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January 31, 2004

Sergio Garcia


JOAN ALEXANDER: Thank you, Sergio, for spending a few minutes with us here in the media center. Great round today. You played real well out there, and right now you've moved up to third place. Why don't you make a couple comments.

SERGIO GARCIA: Yes, we'll see how we finish, but we should be up there probably in the top six or seven hopefully. It was a good round. Unfortunately, you know, I feel like I left a couple of shots out there, but I kind of made up a little bit on 18. I made a nice birdie there and made up for those couple three-putts that I had on 12 and 13. Other than that, the game has been very solid the last two days more than anything, and I'm just looking forward to playing tomorrow and seeing what we do.

Q. When the leaderboard is as packed as it is right now, what is your approach going into tomorrow?


Q. Any different at all?

SERGIO GARCIA: No. There's only one guy that can finish on the top, so that's the goal. You just go out there and trust yourself, try to play well and get off to a good start and get yourself up there on the leaderboard. If you manage to put yourself up there, the people start seeing those things, and it becomes a little bit tougher to score well, so that's what we've got to do.

Q. Do you think this is a good sign for you with your new swing to have this consistency now?

SERGIO GARCIA: I wouldn't say this tournament now because the first round I didn't play well at all, but I think I played very, very well at Sun City. I played extremely well in Japan until Sunday unfortunately. Probably one of the best tournaments I've played in a long time was American Express last year. Unfortunately I putted like a coward, but other than that I think the game was spot on.

Q. You mentioned you left some putts out there. Where were those?

SERGIO GARCIA: I had a good front nine. I hit it very close on some of the holes. I started very well. Then I had a good chance on 10, probably about a 12-footer, and I missed it.

Then on 12, I three-putted, missed about a two and a half, three-footer probably.

Then on 13, I hit the middle of the green in two, and I three-putted again. I hit it a bit too hard with my first putt and hit it six feet by and missed it.

Next hole I hit it to about eight feet and missed it.

Next one, middle of the green and two-putted.

16, I almost made hole-in-one, hit it six feet behind the hole and missed it. It was downhill left to right. Looked like it was going to break quite a bit. I thought, make sure you hit it, and I hit it through the break.

Then on 17, I hit it very close with a driver, I hit it to about 25 feet, two-putted that and made a nice putt on the last hole to finish the round.

Q. How far do you figure 17 was playing?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I know I flew my drive 307, so I probably had 313 to the hole, 312.

Q. How close it to going in on 16?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, the ball flew about two feet behind the hole, but it was straight in line, so it kind of just hit and stopped.

Q. You've played this golf course before. Is there anything playing really different about it other than the yardage?

SERGIO GARCIA: Definitely. 9, I hit a 7-iron. I hit a great drive and I hit a 7-iron. Duffy Waldorf missed his drive a little bit and hit a 4-iron. That's a hole we're used to hitting sand wedges in. It was definitely a lot easier.

Then 6, it's not that big of a difference because now you hit the driver, you still hit sand wedge in, but it brings the bunkers more in play.

14 and 15 are huge differences. 14, we used to hit wedges into that green, too, and today I hit a great drive and I hit 7-iron to a front pin. If you get it to the back, you're almost hitting a 5-iron, and I'm not a short hitter.

Q. Do you like the changes that have been made?

SERGIO GARCIA: Definitely. It makes it a much better driving hole. You have to hit the driver off the tee. Before we used to hit 3-wood and a 5-iron. Now you have to hit a really good drive, and today I hit 4-iron, yesterday I hit 4-iron, too, but the first day I hit 2-iron. If you get a little breeze into the wind, you're hitting a 2- or a 3-iron into that green, and it makes it definitely a lot tougher.

Q. They moved the tee box on 15 to the front. Does that make it easier to be able to go for it?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I hit the same club I hit yesterday. It definitely gave us probably ten extra yards. I still would have been able to go for the green if the tee would have been farther back. Probably instead of hitting a cut 4, I probably would have hit a cut 3 or a big 4, so it didn't make a bit of a difference. But for some players they're still not going to be able to reach.

Q. (Inaudible).

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I'm actually loving them. I think that golf is supposed to be tough, and you don't want to be -- I think some of the pins are really challenging. They're tough but they're fair. I mean, they're really close on some of the edges, but they're not in a big slope or anything that you can't stop the ball. I think the pins on the first round were very tough, were very nice and very tough, and yesterday were a bit easier, and today they were quite good, too. I think they're mainly quite challenging and that's a good thing.

Q. (Inaudible).

SERGIO GARCIA: We'll see. It all depends if the wind comes up a little bit and the weather is clearing up so the greens are going to get firmer, the fairways are going to get firmer. It's going to be tough to hit the fairways and greens, so it all depends.

It's a course that if you're hitting the ball well, you can score, but if you struggle a little bit, it can be really, really tough to get things going.

Q. Have you found your stride well enough to win tomorrow? Is your game consistent enough?

SERGIO GARCIA: I definitely think so. I need to get a bit more consistency with my putting, but it all depends what the winners finish at, but if I'm three or four shots back, I definitely think that there's a chance. I mean, I think I missed three greens in the last two days and I hit four or five -- I hit the par 5s in two and a par 4 in one, so the game is definitely there.

Q. What is the state of your putting? Are you trying new teachers?

SERGIO GARCIA: Not really. I've just been working quite hard for quite a while. The good thing is I have the -- the important thing is I have it set up. I'm not worried about that. I know my strokes are good. I like how the ball is rolling, it's rolling nicely. My setup is the right way. I'm aiming more or less where I want to. It just comes down to confidence, just trusting the line, trusting the putt and trusting the speed.

Q. You're your own putting coach or is your dad?

SERGIO GARCIA: My dad and my caddie have been helping quite a bit with some of these things.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Sergio.

End of FastScripts.

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