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ABU DHABI GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP

January 18, 2006

Sergio Garcia

Pre-Round

SCOTT CROCKETT: Many things for coming in, as always. Welcome and happy new year to you.

SERGIO GARCIA: Thank you. You, too.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Tell us about the start of the year, you played in the Mercedes, pretty successful there, Top 10, how is the game shaping up for this week?

SERGIO GARCIA: Got here yesterday morning, was an exciting trip but no Mercedes was a decent start. I wouldn't say it was a great start, but decent for being the first one. Looking forward to take a good look at the course today. I heard good things about it, so it should be fun to play. I heard it's in very good shape, too. So hopefully we're going to have another good week here.

SCOTT CROCKETT: You're a man that plays around the world. You must be looking forward to playing somewhere else in your golfing season.

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, I do play in Dubai, Qatar, '98 I went there, but I've never had the chance to play here in Abu Dhabi and I'm looking forward to it. It's been fun so far and hopefully I can make it a great week.

Q. What are your ambitions for the year?

SERGIO GARCIA: Just keep getting better. That's the main goal. I'm working hard on my game and just if I keep improving on every part of my game, then I will achieve good things. That's the main reason.

Q. Do you change your schedule in any way around the Ryder Cup?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, fortunately for me, I mean, I'm not on the team yet, but I'm pretty close. So I know that you have to play decent and I will make it by myself, and that's the main goal. Hopefully I'll be able to achieve that soon, and you know, after that, then I've just got to keep playing and get ready for it.

I'm really looking forward to it. Ryder Cup year is always exciting. So hopefully we can have another good one and be ready for The K Club.

Q. Why did you choose Abu Dhabi to play?

SERGIO GARCIA: Why not? It's fine. I guess now at the beginning of the year is probably not the best time to get on some of these long trips, but, you know, you feel a bit more energetic, you have a bit more strut in your step. It's a good opportunity, I heard very good things about it, and I was looking forward to it. I think it's a great test for me to come and play in this part of the world.

Q. Were you in Switzerland at Christmas?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, I went and spent Christmas with the family, that was great. My brother and my sister and their little boy and I did a bit of cross country skiing. It was my first time, but I really enjoyed it. I wish it would have been a bit longer but I didn't get much of an off season. You know, I'm playing three tournaments now, and I'm going to get a little bit of a rest to get back ready for the U.S. Tour.

Q. No more downhill skiing?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, it's too dangerous. If you don't do something when you're out there in the snow, you've got to do something. Cross country skiing is really not dangerous, and it's also a good work out. So it's a great way to kill two birds with one shot. I really enjoyed it, so I'm looking forward to coming back next year and keep improving. Yeah, more than anything, breaking is the toughest part.

Q. Looking at the World Rankings, you are only a few points away from the top three?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, it's a good chance to see if I can putt a little bit I feel like my game has been improving every year and I've been working really hard on my short game. So if I keep doing that and doing like I usually do, it's a good chance.

But you've got to realize that the guys who are in front, they are also going to have good years because they are great players, and you cannot expect them to do it. But hopefully it will be a good one for me.

Q. The top guys will be the ones to beat in the Majors again I suppose/

SERGIO GARCIA: Pretty much the same. You always have a couple of guys that maybe you don't expect that come around in the majors, but you always have to look at the same guys, and hopefully yourself, too, and give yourself a good chance. That's the least you can do, give yourself a good chance on Sunday and if it comes around, perfect. If not, just keep learning from it.

Q. Which major do you think you have the best chance in this year?

SERGIO GARCIA: Hopefully all four of them. I'm really looking forward to come back to Medinah. I think that's a great experience for me, and I start thinking about '99 and all those kind of things. I really feel like the way I've been playing through my career, the Masters and the British Open I like the most, I think the U.S. Open is the one that I've performed the best. So I feel comfortable on U.S. Open courses and I usually play well on them, so I'm looking forward to see what I can do at Winged Foot.

Q. A lot of people have said that you're a major waiting to happen, a major winner waiting to happen, but still being a young man, does that frustrate you?

SERGIO GARCIA: No, not at all. I just turned 26 years old, so I'm getting older, but I'm still fairly young. I'm not really worried about it. I do want to give myself the best chance possible, keep improving in my game. I know if I do that, I'm good enough to win, hopefully more than one. Just got to keep working on it and believing in yourself.

Q. Are you going to go to any of the courses to look at the changes?

SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know. I haven't been there the last two or three years and the weather has not been great. We'll see, depending how it goes.

Q. Why do you think European players have not won more on the U.S. Tour?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, you have Olazabal who has done well on the U.S. Tour and I've been pretty fortunate there. You have a good amount of players that have won there and have been fairly decent; Clarke comes to mind.

But you have to realize it is not that easy playing Europeans against 120 Americans, something like that. So the odds are not in our favor when we play in a tournament there. But still with that, we manage to get on and do fairly well. And you've guys like Adam Scott that he's Australian but international players, and Stuart Appleby and Vijay and those kind of guys. It's not easy. But I think we still manage to do fairly well.

Q. Is it a culture thing?

SERGIO GARCIA: I wouldn't say so. I just think it's a numbers thing.

Q. You realize that Medinah will be talked in with regards to you, it will raise the question, you did so well then, why haven't you won a major championship yet, which isn't your favorite subject

SERGIO GARCIA: I don't care. I really don't.

Q. How are you going to deal with it?

SERGIO GARCIA: Same way I always do.

Q. Which is?

SERGIO GARCIA: Not bother.

Q. But again and again and again?

SERGIO GARCIA: I don't care. You can keep asking me as many as you want and it's always going to be the same. And then when I win one, then the question will probably be: When are you going to win your second one?

So I'm not really bothered about it.

Q. Are the swing changes you worked on a couple of years ago completed?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, you still try to tinker with things and try to keep getting better, but the main thing was done a couple of years ago.

You've just got to look at my game the last two years or year and a half, how much my game has improved and my long game and consistency on it. I think that now I'm working hard on my short game, trying to improve it and get it to the same level as my long game is. So if I manage to get it somewhere close there, we're going to do a lot of good things.

Q. Will you play the European Open considering it is where the Ryder Cup is being played?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, but it's not the same course. I heard it's not the same course, so we'll see.

Q. It may be played on the same course for the Ryder Cup inaudible?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, then we'll see. That would be a huge difference. It can make a huge difference.

The same course where we're going to play the Ryder Cup, it will probably be a huge boost to make an effort and go play, no doubt about it. If it's on the other course, I'll think about it.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Sergio, many thanks. Good luck this week.

End of FastScripts.

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