May 22, 2016
JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Sergio Garcia into the Interview Room. Post his 9th PGA TOUR victory and his second win here at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
Sergio, first of all, just get some comments. I know how special it was for you in 2004 and now just sort of the memory of Mr. Byron Nelson on winning here again.
SERGIO GARCIA: Definitely. 2004 was very special. '99 was very special. This is where I started my career here on the PGA TOUR. So, to do what I did. I'm also thankful to this tournament and Byron and, obviously, Peggy and everybody that was involved.
To be able to call myself a two-time Byron Nelson champion is spectacular. I'm very happy about it.
JOHN BUSH: Didn't look like you were going to be our winner there for awhile but coming down the stretch, just talk a little bit about that.
SERGIO GARCIA: Obviously, the course was playing tougher today. A bit more breeze. Firming up a little bit. Some tough pin positions.
But it looked like Brooks was pretty much in control. Obviously I was fighting hard. I wasn't playing amazing but I was playing nicely. I was chipping and putting great going to 15 and obviously made a very soft bogey on 10 after hitting a great tee shot but then the par save on 11, the birdie on 13 and more than anything, not making double on 14 after hitting the water was very important.
To me, the most important thing at the end of the day is how I played the last four holes and the playoff hole, knowing that you have to do something at least I wouldn't say special, but you have to do something good to have a chance knowing that there's some tough holes coming in.
The water, 15, 16, 17 and 18 and the putts I hit on 17 and 18 I thought I was going to make them all but, unfortunately, I didn't.
Then obviously the playoff hole, the drive I hit there and the second shot, that was very, very -- I was very, very proud with that.
JOHN BUSH: If you'll raise your hand, we'll get started.
Q. Sergio, you talked about it a little bit but can you talk about your resilience coming down on the back-9, the two balls in the water. Were you looking at the leaderboard? You really grinded it out.
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah. Don't get me wrong, you have to get lucky to win tournaments. Playing well usually is not enough. And I did get fortunate, obviously, you know, making a couple nice birdies here and there and obviously the bogey on 14, I don't know -- it looked like it was going to go in, the chip, but I don't know if it was going too fast or not but at least hit the pin. And then Brooks pulled it left on 18 and gave me an opening. I still have to hit a good shot.
That meant a lot, you know, the way I played and coming down the stretch, it looked like -- he was 17, I was going to be 14 after 14 and to have a chance at the end it was nice.
Q. Sergio, you said you thought you made those last couple of putts in regulation. Take us through 18, that putt there and were you frustrated afterwards that it didn't go in?
SERGIO GARCIA: No. Well, obviously I hit a great putt on 17, great shot to start with and a great putt. 17 and 18 were playing really tough and only if you're a golfer you know how tough they were playing, the wind was left to right and all the danger obviously on 17 is on the right and 18 is on the left. It's not easy to keep control of the ball.
So, I hit a great putt on 17. Unfortunately just a little too soft. And then on 18 when I give myself a chance -- a shot at it I thought okay, obviously going to break a lot, just try to put a good stroke on it and see if you make it.
When I hit I thought it was perfect. I hit it a touch too hard for the break but, you know, I knew it was playing tough.
Obviously if Brooks birdies 17 or 18 congrats, they were difficult birdies to have and he deserved it. If not, I'm still going to have a shot in the playoff and, you know, I was able to take it there.
Q. Sergio, after Brooks put his ball in the water on 18 in the playoff, did you think about backing off there and going to a 3-wood? What's your mindset there?
SERGIO GARCIA: It's as simple as this: 18 is either a 4-iron off the tee or a driver. It's not a 3-wood, not a 5-wood, not a 3-iron.
You either play short of the water or challenge it all the way with a driver knowing if you pull it a little bit, hit it up in the air you can carry. Hitting 3-wood is totally pointless because you're still putting the water in play and taking carry away from yourself.
So, I was happy with -- I was happy with the driver. I knew that he could still hit it on the green and make 4 or 5 and if I laid up all the way back it wasn't that easy to make 4, you know, hitting maybe a 7 or a 6-iron into that green with left to right wind.
So, I just went with it. I hit a great drive in regulation so I just trusted myself and I hit a bomb. I hit probably the best drive I hit all day.
So, it was nice to be able to do that.
Q. Coming off the 18th green in regulation, you didn't know if there was going to be a playoff. You gave Peggy a big hug and you said something to her. She looked pretty emotional. Did you say anything in particular to her?
SERGIO GARCIA: No. I just -- we've been talking all week on the first Tee and stuff and I just said thanks, you know, thanks for everything, that it was great to see her again, you know; that I was really excited to be back here and having a chance and it was emotional for sure.
Q. Then I wanted to ask you, what's become of the chocolate deal that was waiting in your room? Did you eat it?
SERGIO GARCIA: I've taken a couple bites but just on the corner. I couldn't help myself. It's such a beautiful picture. Lot of great memories and it was a great way to start the week, that way.
I got a great letter from one of the little guys from the Institute, the school, that caddied for me on the 17th hole, his name was Ky. He wrote me an amazing letter that I got on Friday and, you know, it's been a very emotional week and obviously Peggy finished it off by making me cry, which I didn't think I was going to do, but it was nice to have that problem.
