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WGC ACCENTURE MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP

February 21, 2002

Sergio Garcia

CARLSBAD, CALIFORNIA

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Sergio, for joining us. Great day out there. It looked like you were having a great match.

SERGIO GARCIA: It was very hot, too. The winds changed and it was a pretty hot day.

You know, it was a good win. I think that Charles and me, we probably played some really good 13, 14 holes, and then after that, we got a little -- I don't know, kind of hard to say. A little shaky, I don't know, something went wrong. You know, we started missing fairways and if you miss a fairway, it's tough with the wind and everything, to be able to hit it on the green and to hit it close to the pins.

But I hit a couple of good shots coming in on 17 and then on 18 from the rough and I was able to win.

Q. That match, you were both 22 years old, do you think this could be the beginning of a battle for the next few years?

SERGIO GARCIA: For sure, I hope so. He's a great player. More important, he's a beautiful person and I really like hanging out with him. He's a great guy to be with. You know, we always have fun together. I would like to play with him later in the week, but, unfortunately it was in the second round.

Q. Have you ever played him when you were a junior in match play?

SERGIO GARCIA: No, not in match-play. I think we played once or twice in medal-play tournaments, but never match-play, though.

Q. When people talk about the youth in golf, which they have been doing a lot for the last year, they tend to forget you're 22, and they forget about you and there's been a lot of attention thrown Charles' way. Does that bother you at all?

SERGIO GARCIA: No.

Q. Seriously, were you aware of that? Did you notice that there's been a lot of focus on Charles and you're kind of a forgotten young man?

SERGIO GARCIA: More than anything, I think because I'm not new on the Tour, so you guys probably don't consider me a young man anymore. So that's probably why. But he's been playing great. He's been doing really good things. The only thing missing is winning. Other than that, he's been playing some great golf.

You know, doing my little things, too. Hopefully, you guys still notice. But he's a great player and he's going to be there for a long time.

Q. You said you had a goal of winning the European Money List, do you think this tournament would be a good start?

SERGIO GARCIA: What do you think? (Laughs).

Of course it would be.

Q. So many of the top seeds lost today, are you surprised and are you aware of that; that they are all falling by the wayside?

SERGIO GARCIA: Actually, I didn't realize until -- I saw that David Toms won on the leaderboard, but I saw that Goose lost and Ernie lost and Davis lost. But I didn't think about, what you said, about the Top-12 seeded players.

Q. Is it so balanced, is that the reason that there's really not so much difference in the Top-64?

SERGIO GARCIA: Match-play, it's even less. Because, as I've said many times, if you get a good round, as you can always do, because even the No. 1 player in the world is not going to shoot 64 every day. You know, if you are unfortunate to play with a guy that shoots 6-under par or 5-under par and you have a normal day, you shoot a couple or 3-under par, you're out of here. That's the beauty of it.

I mean, to win these kinds of tournaments, of course, you have to play well, but you have to be a little lucky. Because you can have one or two bad days, and if you have that day -- if you're playing with a guy who is playing a little worse than you, that's when it counts.

Q. As the top seed remaining, do you feel like a favorite now?

SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know. Of course, I like my chances, there's no doubt about that. You know, I think Toms is playing very well, too, and there are guys who are playing really well. You know, I think that if I'm able to go out there on the range and get a little nice feeling on my swing and being able to work the ball a little better than I have been doing these couple of days, then I really see myself with a good chance. Because I feel like I'm hitting good putts, and all of the greens are a little bumpy and a little tricky, I feel like I can make putts. If I feel like I'm able to do that, I can do okay.

Q. Do you feel like your chances are better now than Tuesday?

SERGIO GARCIA: Of course.

Q. Because you are through now to Friday's round, because everybody is gone, Duval's gone, Tiger's gone, Mickelson's gone?

SERGIO GARCIA: A little bit of both. Of course, if I keep going, my chances get better and better. (Laughter.)

Q. Thank you.

SERGIO GARCIA: Because, you know, the big guys aren't there, it might be a little better. But you've still got to realize that all of the other guys who are playing and who beat the big guys, they are good players. And they beat them playing well.

So, you can't say, well this, guy, he's 55th on the World Rankings, so it's going to be a piece of cake. No, it's not going to be. You know that it can be a really tough match so you've got to realize that.

Q. TV kept showing a certain tennis star in the gallery.

SERGIO GARCIA: Who?

Q. Martina.

SERGIO GARCIA: Oh, was she? I didn't see. (Laughter.)

Q. Are you all friends?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah. I guess she likes golf.

Q. Can you elaborate on that? Are you more than friends or what?

SERGIO GARCIA: I'm here to talk about golf. (Smiles).

Q. Go over your thoughts when you're over the ball, when you don't hit the ball after all that stuff, when you don't hit the ball -- it doesn't seem that there's any sort of pattern over how many times you do your thing; is there a certain thing --?

SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know, I just know that I'm going to pull the club up and hit it. I don't really focus too much on that.

Q. I mean, are you aware that that's what the people in the gallery, other players -- I mean people are like watching what you're doing and kind of wondering what you're doing?

SERGIO GARCIA: That's okay. Keep wondering.

Q. What was working today for you?

SERGIO GARCIA: To tell you the truth, I really started -- I started very well. Just out of the first tee, I started with two birdies, same as yesterday. Then Charles got a little back. But I think that through the first ten holes, I played quite well, and although I was only 3-under par, I could have been maybe a couple more.

You know, after that, he played two great -- two great holes, 11 and 12, and got it back to all-square and missed the short putt on 12.

Then, you know, being able to win 13 -- if I would have made the putt on 14, I don't think it would have got to the 18th because it would have kept my momentum going. But I missed that putt. I gave a little opening to him and then I made a stupid bogey on 15 and it just looked like it was going up a little.

Then the putt on 16 was crucial.

Q. How long was that putt?

SERGIO GARCIA: It was probably about, I'd say, six feet maybe.

Q. And the one on 18?

SERGIO GARCIA: About the same. Five or six feet.

I actually thought I got it on 17. It looked like the ball was going to go a little right and at the end, like a foot short it went just a little left and just missed on the edge.

But, you know, I was able to do it on 18.

Q. So your irons are pretty good?

SERGIO GARCIA: Some of them were.

I hit some really good shots and I hit some shots that I have to work on.

Q. Is it more significant beating Charles because he is one of your peer group, because you are friends and you are about the same age?

SERGIO GARCIA: Of course, I'm happy because I won, but it's sad because he's a good friend of mine. As I said before, I would like to play him later on in the week. But it's going to happen, and unfortunately, we had to play today. At least we were able to play together, so that was good stuff.

Q. So what are you focusing on thinking when you're over the ball? You never look up or look at the target --?

SERGIO GARCIA: I do look up a couple of times. I'm really just trying to see my shot and to feel comfortable.

You know, this week, I haven't been really that comfortable over the ball. So probably I'm taking a little more time than usual, yeah. But just trying to get a good feeling for the shot and then trying to do it.

Q. Have you always done this?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, sort of.

Q. And other players are like, "if I'm over the ball for ten seconds, that's too long." Has anyone ever back in the old days tried to get you to stop doing that?

SERGIO GARCIA: No.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Sergio, for joining us.

End of FastScripts....

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