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THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

July 22, 2006

Sergio Garcia

HOYLAKE, ENGLAND

STEWART McDOUGALL: Ladies and gentlemen, Sergio Garcia, 65 for 12 under par and leading in the clubhouse.

Sergio, 29 out. What were your thoughts on a very tough course?

SERGIO GARCIA: It was just keep it going. I thought another 29 and I'd be in the top.

No, I was very pleased the way I played all day long, even though on the back nine I only managed to make one birdie. I felt like I struck the ball very nicely, very solid all day. I had a lot of very nice shots, controlling my trajectory. Unfortunately I would like to make a couple more putts on the back nine. But the greens were a little bit tough; they're getting quite crispy and quite brown and it's tough to get the right speed all the time.

Q. Would you talk about that amazing second shot on 11, what kind of shot you had

SERGIO GARCIA: On 2 or 11?

Q. Weren't you in the left rough on 11?

SERGIO GARCIA: I'm sorry, I thought you were talking about the hole out. Yeah, I was had an okay lie. I knew the ball was going to come out just a little bit hot with very little spin. I had 125 yards to the hole and the wind was into a little bit on the left, I think. I just kind of back footed with a lob wedge, my 58 degree. And I knew I needed to bounce it short of the green, to not be too far behind the hole because that green just runs away from you.

And as soon as I hit it I knew it was pretty good. It always bounces a little bit left there. I actually don't know how close it was, but it looked really close and then unfortunately didn't make the putt. But it was still a pretty nice shot.

Q. Can you talk about the amazing shot on 2?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, on 2 I hit a very nice tee shot with my 5 wood and then I had 167 yards, I think, to the hole. The wind was just off to the left, maybe a touch of help, but not much. I just cut it cut a nice 9 iron, a good solid 9 iron there. As soon as it came out it looked really good. I was hoping for it to be the right distance and hopefully have a kick in birdie. It's always nice when you see it go in like that.

Q. Obviously you're in very good position right now, depending on what the leaders do. Can you just talk about in your mind whether you feel it's time for you to win a major and whether you'll think about that all tonight as you go to bed?

SERGIO GARCIA: Not really. I think what I'm going to do or at least try to do tomorrow is go out there and try to do the same things, just enjoy it as much as possible, just try to commit to all my shots if I can, and whatever happens.

I'm hoping that also you've got to take a look at the day, but if it's like it's been the last three days I'm hoping to go out there and hopefully post a good number and see if it's good enough. If not, at least give myself a chance. We love being in this position. It's where we enjoy it the most. And today was a thrill with the people and all the cheers coming into the greens were just amazing.

Q. Given the way that your year has gone, it's been not great, not bad, and then you come across some back issues. Did you come into this major with perhaps lower expectations of just wanting to go play and not really consider it's a major, time for you to win, with all the things that have gone on before?

SERGIO GARCIA: Maybe a little bit, maybe because yeah, I did have those back problems on that little stretch at Barclays, U.S. Open and unfortunately Booz Allen. But fortunately for me I recovered nicely and I was able to have a couple very nice weeks of training back at home, practicing and trying to get my game in a better shape than it was for the past maybe month and a half or so.

So I just did that, and last week I felt like I played nicely for a couple of rounds. I had two rounds that were okay, two rounds that were I felt like I struck the ball nicely. And I came in this week just hoping to keep getting better. That's what I've been doing every day. I hit the ball nicely on Thursday. Yesterday I felt like I played pretty well on the front nine. Then on the back nine I lacked just a little bit of trust in a couple of shots here and there and it cost me a couple of bogeys.

But today I really hit a lot of good shots. Back nine always playing into the wind, it doesn't play that easy, and I felt like I was hitting the shots the way I wanted to and playing smart, some holes like 12 and 14, not going for too much, but still giving myself good chances for birdies, and that's what it's all about.

Q. When is the last time you struck the ball this well?

SERGIO GARCIA: Probably third round at TPC.

STEWART McDOUGALL: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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