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April 12, 2002

Sergio Garcia


P. DAN YATES: Sergio is here with us, 5-under par. How do y'all want him to go through his round before you have questions?

Comments first.

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, well, it feels nice to be at 5, more than anything, because I struggled a little through my round and I was able to keep it together. So, it's a nice finish. Always, making birdie on 18, and the way it's playing now, it's always a good stop.

I just hope to improve a little better, improve a little and hit the ball just a little better, like I did yesterday and make more birdies tomorrow.

P. DAN YATES: Let's do bogeys and birdies.

SERGIO GARCIA: On 4, I pulled it a little with a 6-iron and hit it in the middle of the green. I had probably about 30, 35 footer with a big break, probably about, I don't know, eight feet of break and hit a great putt and made it just right in the middle.

Then on 11, I hit a very good drive on the left side of the fairway. I didn't hit a good 7-iron. I was fortunate because the ball hit on the -- I don't know how, but it stayed there on the bank. I hit a pretty good chip to about four feet and I missed it.

Then on 13, I drew it just a little too much with driver. Hit the trees and went in the water. Then I chipped. I hit a very good hooking 5-iron. I hit a nice chip about 60 yards with a lob-wedge, tried to hit it low and bumped it up there and hit it just a little too soft so came back down the hill and I made two good putts.

Then on 14, I hit a very good drive. It was a tough pin position, so it was really nice to be able to hit a good 8-iron like I did and hit it to about a foot. You know, that birdie really kept -- it took my mind out of the couple bogeys I made, so it was nice.

Then I hit a great drive on 15. Hit a very good 8-iron from 190, downwind, probably about 14 feet past the pin, and hit a great putt and just missed on the right. Kind of looked like it was a pretty similar putt like to the one that Tom Lehman missed on, what was it, '94 when Olazabal won. It was kind of similar, just on the right.

On 16, I pulled it a little with the 8-iron. Hit it just over the green. Didn't hit a very good chip to 5 1/2 feet, left-to-right. Hit a pretty good putt, or at least it felt like a pretty good putt, and just made a big horseshoe.

Then after that on 18 I hit a very good drive with a little fade. I hit a very good 5-iron, just a nice, soft 5-iron from 185 to about 16 feet past the pin and made a great putt.

Q. Are you surprised by the international flavor of this leaderboard?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, you usually will expect to see more Americans. I think that only shows how good that everybody is playing and that it doesn't matter where they come from. You still can get really good players on the field.

Q. We just had Vijay in here, how strong is a no-bogey 65 today?

SERGIO GARCIA: It is strong. More than anything, I will say the 30 on the back, that's quite sweet.

He must have played really good and putted well, and probably everything just went his way.

Q. With the course being soft like it is now, do you see 65s or better from other people make coming along the way in the next day or two?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, it all depends in how the wind reacts. If the wind starts blowing, you know how tricky it gets on this golf course. I mean, maybe a guy can just go at it and start doing really good things and everything seems to go his way and maybe shoot a 65 or so, yeah, but I don't see many coming. Even with the greens as soft as they are, the course is still playing a long ways, and still not easy to score.

Q. Have you received many comments or criticisms about your regripping or waggle?

SERGIO GARCIA: It's actually been quite a while.

Q. And also in that, what's going through your mind during all that time when you're doing that? Is it just trying to shake --

SERGIO GARCIA: It's gotten a lot less than what it used to. I don't know, I think that right now, I take a lot less time than most of the players over the ball. So, I mean, before I knew -- yeah, I knew that it was too long and I worked on it and I didn't feel comfortable over the ball; that's why I was taking so long.

Now, I feel a lot more comfortable, and, I don't know. I don't think I take that long over the ball.

Q. So you consciously cut it down?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah. More than anything, what it helped is that I worked on my setup. I didn't feel comfortable with the setup, so I was trying to find something when I was over the ball; that's why I was taking so long. But now that I feel a lot more comfortable, I don't have to take that long.

Q. How do you feel in the position that you are?

SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know, after playing so well yesterday, I would like to be a little better, there's no doubt about it that. I really felt like the way I played yesterday, I could have shot another 69 or 68 today and be right up there. But, you know, still pretty decent. I'll take it after how everything started. I just need to get my thoughts straight and just play a good weekend.

Q. Just thinking about you're four back going into the weekend in second place, what's the mindset? I know how badly you want a major.

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I think I want it as badly as anybody else. It's just same old thing. Just go out there, be as patient as you can be. Try to play the best you can. You know, if you get into momentum where you make a couple birdies and you're able to hit the ball the way you want to, you know, just keep yourself out of trouble, that's what you've got to try to do. That's what I'm going to try to do this weekend.

Q. Are you more comfortable in majors, being up on the leaderboard going into the weekend now?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yes, for sure. Yeah, I've been up there, and I know what it feels like. You always want to be on the leaderboard in the majors because you know that usually it's tough to shoot good rounds. You don't want to be too far back. So good round tomorrow and I'll be good.

Q. Do you subscribe to the theory that it's difficult to follow a really low round like Vijay shot today with another good round the next day, or do you think that a player like that, when he gets on a roll stays on a roll?

SERGIO GARCIA: I'll tell you tomorrow after he finishes. (Laughter.)

That's tough to say. I'll say that a really low round in a major takes a lot out of you, but you can still go out there tomorrow and shoot 69, and then that's a great round.

So, I don't know. It all depends on the player, too.

Q. Have Olazabal and Seve offered you advice on how to play this course?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, they did a couple of years ago. I took their advices, but now I think I'm old enough to know what I have to do. I know what feels better for me on this golf course, because sometimes somebody can tell you, you know, you should play this way or you should try to hit this kind of shot, and you don't feel comfortable with that one. But, of course, you always remember some of the comments they give you.

Q. Do you remember some of the advice they gave you?

SERGIO GARCIA: Of course. I mean, everybody always told me, them and everybody, to be really patient on this golf course. If you can try to keep it below the hole as much as possible, you always are usually in good shape.

Q. The course favors a higher ball flight, and with the rain it's playing obviously longer. Do you find yourself maybe forcing a tee shot to get it around a corner? Are you working harder to get more distance because you're not getting as much roll?

SERGIO GARCIA: To tell you the truth, I don't really get too much roll on my ball. So everything that I do is in the air. Just hitting normal.

Q. Just wondering your thoughts on Mr. Palmer closing out his era today.

SERGIO GARCIA: Quite amazing, isn't it. We are on the ninth hole when he just teed off, and I -- you know, just listening to that ovation they gave him on the first, I was getting -- what do you call, chicken pox? (Laughter.)

Q. Goose bumps.

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, so it's -- what he's done has been unbelievable -- and you know, to be able to play for so many years and the way he's done it, it's quite impressive.

I just hope to be in that same position one time.

Q. This course is tough enough in your early 20s -- what about 72?

SERGIO GARCIA: That's why. That's why he's not playing anymore, because, I mean, to tell you the truth, I don't think he can reach the 18th hole today. It has to be frustrating because we know how Arnie is -- he doesn't like to make bogeys. We know he likes to pull the shot, even if his chance of doing it is not good. Doesn't matter how old or his age, he's always trying as hard as he can. So, to see how long the course is right now for him, it's got to be a little frustrating, unfortunately.

Q. You've said you would like to lead both tours on the Money List; is that accurate?

SERGIO GARCIA: For sure, yeah. If I win this week, I'll be leading both Money Lists, after this week.

So, yeah. I think so. I really feel like I'm playing well enough to do it, but I said it since the beginning of the year. I know it's really tough so, don't get me wrong, I'm going to try my best, but it's a really tough thing to do. You know, if you set up yourself to -- if you set your goals to be as high as possible, you're going to get as close to those ones as you can get. The more you ask from yourself, the more you can get out of yourself.

You know, I said that if I win one of them, I'll be happy. But two is the goal.

Q. To follow-up on that, you're trying to win both; how much is that dictating your schedule for the next few weeks? I know you're playing over in Hilton Head next weekend, for example.

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, well, I'm trying to win both, but I've still got to get rest and live a life, too. So it's not like I'm going to play every week, because I don't feel that's the best way of doing it and I won't be able to play my best golf, either.

I have a rough schedule, but I will try my best. I will probably play about 18 or 19 here and about 11 in Europe, so we will see what comes out of there.

Q. Your drive on 9, what was the rule and what happened?

SERGIO GARCIA: The ball was embedded -- it was plugged on the mud there on the right. So just took a drop.

Q. How many drops did you get?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, from the fairway, I got a lot because it's a lot of water --

Q. On 9?

SERGIO GARCIA: Just one. Well, the thing is, I dropped, and the ball kicked -- you know you've got to drop the nearest point from where the ball was. So I dropped and the ball hit about a foot left of the pitch mark and it rolled into the pitch mark. So I got to redrop.

Q. If I'm doing my math right, Sergio, I think in 50 years, you'll be 72; correct?


Q. Now, looking at him on the TV, does that blow your mind to think that in 50 years from now you could play this course?

SERGIO GARCIA: I tell you one thing, I hope I look as fit as he does when I'm 72. That's the first thing. (Laughs).

But it will be nice. It will be nice to see myself doing something like that. Just got to work on it.

First of all, I've got to win this tournament so I can come back.

P. DAN YATES: Sergio, thank you very much.


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