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August 1, 2014

Sergio Garcia


KELLY BARNES:  Thanks for joining us, Sergio.  Got a long list of great stats here from the round today.  Back nine 27.  Why don't you take us through that back nine.  What really clicked for you there?
SERGIO GARCIA:  I don't know.  Just one of those moments that you love and you enjoy and you wish there were no end.
But I obviously got off to a pretty good start and then a couple of bad tee shots on the front nine, but I managed to get a little bit lucky.  Had a couple of good par saves.  And then on the back nine and rolled a great putt on the 10th.  I made two great swings there to give me a little bit more confidence.  Rolled a great putt, and then I started hitting really, really good shots coming in.
It was a combination of getting good numbers, hitting good shots.  Then when I wasn't too close from the hole, I rolled a couple of nice putts in.
I guess me and K.J., we got this done about a month ago to us, and we was able to do it today.  It was one of those funny things, I guess.

Q.  Sergio, for everybody in the world who will never experience what you just experienced, is there a different feeling in the body or anything like that?  Do you feel in the zone?
SERGIO GARCIA:  No.  I mean, that's‑‑ to me, that's‑‑ I don't know.  I don't even know what "the zone" is.  The only thing I can tell you is I was feeling very comfortable.  I was obviously very calm.
I could see what I wanted to do pretty much almost every shot.  And there I could see the lines in the putts quite well.
There were a couple of tricky putts that I was able to‑‑ because I was feeling so comfortable, I was able to trust my reads and hit good putts.  And then, obviously, I was fortunate to roll some of them in.
So I don't know if it was the zone or what it was, but the only thing I can tell you is I was obviously feeling very comfortable and very calm.

Q.  At a certain point, did you realize that you had made a bunch in a row?  At what point were you like‑‑
SERGIO GARCIA:  Actually, when I made the one on 14, I knew it was 4 in a row and 5 of the last 6‑‑ no, sorry.  So 14 was three in a row and 4 in the last 5, and I thought, Well, that's nice.  I'm getting myself up there.
On the last couple of holes, those last three holes on the front nine, it didn't feel like it was really like that.  I felt like it was a bit more of a struggle.
Then I got going.  Obviously, when I made the one on 16, I thought, Oh, here we go.  This is five in a row.  So I said, Well, let's see if we can maybe make one more in the last two.
17, obviously, I was a little bit cautious of not hitting left with my second shot and came out a little bit short, a little right.  I rolled that in, and I thought okay.  If I manage to hit a good tee shot on the last, which is not the easiest hole in the world, maybe I can give myself a chance.  And even if I make par, it's still a great round and very happy with it.
Hit a decent shot.  I wouldn't say it was great.  The second shot, it was with a little bit of adrenaline and a little bit downwind and everything, I didn't want to flush it with a pitching wedge and hit over the green.  So I wanted to give myself at least a chance.  I just kind of came out a little bit.
But I gave myself probably an 18‑footer uphill a little bit right to left.  I was actually happy to see Phil's spot because he held his line very well, and I thought my putt may stray a little left to right.  Actually, after I saw his putt, I kind of hit it right edge, and it broke in perfectly in the middle.  So that was really nice.

Q.  Help me out here, Sergio.  Who did what to you and K.J. a month ago?  I can't remember yesterday.
SERGIO GARCIA:  Well, I think a guy by the name of Kevin Streelman birdied the last seven and beat us by one on Sunday.
I don't know, I guess it's just one of those funny things.  When I made the one on 17, I thought, Oh, this kind of looks familiar from what happened not too long ago.  Obviously, Sunday would be even nicer, but I'll take what I get.

Q.  What was your key shot on 11?  Were you on the fringe?  Were you chipping?
SERGIO GARCIA:  I missed the green by probably an inch and a half.  I hit a good second shot.  It just came out a little bit hot, just out of the left rough with a 9 iron.
It probably flew 4 feet from the hole, and I missed a little bit, missed the green by maybe an inch or inch and a half.

Q.  But for that, you would have birdied every hole.
SERGIO GARCIA:  It counts as a missed green.

Q.  As you look at your back nine, did you take more pleasure out of holing some of the longer putts or hitting the irons close on a couple of those shots?
SERGIO GARCIA:  It's difficult to say.  I really enjoy the two shots I hit on 12 and 13 because it just came out exactly like I wanted with the 8 iron, both with the 8 iron.  Very similar shots, different wind conditions, one was left to right, the other is right to left.  But those two were really, really nice.
And then the putt on 17 felt real good.  The one on 16 and 15 and 14, they were a bit more makable, but 17 and 18 probably 20 and 19 feet, something like that.  You make them once in a while, but you don't make them that often.  The one on 17, it felt so smooth when I hit it, I could see 2 or 3 feet short of the hole.  I could see it going in.
And then the one on 18, more of the same.  I felt very comfortable.  I felt very relaxed.  When I hit it again, it just felt really smooth and was going on the line, and it was very, very‑‑ I was very glad to see it go in.

