April 8, 2017
MODERATOR: Welcome back to the press building, Sergio.
SERGIO GARCIA: Good to be here.
MODERATOR: Sergio has a round of 70 today with four birdies. He's co‑leader going into the Masters Sunday.
Sergio, do you want to talk about your round and tell us how you're feeling.
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, sure. It was nice. It was hard but it was fun. It was fun to play well again, to go through a Saturday at the Masters with a chance at winning, and, you know, to be up there going into tomorrow.
So I'm going to be playing with Justin, which is a good friend of mine, too. Should be a great match‑up in that last group.
Q. Go through 13 for us and when you realized the ball was up, and at any point did you feel that for once the golf gods were smiling at you?
SERGIO GARCIA: I've definitely had‑‑ I think, I don't know, probably it's because my mentality has kind of changed a little bit, the way I'm thinking things. Particularly this week here at Augusta. But I've definitely had some good breaks throughout all three rounds.
13 obviously was one of them. I didn't feel like I hit a bad shot. Obviously I hit a good drive that went into that little first cut of rough, and unfortunately‑‑ I was hitting plenty of club, but it was one of those things that the ball just came out really soft. I had enough club to carry on that line, and unfortunately it didn't.
But fortunately for me, that bank seems to be a tiny bit longer this year, which is nice. Because, you know, it gives you the possibility of getting a break like that, and then, you know, I still had to hit a great chip to make 4. It wasn't an easy chip.
Yeah, I felt like I played 13 well every day, and I've gotten nothing out of it. And finally today, I got a nice break and made a nice birdie.
Q. What club was that you hit for your second?
SERGIO GARCIA: I was hitting 4‑iron.
Q. How would you describe your relationship with this place?
SERGIO GARCIA: I mean, it's definitely improved. There's no doubt about that. Nothing wrong with Augusta. I think that the main thing that has improved is the way I'm looking at it the last, probably, two or three years, and obviously this year.
But, yeah, I mean, I think it's the kind of place that if you are trying to fight against it, it's going to beat you down. So you've just got to roll with it and realize that sometimes you're going to get good breaks, like has happened to me a few times this week and sometimes you're going to get not‑so‑good breaks. But at the end of the day, that's part of the game.
Q. Angela comes from a really athletic family. Have you had an occasion to meet Drew Brees through her? And just with her background and her dad's background, has that factored at all in your improved attitude? Have they been able to give you a different way of looking at things?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, I haven't had the chance of meeting Drew Brees yet, but I'm looking forward to it because I want to play tennis with him. I heard he's a really good tennis player. So I want to give him a little bit of a run.
It definitely helps, there's no doubt about the background that the whole family has. Marty is a very, very positive, very, you know, outspoken and very, very confident kind of guy, and it definitely helps when he's encouraging you and things like that. Those things are nice to see.
Angela is the same way. They are all very competitive. So you know, they are positive things to help out, for sure.
Q. I wanted to know, you've obviously had this wonderful career, now you're in a situation where you can do something you've always wanted to do. Can you talk about the excitement you feel right now, and how do you balance the excitement with trying not to be too excited on the course tomorrow?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, it's not easy, because it's always‑‑ having a chance to win a tournament is always exciting. Having a chance of winning a major and winning here at Augusta, it's extra exciting.
So you do have to calm yourself down, not get ahead of yourself. Take some nice, deep breaths. And then, you know, just try to cope with whatever comes your way the best way possible. I think that at the end of the day, that's really the only thing you can do.
Like I said yesterday, when you go out there and do your best, there's nothing else you can ask yourself for.
Q. Can you talk about the excitement you feel right now?
SERGIO GARCIA: Right now, I'm pretty calm.
Q. Given your record here for third rounds, you only had had two in the previous 13 of par or better. How big do you think today was a hurdle to get over and the possibility of winning a championship?
SERGIO GARCIA: I'm glad I took the scoring average down a little bit. That's a big positive.
But Saturday's gone and now Sunday's coming. A very exciting Sunday. So you know, we are going to go out there and do well again, and you know, just make sure we have a good chance coming into the last five or six holes and see what happens.
