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October 26, 2005

Sergio Garcia


MARIA ACACIA: Sergio, thank you very much for being with us. How did it go today?

SERGIO GARCIA: It was good. It was a difficult day out there with these winds. The course was playing pretty difficult. Usually it blows the other way around, so we played like 17 downwind and 11 into the wind; usually it goes the other way.

But it was playing quite tough. You have some really tough holes out there, holes like, for example, 5 was playing very long and then you had 7 playing tough. 9 was playing very tough. Of course, 11, it was tough to reach in two. 12 was playing very difficult, the par 3. 13 was playing quite tricky, too.

So it was nice to see a bit of a different wind once in awhile. We'll see what comes out tomorrow. But the course is looking great, so I'm looking forward to it.

Q. Sergio, good finish last week; give you some confidence for this week?

SERGIO GARCIA: Definitely. I've been playing well all year. It's nice to see some good results and some consistency. That's what we all look forward to and I'm looking forward to keeping it going the same way this week, so hopefully we can do that.

Q. Could you talk about in your eyes the respective merits of Colin and Michael Campbell, who are sort of fighting it out for the Order of Merit?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I think that's one of the things that that's one of the beautiful things about this week, too. Usually most of the years, it comes down to this tournament to see who wins the Order of Merit. So I think it's going to be very exciting. They are both playing very well. Monty, I got the pleasure of playing with him in San Francisco, and he's striking the ball very nicely. I know Cambo is playing very well all year, and it's going to be interesting to see who ends up on top.

But I think that Monty has got an edge there that if he does fairly well, it's going to make it tough for Michael.

Q. Did you notice when you played with him, do you think he's playing better than he did in '99 or what sort of struck you about him?

SERGIO GARCIA: I wouldn't say he's playing better than in '99, but he's playing he's definitely playing much better than he was a couple of years ago. He's striking the ball nicely again. He's got that little fade going and he's hitting his irons very well, hitting a lot of fairways like he usually does, and it looks like he's getting back a little bit of confidence with his putting.

So I think he's in very good form, and I expect him to be up there on the weekend.

Q. Why do you say Monty has a little bit of the edge? Why do you think that?

SERGIO GARCIA: Because he's got a bit more money than Michael Campbell. (Laughter).

Q. What's the strength of Michael Campbell's game?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, he's very consistent. When Michael is on, it looks like he's not going to miss a shot. He hits a lot of fairways. He's got a quick rhythm on his swing but he's consistent. He hits a lot of fairways. He hits a lot of good iron shots. He's very good around the greens. He can definitely putt. So I think he's been showing that this year. He showed us at the U.S. Open coming down the stretch playing very well, making some key putts, and, you know, playing well at The Match Play. He's been playing well all year.

So I think, you know, if they both get it going a little bit this week, it could be fun to see both somewhere close at the top and both fighting, because I'm not really sure what's the difference, but I think that Michael has got to at least win or finish second at the worst if Monty is going half decent.

Q. If they are both playing at their best, which one is better?

SERGIO GARCIA: Hard to say. Probably Monty a little bit. Mainly because the consistency he's had throughout the years. Michael, he's had very good seasons, but it's a bit more an up and down kind of player. But they are both really good players.

Q. You are the clear favourite with the bookmakers.


Q. Does that suit you?

SERGIO GARCIA: What are my odds?

Q. 7 to 1.


Q. Monty is 12 to 1. Does that sit comfortably with you and will that put extra pressure on you?

SERGIO GARCIA: Not really. I don't think so. As you see, I didn't even know, so it doesn't really affect.

What I want to feel is like I have that I am the favorite, but feel it myself, feel like I'm playing well enough to be out there and have a good chance like I did last year. So that to me is the most important thing. The odds and the bets and all those things, don't really bother me.

Q. And missing out last year in a playoff, does that make you even more determined to try to go one better this year?

SERGIO GARCIA: Definitely. This is a course where I play very well pretty much every time I've played. It's a course that I enjoy, so that definitely helps me play a little bit better. Some guys come here and maybe don't like it as much, but I really enjoy this golf course. I think it's a great test of golf and tests every single part of your game. And that's what a good golf course should do. So I'm looking forward to it, and hopefully I can make one more put than I did last year.

Q. Are there any American courses like this, that this compares to, courses where you've won?

SERGIO GARCIA: I guess there's some similar ones. You can't I don't know, courses kind of like, something like Colonial or something like Westchester. But they are all a bit different, but they kind of with the layouts, tight and not really so long, but golf courses where you really have to position the ball off the tee, nice little greens. So I think just overall, it's just a great test.

Q. How many marks out of 10 would you give yourself for this season?

SERGIO GARCIA: Out of 10 being an unbelievable season?

Q. Yeah.

SERGIO GARCIA: I'd probably give myself, I'd probably give myself 6.

Q. And if you won this week or next week?

SERGIO GARCIA: Maybe a 6 1/2.

Q. And a 10 is, what? Doing what?

SERGIO GARCIA: By doing something like Tiger would do, something like he's done, without missing two cuts. (Laughter).

Q. Does the European Order of Merit have an interest for you to win it, and could you imagine a time in your career when you would play enough on The European Tour to give yourself a chance to win?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, of course it's a goal and it's something that I've love to do. Unfortunately the way my schedule is set up, I've love to play many more tournaments in Europe but unfortunately I can't.

You know, I'm not a machine and I have to rest, and it's a lot of traveling involved. But I still think playing 11 or 12 events a year, I still think that you can win the Order of Merit. You've just got to play really well on the right events, the majors and the World events and tournaments like here, the Volvo Masters, and a couple of others.

So if you manage to play well in those, you can definitely still win the Order of Merit just by playing 11 or 12 events.

Q. A few years ago you set a target of trying to win both in the same year, was that realistic and do you still think

SERGIO GARCIA: It is. I mean, if you look at it, if Tiger would have been a member of The European Tour, he would have done it. So it is realistic.

It's just as I said, you've just got to win the right tournaments. You win a couple majors, maybe one or two World events and you do well in the others, it just keeps adding.

Q. But is it a bit of a balancing act not to set your goals too high because you then have disappointment?

SERGIO GARCIA: No, I don't take it that way. It is a goal but it's not something that if I don't do I'm going to be disappointed. It's something to aim for and try to improve your game, to try to achieve it, but it's not you finish your season and you finish sixth in one and eighth in the other and you say, "Oh, no.ГўпїЅпїЅ No, it's not like that.

At the end of the day when you finish the season, you've got to look back at your performances and the way you've hit the ball, your consistency, and mainly just see if you feel like you've improved. If you have done that, then it's a good season.

Q. If you had to win, would you rather win this Order of Merit or the U.S. Tour Order of Merit?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, of course both. I think that winning the European Order of Merit will always be a dream, will be something that I would love to do because it's my tour and it's where I grew up and where I came out of.

Of course, winning the U.S. Money List, that will get me closer to being No. 1. So if I could only choose one, I'd probably go for the American one, but hopefully both will be all right. They both have great things.

Good question, tricky. (Laughter.)

End of FastScripts.

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