August 3, 2001
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: All right. We'd like to thank Sergio Garcia for spending a few minutes with us. Good round today. 19 points total for the two days. You had a little delay yesterday, and then played today. Why don't you talk about your round, maybe compare it to yesterday and we'll go into some questions.
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, well it, was much better. I made a couple bogeys on the second and the fourth, a couple stupid bogeys. But other than that, I think I played very well. I had a lot of eagle chances. I had three eagle chances, two really close ones. It really could have been lower, but more than anything else today --, it could have been a lot lower on the front nine than it was my back nine. I don't know, I mean, the first nine holes, from 10 to 18 -- but I feel pretty comfortable. I hit the ball more the way I wanted today. I hit a couple loose shots, but other than that, I felt really comfortable. I hit a lot of good shots into the greens and stuff like that. You know, just comfortable and confident for tomorrow.
Q. How about going through your birdies and bogeys?
SERGIO GARCIA: I started on the back nine. On 11, I hit a really nice 9-iron, same as yesterday. Today I almost made a hole-in-one and today I probably hit it to about four feet. It was a tough pin on the left, so it was a good shot. Then on 14, I hit a good drive, middle of the fairway and I hit a great shot, 235 to about seven, eight feet and missed it for eagle. Then I made a good save on 15. I hit it right with a 3-wood. Chipped it out. Hit a three-quarter lob-wedge from 85 -- well, from 96 yards. I hit a three-quarter lob-wedge to about six, seven feet and I made it for par. Then on 17, I hit another good drive, just on the first cut. Then I hit a good 5-iron from there to about eight feet again and left it on the jaws, just short of it. Then on 1, I hit another good drive, middle of the fairway. I hit a good turn, just a little right, just off the green. Chipped it. Almost made it, to less than a foot. Then on 2, I hit a good turn on the fairway and hit a bad sand wedge to the right. Then I hit a really good bunker shot but I hit it really hard to seven feet and missed it. 3, I hit another good drive and lob-wedge to five or six feet. Made it. Then on 4, I pulled it a little with the 8-iron and hit a very poor chip and 2-putted. Then on 5, I hit a pretty good drive again. Very good 8-iron to about eight feet and I made it. Then on 8, I hit another good drive, middle of the fairway. I hit a cut 3-wood from 260 into the wind, middle of the green. Very close from where the pin was yesterday. Hit a pretty good putt from probably about 22, 23 feet and almost made it. Then on 9, I hit a bad drive to the right in the water. Dropped. Hit 9-iron, expected it to fly a little and it didn't fly at all, and just hit short of the green and spun back about 20 yards or something like that. Then I had 39 yards to the hole. I hit a very good chip and as soon as I saw it bounce, I thought it was perfect, then it took a really big bounce and went straight on the second bounce, so it was good. I missed quite a lot of good opportunities on the front nine.
Q. How much did having that go in, the chip at No. 9, help your confidence, especially going into tomorrow's round?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, it's really good. Of course, I would have taken bogey. I didn't want to make more than bogey, because one point is not that bad. 18 is okay. But if you lose three, then you go back to 16, it's hard. You can make a double bogey; that's three points. But it feels really good. You know, it felt like -- something like that to happen to me on this round, I was playing really well and nothing was really happening to me. I made a lot of good putts and was missing them, and it was really nice to be able to finish like that.
Q. You said out there, when you were doing the TV interview, there was some indecision on the tee between you and your caddy at 9?
SERGIO GARCIA: More than anything, it's just one of those things that happens between caddy and player. I got up to the tee and it was into the wind on the right a little, as it was yesterday, and yesterday we hit driver. I'm thinking, "Well, I'm going to hit driver." And Glenn tells me, "Well, I don't think we need driver. You can hit 2-iron and probably 7-iron, 6-iron to the green." But then, I'm thinking, well, when the wind is blowing, I like to a draw, because if I hit it straight in the middle of the water -- so I kind of lost a little bit of confidence. It's not his fault and it's not my fault. It's just a little indecision. Sometimes it happens. Probably should have just probably get the 3-wood or the 2-iron and hit it, but it's one of those things. That's why golf is so hard.
