February 5, 2017
CLARE BODEL: Many congratulations on your first win in Dubai.
SERGIO GARCIA: Thank you very much.
CLARE BODEL: Also your first European win for two years. How sweet was that up there?
SERGIO GARCIA: It was great. I'm looking forward to next week. Relax a little bit and rest a bit. It was hard out there. Henrik always makes it difficult, which is great, and you know, we both played hard. I'm very happy that I was able to come out on top.
CLARE BODEL: After Henrik birdied 13 and 14, your lead was down to one hole. Did you still feel confident at that point that you could pull it out?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, I was playing well. But yeah, you know that Henrik can get on those stretches where he birdies three or four holes, and then it becomes quite tight.
Obviously I think at that time, I was two ahead. It was 18, 16, he hit a good shot on the 15th. He hit it pretty much straight over the flag, just left a little bit, and too much club. When he went over the green, I knew that it was going to be very difficult to get up-and-down from there because I've been there in the past and it's very, very tricky.
To be able to hit the shot I hit with a 6-iron there was massive to give myself a kick-in birdie, and then obviously he made bogey. So I got back to four up top mand then it was just a matter of staying calm, collected the last three holes and you know, good enough to win.
Q. Has getting engaged brought a new serenity to your life?
SERGIO GARCIA: It obviously helped.
Q. Or indeed just a serenity, not necessarily new serenity.
SERGIO GARCIA: I think it always helps. I think -- I've always said it; and I've been very open with you guys. I think that when things are going well off the golf course it's much easier to feel comfortable on a golf course, because there's no worries. There's no worries outside and you can concentrate on what you're doing out there on the course.
So it definitely helps. I'm not going to lie. You know, I'm excited about a lot of the things that are coming, not only my way, but also Angela's way, and our families and stuff. So you know, we're very excited about the future coming.
Q. This is a compliment, but every time you play like this and you win, the discussion starts, right, is this going to be the year, is Sergio going to win the major that he deserves, his talent deserves; how do you respond to that? And is it different than what you had done maybe ten years ago? Do you deal with that expectation differently?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, I mean, it's simple. When I get to Augusta, U.S. Open, the British Open, PGA, I just want to do the best I can. Just like I try any other week. So that's not going to change.
Some weeks I'm, with all the respect, really good like this week, and some weeks are not quite as good. But it doesn't mean that I'm not trying. So at the end of the day, I said it, the only thing I can do is give my best out there and if I leave the course feeling like I gave it everything, sometimes you feel a bit more comfortable, you're a little bit more relaxed and you're a little bit freer and you play better. And sometimes you're a little bit tighter. And it doesn't mean that you're not trying as hard, but it's just not that easy. You know, golf is tough. Golf is really tough.
You know, we try to play as well as we can every single week, and you know, I'm going to keep trying and give myself more shots, more chances at majors and you know, see what happens.
Q. You said it was tough, but you really made it look easy out there. You led the greens in regulation, you're No. 2 in fairways hit. Is this perhaps one of the best four rounds that you have played? Where would you rank it among all the victories that you have had?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, without a doubt, it's one of -- I mean, I've been fortunate to have some really good ball-striking tournaments. This definitely was one of them. I felt like my iron play was really, really good. Obviously my driver was very good, a couple of shots here and there. But you know, on a course of 72 holes, it's going to happen. Nobody can go without missing a shot but this week was definitely a week where I felt very comfortable with my game. I felt like I was in good control of what I wanted to do with my ball flight and stuff. So I guess it showed up.
Q. Good start to the year for Spanish golf, yourself, Jon Rahm. I know that you're at Valderrama, but there's still no Spanish Open on the schedule, which seems a shame given the history of that tournament. Are you in a position to influence that going forward, get it back on the schedule?
SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know. I think it's difficult to say. Obviously we are doing -- my foundation is doing the tournament with Valderrama, the AndalucÃa Masters. It would be nice to see the Spanish Open happen because it's one of the oldest Opens that we have on Tour. Obviously it's something that we would like to see happen, but you know, it's not really in my hands. You know, it's the Federation and trying top find sponsors and things like that.
So we'll see. Hopefully in a month or two, we're talking about a different situation.
Q. Your preparations for the majors the same this year tournament-wise and in particular, The Open with The Irish Open, Scottish Open leading into Birkdale? Have you had any thoughts about that?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, I don't know. I mean, it's still a long ways to go. But I'm 37 and I'm not getting any younger. So I'd love to play every week but unfortunately I can't. I know what does it for me and what doesn't, and you know, I am playing before that.
So it doesn't look like it at the moment. Obviously things can change but you know, I don't see my schedule changing that much.
If you can promise me that if I play those two I'll win The Open, then I'll play them (laughter). But I know you can't do that.
Q. How important was the par save on the eighth and the birdie on the ninth? Can you just run through those two holes for us?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, obviously 8 was a big moment of the round for me. Maybe because I was in pretty good control. I was 1-under, fairly easily through the first seven, and not really missing many shots.
And then I hit that drive, that terrible drive. To be able to save par there was big, mentally because it kept me -- you know, like I was talking to Ian walking on the ninth, and even though I hit such a poor drive, that save, that par save, was probably better than if I would have hit a good drive, a really nice iron shot to 12 feet and 2-putted, because it was like a little boost.
And it was a little bit of a wake-up call for me, too, because it was like, gheesh, what's happening here. I mean, obviously I felt so comfortable throughout that I probably didn't focus as much as I should have, and I was thinking about the cameras behind, instead of focusing on what I wanted to do and I kind of blocked out and that's why I hit that shot.
That was big. Then to be able to play the ninth hole the way I played it, it because important. And then you know, from then onwards, I felt like I played the 10th hole very nicely. You know, hit a great putt and unfortunately it didn't go in, but 11 was a big shot. It was an uncomfortable hole today with the wind off the left and I hit a great shot there.
But then like you said, 15, after Henrik hit it over the green, knowing how difficult that chip is; to be able to hit that 6-iron to a tough pin, firm greens and everything to within a couple of feet, that was massive.
Q. Can I ask you one more question --
SERGIO GARCIA: Only one (laughter).
Q. You are I think one of very few golfers who can say, go to a FedExCup playoff. You don't seem to be dazzled by the money on display over there. Why is that so, and why you don't think it's as important for you to compete all four weeks over there and really aim for the big prize?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, I mean, don't get me wrong, obviously the FedExCup, it is important to me. But I've learned throughout all these years that I can't really go out of my way to try to win something extra there that is going to put me in a bad position going forward throughout the year and stuff.
So obviously there's a lot of tournaments in the summer, and I know that mentally, for me, playing more than three tournaments in a row, it's a lot. And to tell you the truth, you know, my way of thinking is, if I play well enough, playing three of the four, should be enough. If I don't play well enough, even if I play a fourth, it's really not going to help me that much. And also mentally, I'm not going to be as sharp, and I'm probably not going to play as well, anyway.
So you know, obviously I would love to play all four but you know, with all the travelling I do back and forth, it's not that easy to be there for that long and playing every single week. I'd love to win it, I'm not going to lie to you, but like I said many times, if I don't, I'm still going to go to sleep and sleep nicely.
CLARE BODEL: Thank you, Sergio.
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