An Interview With: Sergio Garcia – 2012 Champion

DOUG MILNE:  All right.  We’ll go ahead and get started.  We’d like to welcome the 2012 Wyndham Championship winner, Sergio Garcia.  Congratulations.

Second consecutive 66 to get the job done.  Little extra time to get it done but you got it done, nonetheless, for your first PGA TOUR win since the ’08 Players, your 8th PGA TOUR win.

All that said, it’s got to make you feel good and with that I’ll turn it over to you for some comments.

SERGIO GARCIA:  Yeah, definitely.  You know, it was nice to pull through.  I was happy to go out there and hit some very good shots, made some nice four, five footers when I had to and, you know, kind of gave myself a good cushion going into the last.

So, you know, very happy about the way the week has gone and looking forward to the next couple weeks.

DOUG MILNE:  Okay.  With that we’ll open it up for some questions.


Q.  Great ball striking down the stretch.  Hit a couple shots stiff and then hit a third one about six feet.

Can you talk about seems like ball striking, you know, gave you that cushion coming in.

SERGIO GARCIA:  Well, yes, but I still had to make the putts.  Obviously the one on 16 and the one on 13th were tap-ins but, you know, the other ones were four, five footers that you can miss and if you miss, you feel like you’re losing ground and if you don’t, you keep moving forward.

I think it was key for me early on, 5, 6, 7, 8 — 5, 6, 7, I made good shots, had good birdie chances.  Hit a couple good putts but the greens were really, really quick and I rolled probably four, five feet by in all of them and made the putts coming back.  That was nice for the confidence on those short putts.

And then like we talked about, hit the ball very nicely.  You know, gave myself a lot of good short birdie putts and managed to come through.

Q.  Can you talk about the 18th hole and I guess at some point realized that Tim Clark made birdie at 18 and your situation and that putt, that long putt at the last.

SERGIO GARCIA:  Yeah.  Probably one of the only shots I’m not happy about the week because it’s probably one of the only times I didn’t really commit to what I wanted to do.

I thought I probably have three, four shot lead, just hit the 5-wood out and get it down there and even if you hitting a 4 or 3-iron in, it doesn’t really matter.

So I kind of got that with the 3-wood and started thinking a little too much.  I wasn’t really comfortable and totally committed with the club and obviously I knew where I wasn’t going to hit it.  I pulled it way left and — but then I hit a good 3rd shot, went a little bit too far and then just a wonderful putt to finish with there and hit it to a foot and that was it.


Q.  Sergio, Seve won this tournament in ’78.  Wall of Champions out there.  Any significance to that, to winning a tournament that Seve won?

SERGIO GARCIA:  It’s great.  Winning any tournament, as I said earlier in the week, winning any tournament is great.  Doesn’t matter where it is or who has won it before.

If you can be paired up with Seve, you know, as much as he meant to not only Spanish golf, Spanish sports and I’ve been fortunate enough to win more than one tournament where he’s won so, you know, that’s obviously extra special.


Q.  Have you seen that wall?

SERGIO GARCIA:  I have not seen it.


Q.  What does that mean with the pressure of wanting to make the Ryder Cup team?

SERGIO GARCIA:  What does it mean?  Well, it’s great.  You know, I think there were a lot of things going on.  You know, it shows a lot to me.  I kind of did it last year, too, in Germany when I needed to play really, really well to get into the British Open, which is my favorite tournament, and almost won there and then got myself into the British Open.

Now this year, here, hopefully this will secure my spot in the Ryder Cup team.  So — and, you know, winning is always nice.  So, you know, it means quite a bit.


Q.  There’s really kind of double satisfaction, the win and the Ryder Cup.

SERGIO GARCIA:  Definitely, yes.  Well, we’ll see when the team comes out but, you know.  I think my chances are a little better now (laughter).


Q.  Sergio, what did you gain from having a caddy who kind of carried the clubs and stayed out of the way?

SERGIO GARCIA:  It helped me — you know, sometimes I feel like — caddies are great but sometimes I feel like I depend too much on them, it’s the way I am and sometimes I would — instead of making a decision myself I would wait for the caddy to make a decision for me and then maybe I don’t feel comfortable with that and still trying to do it.

So, for me what I wanted, you know, was to start making decisions for myself, right and wrong.  Don’t give me wrong, not all my decisions were good this week.  Obviously misread some putts.  I hit a couple wrong clubs here and there.

But at least I was — other than 18, I was pretty much a hundred percent committed to most of my decisions and that was nice to see.

So, you know, probably going to keep doing it maybe until the end of the year and kind of work with myself and my own confidence and then at the end of the year I’ll probably try to get a new caddy and see where we go from there.


Q.  Have you played a pro tournament before where you met your caddy an hour before your tee time?

SERGIO GARCIA:  No (laughter).  I had another professional caddy for me in a professional event, obviously, many times but probably not as randomly as it was this week.


