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June 21, 2017

Sergio Garcia

Cologne, Germany

NEIL AHERN: Delighted to have beside me here, Masters Champion, Sergio Garcia. First tournament competitively back in Europe. How does it feel to be back?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, it feels great. Excited about the week. Obviously I've all been a big fan of Germany and the BMW International Open. It's good to be back here.

Need to try to get rid of this jet-lag by tomorrow morning hopefully. Feeling a little bit tired, a little bit flat the last two days. So hopefully we can work on that a little bit and have a good week.

NEIL AHERN: Hopefully you never tire of this question: It probably seems like a long time ago, but can you give us the memories now of that Masters victory and how much it meant to you?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, that was amazing. It was a great battle between Justin and I. We kept going after each other throughout the whole day, and I was fortunate enough to end up on top. Just delighted to be able to call myself Masters Champion and to have my major there and hopefully many more great things to come.

NEIL AHERN: Can you tell us your thoughts on being back in Germany and this golf course in Munich?

SERGIO GARCIA: It's great. The golf course looks like. A little bit soft, the greens, but the fairways are nice. Some new tees that didn't see probably three years ago, something like that. Feels like the course is playing a little bit longer than it used to. Weather has been great.

So we'll see if it stays like this and it keeps drying out, the greens and stuff. It could be a nice test and hopefully we'll have a nice, enjoyable week.

NEIL AHERN: You've had some good form from the Masters --

SERGIO GARCIA: I felt like I played okay last week. It wasn't great but it was fairly solid. Not a lot of things happened throughout the week.

So overall, I guess it was a decent week, but this week it's a brand new week and we need to keep playing well. We need to hopefully have a good week and have a solid chance on Sunday. But like I said before, I need to, you know, get my energy levels up a little bit and make sure that I'm out there playing hard and with some good energy around me.

Q. Can you describe a little bit, how does it feel playing golf when you're jet-lagged? Or specifically, in what ways does it really bother being out there and being jet-lagged?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, it's quite simple. You just feel a little bit flat. Your body just doesn't move at the same speed that you're used to. It's just tiredness. It's as simple as that.

But fortunately I've been sleeping well. So it's just a matter of getting used to -- to me, it's much harder coming back from the U.S. than going there. For some reason, it takes a little bit longer. Just got to keep getting some good rest and hopefully by tomorrow, by tomorrow morning, I will be fully geared up and ready to go.

Q. You travel around the world. Are there any tricks to shorten up the jet-lag somehow? Do you take sleeping pills?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, I don't like taking sleeping pills. I've never taken -- I don't like to take even Advil or Ibuprofen or anything like that.

It's not a matter of sleeping because I have been sleeping well. I went to bed yesterday probably around, just before 11.00 and woke up at 5.30 in the morning. It's not a problem of not getting enough sleep, but the cycles are just weird. If you really think about it, I mean, we're going to bed at 4.00 in the afternoon and we're waking up at 11.00 at night because we're seven hours ahead of where we were last week.

So when you should be in bed throughout the night, it's probably from 6.00 in the morning till probably noon, and that's when we're out there on the golf course. It's a little tricky. That's why it kind of feels a little bit weird the first couple of days. You know, like I said, hopefully another good night's sleep and a little bit of rest this afternoon and be as ready as possible tomorrow.

Q. When you reached the pinnacle of winning the green jacket, obviously it's pretty special. Do you then come down and it's very difficult to pick yourself up, or do you feel like, right, every competition thereafter, you expect to win?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, no. I mean, the goal, the goal on every tournament, is to play the best you can and give yourself a chance at winning. Obviously realistically, winning everything is not possible. Hasn't been done. But that's the goal. And after winning the Masters, no different.

Obviously that was an amazing high. But at the same time, you know, when I went to, when I went to THE PLAYERS, I wanted to do well there. I wanted to give myself a chance. My mind probably wasn't exactly where I wanted to be because of everything that had been going on after the Masters.

But at the same -- like I said, you still have to pick yourself up and try as hard as you can to keep going, because, you know, my career doesn't end there at the Masters and I still want to achieve many more things. So there's still a lot of things that I need to keep improving on.

Q. Are you going to play The Italian Open?
SERGIO GARCIA: This year? I don't know. It would be nice but still many things can happen until October. I haven't played in Italy as a pro, as a professional. It would be nice to go there soon. I don't know if it's going to be this year or not, but I'll keep it in mind.

Q. It was designed by the same architect as Erin Hills.
SERGIO GARCIA: Oh, really? I didn't know that.

Q. In America, did you feel a different crowd reaction? I remember at The Ryder Cup when the Americans yelled at you, "no major," and now suddenly, you seem to be crowd favourite.
SERGIO GARCIA: No, The Ryder Cups in America are always tough, not only for me but for all the Europeans, because they want to win and they try as hard as they can to do it.

I've always said that I feel very fortunate about the way that people have always treated me around the world throughout my career. I've always felt very, very loved, and in America, it's no different. There's always a little group that, you know, tries to be a little bit funny.

But I do have to say that after the Masters, there is a little bit of extra love around but there is still some funny ones that want to stand out and make a bad comment or stuff like that. That's going to happen even if you win 250 majors. You can't control everyone, but not only in America, anywhere in the world.

But like I said before, I've always felt a lot of love and a lot of care from the crowds everywhere in the world, and America is no different for me, either.

Q. One more to Augusta again. You hit some incredible shots under pressure on Sunday. How did those moments feel inside? Did it feel risky or natural?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, it felt right. I've said it all week that week: I felt very comfortable, I felt very calm and I felt very confident with myself. And a shot that might have looked difficult or risky, to me, because of the way I felt, it didn't feel that way. It felt like I was definitely capable of doing it, and thanks to that, I was able to hit some of those shots coming in. But not only coming in, throughout the whole week, I played really, really well, and obviously it showed. It's as simple as that.

Q. Are you interested in football? In yes, what do you think about things going on with Cristiano Ronaldo?
SERGIO GARCIA: I mean, it's not my decision. It's something that Cristiano and Real Madrid have to figure.

Out. Obviously as a Real Madrid fan, it's sad to see the possibility of one of the best players we've ever had to leave. But you know, at the same time, they have to look for what's best to them, not only Cristiano, but Real Madrid. If they end up selling him I think they can get a good amount of money to maybe get some young players and some guys that might be playing for Real Madrid for the next ten years or so. Whatever happens, it will be fine, but we'll see.

Q. You lost this event in a playoff once. Do you feel it owes you one?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, I don't think anybody or anything owes anyone anything. You try as hard as possible. I played well that year. Pablo played really well that year. Unfortunately for me, he beat me. I'm sure it's the same way that Justin feels about Augusta this year.

Those are things that, like I've always said, if you give it your best, at the end of the day, there's nothing else you can do. So for me, the only thing left to do is to go out there and play the best I can this week and hopefully put myself in that same position again and see if I can change the outcome.

NEIL AHERN: Thank you very much, Sergio. Best of luck.

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