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June 12, 2005

Sergio Garcia


TODD BUDNICK: Welcome the winner of the 2005 Booz/ Allen Classic, Sergio Garcia. Congratulations.

SERGIO GARCIA: Thank you. It's been great. I had a great week all week. I felt the course has been playing up to my game as the week go on, as it got a bit firmer. I had good a beginning. I was hitting really, really soft shots. It's an amazing course, and I said that at the beginning of the week and it has not changed.

The back nine is probably the best nine holes in a row I've seen in my life. I'm just happy that I had the pleasure and the chance of playing here and even better to become the champion.

TODD BUDNICK: This is becoming kind of a trend for you. Six Tour victories, three of them before the U.S. Open Championship. Any thoughts on why that happens?

SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know. They should just move the U.S. Open one week earlier (laughter). It's one of those things. There's nothing to it. I've always felt it's one of the tournaments, one of the majors I have a chance of winning because of the way it is set up.

I guess I have had the chance of playing great courses the week before the U.S. Open, Westchester twice and also here at the Congressional. It is the tougher courses I feel good playing. I feel I can roll the ball nicely on the greens. I'm definitely looking forward to next week and hopefully I can get it going like this week and give myself a chance.

TODD BUDNICK: You lead putting averages this week.

SERGIO GARCIA: That's the first in four years.

TODD BUDNICK: You did lead the Buick after two. I heard you had a little tip earlier this week.

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, Adam, unfortunately, finished second. Adam was talking to my caddie, Glenn, and they were talking about how they were playing. And of course Glenn was saying he's hitting the ball well but putting so so. He told me a little tip that he used, because he didn't used to be a good putter but now he is one of the best, I think, and I really enjoy watching him putt.

He gave me a tip that he used and I've been using it this week. Of course it helped. Hopefully my stroke will get better and better. The main thing, just a little tip, it makes you think better. It makes you think like you can make the putts. You're standing over the putt thinking, This is going in, this is going in. And sometimes you don't even have to stroke it well, you just make it with your mind. It definitely helped and it's something I'm going to keep working on and hopefully I can keep getting better and better.

Q. That's the one thing you mentioned this year that's been lacking in your game.

SERGIO GARCIA: Yes. Unfortunately, for the past, want to say, three years, it's been my downside. The week where I putt more or less okay and I have a chance of winning or I win, like this week, for example, but some of the weeks it feels like I can't make putts. So hopefully I'll try to get away from that, and the week will be a bit more like this one.

Q. The one thing everybody would like to do is make more putts, which is the drill exactly. Adam said it was not looking at the stroke, but looking at the hole, but he doesn't describe it.

SERGIO GARCIA: Mainly it was hitting short putts, two, three footers and keep rolling it in. Don't worry about the stroke or anything, just worry about seeing the ball going in the hole and getting in your head that the ball is going to go in the hole, It's going in the hole. It's going in the hole.

You get to longer putts and you just see the ball going in the hole. It's what I told you, the last couple of rounds this week, I was standing over a little putt thinking, This is going in. It didn't matter the length or the difficulty of the putt, I knew it was going in and I could see the ball going in. I was freeing up my stroke and stroking it really nicely, perfect, and I did make the putt.

Q. (Being mechanical)?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yes, I went through the mechanical thing with my putter. I used to be kind of like "aiming a bit right and hooking it a little bit" kind of guy. I've gone away from that. I'm a lot more down the line. I have the ball more in line. It's just a matter of believing yourself and trusting your stroke and believing that you're going to make it. Standing over the putt, knowing you're going to make it and if you do that you end up making the putt.

Q. Adam was talking about what happened to him on 17. Could you take us through? Did you see what happened to him before your shot on 18? What did you know at that point?

SERGIO GARCIA: He actually hit it in the water after my tee shot. I hit my tee shot, a beautiful 8 iron to the right. I knew I was leading by two at that moment, but and then after we were walking down, we heard the people, "He's hit it in the water." But I looked back to 17. I didn't know he was on the right side of the fairway, and I was standing on the left side of the fairway, just in the rough and he was standing the same way. Light pants and blue shirt, and I thought maybe his partner hit it in the water. So I was trying to stay focused and get the last one up and down.

