February 28, 2019
Q. What a day, 14 straight pars and then you birdied three of your last four. When was the last time you had 14 straight pars to start your round?
SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know. I mean, I've obviously had it before, but I don't know when was the last time. But it wasn't for lack of birdie chances. I left myself some good birdie chances. Unfortunately I struggled to read some of these new greens. A couple putts that looked like they might have had a chance but didn't go in, and then a couple of putts that I totally misread.
But the great thing, I stayed patient. I made a great par on 13 after hitting in the trees with my second shot, and that kind of kept me going a little bit, kept my scorecard bogey-free, and then obviously a bonus to finish like I did.
Q. Number one in strokes gained approach shots, which is not unusual, you're a great iron player. You only hit 60 feet of putts, so you've got to get that putter a little hotter tomorrow a little earlier, right?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, that would be nice. These new greens, they're nice. They roll very nicely, but they're not easy to read. There's a lot of -- obviously when you have new greens, there's a lot of little subtle little breaks here and there that are difficult to spot, and if you don't get going, then it seems like everything, it's kind of like just fading away when it gets to the hole. The good thing is I was able to finish well, and the goal is to do more of that tomorrow.
Q. Tomorrow in the morning when you play -- you said the wind was really down, and that's a good time to take advantage of this place.
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, we've had everything here. We've had wind in the morning, calm in the morning, calm in the afternoon, wind in the afternoon. We'll see what it is. It's nice to see that the weather held up well. Hopefully it keeps doing that as the week goes on. This golf course is going to play tough if that happens. Just got to keep doing what I did today. If I keep striking the ball like that and driving the ball as well as I did today, then we should be up there.
Q. How would you sum up your day?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, it was a great day. I felt like I played very consistently, gave myself a lot of birdie chances. Unfortunately I didn't take advantage of any of them until I got to 15, which is always a nice hole to birdie. But put in a great finish, and it's a great round at the end of the day.
Q. You play here all the time; what appeals to you about this place?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I like the way the course plays. It's a tough golf course. With the new greens, I think it's very challenging. The greens are very firm. I'm not used to reading them because they're so new, but the golf course is in very good shape. It's just a ball striker's kind of golf course. If you're striking your ball well, you know you're going to be out there, and that usually sets up well for me.
Q. The rough is down a little bit, 17 tee is rebuilt; how do you like the overall way that the changes are playing?
SERGIO GARCIA: I think it's great. I think the golf course looks amazing. I think as soon as everything kind of settles down with the greens and around the greens, it's going to be really, really nice to play it and very challenging. I mean, 17, you don't need it to be longer than that to be challenging, to be difficult. It's as simple as that. With a little bit of wind -- I didn't play for the flag. I just hit an 8-iron probably about 25, 30 feet short and tried to make my 3 after my two birdies and see if we could birdie the last. You've just got to play smart.
Q. This wind was not typical of an afternoon here; am I right? Was it a little down compared to what you're used to?
SERGIO GARCIA: It was blowing a little bit. Obviously it wasn't blowing like we know it can do or like it was yesterday in the pro-am, but it was a little bit breezy. It was probably close -- probably half a club, maybe a club wind. It was still tricky, and it made some of the pins -- as firm as the greens are, it made some of the greens difficult to get to.
Q. How close is your form to where you want it to be going into some of the bigger events, THE PLAYERS and the Masters?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, I'm excited for THE PLAYERS. Obviously it's the first big event we have coming up before all the majors, so back to March, and it's going to be a little girl's birthday on Thursday, Thursday of THE PLAYERS, so that's always special. But yeah, I mean, I'm working on it. I'm working hard, and I feel like I've been on a pretty decent run probably the last five or six months, so hopefully I can keep building on that and see where we can get to.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports