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BRITISH OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

July 20, 2002

Sergio Garcia

MUIRFIELD, SCOTLAND

STEWART McDOUGAL: Sergio, thank you for coming down after a round in disgusting conditions. 71, 2-under par. Your reflections after that round; how do you feel?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I actually feel very happy. I think I played really well. If you look at my stats today, I think I missed two fairways and four or five greens and two or three of them were by five inches so I think the way I was playing, that's pretty good stuff. And unfortunately, I missed -- I'll say three or four putts inside probably six feet, but the wind, the way it was blowing and the way it was raining, it's going to happen, so I'm happy with the way it went.

Q. On a day like today, what would you say is par on a day like today?

SERGIO GARCIA: I feel like I shot at least five or six under par. If you get a day where -- 10 and 11 are usually long holes, 11 not, but we're hitting driver, 7-iron on 10, the last couple of days, and a 3-wood, pitching wedge or sand wedge on 11. Today I hit driver, 3-wood on 10, not even a chance of reaching the green. I flashed both of them 50 yards from the green, great up and down. On 11 I hit a great drive and a 5-iron to the green from 155 yards, so that tells you how tough it was playing.

Q. Did you have days anything like this during the British Amateur and does that help?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yes, for sure. This is actually not the worse day I've had weather-wise here. I remember my first British Amateur at Turnberry. I remember the 3rd hole. It was like today, but it was colder and windier. I remember the 3rd hole, I don't know, it was probably 460 yards, driver 3-wood, 9-iron, Par 4. That really helped, but you never know how it's going to go on a day like today. It's really tough to play, and if you get a good feel and you start hitting good shots you get some confidence and you're able to manage a decent round, as I did, but if you hit a couple bad shots, you can struggle big-time.

Q. How did this compare to the second round at Bethpage?

SERGIO GARCIA: This was tougher, because it was colder and windier, and pretty much the same rain, but it was tougher to play.

Q. Would you rather be sitting right here at 2 under or out there at 4?

SERGIO GARCIA: What do you think? (Laughter) I don't want to be out there even if I'm 11 under.

Q. Sergio, when did the weather really get tough for you --(inaudible) --

SERGIO GARCIA: To tell you the truth, I don't think any of them. I was lucky I played five, six holes without rain, but it was blowing a lot. I hit a driver, 3-wood, punched 9-iron from 150 yards on 5, where this morning the guys were making eagles, and a 3-iron into 4, a 3-wood and what should have been a 7-iron into 3, so it was blowing. But then it was blowing and it was raining, so it was a little tougher. But I tried hard and I hang in there as hard as I could, and I'm happy with the result.

Q. Now that you're safely in here, do you go back and watch television and watch everybody else suffer?

SERGIO GARCIA: I want to see what they do. Yes, I'm going to watch. First of all, I am going to take a hot bath (laughter) and then I'm going to sit down in a chair, just lay down and watch a little bit.

Q. And laugh?

SERGIO GARCIA: You don't laugh about your fellow professionals. But, for sure, I'm going to watch and I'm going to compare what I did and what they're doing or what they can do.

Q. In these conditions, what do you do to change your swing? Do you just shorten it or do you just try to punch? What do you do?

SERGIO GARCIA: Whatever feels better. Myself, yeah, I tried to hit a lot of punch, a lot of knockdown shots and tried to keep the ball as straight as possible, so you are able to hit in the fairway and able to hit as many greens as you can, because first of all, it's hard enough to get it up in the air with this weather because first of all, the grip is wet and you can slip and cause big things, and so you just try to hit some -- that's the way I feel at least, hit some knockdown shots and just try not to make many mistakes.

Q. Everybody looks miserable out there, it looked like you were having fun at times.

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I was talking to Bob Bubka before and when you get to 17, a hole that you had been hitting 3-wood, 3-iron into the green, and today I ripped the driver, I had 195 yards to carry the bunker in the middle of the fairway, I ripped a 3-wood and probably carried the bunkers three or four yards at the most and I was so happy to see that ball went over the bunkers, because I didn't know. I didn't want to hit short because if I hit short, I probably would have hit a 5-iron into the green or 6-iron into the green, and from there I was able to hit a knockdown 9-iron and make a nice birdie. I think that if you take it that way, of course if you're hitting the shots, more or less the way you want to, it's easier to take it, but if you take it a little happier, it's easier to go around. If you start getting frustrated by the weather and the way the course is playing, it's just going to get tougher, I think.

Q. We're going to have to assume the leaders are going to continue to come back. There seems to be a real fighting chance in a major, five behind Tiger at (inaudible) and four behind Tiger at the U.S. Open and three behind Goosen at (inaudible) talk about that.

SERGIO GARCIA: We'll see how they finish. These guys can really play and somebody can go out there and do like me and maybe shoot even par or one over par or still two or three shots in front, but we'll see what happens.

Q. Can you look ahead to tomorrow?

SERGIO GARCIA: I'm really looking forward to it. If you take a look the last company of years, I've been putting myself in good positions to win majors and unfortunately I haven't, but that's a start. I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I'm looking forward for the wind to blow, but hopefully it will be nice and sunny. I don't mind it blowing, but the rain is not my favorite. I'm really looking forward to go out there tomorrow and give myself a good chance of winning a major. If I'm able to do it, I'll be the happiest man on earth, and if not, you know, I'll still be a happy guy. We'll see.

Q. When the rain is this bad, what do you do to combat it? How many gloves do you go through? Are there guys that take ten gloves?

SERGIO GARCIA: No, I only went through two. I put it on top of the umbrella and changing around some shots. When you're over the ball, the left thumb gets wet and that's really important to have it dry, because if not, the whole right hand is going to slip off the club, so I only went through a couple.

Q. You're not the only one who has commented that Tiger seems to have good luck on lies and weather. Now going for a Grand Slam, can you comment about -- (inaudible) --

SERGIO GARCIA: That's something you can't plan. They happen because they happen. For sure I would have liked to have played this morning. I'd like to be 2 under and play at eight in the morning, but it's tough to do that. We'll see how he handles himself. I don't know his score right now. Nobody seems to be able to make a move because it's really tough to do it.

Q. Tiger shot 42 on the front. Does that surprise you?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yes, it surprises me a little bit but it's not impossible. I'm sure 42 is not going to be the highest score on the front nine. The way the course is playing you hit a couple of bad shots, you get a couple of bad lies and you can make double bogeys like this, (snaps fingers) no problem. Hopefully he'll hang around on the back nine and we'll see what happens.

End of FastScripts....

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