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September 28, 2005

Sergio Garcia


TODD BUDNICK: We thank Sergio Garcia for stopping in at the 2005 Chrysler Classic of Greensboro.

Sergio, your first time around the course here, but not your first time in Greensboro. Back in '98 as an amateur, you played the Nike Greensboro Open and finished third there as an amateur, I believe.

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, as you said, I did play here in '98. I have good memories from that tournament. I remember, I think it was the first tournament, second tournament where I met Joe Ogilvie. Nice, good friend of mine. I remember that I think he won that tournament.

I'm looking forward to this week. I had a chance of playing the course today. It's in very good shape. It's a nice looking golf course. I'm looking forward to go out there and hopefully play well.

TODD BUDNICK: This year you picked up your sixth career win on the PGA TOUR at the Booz Allen Classic and then a month ago one on the European Tour in Switzerland at the Omega European Masters. Give us a summary on the success of your season this year.

SERGIO GARCIA: It's been a good season. I feel like I played very well. It's a shame I haven't putted a little bit better the first probably seven months, six months of the year. But, you know, the game is there. My putting is definitely coming around. I feel more comfortable now. So it's just a matter of keep working on it and keep going on the right track.

Hopefully I can have a good finish of the season. I still have five or six tournaments left. I'm looking forward to do something good in those.

TODD BUDNICK: Questions.

Q. What made you come play here this week? What was kind of the factor of you playing here this week?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, first of all, I heard very good things about the tournament. Mark, he's told me very good things about it. Golf course, I heard very good things about it, too. I watched it a little bit on TV. Unfortunately I haven't been able to fit it in the schedule before. But this year, with the American Express being in San Francisco, me coming all the way from Europe, I thought it was a good chance for me to come and play a couple weeks. I had the chance of playing here. I'm going to do that. Hopefully we can fit it in the schedule a bit more often.

Q. Do you think there should be any type of rule about making guys play every tournament every five years or something like that? There has been some talk outside of the TOUR of that being part of the new schedule. What do you think about that?

SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know. It's a very difficult thing to do because, for example, me, there's obligations that I have in Europe, too, that I have to play some tournaments there. I like to play some of the tournaments in Spain because it's, you know, my home country. Also, for example, to play the Omega European Masters, I have obligations there. It puts a lot of pressure on the player to try to get away from those to be able to play a different tournament here in the US.

I think it's a really hard thing to do. Probably not the best thing to do for the players. We try to play as many as we can.

Q. If I remember correctly in '98, you didn't speak English very well. You seem to have conquered the language.

SERGIO GARCIA: Still don't (smiling).

Q. How did you do it?

SERGIO GARCIA: I've improved. I definitely didn't speak English like I do now. I got better and better as I played more often here. But, you know, I try at least. That's the way you learn.

I remember, I have good memories from that tournament. I remember it was a great week. My brother was with me that week. We had a tremendous week. It's been fun. Thankfully I've improved on my English a little bit.

Q. Do you remember anything specific from that week?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I remember, of course, that I finished third. I think Joe won. The other thing I remember is that I almost made double eagle on the par 5. I remember I hit driver, sand wedge just downhill, downwind, par 5. I killed it. Then I think it was on 17 I hit it over the green, cart path, went to the next tee, I think the 18th tee. I don't know if it was 16 or 17.

Q. 16.

SERGIO GARCIA: 16, yeah. I went just over the green, hit the cart path, went to the next green. I was ready to play. They told me it was out of bounds. Unfortunately I didn't win because of that. Those are a couple of things that come to my mind.

I remember Joe made a double eagle that week.

Q. Happened right about the same time. When you were across the road I think is when he hit that double eagle, two holes behind you.

SERGIO GARCIA: I think so.

Q. That was the whole tournament.

SERGIO GARCIA: I remember, I was tied for the lead at that moment or something like that. That's the way it goes.

Q. You're the biggest name here this week. Does it feel different this week from any other week?

SERGIO GARCIA: No, not really. As I always say, it doesn't matter who's playing the tournament. Winning a tournament is always difficult. Doesn't matter who you are or who's playing in it. I don't think there's any difference on that.

You know, it's nice to be the highest ranked player in the tournament here, but it doesn't mean the tournament is mine. I still have to go out there and perform well, play well, stay calm. There's a lot of good players here. It's not going to be easy. I got to try to give myself a good chance of winning.

Q. What do you think about the fall schedule in general? Is it important to you? Can you see why they want to change it?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, I can see what they want to do . It seems like a pretty good idea. The fall finish, it is important to all of us, there's no doubt about it. For me playing both in Europe and America, I like to play towards end of summer and towards the fall, I like to play a bit more in Europe because I have some nice events around my country that I enjoy playing, that I can get some friends come and watch me, things like that. That's always enjoyable.

But, you know, I still try to come and play two, three, four events in the fall. There's some really good events in the fall. I try to give it the best shot I can.

Q. What have the players heard? What do you think they're going to do?

SERGIO GARCIA: They don't know yet. We'll see what happens. They're looking at different things.

Q. Your fellow countryman Seve Ballesteros has won twice here or once.

SERGIO GARCIA: I know he's won once.

Q. Do y'all play a lot together?

SERGIO GARCIA: We used to, yeah. We don't that much any more in the past four, five years, mainly because I'm travel ago lot to the US, he was maybe playing in Europe. Now he's kind of lifted out a little bit, we really don't get to see much of each other.

He's an unbelievable player. He's always played the game of golf with a lot of charisma. It's a really nice thing to see. It's a shame that he's had those back problems. That's kind of put him away from the game a little bit. He's definitely a player that has given a lot of good things to the game of golf.

Q. Do you expect the scores to be low tomorrow in particular, then what for the rest of the week?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, we'll see. The weather is supposed to be good, so hopefully the course will start drying up. The greens will start drying up. These greens, they're really tricky. If they get firm, some of these pins are going to be very difficult to get to, and you can have some really tricky putts.

Hopefully that happens, the course is going to show his teeth. If not, it's going to be a little bit easier. But still shouldn't be like a 25 or 26 under par win it.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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