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THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

July 17, 2014

Sergio Garcia

HOYLAKE, ENGLAND

MIKE WOODCOCK: We're delighted to welcome Sergio Garcia into the interview room. That's a great open round today of 4-under par, 68. How pleased are you with your start?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, obviously very pleased. Every time you start a major championship and an Open with a 4-under, you've got to be pleased with it. Obviously a couple of birdie chances on the last three that I would have liked to do better with. But I got a little bit lucky on 18, too, with my tee shot. I can't really complain too much about it.

Q. You were saying yesterday that the experience of 2006 here would help you. Did you draw a lot on that out there today?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, not really. The course is playing a little bit different. It's not playing as fast as it was. The only funny moment that I had today was actually on the first hole because obviously I always -- when I come back here, I always remember my hole-out on the second hole on Saturday with the 9-iron. And funny enough today on the first, I hit 9-iron and I almost holed out. I hit the pin and went to two feet. So it was funny to go through that again, almost on the same hole. Other than that, no, not really. I guess every year is different. And after eight years, there's so many things that change or can be different this year, I guess.

Q. You only played the par 5s at level. Do you feel you left a couple out there? And further from that, the weather forecast is we're going to get a bit of rough stuff. Are you one of the people who prospers most in those conditions?
SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know. Hopefully. It would be nice. I've played well in tough conditions. I've also played not so well. We'll see how it goes. But today was beautiful, and it was the perfect day to enjoy it. The weather doesn't get much better than that. But I think that obviously, yeah, I would love to -- I would love to shoot at least a couple under on the par 5s. I obviously tucked it a little bit with my third shot on 10, maybe getting a little too aggressive with the sand wedge. And I made bogey there. And then 16 and 18. 16, I missed it a little with my 4-iron and didn't get the best of lies on the bunker, and wasn't able to make birdie. And then 18 I just hit my chip too hard. I kind of missed my spot that I wanted to fly it on and it just went by. But I guess that, obviously, I would love to play those a little bit better, but I can't be disappointed with my round. Obviously if everything would have gone exactly to plan, then it would have been maybe three or four shots better, but it doesn't happen.

Q. Did it feel like links golf out there or something a little different?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yes, obviously it did feel like links golf, but not to the extreme that sometimes we see it. I think that for the first eight, nine holes, obviously you still had to be careful because you were still hitting 3-irons to 180 yards. So obviously it was still a linksy kind of play. But it just wasn't as windy. You were able to stop the ball quite well on the greens. And then it got a little bit more challenging on the back nine when the prevailing wind started coming and it started blowing a little bit harder. Not too difficult, not too hard, but it definitely made you think a little bit.

Q. Obviously there was a magic moment where you chipped in. Can you talk us through that.
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, it was perfect timing. It was one of those things that it was great to be able to do it right after a bogey on a par 5, which always stings a little bit. So I hit a great tee shot. And then just pulled it with my 9-iron left of the green. And obviously looking at it and thinking, okay, see if I can fly it on this little flat spot and let it run down the hill and see if I can make a nice four and make sure you stop the ball running. Fortunately it went straight in the middle and hit the pin and went in. That was a really nice moment to kind of keep the good momentum going and kind of forget that bogey.

Q. With all the close calls you've had in majors and some of the frustrations, have you tried to change your mindset or your approach at all?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, of course, I think that with experiences you have, yeah, you try to kind of ease up a little bit. At the end of the day I realize that I'm out there trying to do my best. Obviously some days I feel it better than others. But if I'm doing my best I can't ask myself for anything else. Obviously if I'm throwing shots away, not carrying anything, then I can be disappointed with myself. But like I said, if I do my best, even if sometimes it doesn't go that great, there's nothing else you can do, really.

Q. Having gone close in this tournament a few times before do you feel that your current promising start today, you'll be in a better position to take advantage if you're in contention on Sunday?
SERGIO GARCIA: It's only the first day. There's so many things that can happen out there. It would be nice to put myself in a position to have a solid chance on Sunday, like I did a couple of times, and like I did in 2006 here. But still it's only the first day. So we're going to go a little step by step and hopefully keep shooting good scores, depending on how the weather is, and then see, like I said, if we have a good, solid chance on Sunday.

Q. Do you watch scoreboards on the first day? Rory we saw got to 6-under or is that something you only do on the final day?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, it's difficult not to see scoreboards because they're everywhere. You do take a peek here and there. But I don't think that it is that big of a deal on the first day. Probably when it comes down to Sunday and stuff and you have a chance, you take a glance here and there to make sure that you're close, to see if you're in the lead or close to the lead. But I don't try to focus too much on it. Still trying to do the best I can.

Q. We know you've been playing well, but mentally is this the best you've come into a major, in sort of the happiest frame of mind for how many years, you tell us?
SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know, probably since 2008. But, like I said, even on the tough years this championship, it's different to me. I love it so much. After the Ryder Cup it's my favorite tournament to play. You always come with a different frame of mind here, even if you're struggling little bit. I enjoy the people out there. It almost kind of feels like a Ryder Cup, when people start shouting, "Come on, lads!" and things like that. Those are things that you don't hear that often and it's good to hear this week.

Q. Do you think that atmosphere can help your game, that sort of Ryder Cup spirit? And also your outfit is a bit more low key than your last one. Was that a conscious decision to keep it more somber?
SERGIO GARCIA: No. You can check exactly what I'm wearing this week with adidas. We have the scripting. But, no, I think that obviously that obviously always helps, when they make you feel good, when you see them -- but not only that, I think it's the knowledge they have about the game. Unfortunately we don't get to see it too often. Pretty much only when we play at the Open and maybe a couple other events in the UK. But it's nice to play in front of these crowds, and hopefully do well so they can enjoy it.

MIKE WOODCOCK: Thank you very much, and best of luck for the rest of the week.

SERGIO GARCIA: Thank you.
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