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WACHOVIA CHAMPIONSHIP

May 6, 2005

Sergio Garcia

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

CHRIS REIMER: Welcome, Sergio Garcia, to the media center. 71 today, 7-under for the tournament. You probably hoped to shoot a little bit better today, but you still have to be happy with where you're at.

SERGIO GARCIA: Yes. Well, since you asked, as well as I played yesterday, of course you always come out there thinking, "Well, let's see if I can do something similar." But the course was playing a bit tougher today and it was a lot windier. Some of those fairways are almost impossible to hit. You get a dogleg left with left-to-right wind, holes like 5 and some others, it's almost impossible to hit those fairways.

It felt good to go out there and manage to keep most only making two bogeys as tough as it was playing and make a couple birdies here and there. I missed a couple good chances at birdies, but my putter behaved a little bit better, that's for sure, and I made some key par putts to keep my round going a little bit.

Q. How hard was the wind?

SERGIO GARCIA: It was pretty hard.

Q. Talk about it because it seemed like watching players out in the middle of the fairway, trees are thrashing around and the pin is dead still.

SERGIO GARCIA: It was tough. I mean, you've just got to realize holes like 9 and 18, I mis-hit my drive just slightly. I mean, they're tough drives, and mis-hit them slightly but still hit them in the fairway. I'm hitting 3-wood into 9 and 2-iron into 18. It was pretty much just like playing six par 5s instead of four.

I don't know how hard it was blowing, but it was probably, I don't know, 20, 25 miles an hour easily. You know, that's probably two-club wind, two-and-a-half-club wind, and you get the trees, so it kind of swirls around.

It happened to me on 16, I hit a great drive and I'm standing there with a 9-iron and I have 164 yards, wind down to the left and I hit a great shot straight at it, I'm thinking probably going to be 15 feet short of the hole, and the wind switches a little bit, goes left-to-right and short of the green. I managed to get up-and-down, but sometimes you're posing thinking, "Wow, what a shot," and it makes you look a little stupid.

Q. Any other holes like that where it shifted right in the middle?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I don't know, I think we got it pretty well all day long. There were a couple times where it was tough to guess some of those things. I don't know, third hole, for example, I thought I hit a pretty good shot with a 7-iron to 154 yards I think I had, and the wind was into the right, and I was 12 or 15 yards short. It's tricky, but the most important thing is to somehow get around and make pars on a lot of the holes.

You know if you're hitting the ball well and you're driving the ball well like I am, you're going to get some birdie chances. If you manage to keep going on those tough holes and making pars and you make a couple putts here and there with those birdie chances, then you're going to post a decent round that's not going to take you out of the tournament.

Q. Your best two rounds of the year, Sergio?

SERGIO GARCIA: No. I played well today but I didn't hit the ball nearly -- I wouldn't say I didn't hit the ball nearly as well as yesterday; I wasn't as committed as I was yesterday with most of my shots. At the beginning of the round I lacked a bit of commitment in some of the shots, although I still hit good shots, just slightly off, and it made me struggle a little bit.

But on the back nine I hit the ball pretty well. With the conditions and everything -- I think China, for example, two weeks ago, it was blowing harder than this. It was blowing twice this hard as I was striping it down the middle and hitting it straight at the pin. I've been hitting the ball well. It's just a matter of just making a couple putts here and there and getting your round going a little bit.

Sometimes it feels like you're playing well but you can't get anything going and it's kind of like you have to force it.

Q. What do you mean by not being committed?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, probably you're not being 100 percent committed on the shot, just thinking, "Well, is the wind going to get it" or things like that. I mean, the shots were good. For example, on 2 I hit a good shot. It was just a couple yards left of the hole, and it went in the bunker. I hit a couple bad bunker shots. That one was a tough bunker shot, but then on 5 I had an easy bunker shot and I thinned it over the green and managed to make a great 5.

It's tough. When the wind is blowing so hard, and mainly on those left-to-right winds, it's hard to just get there and commit to the shot you want to hit because you're thinking you want to hit a draw, and you're thinking just don't come out of it because this thing is going 100 yards right.

Q. Sounds like it's strictly the wind that's teasing you a little bit?

SERGIO GARCIA: Definitely, yeah.

Q. Why is that little par 4 on the back side so difficult? You were nearly in the water twice. You made par, but -- is it 14?

SERGIO GARCIA: Nearly in the water twice?

Q. Well, you hit your drive left.

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, it's 14. I hit a great drive. Unfortunately the wind just took it a little too much. If that ball is three yards farther right, it probably was on the green or just on the fringe. Unfortunately it was just three yards too far left and it bounced way left and it almost went in the water. It was probably about six or seven yards right of the water, so it wasn't really that close to the water.

And then I thought I hit a great shot for the second, thought it was going to be four or five feet left of the hole, and it bounced a little left and started rolling, rolling, rolling, but it was fine. It was only about 12 feet from the hole. It never looked like it was going to go in the water.

But it's playing tricky. With so much wind, any hole, it doesn't matter how short or long it is, it's playing tough.

Q. Shooting 71 today, are you at all surprised that you're still ahead by 2 at this point?

SERGIO GARCIA: No. I mean, you can't believe how tough it's playing out there. I thank the Pope, it rained last night. Thank God it rained last night because if the greens would have stayed as firm as they were yesterday with this kind of wind, we probably would have had some trouble with the balls moving on the greens, and then it would have been almost impossible to hit some of those greens.