But somebody said he hit it in the water and we saw him drop it. So that gave me a bit of relief. And I knew he had to do something special, even if I made bogey on 18, to tie me. He had to chip it in and birdie the last hole, and that wasn't playing easy.

It's a shame, because he's a friend of mine. You don't want to wish him badly, but it just shows you the course was playing tough coming in. And even as we were playing well, it's easy to, if you let yourself down, your guard down a little, you make bogey.

Q. Your second shot at 17 spun back nicely, but how close was it to being a worry?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, as soon as I hit it I knew it was going to I didn't think it was going to be that close to the back of the green. I think it flew it probably was, I want to say, four feet from bouncing just on top of the hill and going over. The course is a little bit tough and it checked nicely. I stroked it nicely and I hit a great putt. And I thought it had to break, and the same thing happened to Zach. The putt looks like it's going to break, but it doesn't, and fortunately I won. It was good enough.

Q. I believe you said on TV that you had the Wachovia ghost flying through your head on the 18th.

SERGIO GARCIA: Yes, it's a very similar shot to the one on 17, and it was one less club, but I'm thinking the right shot is the middle of the green and try to hit a little draw in there. I could see the guys going around, saying what's going on. I was like, no, I'm just going to try to hit it at the pin and cut into the middle of the green and I just came out of it. It turned out right this time, but it's not the way I like to finish.

Q. Sergio, your dad was out there today. Is he like your good luck charm? He said he's seen six of your victories. What percentage of your victories has he been here for?

SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know if he's seen all six. I think he's seen all six on the PGA Tour. I know he didn't see the end of my first one because he had to take a flight because he was playing the next week, he's got his card on the Senior European Tour. This is something he's wanted to do since he was little. And it makes me happy seeing him play. And he's had a couple of good results. It's fun to follow him on the Internet and things like that.

Q. What does that mean for you? Does that calm you don't a little bit? Does that ease you a little bit knowing he's there supporting you?

SERGIO GARCIA: Every time you can get family and friends to come and watch you play, it makes it that much more special. You're on the course, you always got someone that you can look for. Off the course you've got someone that you can go to the movies and just go to dinner and things like that with. It kind of eases you up for the week.

I'm fortunate to have my dad here this week, of course Carlos, he's always with me, Glenn, my caddie and good friend, and another friend, a footballer, soccer player, from Barcelona. His name is Gerard.

Q. Sergio, you're on everybody's short list of players that will eventually win a major. What is your approach going into next week? Where does winning a major fit into your thinking? Are you feeling pressure about winning one?

SERGIO GARCIA: No, not at all. I feel pressure winning tournaments because that's what we do. Coming down the stretch, I wanted to win. I was feeling good. I know that it's just a matter of having the right week. I guess it's easier to win a normal Tour event, head wise, mentally wise. You play 18 or 20 events throughout, you have a better percentage of winning. The majors, if you don't play well that week, it's over.

I'm not worried at the moment. I know that I'm pretty sure it's going to happen. I don't know when, but it's just a matter of time. I'm just going to wait for it and be calm on the course and let it happen.

Q. Were you there at Pinehurst in 99?


Q. Have you been there and seen the course?


Q. This week will be the first time?


Q. How does it set up for you?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I don't know. I still have to go out there and see it and see how I feel on it. As we all know, at the U.S. Open, driving the ball is huge. If you feel comfortable on the tees and you feel like you can hit almost every fairway, it makes it easier. On that course it's going to be bigger hitting the fairways and having distance control, because if you hit it from the rough every time, with the undulating greens, it will just run off all over the place. It's going to make it really difficult. Hopefully I'll like what I see and I'll feel comfortable and play my best golf there.

Q. Everybody in golf enjoys the idea of the Big 4 or Big 5. Do you and Adam ever talk about adding to that a Big 6?

SERGIO GARCIA: No. We haven't talked about that. I guess we don't care that much.

Q. Do you ever think about it?

SERGIO GARCIA: I think that we both know how well we can play, what we can achieve. That's good enough for us. It's great to be recognized and to be in those groups that you guys like to make. At the end of the day, the most important thing is having it here, believing in yourself. The only guy that can help you out on the course is yourself. If you don't believe in yourself it's going to be tough every.