Q.  Lot of country club caddies make like $50 a bag plus tip and winning Tour caddies tend to get ten percent on a win.

How nice will this be for him?  Will he get a ten percent kind of thing this week?

SERGIO GARCIA:  Probably get 75 and a tip (laughter).  I don’t know.  I don’t know.


Q.  It’s a cool kind of story.

SERGIO GARCIA:  I know.  I’ll have to look at it.  Obviously I mean I’ll make — he’s going to be happy with what he gets.  Obviously he’s not going to get what a normal caddy would get because his job was fairly easy.

The toughest thing for him was probably for his legs.  He’ll be happy with whatever he gets.  I’m sure he will.  And the experience, obviously.  It’s always good.


Q.  So you won’t be taking him to the next town?


DOUG MILNE:  Anybody else.


Q.  Sergio, off topic question.  Today, Augusta National added two female members.  Wanted to get your thoughts on Augusta doing that.

SERGIO GARCIA:  It’s great.  I mean I’m not a member so I don’t have any say on that.  That’s great.  I hope they enjoy it and plays as many times as they can and enjoy the course (laughter).


Q.  You were talking outside about the two wins you had last year in.  Can you talk about that?  You said it really rekindled your confidence.

SERGIO GARCIA:  Definitely.  I think that a lot of the things that I did last year really helped a lot.  Like I said before, you know, the way I played the U.S. Open and then the way I played in Germany to get myself into the British Open, the way I finished the year in Europe and, you know, at the end of the day for me, I’m the one — sometimes it hurts to hear people not giving enough credit to some of those wins because they’re in Europe.

Fortunately, I know how much they mean to me and I know how difficult they are so, you know, they were great and they really helped a lot.  They helped me get keeping better and, you know, it’s just a matter of kind of keep working on it, keep a good attitude on it and, you know, good times and bad times.


Q.  I know you just met your caddy this week.  He was talking outside about Sergio is back and —

SERGIO GARCIA:  That’s fine.  I mean — it was great week but I can definitely still play better which, you know, I hit a lot of good shots but I wasn’t going full out.  There’s still some shots that I need to get better at.


Q.  Sergio, were you surprised how many fans came out on a Monday morning?

SERGIO GARCIA:  It was nice, it was nice to see.  Like I said before, I’ve been fortunate enough — I think I won in New York on a Monday, too, and it’s always nice to see all those fans coming out.

It’s difficult to do it after a long week and they have to go back to work and all those things.  So it was nice to see the people out there supporting and, you know, saw some Latin Americans, some Argentinians were out there, too, cheering in Spanish.  It was nice.


Q.  Sergio, you almost won here, you almost made The Playoffs here three years ago and played well enough probably to win it.  Was that ever on your mind that maybe the course owes me one?

SERGIO GARCIA:  No, I don’t think so.  I think that that year I was pretty much in control and I lost it myself.  The course didn’t do anything wrong to me.

So, you know, that’s pretty much the way I look at it.  I was just trying to be confident, trying to be aggressive as much as I could and believe in my ability to play.

The good thing is I try to look at things a little bit differently.  I try to look at how well I’ve done here even though I didn’t win until this week when I played in ’98 and an amateur and obviously finishing 4th a couple years ago.

Try to look at it that way, it’s a good course for me and, you know, I was happy to see that it was even better this week.


Q.  You head over to Bethpage at The Barclays.  You’ve had some success there, the U.S. Open.  How much are you looking forward to starting The Playoffs that way?

SERGIO GARCIA:  Yeah.  Well, I’m looking forward to have a little rest tonight and tomorrow and then Wednesday we’ll look at the course in the Pro-Am and, you know, we’ll try to keep playing the way we’ve been playing.

Like you said, I played nicely there
at the U.S. Open, I think 4th and 10th.  So, I don’t know.  It’s kind of interesting to see hopefully it plays firm and it will be interesting to see how tough it can really play that way.

I don’t know how it’s set-up anyway.  So, we’ll see but we’ll try to do some of the things we did this week and hopefully I’ll be able to do them as well or better than this week.


Q.  Can you speak briefly to the conditions of the greens?  You might have answers that already, the changes they made.  These are very, very young greens.

SERGIO GARCIA:  They’re just so good.  I think that it’s made — obviously people are going to look at it, 18-under won.

It’s the kind of course that, you know, you have — you can have a lot of good opportunities for birdies.  I think that the greens, as they mature, they probably can get a little firmer and a little tougher.

I was surprised how quick they were today, even after all the rain they had yesterday and at night.  I mean the first 3-putts I couldn’t believe — they were much faster than Thursday or Friday or Saturday.

So, I think that they did an awesome job getting the course — it looked better than it’s ever looked.  Unfortunately, we got the rain which never helps but, you know, I think they did a wonderful job.

DOUG MILNE:  All right.  Sergio, congratulations.

SERGIO GARCIA:  Thank you.


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