Q. Sergio, two, if you don't mind. First, real quickly, were you aware that Seve held this record for the most Tour wins by a Spaniard?
SERGIO GARCIA: I didn't know. I obviously found out after winning but I didn't know and it means so much to be right next to him on that aspect.
So, it's another achievement that I couldn't be prouder of and, you know, to be next to a legend like him, it's amazing. I kind of won it a little bit today his way.
Q. Also, you're a guy who wear his emotions on your sleeve. Over the years, you've sometimes had some negative emotions that have come out. You seem a lot happier out there. What have you done to change your mindset?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I mean I still wear my emotions on my sleeve, don't you worry about that (laughter).
But I guess as you get older you hopefully become a little bit wiser and, you know, have a great group of people around me that always care about me very much and they support me very hard so it always makes things a little bit easier.
I guess nowadays I also realize that obviously winning is amazing, it's great, it's an unbelievable feeling but it's not the only thing in the world. There's so many other things that you can do to help people and other than hitting the golf ball.
So, you know, when I'm out there I'm trying my hardest but if it doesn't come out, you know, I try to take it as the best way possible. Some weeks are better than others but, you know, I tried.
Q. Given how well you played on this course, was it difficult to not have it on your schedule the last few years or obviously you had some European Tour commitments.
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, it was. It definitely was. I always enjoyed going back to places where I've done well and, for example, next week Colonial, same thing. But, unfortunately, I am a global player. I play the PGA TOUR and the European Tour and that's not going to change. You know, I can only play so many weeks.
As I get older those weeks kind of get smaller and smaller. So, the number gets smaller. So, you know, I have to make sacrifices and play some tournaments that, you know, that I would love to play but I can't because I have to take care of my body and my mind and everything. So, you know, as you get older it becomes tougher.
Q. Sergio, how much does a win like this, how much momentum does this give you heading into the summer and up to the Majors and tournaments you have coming up?
SERGIO GARCIA: It is important. It's always -- winning is great but doing -- doing things right and putting yourself in good situations like I did at Honda and, you know, Doral and some other tournaments, the Spanish Open, this week here, those are important, too.
Sometimes, you know, the win doesn't come out and you feel a little frustrated when you finish but putting yourself in a winning situation over and over is very important for personally for a player and I mean we all know how much effort it is to win out here and in the past 15, 20 years the level has become so much greater. It's not easy at all.
Q. One of the things you have coming up this summer potentially is the Olympics. Is that something you're still excited about and still eyeing? I heard you talk about it before.
SERGIO GARCIA: For sure. I love representing my country. I think it's very exciting for me to experience what an Olympian experiences and should be great fun. So, touch wood, let's hope I stay healthy and if I manage to do that, it will be amazing experience.
Q. Sergio, the fist pump that you gave when you won, I know you talked yesterday about it's been four years since you had won on the PGA TOUR and you come close. Was there a little emotion coming out that is a big win?
SERGIO GARCIA: For sure. Yeah. I said it, I've always said it, every win, doesn't matter even if you're playing in your backyard with friends, winning is always tough and winning here on the PGA TOUR is probably the toughest.
But, you know, my wins in Asia, my wins on the European Tour, those mean a lot, too, because like I said before, the level -- I mean the fields nowadays, they're so much deeper than they ever were and it's so much harder to win.
You know, what Tiger was doing all those years, you don't see that happening anymore. You don't see -- I mean even with what Jason Day is doing, you know, winning three, four times, you don't see winning 7, 8, 10 times a year. It's very difficult.
So, you know, every time you get one of these Ws it's very special.
Q. Sergio, I know what it meant to you to meet Byron Nelson for the first time in 1999. Then when you won here you and him were together on the 18th green with the trophy in between you.
What do you think it meant for him to watch today's event, probably a big smile on his face as you claimed it again?
SERGIO GARCIA: I hope so, yeah. That's exactly the same thing Peggy said, she said I'm sure Byron Nelson -- she didn't say Byron Nelson, she said, "Byron, I'm sure he's looking down with a big smile and very happy."
That means a lot. That to me means a lot. I have a lot of respect for all the legends in the sport and he was one of the biggest. It's all been very special and we obviously miss him.
Q. Sergio, how different is the feeling, you talked about it yesterday of throwing a tournament away, to be on the other end of it this time?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, it is. But it happens, you know. I said it yesterday, I feel like I had some tournaments that maybe I gave away a little bit. I also had some tournaments that I kind of got stolen from that I felt like I played well enough and somebody did something spectacular with what Rickie did last year at The Players and what Kevin Streelman did at the Travelers, you know, making 7 birdies in a row or something like that.
Those things happen once in awhile but it is nice to be on the other side of the coin or whatever you want to call it and, you know, stand here with you guys and with a win.
JOHN BUSH: All right. Our AT&T Byron Nelson Champion, Sergio Garcia. Thank you, sir.
SERGIO GARCIA: Thank you, sir. Thank you, John.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports