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July 30, 2014

Sergio Garcia


CHRIS REIMER:  Hi.  We want to welcome Sergio Garcia here to the media room at the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational.
Sergio, just coming off some solid play over the last few months, if you will.  Maybe some comments on your play at The Open Championship, and then also looking forward to the next‑‑ not only this event, but the next several weeks into a pretty important stretch of golf for you guys.
SERGIO GARCIA:  Definitely.  Obviously, very happy with the way it's been going all year, but obviously a couple weeks ago at The Open to be able to play well and kind of try to challenge Rory a little bit on Sunday.  It was nice.
Yeah, like you said, some really‑‑ a really big stretch now of good tournaments coming up.  Obviously, finishing at the Ryder Cup.  So it's going to be a little bit busy, but I'm looking forward to it.
It's going to end up with an amazing event, which I love.  I love to play.  After that, we can take a little bit of time off.

Q.  Sergio, talking about the schedule, at this point, do you plan to play all four playoff events?
SERGIO GARCIA:  I don't know.  It's still early to say, but with the Ryder Cup being so close after it, probably not, if everything goes according to plan.
But we'll see.  I want to make sure that I feel nice and as fresh as possible for the Ryder Cup.  Even though there's a lot of great tournaments, I don't want to be playing 6 out of 7 weeks going into the Ryder Cup, or 6 out of 8 weeks.  It's quite a lot of playing.  So we'll see how it goes.

Q.  Do you do anything differently in terms of preparing to remain mentally fresh going into a stretch?  It may not be 6 out of 7, but maybe 4 out of 5 the next seven weeks.
SERGIO GARCIA:  No.  I think that, obviously, it's good.  We're going to be playing a lot of golf.  So maybe you don't need to practice as hard.  You're going to be in a lot of competition going on.  You kind of get in the flow of it.
And I think, if you just manage to keep in a good rhythm and hopefully keep doing well like we've been doing, we should be in good shape.

Q.  Sergio, how did the club giveaway at Bethpage come to be?  Is there one thing you'll take away from that whole day of interacting with the people there?  I'm sure they were all very happy.
SERGIO GARCIA:  Yeah, it was really, really good.  It was obviously an idea from Adidas and TaylorMade.  We really liked it when they told us.  So we thought it would be nice to give a little surprise and give some new drivers away and some SLDRs away.
So it was really, really enjoyable.  I think not only for us but for the people, for the players there.  I think they had a good time.  I think it was a good experience for them.  That's what we tried.  So we hope they enjoyed it as much as they could.

Q.  Is that the nicest New Yorkers have ever been to you?
SERGIO GARCIA:  No, I wouldn't say so.  I think the New York crowds are tough, but at the same time, they're very‑‑ they get really, really behind you.
I've always felt that I had a lot of support everywhere, but in New York for sure.  I think that's one of the reasons why I've done so well out there, because I feel like they support me a lot.  So I never really had any complaints about that.

Q.  Sergio, what is it about this course that suits you well, and how do you think your game will play out this week on this course?
SERGIO GARCIA:  It depends.  Obviously, it all depends a little bit on how the course plays.  If it doesn't rain, this course can play quite tough.  Some of the holes are very, very difficult to hit.
But it's like any other week.  Obviously, if I'm on, if I feel comfortable, if I feel confident, I think I can do well.  I've done fairly well before.
But if you're a little bit off, it's the kind of golf course that's asking you a lot of different shots.  Mainly off the tee, it's asking you a lot.  So you have to be very patient and realize that it's probably not going to be the easiest week that you have all year.

Q.  So Rickie was in here earlier and went on this riff about how some players are unwilling to wear the green jacket or hold a Claret Jug until they win it.  Have you worn a green jacket, touched any of the Major trophies?  Where do you stand on this superstition?
SERGIO GARCIA:  I don't think I've worn a green jacket.  I've definitely held the Claret Jug several times.
I remember first time I did it was '96, when Tom Lehman won.  He kind of handed it to me.  So it was really, really nice.
But, no, I'm really not superstitious about those things.  I think that you get what you deserve, and you do what you're supposed to.  I don't think it's yellow or things like that.  It doesn't‑‑ I mean, we all have our little things, but I try to think that I'm not too superstitious.

