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U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

June 17, 2005

Sergio Garcia

PINEHURST, NORTH CAROLINA

Q. It's a new look, the new you.

SERGIO GARCIA: The older you get, the younger you want to look.

Q. (Inaudible).

SERGIO GARCIA: Nothing. I'm going like Tiger tomorrow.

Q. Yesterday you said being near par was a little bit better (inaudible).

SERGIO GARCIA: Definitely. I feel very happy about my round. I felt like I played very solid all day, probably just a little bit better than yesterday. I am disappointed because I missed I mean, I three putted 15 from eight feet and three putted three from about the same distance, missed three little short putts. But other than that, I feel good about it. I felt like I played very smart, hit a lot of fairways, hit a very good amount of greens, and I only went for the pins when I was feeling good about it. If not, you know, I was just trying to hit middle of the green and try and make a 4, make a par and then go to the next, and I think I managed to do that fairly well today.

Q. (Inaudible).

SERGIO GARCIA: Around even par? If I finish even par for the tournament I would win by more than 1, I would think. That's my guess. I really think about 2 or 3 over is going to win this thing. The course is not going to get any easier. You're grinding it out to try to shoot even par, 1 over, 1 under, so it's going to be tough. You've got to realize that.

You know, even with the couple things that happened to me today, I felt like I hung on nicely. I felt like I didn't let down, so that's nice to see. I was just waiting for the right moments and I was happy to see those two birdies on the last three.

Q. More than one guy has talked about wanting to see a little bit of moisture tomorrow. Would you like a little bit of a shower for Saturday to make the course a little easier?

SERGIO GARCIA: No, not at all. I think this is supposed to be tough. It's the U.S. Open. It's the toughest test in golf, and I think the USGA has done a good job. The course is in immaculate shape. The greens were just a little bit faster today, so they were just a hair trickier.

As I said on Tuesday, I think it was, the only complaint I have about the whole course is the bunkers. There's just way too much sand. It happened to Jim today on 9; he hits a shot that is probably just a couple yards left of where it should be and gets a plugged lie and he has to do well to make a bogey. That's a bit unfortunate with these greens. But other than that, I think they're doing a great job with the way they're setting up the whole course.

Q. How much does it tell you that you birdied two of the last three coming in after having had to grind the whole way?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, it's great. I mean, some days you finish better than others, and today was a good day. Yesterday I was pretty fortunate to finish pretty well, too, the last five or six holes. I'm just hoping to keep that going. I feel good about my game. I feel good about my putting. I think that it's improved a lot, and I still felt like I putted fairly well today, even with the pressure and everything. So that means a lot to me.

I'm just hoping to keep it going. I've just got to keep doing the same things, and if I'm able to do that, hopefully we'll be here on Sunday having a chance.

Q. How long was that putt, that last putt?

SERGIO GARCIA: On 9? That was probably about I want to say 18 feet, 19, 20 feet.

Q. Is there a difference in your confidence this year as opposed to the last two years? Obviously you won those two years leading into the Open, as well. Is there anything different this year?

SERGIO GARCIA: No, no. I was confident last year. It was just too hard to play last year on that Sunday round. I feel pretty much the same.

I do feel a bit more comfortable with my swing. I can really believe in it a bit more than maybe I did four or five years ago, so that's a great thing. You know you're there, coming in, to still be able to hit good quality shots like I did on the last couple of days means a lot, so I've just got to keep it going the same way.

Q. What kind of momentum did you bring in this week after winning at Congressional?

SERGIO GARCIA: Only one kind of momentum, good one. As I said at the beginning of the week, the confidence about last week, it's great, winning on a tough course like Congressional is, but once you get here, it's a brand new week, and you never know what's going to happen, you never know how your putts are going to go, and you never know how you're going to feel on the course. There's only one hole that I don't like, and that's the 12th hole, but other than that, I just kind of feel comfortable. But other than that I feel good on the whole course.

Q. Does it say anything that you and Luke and Adam in particular, 20 something, fairly young guys, are playing well here?

SERGIO GARCIA: I think it's great. I think it's awesome. Both of them, Luke and Adam, they're good friends of mine, and I'm always wishing them the best. Adam shot a pretty solid round today again. Luke is doing well starting from yesterday. So I just hope that we all three can be up there on Sunday. It'll be great to not only to have good players playing for you, but to have some of your friends. You know, when one of your friends wins and you don't, it makes it a bit easier to take.

Q. Could you define your particular dislikes about 12?

SERGIO GARCIA: Just pretty much the tee shot.

Q. It doesn't set up well for you?

SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know, I can't handle it (laughter). You know, I tried to hit a little fade and hit it right. I tried to hit a little draw and hold it with the wind and I hit it right. I mean, I've hit it every day from Tuesday on, I think I hit it in a five yard radar. All my divots are there just over on the right.

Q. Somebody earlier today said that the last four holes, not the ones you played today, but the last four holes on the course, 15, 16, 17, 18, were not built for the shots they're asking you to make this week. Is there something in that?

SERGIO GARCIA: I wouldn't say so. 15, we all know that that green is maybe just a hair too much. I mean, hitting a 5 or a 4 iron into that green, that might be pushing it a little bit.

16 I think is a great hole. You have to draw it. It's really tough to hit that fairway with a fade. You know you have to draw it, it's asking for a draw, and if you don't hit it, unless you bounce it on the left side of the fairway you're never going to hold the fairway, so I think it's a good driving hole.

17 is a nice little par 3.

And 18 is just a wonderful par 4. You've got room to drive the ball. The fairway is shaped in a nice way that you can hit a nice fade and it holds there. I could see it a little bit on 15 because of the green, but other than that, I think the finishing holes are awesome.

Q. 16 asks you for the longest approach iron, doesn't it, on the course?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, it probably does, on a par 4. But there's a couple par 3s that you're hitting a lot of club into them. But it's a green that for example, I hit a soft cut 6 iron today. You can hit that green with a 6 iron. I mean, 15, you have to hit a really good shot to hit that green with a 6 iron. I think that's the difference.

Q. How far was the chip in on 18?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I didn't count, but I'll say probably 100 feet, probably about 30 yards, something like that.

Q. You drove it in the left rough?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, just about five feet into the rough on the left and didn't catch a great lie. I tried to muscle it out of there.

Q. What did you hit there on the second shot?

SERGIO GARCIA: 9 iron, tried to get it just over the bunker and came out a bit soft and just went over the bunker and I just hit a wonderful chip.

End of FastScripts.

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