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January 31, 2017

Sergio Garcia

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

CLARE BODEL: Welcome, Sergio.


CLARE BODEL: It's probably your eighth appearance here in Dubai.

SERGIO GARCIA: Sounds good right.

CLARE BODEL: As you were saying on social media, perfect conditions for golf. Looking forward to getting out there, one of the top names here?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, obviously very excited to be back in Dubai. The course looks great, played nine yesterday, nine today. Greens are running beautifully. Fairways are still a little bit soft but you know, the course is looking really, really nicely. And the weather's great. So we're enjoying it as much as possible.

Q. I'm going to ask you a very tough question, especially because of the presence of people in this room. Are you a kind of romanticist, and did you do something special before you announced it on Twitter that you were going to get married this year?
SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know, probably you should ask my fiancée that. But I hope I did. I mean, I did the best I could. She said yes, so I was doing something right. We'll go with that (smiling).

Q. You know what G-Mac did, on top of Burj Al Arab, he went and proposed over there.
SERGIO GARCIA: Mine wasn't that extreme but it was special. At least I think that it was very special to both of us.

Q. Given the general feeling that you have around you, and the happiness that you have in your life, how are you looking forward to this year? What does golf mean to you in a year like this?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I mean, it is obviously a nice year and started with great news and that always helps. But I'm always looking forward to every year, I love playing golf, and just the possibility of doing it year-in, year-out for a living, it's something that is magnificent to start with.

Obviously if you add that to great personal things in your life, obviously it makes it even better. I'm excited as I've always been and you know, looking forward to hopefully a great year.

Q. What adjustments do you have to make to your natural game when you're playing in this part of the world?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, we are used to playing with wind and rain throughout the year. We've had so many different situations around our careers.

It is not something new for us. I think that we've all experienced high winds and things like that in different tournaments. So it doesn't -- I mean, I love playing in the wind. I've always been a fan of playing in the wind. I think that it's always asking you a little bit extra on your game. So if your game is on, usually you're going to be out there.

But we'll see. Obviously yeah, the forecast is for some strong winds throughout the week. It hasn't been blowing that hard yet. It's been a little bit breezy but not too bad. We'll see. I've always enjoyed challenging conditions and if the high winds come, it will be challenging. I think it plays probably to my strength.

Q. Two ways of looking at becoming an old married man. One is that perhaps that you can get too comfortable, and the second one is that perhaps you want to show off a bit. Which way do you see yourself going?
SERGIO GARCIA: (Chuckles) well, I think that obviously it's something nice to have and to have that opportunity and what brings with getting married and everything. We're very excited about the future, what the future holds.

I don't know, I think that being comfortable is a good thing, when you're out there and you're still hungry and you still want to achieve things. If you get too comfortable, you stop practicing and things like that, then it can be dangerous.

But you know, I think that I still love playing the game and I still get driven by it, so I'm sure that won't be the case. And even if I try, Angela wouldn't allow me to, so I don't have a problem there.

Q. Jack Nicklaus said, didn't he, that getting married was good for his career. I just wonder whether you were sort of looking at it that way; that there's still certain goals that you want to get before you settle down to sort of family life.
SERGIO GARCIA: We're not doing it for that, for that reason. Obviously if it helps in that aspect, it's great. It's a plus. But we'll see. I think that at the end of the day, you know, it's another step in your life, and we're very excited about it. We'll see what golf brings us with that. But you know, we're just enjoying it as much as possible.

Q. Your one-off caddie, I think it was 200 days of requests on Twitter straight, wasn't it?

Q. When did you first notice him, and how long did you decide to keep him hanging before acquiescing to his requests?
SERGIO GARCIA: I noticed him the first time from the first Tweet he posted at me. I thought it was quite funny and it was very sincere, and obviously I was wondering how long it was going to keep going. Angela and I, we kind of talked about it, and I said, well, you know, how long should we make him wait.

And we decided that probably 200 days; if he held on for 200 days, it would probably, it would make the cut. So I think that he showed a lot of perseverance and a lot of strength and energy and stuff throughout it. Some of the Tweets he posted at us, or at me, were quite funny.

I'm sure it will be a great experience for him, and you know, also for us. So get to know one of the fans and it should be good fun.

Q. You were obviously very quick to congratulate Jon Rahm after his win on Sunday. For people that are not as familiar with him as you are, what can you tell people about him and is there a situation where he can make himself eligible and push for The Ryder Cup?
SERGIO GARCIA: I haven't talked to him about it but he wants to play The Ryder Cup. I'm sure he's going to make the effort, the little extra effort to do it. And now, now after winning, it's probably a little bit easier for him because he moved very high in the World Rankings, he's in the Top-50 now. He's kind of settled in the PGA TOUR. So that opens up a couple more doors.

He's obviously a great player. We all know that. He's a good kid. He's big. You know, he's very big. He's got a great ball flight, and a lot of good qualities around his game.

So you know, for me as a Spaniard, it's a pleasure to see another young Spanish player coming out and doing something, becoming part of a nice group with Seve, Olazábal and myself, to be a PGA Tour winner. We're all excited about some of the things he can do.

Q. So you and Tiger have had quite a bit of history, and you've been with TaylorMade for quite some time. What do you think about his announcement to go to the TaylorMade family and also we saw you congratulated and welcomed him in which is quite big of you. What do you think of that going forward?
SERGIO GARCIA: I think at the end of the day, we're all professionals here. You know, I'm proud that TaylorMade, or he chose to join TaylorMade and obviously TaylorMade were very keen about it. So am I. Anything that can help our sponsors and the game, it's always welcome.

You know, I just hope he has a good time with it. I've had a great relationship with Adidas and TaylorMade for my whole career. So we're excited about it and you know, we'll see at the end of the day, everything is a little bit of a question mark just to see how he's going to respond physically and everything. So I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Q. Do you think that he'll ever get back into that competition, killer instinct mode that you guys had back at PLAYERS that year?
SERGIO GARCIA: If you mean like the way he played like in early 2000 and stuff like that, it is difficult. I think that he obviously, he's got a lot of qualities and he can obviously get to a high level. I think to get to that level is very difficult, even for him, because he's 40 now. So his body doesn't move the way it used to move when he was 20, 25.

But we'll see. You know, like I said, I think everything is a little bit of a question mark for all of us, so you know, we'll see how it goes in the next, you know, four or five months.

Q. As you start out at the beginning of another new campaign, how does your hunger compare to the teenager who seemed to have boundless enthusiasm and energy when you started out?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, the hunger is still there. I still want to keep achieving things. I still want to keep becoming a better golfer when it comes down to my career; obviously personal goals, I have other goals.

I think that those things, fortunate for me, I'm still in good shape. Physically I'm still doing well. I've been able to avoid injuries for pretty much my whole career, so that's always a positive.

You know, I'm excited, like I said, to keep improving, keep giving myself chances at winning tournaments, winning majors, and then you know, and then just give the best that I have got in me.

CLARE BODEL: Thanks, everyone. Thanks, Sergio.

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