Q.  Sergio, whenever you see a 27 or something like that, everybody always‑‑
SERGIO GARCIA:  The first time I've seen it.  I don't see it that often.

Q.  We all wonder about, like, the zone and what that's like.  You used the word "comfortable" a few times.  What is it that creates that feeling of being comfortable?
SERGIO GARCIA:  I don't know.  To tell you the truth, I think there's days where you feel comfortable, at ease, just is very relaxed, like you feel like your heartbeat is very calm.  You don't get too pumped up.
And then there's days where you don't feel quite as good.  I mean, obviously today I felt really good on the back nine and a little bit on the front.  But then I had three holes‑‑ 7, 8, and 9‑‑ where my stomach felt a little bit funny, and I felt a little bit weird.
I hit a couple bad shots because I wasn't thinking what I wanted to do, and I was doing different things on my swing.  Then when I got to 10, I thought, Come on, let's try to do what you've been doing and try to swing the same way you've been doing and stop moving so much and see if you can get back into it.
Like I said, I hit two really nice shots on 10.  That gave me a lot of confidence, and from then on, I started hitting a lot of shots the way I wanted to.  So that was really nice.

Q.  When Tiger finished earlier today, he finished with 71.  He was 1 under.  He looked at the leaderboard, and he said, I'm 7 back.  He said, That's very doable this weekend.  Of course, now I guess he's eight back.
SERGIO GARCIA:  He's ten back.

Q.  Ten back?

Q.  How doable is something like that in two rounds given the way the course is playing right now?
SERGIO GARCIA:  It depends on the weather.  It depends on also how the rest of us play.  We all know how capable he is of putting up good scores.  He's shot 61 here too.  Obviously, everything is doable.
It depends on a lot of things.  It's like Sunday at The Open, it was doable for me and Rickie, but we needed to play really, really well, and maybe get a little bit of help from Rory.  We tried, and we did quite well, but we didn't get the help that we needed from him, and that's why he won.
We'll see what happens on the weekend.

Q.  To equal the course record on a course like this, does it mean any more because you think of all the people who have played here?
SERGIO GARCIA:  For sure, no doubt about it.  It obviously feels great to be able to shoot the course record or equal the course record on a course like this, which is not‑‑ even playing soft, it's not that easy a course.  You have to drive the ball very, very well.  You have to put the ball on the greens on the right spots because you can get some really, really fast putts.
So to be able to do it and obviously being in a group with Tiger and Jose Maria.  I think he's on the other course, but still, to be able to be in that group, it feels really good.

Q.  Do you think you'll hear from Jose Maria?
SERGIO GARCIA:  I don't know, he's probably sleeping.

Q.  But eventually?
SERGIO GARCIA:  I'm sure he'll mention it.  Knowing him, I'm sure he'll mention it.

Q.  How did you get your stomach calmed down after that?
SERGIO GARCIA:  It wasn't‑‑ I don't know if I drunk too quickly or too much.  It just felt a little bit, I don't know, a little bit funny.  But it wasn't a big deal.  It wasn't like I was getting sick or anything, like unfortunately, Phil was.
It was just a matter of kind of letting it go through.  Sometimes it happens, and it was fine.

Q.  How much, if anything, did you take out of your performance in The Open, especially in the final round?  Secondly, have you ever got a round like this, in terms of putting?  Not just numbers‑wise, but how would you rank this in terms of feeling?
SERGIO GARCIA:  It's obviously my best round in a tournament, so I rank it number one.
Yeah, there's no doubt what happened at The Open obviously helps, but not only that, I think the way the whole year's been going, it's helped.  I've had some really good rounds.  I had some rounds maybe not as good, but it's been a really, really nice year.
So those things always add up, and they always help.  Like I said, in the round, it's obviously‑‑ I've had rounds where I shot lower, not in tournament, which it's always a little bit easier.  And it's just one of those rounds that I will always remember.
I just feel very fortunate that a lot of good things are happening to me lately with what happened at The Open on the 2nd hole.  And obviously, with this round.  So I'm just trying to enjoy it as much as possible.

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