March 15, 2000
Q. Sergio, can you talk about your first full year as a professional?
SERGIO GARCIA: Everything has been really good and I would say I've learned a lot of things. I've learned more or less how to handle myself, how to be on the golf course, and, of course, you always try to learn something, how to play the game of golf and well, it's difficult, but, you know, you keep working. And I'm pretty -- I'm pretty happy the way I hit the ball today. I wasn't hitting it as good as I would like to but today I really felt good and I'm really looking forward to playing this week and let's see if we can finish first or very good there on the top.
Q. How did it feel to not be the youngest player in the group today?
SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know, it feels different, but it's great to see Aaron Baddeley here. He's a great player, good friend of mine and we're having a lot of fun together and it was really good playing with him together and Tiger and Mark, and I think he's going to do good. He's going to do very good. He's a very good player.
Q. Do you see yourself -- you, Aaron, Tiger, sort of an international "big three," the next generation?
SERGIO GARCIA: I hope so. It will be something really good, but, I don't know, time will tell us and I think there is going to be a lot of good players, not only us. So we have to take care of everybody, because, well, David is a great player, David Duval and Davis Love. There's plenty of them. I think there's going to be a lot of good players.
Q. What are your thoughts about going back to the Masters now as a professional?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, after playing there as an amateur, it will kind of be a little different, but now I know what it feels to be there. It's a great experience, and it's something you can't really say, you just can't feel it. You can you can say a lot of things, but you will never get that high, and I'm really looking forward to going back to the Masters and hopefully play well.
Q. When you talk to Aaron, do you ever talk to him about what it takes to play out here, not necessarily on the course?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, I don't think I have to tell him that because he already has it. To play out here, you have to just be a good player and he is a great player. So he just -- he just needs to be really focused and as I said, when I turned pro, not to throw shots, sometimes as an amateur you're not doing okay in a tournament or you're not doing as good as you would like to and you start kind of thinking, "oh it doesn't matter," so I think he has that, too, being an amateur, but I don't think he needs anything else to be playing here.
Q. What he's doing is playing a lot of pro events as an amateur is that a good way to be acclimatized to a professional game?
SERGIO GARCIA: I think it's perfect. It was perfect for me. I talked to him in Australia like a month ago when I was playing there and he told me that he him and his dad, they were trying to do more or less like my dad and me what we did and we said, well, that's perfect. It work out really good for me and I think that's probably the best way of turning pro.
Q. Have you talked about the decision to turn pro, has he asked you about that and what your thoughts were?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, I don't know. That's in his mind. I'm not going to tell him to turn pro now or maybe in five years or whatever. That's his decision and he has to take care of that. That's a feeling you have to have you know like when I turned pro, after -- after the Masters I felt like, you know, I wasn't doing anything on the amateur -- in the amateur tournaments, you know I was -- I had to go to the next level. I thought I was okay to be on the next level and I just felt that and turned pro. So that's the thing that you have to feel inside of you and say, "Okay, I think I'm ready and I'm going to turn pro." I don't know, it's his decision.
Q. Will you go to Augusta before the tournament, any time before?
SERGIO GARCIA: Probably Sunday.
Q. Not the week before or anything like that?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, I don't think so.
Q. What have you learned from playing Augusta National last year about the course? How will you approach the course differently this year?
SERGIO GARCIA: I don't think I have to -- I have to go and do something different. I just have to make more putts than last year. But I think last year I played really well there and if I would have made more putts, it would have been okay, it would have been probably, I don't know, even par or something like that. But it's tough. It's difficult to make putts there, and you have big breaks and greens are really fast and firm. But I think the way I played last year was good. You know, I stroked the ball really well, and I think that's what you have to do. You have to just take care of your second shot, your shots to the green and then have a little bit of luck with the putter.
Q. What's your schedule for the next few weeks?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I'm playing TPC next week, then I have a week off, playing Masters, then I'm going back to Europe to play the Ballesteros Cup, Ballesteros Trophy, then I think I have a week off, Spanish Open, week off, Byron Nelson and then I don't know. Then I'm coming back to Europe to play SAP and Volvo PGA.
Q. You were originally going to play the MCI after the Masters, weren't you?
SERGIO GARCIA: I was going to, but after I talked to Seve and to my manager and to my dad, we realized the best thing to do was going to play there, the Ballesteros Trophy because of everything, because of -- it's a good tournament and Seve is a good friend of mine and I felt like I had to go there.
Q. Are you off the week between the TPC and the Masters?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yes.
Q. What will you do?
SERGIO GARCIA: Practice.
SERGIO GARCIA: In Atlanta.
Q. But you're not playing?
SERGIO GARCIA: No.
Q. What is your relationship like with Seve, Jose Maria, those two that have won the Masters?
SERGIO GARCIA: It is really good with and with Olazcabal and Jimenez. It's really good, we're good friends. We always try to hang out really good together and we always try to have -- to have a little fun and try to practice some in the practice rounds. You know, I think we all form a pretty good team.
Q. Did you call Seve or did Seve call you?
SERGIO GARCIA: Seve called me. I think if somebody wants me to play in one tournament, I think the tournament has to call the player, not the player has to call the tournament. Because then if -- I'm not saying that Seve had to call me, but maybe the guys who were doing the tournament, I was waiting for them to call me because I don't think -- if they are interested in me playing, they have to show that, I don't have to go and -- do you want me to play. I don't think that's really smart. So they showed that they really wanted me to play, and I said, "Okay, then I'll play then."
Q. How many majors have you played in?
SERGIO GARCIA: I've played one, two, three, four five -- five I think.
Q. Five in total?
SERGIO GARCIA: In what, in total? Yes, I've played British Open '96, British Open '98, Masters '99, British Open '99, PGA '99. So that's five. Made three cuts. I think it's good. No wins, though.
Q. Not yet.
SERGIO GARCIA: Hopefully. Hopefully.
Q. Are you aware that Tiger won in his first year as a professional at Augusta? Is that something that you are looking forward to, to try and match that?
SERGIO GARCIA: I know what, I would love to do that, but, you know, if it's not at Augusta, I would love to do it at the U.S. Open or at the British Open in St. Andrews or the PGA. So I don't care where, but I've love to. Well, in my first year as a pro, I almost one won, too, and he was the one who didn't allow me to. So it was good, I think and I'm looking forward to winning a major, but I don't know, I'm just going to give it time and hope it will be soon. But if not, I'll just wait.
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