November 12, 2000
Q. How would you compare this season with your first?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, of course they all say that this season has been worse than the first one. It probably was a little, of course, because of the start and because I haven't won. I mean, I haven't had a victory in the whole year. But I think the season has been pretty positive. I've played a lot of good golf. I had a lot of chances of winning; I just couldn't. But, you know, I felt like it was a good season. I just missed probably one or two victories. But other than that, I felt pretty comfortable the way I played. And to finish with a 64 today, here in Valderrama in my home country, it's really the way you want to finish, you know. And the cheering, the shouting on 17 was really amazing after I hit my bunker shot, I made the par. It was really good to feel all the crowds cheering to me. It was really good. A very good round. I'm very proud of it. Nice to finish the year with such a good round. This Sunday and last Sunday have been very good, and I have gone up quite a few positions. Today, the course was not that difficult, and I started to play very well. That gave me a lot of confidence, and it was like a big bonus that I had in my pocket. I did not have to play so aggressive after the birdies at the beginning. My father came yesterday, and this morning we had been working on the backswing and it worked out. It was a bit difficult for me to drive with draw. Also, he has been helping with the putter, and it seems that everything has worked out. I think I have matured a little bit more this year. That's logical. Like at the 17th hole on the first round, my ball was not in a very good position and it was downhill. I didn't know whether to hit a 2-, or a 3-iron to the green. But instead of thinking just to go for the green, I started thinking in other options. When you start playing as well as I did today, you change your strategy of the round, and you don't go for every pin. I would like to finish each tournament with a 64. This year has been very good generally. I've had a lot of winning chances, but maybe I just needed the good luck of a champion. If my 3-wood to the left at the 11th would have hit the tree, as it happened with Duval, to make a 4, things would have completely changed. But I think it hasn't been a bad year. I think I have improved over the last six months. Right now, I'm going to Thailand. Then I am going to play the Skins Game there next Monday -- not tomorrow, but the upcoming Monday. That week, I always have another Skins Game at Palm Springs. I might be playing Tiger Woods' tournament, I don't know yet. Then six or seven weeks off, which I'm looking forward to. I think I will start my season next year at Phoenix. I'm planning to play eleven tournaments in Europe. 17th hole, this year I've gone par, bogey, birdie, birdie, which means that I have improved from last year. I think it's a good hole, but it's just a little bit difficult. Today, the pin was much easier to attack than last year. It was in a much better place than last year. The only thing, if you want me to say something about that hole, is that the green is a little bit sloped on the left-hand side; you have a difficult second shot. Even if you miss the green and you go behind it, still you don't have an easy shot. I think this has been a very positive year. It has helped me to put my feet on the ground. I learned a lot, especially on the first three months. You, the media, were all very critical to me, but that helped me a lot and made me much stronger mentally. These last six months have been very good, and Glenn, my caddie, has played a big role in them. He has been helping me a lot. Also, I have been working very hard with my father. We have been trying to improve my swing and my putts.
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