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September 24, 2002

Sergio Garcia


GORDON SIMPSON: It's your second Ryder Cup. You obviously enjoyed your last experience, and want to enjoy it again but on a winning context this time.

SERGIO GARCIA: Hopefully. We're going to try as hard as we can, to put ourselves in a good position to win. And hopefully we'll come through. And although we lost three years ago, I think it was a great experience for me and all my teammates, and we're really looking forward to giving it our best this week.

GORDON SIMPSON: What's your greatest memory of that whole week.

SERGIO GARCIA: I couldn't pick one. I'd say probably the one that sticks to mind the sooner is of course everything about the players, how we get together and how we get to know each other better. But on the course probably the 9-iron that Jesper holed on the four balls on the first day on the 8th hole.

GORDON SIMPSON: You looked quite excited that day.

SERGIO GARCIA: All week. It was my first one, and I was really looking forward to it. And I really -- I got really excited, and I'm looking forward to this one.

Q. Can you talk a bit about your partnership today with Bernhard, and whether you guys had a little action going with your teammates, whether you lost or won any money today?

SERGIO GARCIA: It was good. We won a little bit. It was fine. But just trying to get a feel of some of the different players on the team and I got the chance to play with Jesper and Paul and Bernhard today. It was good. I feel comfortable. We'll see what happens. But they are good players.

Q. How important is the Ryder Cup for you, where does it stand in your list of priorities?

SERGIO GARCIA: It's really important. I think it stands right there with the Majors. More than anything because it's different. It's a team event, and if you win, you win as a team. But I think it stands right there with all the Majors.

Q. Sergio, can you look back to the last time, everybody says you have to go through it, nobody will tell you what it's like when you're a rookie. What didn't you know? Is there a good story about that, the way you felt maybe when you first teed it up, and what will you tell these rookies?

SERGIO GARCIA: Actually it was fortunate because Jesper teed off first on the foursomes, so I wasn't that nervous on my second shot. But I don't know, I guess there's a lot of things that you don't know that you go through. And unfortunately I felt a little tired on Sunday. Maybe I wasn't -- I spent so much energy during the week, and I was so young, and maybe not experienced enough. And I felt like I was a little tired, when I played on Sunday. But other than that I think everything was pretty much what we all know and what we expected.

Q. Is there anything you would tell your rookie teammates?

SERGIO GARCIA: No. Just try to enjoy it as much as they can. Just try to relax out there. Give it your best. It doesn't matter, win or lose. If you try as hard as you can, and you try to enjoy it, it's a lot easier to play well. And you've got to realize that you're playing against the 12 best players in the world outside Europe. So it's hard. Sometimes they play better than you. But just give it a good shot and don't worry about anything.

Q. Sam Torrance has been talking about the course and the position of the tee on the 10th is one thing he mentioned. Where, if anywhere, do you feel this course may give a case of home advantage to you and your European teammates?

SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know. Maybe I'll say if anything around the greens, because the rough is not as thick. So the Americans know how to handle maybe the thick rough around the greens better than some of the European players, because they play on that type of conditions. But other than that I think it's pretty much the same for everybody. You've got to drive it well, as always. And just be sharp with your iron play.

Q. Would you like to see, do you feel that this course should give you and the Europeans more of a home advantage?

SERGIO GARCIA: I certainly think that -- I mean I would like that, but it all comes down to playing. It doesn't matter how much it favors us. If we don't play well -- we're still playing against 12 guys that are really good. And they can play. Golf, it all comes down to the same, drive it into the fairway, hitting good iron shots and making putts. If we're able to do that we can win anywhere, it doesn't matter where. And if they're able to do that, they can win anywhere.

Q. Back to today's play, there's apparently a lot of frustration out there from some of the Americans, because your guys were holding them up on more than one tee, you were playing a lot of putts. Were you aware that these guys were getting really frustrated? SERGIO GARCIA: We have all day. We don't need to hurry. We have all day to practice. It's only six matches playing out there. Just enjoy the day. You're not going to get many like this.

Q. What do you think about the course, the shape of it?

SERGIO GARCIA: I think it's in really good shape. It's looking great. The greens are beautiful, fairways are as good as they were last week. And it looks great. The setup is tight. It's pretty narrow and the rough is pretty thick. So it should be difficult, but if you drive it in the fairways it becomes quite a lot easier.

Q. Considering how well you played in the last Cup and your general fearlessness, some people think it's time for you to assert yourself and make this your team. How do you feel about that leadership role and whether or not it's time for you to grab it?

SERGIO GARCIA: We have a captain. We all look at him. And then there's no doubt that there's some players you look at, from other players, and there's always Colin is there, Darren, guys with a lot of experience. And they've played longer. They've played a lot of Ryder Cups. They probably feel like I've been playing well and that they probably can jump on my back and I'll try to carry them. But I think it's not only me; I think there's probably about four leaders out there, and we all try to help our team as much as we can.

Q. Just to going back to the pace of play. Were you surprised that the American group behind you jumped around from the 3rd up to the 8th tee, and would you have done the same? The American group got fed up waiting, and went to the 8th and carried on from there. Were you aware of that?

SERGIO GARCIA: No, I wasn't. Maybe they don't like those holes.

Q. We know Jesper has had his problems this year. What was his frame of mind out there this morning, and what was his form like with the putter?

SERGIO GARCIA: No, it was good. He actually was putting quite nicely. He hit a couple of wayward shots, but it's still practice, and still a lot of things you have to work on. He seemed pretty comfortable and pretty confident with the putter, and I think that's the most important thing. So we'll see how it goes around the week. But he looks okay.

Q. I just wanted to follow up on that question. Would you have moved, skipped four holes, if you were bothered by the pace of play in a practice round?

SERGIO GARCIA: No. As I said before, we're not in a hurry.

Q. Sergio, as a long hiter, how do you feel about the 10th hole being played all the way back all week, take some of the fun out of it?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I hit 3-wood today into the middle of the green, so you can still hit it on the green. It's a little tougher because you've got to go a little more over the trees, but I don't think it takes the fun out of it. It still probably gets your adrenalin going more, even.

Q. Are you less inclined now to go for it?

SERGIO GARCIA: Not at all.

End of FastScripts....

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