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August 2, 2014

Sergio Garcia


MICHAEL COLLINS:  Sergio, thanks for joining us, as always.  Give us your assessment of your eight‑hour day.
SERGIO GARCIA:  We thought we were going to have the afternoon off.
No, I think overall it was a good, solid day.  Felt like I played quite well.  Managed to hit a lot of greens.
A couple pulls after the restart, which I didn't particularly like.  Other than that, it was good.  Kept it together nicely, gave myself a lot of good birdie chances early on, probably for the first 12 holes or so, and then just a couple little mistakes, but it was good overall.

Q.  And tomorrow, obviously, a slight role reversal from Hoylake?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Yeah.  It's going to be nice.  Obviously, Rory is playing great, and we get along nicely as of right now.
I think we're both excited about it.  We're definitely going to play hard.  It will be nice to see if I can do the same thing he did to me a couple of weeks ago.  So we'll see.

Q.  I think two bogeys in 54 holes.  Have you ever had a stretch similar to this where it's just very clean golf?  I know it's hard, but you seem to make it‑‑ maybe not easy, but certainly playing very good golf.
SERGIO GARCIA:  Yeah, obviously very happy about that.  To be able to not make many mistakes on this golf course is always very positive.  It's something I'm very proud of, but it's still one more day to go.
I've got to keep doing the same thing, make sure that I have good confidence in myself, that I play nicely, and then see what happens.
If Rory comes out or whoever is behind us comes out and gets crazy like‑‑ kind of like I did on Friday, then it is what it is.  But hopefully, I'll be able to play well again and be all the way up there tomorrow afternoon.

Q.  Of the three shots you had out of the left rough on 16, 17, and 18, which one was the most difficult?  I wonder if you could speak to the importance of pars, just to keep somewhat of a margin going into tomorrow.
SERGIO GARCIA:  They're all different.  16 was only a wedge, but it was tough because you don't want to blast it over the green, and after the rain and everything, the rough was quite heavy.  So the ball was coming out a little bit softer.  There was always a danger of coming up a little bit short.
But I managed to hit a good shot there.  Hit a great putt.  Thought I made that one, but unfortunately I didn't.
The one on 17, it was a little bit thicker with the 8 iron.  I was happy to be able to hit it on the green and give myself a birdie chance.
And the one on 18 was probably the most difficult, obviously, to hit it close, it was impossible because I had a tree in front that I couldn't get around.  I think we only had like 143 yards or something like that.  I had like a wide open face 7 iron trying to cut it a little bit and hit it on that second bunker.  Where I hit it, I couldn't really do much more than that and hope to make a good two‑putt or a good up and down.
So probably the one on 18 is the one that felt the best because it was probably the toughest to make par on.

Q.  Sergio, this year we've seen a lot of big 54‑hole leads on the PGA Tour, and the person in the lead usually comes back to the field a little bit on Sunday even if they end up winning.  What makes it tough to have a lead by three shots or more?  What's tough about the mentality?
SERGIO GARCIA:  I don't know.  I guess it depends on how you feel.  Obviously, it's important to stay aggressive like you've been all week.
At the end of the day, it comes down to being able to do what you've been doing and hit the shots.  So if you manage to do that, then you should be okay.  If not, then you have to play with whatever you have and try to stay in front at any case.

Q.  Sergio, you're coming off those 11 one‑putts yesterday, and then you have the 9‑footer at 1, and it doesn't go in.  Do you just tell yourself, okay, yesterday was such an anomaly?  How do you keep yourself from not expecting every putt to go in and getting disappointed when they don't?
SERGIO GARCIA:  No.  I hit a good putt on the 1st.  I thought it was going to go a little left to right.  Unfortunately, it didn't.  It's one of those things.  There's days where you feel it where you can see every single line like I did yesterday.  Yesterday even the tricky putts, I could see the lines.  Today I saw some of them, but not all of them.
Some of them, it looks like maybe a little bit left to right, but it might not break.  And then I wasn't kind of judging them as well as yesterday.
But it's difficult to do, obviously, what I did yesterday.  It's difficult to do it.  I mean, to do it again.  Forget about doing it back to back.
So I still felt like I played nicely.  I hit a lot of greens today, which was important to kind of settle myself.  I didn't feel like I putted badly.  I still made some good two‑putts from long range and made a couple nice birdie putts here and there.
So I'm not disappointed with that.

Q.  I know you addressed this a little bit earlier, but when Rory was saying you're in a good emotional place right now, how does that translate on the course?  Is it easier to concentrate?  Are you able to manage your emotions better?  What happens?
SERGIO GARCIA:  I think more than anything, yeah, it's easy to manage your emotions a little bit better.  It's easier to take mistakes in a better way.
That probably comes down to saving shots at the end of the day, not letting mistakes affect you as much.  If you make them, just kind of deal with them and move on.

Q.  When you come out after the break and there's no crowd there and you usually feed off the energy of the crowd, is that a different feel for you?  Do you even notice that?  How does that affect your play?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Yeah, obviously, it's tough.  You feel for the people that came to watch.  You feel for the tournament itself because it was beautiful.  There was so many people out there enjoying it.
Then, unfortunately, we get like a three‑hour delay, and pretty much everybody's gone, and it feels pretty dead.  It's difficult to not let yourself get away with that, kind of go that way too and feel a little bit flat.
But at the end of the day, you still have to try to do the best you can out there and still trying to hit the right shots and stuff.  So that's what I was trying to do.  Unfortunately, I hit a couple not so good ones, but I managed to recover nicely.

Q.  I'm just wondering, how long has it been since you felt this good with everything, your mental game, your life, your golf game?  How long since everything was this together?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Obviously, I'm thrilled to be as comfortable and as happy as I am now.  If I had to think about it, it would be probably 2008.  That be would the last time I felt this good.
But I want to say the last three years have been very good.  I felt like, once I recovered from my little down‑‑ my little fall down or whatever, it's been nice.  I've always said that I couldn't be luckier to have such an amazing family around me.  They're always behind me.
Obviously, I have a great group not only with my girlfriend, but with my managing team and everybody and my sponsors.  So we've gone through bad times, tough times, but they've always made me feel really, really good.  So they also have a little bit of credit there.

Q.  What's the advantage of playing with Rory tomorrow?  I guess what I mean by that is you get a three‑shot lead, it can feel comfortable when you have someone who's coming off The Open and is playing well and of that quality.  Does it get your attention maybe a little more zeroed in than it would be otherwise?
SERGIO GARCIA:  No, I don't think so.  I think that you're obviously going to be paying attention a little bit to what's going on, even if he was in the group behind or whoever it is because at the end of the day, everyone out here can really play lights out, and it's never easy.
But I'm excited about it.  Obviously, I know that if I keep doing what I've been doing throughout the whole year, if I play nicely, if I believe in myself and stay calm, I have a really good chance at lifting the trophy tomorrow.  So that's the goal, and hopefully, I'll be able to achieve it.

Q.  We always ask players whose game and whose swing you admire.  I'm curious whose demeanor do you admire out here?
SERGIO GARCIA:  I don't know.  I think I've always loved the way Steve Stricker plays.  He seems very collected, very calm and collected.
Obviously, he also gets excited on the right moments and stuff, but he seems like he keeps everything very nicely together.
I would say I'm a little bit more hyper than maybe he would be, but he's definitely one of the guys that I always looked at.  Obviously, Adam, for example, the same thing.  The way he handled his British Open loss, I thought that was really high class.

Q.  Sergio, how did you manage your time during the rain delay, and also, did it affect your play when you came out?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Just managed it like everybody else.  Just kind of sat in the locker room, had a little bit to eat, kind of just laughed about it a little bit.  Saw some funny videos and stuff with Rory and a couple others.
And then, yeah, I would say the same way that I think I've been lucky a couple of times this year with rain delays that have helped me at tough times.  For example, at the Players.
I think this one wasn't the best for me.  I felt like probably a little bit what happened with Martin.  I felt like I was really on the go, and it was quite a big break, and then I didn't feel as smooth as I felt before.
But like I said, we managed to get through it, and tomorrow will be a different day.

Q.  Did you hear from Jose Maria?
SERGIO GARCIA:  No, I didn't.

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