Q. When you say it could have been a lot better, does that encourage you or frustrate you? Where do you stand on that?
SERGIO GARCIA: It encourages me. On the front nine, I hit, really, probably, one, two, three, four, five -- I hit probably six putts or seven -- six or seven putts that could have perfectly gone in. So they were good strokes, but they were missing just on the edge or leaving it just short. Of course, it encourages me. It encourages me to think that if I'm able to make some more putts, I can shoot really, really low, and that's always great.
Q. Sergio, if you are able to get into the Top-10 of the Ryder Cup standings, that would obviously free up another captain's choice, and there's a good chance it would go to Olazabal. I was just wondering if you felt any pressure, either from yourself, from Sam, from people back in Spain, to either adjust your schedule to get the points or just really play well enough in your next couple of events?
SERGIO GARCIA: I'm hoping to play well enough. If I play well enough, that should be good. The other problem is that because of how the European Tour does the thing for the NEC, I have to finish probably Top-5 in the PGA or something like that to get to that tournament. So, you know, if it doesn't go my way, then it can happen perfectly, or if I don't play as well as I've been playing and I'm not able to finish in that top four or five, then I'll probably have to go back to Europe and probably play maybe BMW or another tournament. But what I want to do is, I want to take a week off between the Ryder Cup and the week of the PGA because I don't want to be too tired at the Ryder Cup, if I play. But I will try to make it myself. I would love to go and finish first and second, Olazabal and me at the PGA and then we are probably both in the Ryder Cup. Hopefully it will happen. If it doesn't, you know, I will do my best to get on the team so that --- so, that Sam doesn't have to pick me. But to tell you the truth, Sam has been really good with me. He hasn't put any pressure. He told me, you know, if I was able to play maybe an extra tournament or something like that, to try to get into it, that he would really appreciate it. But, he never said, " Oh, you have to do this or you have to do that." He's been really good at that.
Q. Are you of the school that they should change the format?
SERGIO GARCIA: They probably should, if they want to get the best players. Because there's so many good players from Europe playing in the States now, it is going to be tougher and tougher to be able to make the Ryder Cup team because, you know, you have guys that are playing 20 or 25 events to get into the Ryder Cup team, or maybe more, and you have guys like me or Olazabal that are playing, I don't know, probably 12 or 15, at the most -- what am I saying, probably 10, 12. So, you've got to realize, it's a lot tougher to make it by playing 10 or 12 than by playing 25 or 30.
Q. Sergio, is it the Top-12 on the European Money List after the PGA that get into the NEC?
SERGIO GARCIA: I think so, yeah.
Q. And that was changed last year, and you went to Reno; right?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah. I did.
Q. What will you do this year? Will you have the week off?
SERGIO GARCIA: I'll have the week off, yeah, I hope not, though.
Q. Would you like to see an International, something that caters so much to international players count for the European Ryder Cup team?
SERGIO GARCIA: I would love to, but tell you the truth, I love every single tournament in the U.S. to count on the Ryder Cup team, because that way I won't have so much trouble in making the team. But, it's not that easy. I mean, you can't really say that -- I don't think they can say, well, the INTERNATIONAL is going to count because then we are going to -- what about the TPC; it doesn't count either, and it probably has more international players than here.
Q. What about the tournaments that literally --
SERGIO GARCIA: It would be good, but, I don't know. Unfortunately, it's not in my hands.
Q. How much does playing a course like this, especially like what you had to do, playing right up last night and then starting up first thing this morning, how much does that factor into the game? Obviously, it didn't too much for you, but is it something that you had to overcome, to have such a great round?
SERGIO GARCIA: A little bit, yes. Unfortunately, you're playing late yesterday and so you don't get much time to rest. This is a course that -- it's not an easy course to walk. Thank God, you know, I'm feeling pretty fit. I'm feeling pretty strong, so I'm not having trouble, but for some of the people, it could be -- it could be kind of like a tough thing to overcome. You know, I was fortunate to have a nice rest and went out there and started hitting good shots. After you start hitting good shots, the course just seems like it gets a little flatter. (Laughter.)
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