Q.  What's your comfort level with Valhalla and your favorite memory playing there?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Well, I haven't played it since 2008, since the Ryder Cup.  I mean, it's‑‑ I'm not going to lie to you.  It's not my favorite golf course in the world, but I'm excited to see how it looks.
I remember, obviously, a little bit from 2000.  2008, they'd already made some changes.  So it will be interesting to see how it plays.  Hopefully, if it plays firm, it will be a nice test.  If it plays soft, it kind of gets a little bit easier for everybody.
I'm excited to go and see it.  Like I said, I haven't seen it for six years.  So I don't know if they made any more changes after the Ryder Cup.

Q.  Sergio, obviously, every individual is different, but if you had to speak broadly, what would you say is the difference on average between a European professional golfer and an American professional golfer?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Difference on what?

Q.  Personality‑wise, I would say.
SERGIO GARCIA:  I don't know.  It's difficult to say.  I mean, I know what we grow with or we grow up with.  I don't know exactly what happens on this side when you're an amateur.
I obviously played some amateur events, but it was really one, two weeks, then fly back.
Honestly, I feel like maybe in Europe things are maybe a little bit more relaxed when it comes down to that.  Obviously, we play a lot more team events for our countries, in this case, for me for Spain, like European championships and all those‑‑ European championships, amateur, boys, so different ages.
But I also like the way they do it here with also making it a little bit easier to be able to study and play at the same time, which in Europe it's quite a lot harder because, if you miss time from school, it's difficult to get it back.  They don't give you as many options as they do here.
So I think they both have good things and maybe not as good things, but you try to deal with them the best way possible.

Q.  I heard it's possible you might have gotten engaged.  If that's the case, are there any details you can share?
SERGIO GARCIA:  No, not really.  No, there's really nothing that I want or should talk about it.
I think that's between Kathy and myself.  If we get married or something, I'm sure everybody will find out.  So it wouldn't be a problem.

Q.  This one will be easier.  Welcome back.
SERGIO GARCIA:  Was that difficult?

Q.  Welcome back to Akron.  You were talking about the course a little bit before, and I wanted to get your reaction to something that was in Sports Illustrated a couple of months ago.  Somebody wrote:  Those World Golf Championships have been stuck in such uninspired venues.  I'd move them to places that are more dynamic, speaking of Akron and Tucson.  What's your reaction to that?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Well, I think‑‑ I mean, I love the golf course.  I think this is definitely one of the best golf courses we play all year.
Obviously, I can see the point of maybe New York or one of the biggest cities.  It doesn't mean that Akron is not a nice city, but obviously, it doesn't have the charisma or the pull that an L.A. or a Miami or a New York might have.
We've always enjoyed it.  I think the people always come and support it.  It's great to see nice big crowds here, and the golf course is really one of the best ones we play all year.  So for us, there's really no complaints.

Q.  Getting back to team play and the Ryder Cup a little bit, we just saw the Spanish women get a nice win at the International Crown.
SERGIO GARCIA:  Yeah, that was great.

Q.  Do you interact with those girls at all playing, or have you played with them at all?  Number two, again, what makes the Europeans so much better at team play than the Americans?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Well, I do‑‑ I mean, I do know all four of them.  The one probably I interact with the most is Carlota, because we share management group, a management company.
It was great to see them win and do so well.  I don't know exactly what it is about.  I don't know if, like I said before, maybe we play a little bit more team events.
What I mean by "team events," I know that here in the U.S. there's obviously tournaments where you play as a team for your college, but it's usually individual rounds.
In Europe, we play foursomes.  We play four balls.  We play individual matches.  We play probably a lot more match play tournaments as an amateur than maybe they do here in the U.S.
So I don't know.  I think we seem to gel nicely.  We feel very, very comfortable with each other's company when we play on team events, and that probably makes it a little bit easier for your partner to feel comfortable and play the best.
I couldn't tell you exactly what the reason is.
CHRIS REIMER:  Sergio, good luck this week.  Thanks for stopping by.

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