want to do is play as well as they can, have a chance of winning as many tournaments as possible and the rest comes with it.

So, for me, you know, to tell you the truth, I don’t really care if I become No. 1 or not.  I obviously want to be the best player I can be.  When I go out there I try to play my best golf that I have for that week or for that day and, you know, if that takes me to No. 2, where I’ve been before, great.  If it takes me to No. 1, even better.  If I’m supposed to be No. 15, then I’ll be No. 15.

So, fortunately for me, golf is not the only thing in my life and so, obviously, if I play well it helps me be happier but, fortunately, I have a lot of good friends and other hobbies that I can do to enjoy my life.

Q.  How much is the Ryder Cup in the back of your mind, particularly with it going to Medinah where obviously you made a big impact?

SERGIO GARCIA:  Everybody knows how much the Ryder Cup means to me.  So, I was obviously very disappointed last week when I didn’t manage to make the cut and fell out of the Top-10 to qualify for the team.

But, you know, at the same time, you know, I have a chance this week.  I’m going to give it my best shot.  Hopefully my game will be on on the weekend and I can get myself back in it.  If not, then I’ll have to hope for a peek.

I love the Ryder Cup and I would love to be in it.  If I’m in it, I’ll give it my best and I’ll try to bring as many things as I can to the European team.

If I’m not I’ll be the No. 1 fan watching at home on TV.  So, you know, that’s pretty much all you can do.

MARK STEVENS:  Okay.  Everybody good?  Thanks a lot, Sergio.  Good luck this weekend.

SERGIO GARCIA:  Thank you.


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