Q. When you have this kind of leaderboard and that much talent, and some guys who have won green jackets, do you look at the scoreboard maybe more often tomorrow, and is it more important to know when to step on the gas and when to back off, when you have that many guys?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, not really. I think that‑‑ I mean, I am a leaderboard looker or watcher, however you want to call it. Not like some of the guys that say that they don't look at leaderboards, which I'm not sure I believe.
But I think that it's not so much‑‑ I mean, you're trying to step on the gas at all times, because you're trying to make as many birdies as you can to make sure you get ahead as much as possible. But you know, going into the last three or four holes, it definitely helps to know if you're a couple ahead or a couple behind. You know, it might change a couple decisions here and there, but you still have to commit to everything you do no matter what the game plan is.
Q. That final putt on 18, outside of the fact that it gave you a share of the lead, how big of a lift does that give you; the fact that you can go to bed on a make instead of a miss tonight?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, to tell you the truth, I don't think it makes that much of a difference. Because even if I miss, I'm still‑‑ I still have a great chance at 5‑under.
So obviously making it, it's amazing, and that's what I was trying to do and I'm glad that I was able to do it. But it's not like, you know, if I miss, I go into tomorrow thinking, oh, you know, I lost it already because I missed that putt on 18. No, I don't think it's going to come down just to one little putt. You know, I think that there's still a lot to play for.
Q. There are players and even some on the leaderboard who in that circumstance rely on their caddie a little bit to keep them level, to keep them positive. Can you talk about what you expect your caddie to do for you tomorrow?
SERGIO GARCIA: At the end of the day, we've been there. We've been there before, Glen and I. We've won many tournaments together. We've had chances of winning majors together.
So I think at the end of the day, it comes down to myself. Obviously it helps if he's there. And he does, he makes sure‑‑ he always makes sure to stay as calm as possible and give me as much confidence as possible. But it comes down to myself to be able to do it, because I can be in your ear telling you, do this, do this, do that; if you don't want to hear it or you don't want to do it, it doesn't matter.
So at the end of the day, it comes down to me making sure that I keep doing the things that I've been doing all week, and you know, just believe that I can do it.
Q. It looked like you were really enjoying Charley's company on the round today. How much did that help and does it matter who you're paired with tomorrow, or is it in any way beneficial for you to be with Justin?
SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know. I'll tell you tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully tomorrow evening.
I enjoy playing with Charley. He's a wonderful guy. Obviously he's playing very nicely, and other than one shot today, he looked really, really solid.
So you know, tomorrow I'm sure it's going to be hard but fun with Justin. You know, it doesn't matter‑‑ and obviously we're friends and it doesn't matter that we're not going to try as hard as we can to beat each other. So that doesn't change.
But I guess when you play with someone that you get along and you enjoy, maybe it might help a little bit. But you still have to hit the shots yourself.
Q. When you watch the film clip, if you ever see it, of 1999 Medinah, when we're running up the fairway, what do you think when you see that now?
SERGIO GARCIA: I was very skinny and very young (laughing).
Q. Can you run that fast and jump that high anymore?
SERGIO GARCIA: I'll say so. I think so. I've still got a good set of legs. I don't know if I can jump quite as high because I've got a little bit more weight on me. But I think I could probably do it quite close.
Q. The thing is that golf looked like it was a lot of fun for you that day.
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, golf is fun. Don't get me wrong. Obviously we're trying to win the Masters and we're trying to win tournaments, and there's obviously a little bit of pressure involved and everything that goes with it.
But it's still fun. I love what I do. I feel like I'm so, so blessed to be able to play golf for a living. It's been my dream since I was very, very little. So I'm just going to enjoy it as much as possible.
Q. I'm sure you're aware tomorrow, Seve would have been 60, and if you could just maybe share what he meant to you.
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, him and Olazábal, I said it, I think it was yesterday, they were both my big idols growing up. So it means a lot.
I mean, I don't want to get ahead of myself, but it would mean‑‑ I don't even know how much it would mean to be able to join both of my idols as a Masters winner. You know, it would be nice to have a chance and hopefully do it.
I had José send me‑‑ obviously Seve couldn't do it, but José sent me a beautiful message on Wednesday night, and you know, he has a good touch when it comes down to those things. It really meant a lot.
MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Sergio. Best of luck tomorrow.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports