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November 5, 2014

Sergio Garcia


SARAH GWYNN:  Thank you for joining us today.  You have a great record at this course.  You must be very excited to be back.
SERGIO GARCIA:  Yeah, it's good.  It's good to be back at Sheshan.
Obviously like you said, I have been fortunate to play nicely in the past year, and be a past champion, which is always nice to do when you go back to a course where you've done well, and yeah, got off to a good week in Kuala Lumpur, and so excited about another good week here.  Very strong field, very good tournament.  So hopefully we can keep going in the same direction that we've been going all year.
SARAH GWYNN:  You could still win the Race to Dubai, mathematically; is that in your head, or not really?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Yeah, I think that‑‑ yeah, if I win all three tournaments and Rory doesn't play, then I have a chance.  But really, not really‑‑ I'm not really thinking about that much.  I just want to have three good tournaments to finish with, you know, try to finish second there and it would be a nice way to close out the year.
But at the end of the day, the most important thing is to keep playing well and keep enjoying it and try to do the best we can these next few weeks.

Q.  There's really nice banners of you as a boy, 13 or 14; have you seen them around the course?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Yeah, it's quite funny to see myself with the national Spanish team shirt, I was probably 14 or 15.  So it kind of brings back some old memories.  I think it's a nice little thing that HSBC is doing.  You know, it's funny and interesting to see those pictures.

Q.  I was going to ask you, you've had such a great career in golf.  Have you ever thought what you may have done if you didn't play golf, what sort of employment you would have taken up?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Well, yeah, I think I've talked about this before.  I would have loved to be involved with sports no matter what.  So either football player or maybe a tennis player, one of the two would have been nice.  But anything involved with sports, and if not, I've always liked animals, so maybe a vet or something like that.  I have to study a lot for that, though (laughing).

Q.  What mementos have you kept from your amateur days?  Do you have the first trophy you ever won, the first shirt you ever won in or whatever?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Funny enough, I'm not that big into collecting mementos and stuff like that.  I obviously do have my trophies somewhere scattered around, probably mostly my parents' house.  But I'm not so much of keeping like Ryder Cup flags and things like that.  I usually just like to either give it away to friends or to charity, things like that.
For some reason, I keep my trophies, but other than that, not so much anything else.  My dad likes to keep some of those things but not me.

Q.  And what would be his prized possession?  What would he be most likely to show people?
SERGIO GARCIA:  I don't know.  I think that‑‑ probably one of the things that he likes the most is I think The Ryder Cup, the one in 2010, the one I was vice captain.  I got him a bag from‑‑ the bag we got as vice captains, I got it signed for him.  It was his 60th birthday, so everybody wrote a nice note on it.  That's probably one of the presents that he likes the most.  He has it there at home.  It's quite cool.

Q.  If you had been a football player or tennis player, chances are now you would be retired now.  In golf, you can play at a high level for so long, and now you can kick on again and really aim for the majors.
SERGIO GARCIA:  Yeah, I think that's one of the great things about being a golfer, if you stay healthy, you can play for quite a long time.  So I think that's the fortunate thing about it, other than being a footballer or a tennis player like you said.
You know, you've just got to take it like it is I guess.  You try to motivate yourself every week you go out there, try to play to the best of your ability and there's always a next week.  So it's always exciting to come back and do what I love and try to do it the best way possible.

Q.  When you get to a tournament, do you ever look at the field list to see who is playing and who is not playing, or do you just not care?
SERGIO GARCIA:  No, I mean, I don't go through the whole list but you do have a rough idea of who is in the field.  So I mean, like you said, I won't go through the list, but you do have a rough idea of the big guys that are in the field I guess.

Q.  So this week, do you know amongst the top names who is here and who is not here?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Funny enough, I do, because I was looking at The European Tour website, I think it was yesterday, and I read some of the names.  Obviously Rory is not here, but I think pretty much everybody else in the Top 60 is here.  So a lot of good, solid players.

Q.  And have you played the course yet this week?
SERGIO GARCIA:  No, I have not.

Q.  Now normally in the past, it seems to yield a lot of birdies.  What would you say that is due to‑‑ is it usually set up for that?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Well, I think it's the kind of golf course that if you play solid, you can give yourself a lot of chances.  I think the par 5s are pretty much all reachable, maybe 8 from the back tees becomes a little bit tough and sometimes 18 if it plays into the wind.
But other than that, you have a couple of drivable par 4s or you can get it really, really close to the green, which are also birdie chances if you play them well.
It's just a matter of playing those tougher holes well.  Usually the course is in such great conditions, the greens are usually really, really good.  If you give yourself chances, usually you can make a lot of putts.  I think that's one reason why the scoring has always been good.

Q.  This is a special tournament for you, because it's the beginning of the PGA TOUR and end of the European Tour.  As a member of both tours, what is your approach in this tournament?  Is it going to be a start for you or like a round‑up for you?
SERGIO GARCIA:  I don't know, I guess a bit of both.  I think that at the end of the day, you kind of approach it as another good, solid tournament whether you are trying to play well.
But there's really no other reason or thought about it.  I guess, like you said, it's the beginning of the US PGA TOUR, like last week, but at the same time, it's the end of The Race to Dubai.
So just go out there and try to play as well as possible and try to see if you can get a win and if not, finish as high as possible.  So just enjoy the week.
SARAH GWYNN:  Sergio, thank you very much and good luck this week.

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