November 7, 2000
SERGIO GARCIA: I could notice today, I could finally see the changes on the golf course, the changes in 2, 3, 4, 7, a little on 17, too. But the course is still, I mean it's still playing tough. If the wind keeps up like this and the greens are uphill, it's going to be really tiring. But there's a little less rough than last year, so that's going to make it a little easier for us. But the trees are there, and it's windy here, so...
Q. You were one of the 50 who signed this letter to Ken Schofield asking to know about the (European) Tour's finances. Could you tell us what was worrying you, what made you sign it?
SERGIO GARCIA: I think like all of the players -- there's a thing that the PGA TOUR does really well. When we have a players' meeting, we always know what's going on with money. They tell us about what they do with the money, where they put it, how much is going to charity, what is going on with the retirement plan and everything. So we know what's happening with money. Here, on the European Tour, we just don't know anything. We don't know what is happening with that money that the European Tour is getting, and we don't know how much is going for charity. I think not much is going for charity. There's a lot of money there that we don't know where it is. So we just wanted to know what's going to happen.
Q. Could you pick out the area which worries you the most?
SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know. I mean, everything's important. But I think you have to -- I think that the European Tour could maybe not get to the level of the PGA (TOUR) is, talking money-wise on tournaments. But I think the European Tour is not so far from the American Tour. We have a lot of great players here. We just want to know -- why that money is missing, and why it's not in tournaments or for charity or stuff like that, to improve the European Tour, to improve the finances and stuff like that.
Q. Are you saying money is actually missing?
SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know. When I know, I'll tell you what happened. I'm sure somebody knows, but we don't know.
Q. Why do you say what money is missing? You just said. You must think some money is being misappropriated?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, the thing is we've talked and we know that a lot of money comes to the European Tour. But we don't know where that money is. We don't know what kind of care are they taking for the charities. And some of the money should be going to charities. And it feels, or it looks like it's not going that way. So we just want to see what the problem is there. But I don't know if it's missing or what it is.
Q. So what disturbs you most about the purse going much lower than America?
SERGIO GARCIA: What I don't really like is that the European Tour, I mean sometimes feels like they can't get money, not only for the purses, but to improve the tournament, and to make like the PGA TOUR, for example, the retirement. There are some players that play the European Tour for 35 years, and when they finish, they retire, they say, "Thank you very much," and, "See you later." I don't think that's a good thing to do. That's a good thing from the PGA TOUR; that they say, "Okay, now you've retired and you made all this money, so you don't have to be worried about what to do." I mean it's -- I don't think that it's good to play for 30 years in the European Tour, and then you finish your career, and then you have to go work in wherever, building houses or go take the garbage or stuff like that. Because you need to make money to live, and there's not a retirement plan like on the PGA TOUR.
Q. How do you see the changes to Valderrama? They've made some alterations. 17, for example, is a big change; a few of the holes. How do you see the general condition of the golf course, any particular changes they've made?
SERGIO GARCIA: I mean, the condition of the course is great. The course, as always, is in very good shape. The changes, I think the changes are pretty good. I mean, I felt -- I don't know -- I like the course to be par 71. But the 7th hole, you have a chance of making birdie there. Before, it was a tough par 4. The thing -- I don't know. 4th hole, it might be -- I don't know -- I think it was more exciting before because you had better chance of reaching the hole, reaching the green in 2. Even with a 2- or 3-iron, you still could try to go for that green. But now, such a narrow green. We've gone with the 3-wood. I think a lot of people is going to think about it, unless the wind is up. Normally, people is going to go for the green because it's too difficult.
Q. The 14th today, what were you trying to do with that tee shot?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, I actually hit a pretty good shot. I just held it a little. I try to lie the second ball, but because the wind was coming up the right, I held it just a bit, and instead of rolling on the fairway, it ended up short. I was just trying to do a lull, a lull into the wind.
Q. What were you hitting?
SERGIO GARCIA: A 2-iron.
Q. What do you think about the turnout?
SERGIO GARCIA: I think that it is a little pity that 14 of the best players are not playing this week. But, I mean, for us, it's still okay. But maybe for some of the American players, they usually feel like after THE TOUR Championship they finished the season. And maybe it's not a good date for them to come, to play only one week. So -- but other than that, I still think it's a great tournament. Still a lot of great players come in, and hopefully it will be good.
Q. One of the reasons for these World Championship events, as I understand, was so the best players in the world could play against each other more often than four times a year in the majors. Obviously, that's not here and not the case this week. How would you resolve that? What needs to be done so that players will come, other than holding all these events in America?
SERGIO GARCIA: The thing is -- I don't know about what you can do. But the PGA TOUR is such a good Tour that I'll say that for some of the American players to come here to just play one week, it's tough. It's a tough move. To take, I don't know, a nine-, ten-hour flight to play only one week, that's always tough. I don't know how you can handle that. Every time I go to the States, I try to play two or three at least, because to just go far, forward and backwards, for only one week is really tough. More for them, they have a great Tour. But I don't know how they can take it. I don't know if they put in other days or making two or three tournaments in a row so they can come for two or three tournaments instead of just one. But they'll probably figure something out.
End of FastScripts .