Q. First 10 holes today, you're 7 under, where would that rank in combination of putting and ball striking in your career. It's about as good as it gets, isn't it?

SERGIO GARCIA: I guess the Wachovia first round was quite impressive, too. I think. I don't know, they were both good. I think I played a little bit better at Wachovia, the first nine holes, because I hit a bad drive on 10.

Other than that, I think the first 12 holes today were really good. I was 7 under. I hit a really good hot shot on 11. I spun it too much and left it short on a good line.

12, I hit it 12 feet and hit a good putt; unfortunately, missed it left.

Missed a really short putt on 2, a 4 footer for birdie.

Other than that, every shot was pretty good. Every shot was close.

I hit it probably 12, 15 feet on 1.

I hit it tight on 4. I hit to about three feet.

Hit about 18 feet on 6, for eagle.

About six, seven feet on 7 for birdie.

Made a nice par on 8.

Probably about six feet on 9.

Probably about 12 feet on 10. I was hitting it close all day and it was nice to see myself rolling the ball and seeing the ball. I just couldn't miss. Every putt was it didn't matter what I did, it was going only one place. It's nice to get that feeling back. I just have to keep it up.

Q. Even the ones you missed the line you picked

SERGIO GARCIA: The one on 2, I just pushed it a little bit and it lipped out.

The one on 12, I hit a good putt.

The one on 11, I left it short.

15, I pulled it. I had a bad putt there.

Q. Seve had a habit of playing extremely well before the Open. He won at Westchester a couple of times and came close at a few Opens the next week and didn't quite do it. Would it mean more to you to be the first person from your country to the win the tournament?

SERGIO GARCIA: It would be amazing. Any time you can help your country grow and get more known and be a part of history, it's something special. I have to go one step at a time. I was fortunate to win this week. Next week is a brand new week. I have to get back in my game, hit the ball well, putt well, chip well. So it's going to be difficult, but I'm definitely looking forward to it. I'm confidant, but we'll see what happens.

Q. Are you taking tomorrow off or are you going straight down?

SERGIO GARCIA: No, I'll probably go tomorrow.

Q. You talked about following your dad's results on the Internet. Do you sometimes find yourself almost as interested as what he shoots as you, considering how much it means to him?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yes, definitely. Every time I look at what he's shooting and stuff there's been a couple of times I have to practice and I'm pushing it, he's got three holes to go, we'll wait 30 more minutes and see what he does.

It's nice. For me, I know how much he's wanted to I mean as a youngster, I know how much he wanted to play on the European Tour and things like that. And to see him now as a Senior playing on the Senior's European Tour, and they have a nice little group with a couple of good friends of his that go and play the tournaments. I think everybody is just happy. You can see he's happier. You can see he's doing what he loves, playing golf, and also watching me and coaching me, but what's important is he's doing something that he loves doing.

TODD BUDNICK: You gave us the putts, but what did you hit in there on one?

SERGIO GARCIA: Driver, sand wedge from 106.

4, good drive down the middle, chipped sand wedge from 100 yards.

6, good drive again, hit a nice 4 iron from 221.

7, par 3, I hit 8 iron from 163.

9, I hit another good drive, 3 wood, hit it short of the green in that little collective area, chipped it to about five, six feet, maybe.

10, another good drive, nice cut 6 iron from 186 to about 12 feet.

Bogey on 15. Driver, 5 iron out of the rough, 131 yards, tried to hit a little 9 iron, came out of it, hooked it and hit it just up the green. Hit a very good chip, I thought it was going to be closer, probably about 5 and a half, six feet. Unfortunately, I pulled it.

16, I hit a good iron down the fairway, 8 iron from 163, downwind, hit it to about 22 feet left of the hole.

18, I hit a beautiful push, slice, shanked 8 iron (laughter), anything you can get in there. I just pushed it right with my 8 iron, didn't get a great lie, tried to chip it with a sand wedge and kind of got the grass a little bit and 20 to 16 feet left of the and 2 putted.

TODD BUDNICK: Congratulations.

End of FastScripts.

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