Q. Can you talk about your playing partner Jeff Sluman?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, he played awesome. He played very well yesterday. I mean, he started a bit shaky the first three holes yesterday, but then he hit a really good shot. He almost made a hole-in-one on 13, and from then on, he's been striping it down the middle and made a couple nice putts here and there. Unfortunately he just had a bad finish. Those holes are playing so tough. He didn't even hit a very good shot on 17 and made bogey, and then on 18 I thought he hit a great drive and it was just a touch left and it bounced left and rolled into the water and he managed to make a good 6. He played well, and if he keeps hitting the ball like that, the way the course is playing, he's going to be up there on the weekend.

Q. Back to 14 for a second, did you notice the left side was shorter, left side of the green was shorter than it was last year?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah. I mean, instead of being rough it was kind of like first cut. I did see it, but it didn't bother me much because I had probably about a 55-yard shot. I knew the ball could have just hit on the green and rolled off. Something weird had to happen.

Q. Is this a course, or at least these two days, that has essentially tested every part of your game?

SERGIO GARCIA: Definitely.

Q. You can't sneak around and --

SERGIO GARCIA: Definitely. You have to be hitting the ball so well to hit these fairways. Some of these fairways, as I said before, are almost impossible to hit. That 4th fairway, it's kind of like a little dogleg right and the fairway slopes a little right to left, the wind is down on the right. You have to hit a perfect cut just left of the bunker to hit on the fairway. The 5th hole you have to hit a perfect drive, bounce it almost in the left rough to keep it on the fairway.

Some of those fairways are really difficult to hit. But it's a fun course. You know, you have some really tough holes, you have a couple short ones that you can get something going, but still, the shots around those greens are very challenging.

It's a fun course to play, and the way it's playing, it's just playing great to test your whole game.

Q. Do you have fun while you're out there or is it fun when you look back at it?

SERGIO GARCIA: No, I mean, I had a great group. Both Jeffs were great. They're good guys, and we kept ourselves happy and trying to enjoy it as much as possible. The way it's playing, you can't get down on yourself and start thinking too much about it because it's just going to hurt you more. You make a bogey, you've just got to realize, well, what can you do? It's going to happen, and you've just got to try to keep it up. You try. You try as hard as possible to have fun.

Q. Did the greens get faster during the day, and what are you anticipating with the warmer weather for the weekend on the putting greens?

SERGIO GARCIA: Normal weather?

Q. It's going to be 80s and stuff like that, so the sun will be out.

SERGIO GARCIA: Is it going to be windy? Well, you never know. It depends. If it blows, the greens are really, really slick. They're really fast, quite firm. It's going to be tough.

Q. Did they change much for you today, the beginning of the round to the end with the wind picking up and the sun coming out?

SERGIO GARCIA: No, they were pretty similar. As I said before, it rained last night, so it softened them up a little bit. Not a lot, but at least you could control some of the shots. It's going to be tough. Unless it's absolutely perfect weather, there's not going to be a whole lot of really good rounds out there, I think.

Q. How anxious are you to win again, and is there a certain period of time that will pass from your past win where you'll start to press and become cognizant of how long it's been?

SERGIO GARCIA: Not at all. I'm looking forward to that. That's why I keep coming out here every week. But I'm not too worried about it. The most important thing for me is to keep getting better. I feel like my game is there, I feel like I've improved a lot on my long game.

I really think that my short game is becoming much, much better every week. So I think I'm on the right track. I would love to win this week, but if I don't, it's not going to be a problem. At least I'm giving myself chances. That's all I can ask for; give yourself chances of winning. Sometimes you come through, sometimes you don't. That's what it's all about.

Q. Do you think you've been fairly consistent this year? Are you happy with your consistency?

SERGIO GARCIA: Game-wise I have, yeah. Short-game-wise, I haven't. I'm getting better. That's what I'm looking forward to, because I feel if my short game hangs on and it keeps improving, I really feel like I can do some really good things. Unfortunately I've been struggling a little bit with my short game for quite a while. It seems like finally I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

CHRIS REIMER: We'll go through your club selections on your birdies and bogeys. You started out with a bogey on 2.

SERGIO GARCIA: On 2, yeah, I hit an 8-iron, pretty good shot as I said before, just hit a couple yards left of the hole and just bounced on the edge of the green and went in the bunker, hit a bad bunker shot to about 12 feet and missed it.

Then on 7, I hit a pretty good drive, just a little right of the fairway, tricky lie in the rough. I hit a 3-iron just a little left and hit in that bunker, greenside bunker short of the green. Hit a very good bunker shot to about five feet. Made that for birdie.

Had a good opportunity on 8 from about six, seven feet, missed that.

Then on 9, I hit a good drive, mis-hit it just a little bit but down the middle, hit 3-wood from 243, tried to hit a cut 3-wood and hit it just a little right of the green, hit a bit too hard with my chip, just over the green, and had a pretty makeable chip and I just missed it left.

Then on 12, I had another good drive down the middle. I hit a nice little punch drawing 7-iron just a hair too much, but it just caught the slope of the green, and I went to about six feet and made that.

15, I hit another good drive down the middle. I hit a good 3-wood just in the front bunker, hit a good shot, a bunker shot, probably a 12-footer, made that.

That's all.

CHRIS REIMER: Thanks, Sergio.

End of FastScripts.

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