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March 16, 2001

Sergio Garcia


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: We'd like to thank Sergio Garcia for joining us. Good round today.


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Maybe a couple comments on your round and we'll go into some questions.

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, as you say, it was a very good round. I've been playing these two days really well. Putter has let me down a little on the front nine, like the first through nine yesterday, it was my back nine. But other than that, you know, I'm really happy the way I'm hitting the ball. I'm hitting my irons really well, and, you know, it's good to see that even with the wind, you're able to make six birdies on the last eight holes like I did. So, you know, I'm happy with that and hopefully I'll be able to keep playing this way.

Q. You started fast yesterday and then gave some of it back but kept it going today?

SERGIO GARCIA: The thing is yesterday I started really well -- I started really well. I made a couple really good putts on the first like five holes and then I went to the back nine, from 1 to 9, and I kept playing really well. I made two pars on 1 and 2. And then on 3 I hit it probably about six feet for birdie; missed it to go to 5-under. Then on 4, I hit 3-iron just over the green on the bunker. Hit it from there to about probably four feet; missed it again. Then on 5, I hit it probably about five feet again. Hit a really good wedge and missed it again. So, I went to the 6th hole. Probably that's, you know, experience and patience will make me learn, but I went to the sixth hole and it was quite a bit into the wind. So I knew I had to keep it tight left to get home in two. So I tried to keep it left and I hooked it -- well, I drew it just a little too much and hit it probably a yard or yard and a half in the water. So then I had to re-hit and missed a short putt for bogey. I played the pretty well after that. Next hole, hit it to about five feet and missed it. So I just couldn't make any putts on the book nine yesterday. But my game has been really good. I'm really happy after L.A. where the last three rounds I barely could hit the ball. I didn't -- I couldn't feel like I was able to control the ball as I usually do. But, you know, today and yesterday, I think I hit 13 greens with the wind. I missed three greens by probably a foot. And today I hit 15 greens, a par 5 in two, and, you know, I think that's pretty good stuff.

Q. What did you do in the intervening period to bring about the transformation?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I went back home. I practiced a little bit on my backswing and with my dad. I changed the irons, too. I got a new set of irons. Well, I had them for like two years but I haven't played them, Titleist comes, some forged (inaudible) Titleist clubs. I started hitting them two weeks ago and I really like the way I was hitting them. The ball flight was really good with the wind. They were really, really nice. I decided to put them in the bag and it looks like they are working really, really well.

Q. Why have you not used them in the two and a half years?

SERGIO GARCIA: Because, you know I was playing 990s and I was hitting the ball so well that I didn't feel like I had to. But, you know, I've been thinking about changing them, changing to these ones, but I never really did it. So, you know, I hit some balls in Australia with Adams clubs that are the same as I'm playing and I started really liking them, and I thought, well, I might give it a try.

Q. Have you used these before?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I played with Mizuno's, and more or less the same thing.

Q. Now, you were second in the Australian tournament?


Q. Did you change after that?

SERGIO GARCIA: I changed after L.A..

Q. You normal only shave your head after you've won something.

SERGIO GARCIA: This is a funny story. I cut my hair at the Phoenix Open and I really like the way they cut it. They cut it like pretty short on the sides and a little longer here. It was like one and two. So I really liked the way it was. So I came back to Spain. My hair was a little long so I said, "I'm going to go cut it." I went to where my mom and me, we used to cut our hair and the guy who usually cuts it to me was sick. So I tried to do the same thing, but it didn't work as well. So when I came back home, my dad said, "I think you'd better take it all off." So I just did.

Q. Does your hat still fit?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yes, it does. It's perfect.

Q. Can you take us through the birdies on the back nine, Sergio?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, on 11, I hit a very nice cut drive. Then I had 156 to the hole. I hit a very nice wedge to about five feet. Made it. Then on 12, I kind of pulled it a little with the driver. Then hit it with a 3-wood, pretty tough shot. Just under the tree. I had to get it up and the pin was tight left. I had a pretty good shot from there to probably about 18 feet. That's probably the best I could do and I made that putt. Then on the next on 13, I hit a nice cut 3-wood. I hit a very nice knock-down sand wedge from 112 yards to probably about six, seven feet and made it. Then I bogeyed 14. Then on 15, I hit a good drive in the fairway. I had 158 to the hole. I hit a hard knock-down 8-iron to about three feet. Then on the next I hit another good drive to the middle of the fairway. Nice cut 3-wood to the middle of the green, 240, just middle of the green and two putts. Then on 17, I hit a great 7-iron from -- no. From 206 yards downwind. Hit a very good sand iron to about, probably, ten feet.

Q. 18?

SERGIO GARCIA: And 18, I hit a great 3-wood and I had 156 to the hole. Tried to use just a normal wedge. I didn't feel like I hit a bad shot, but probably we didn't get the wind as we thought it was. We thought it was straight down and it was a little on the left, and I cut it a little on the wedge. And the wind it took it blew it, just came on the rocks and hit it out of the rocks on the green and two putts.

Q. What did you think of the European Tour's decision regarding what happened in Australia?

SERGIO GARCIA: I haven't heard anything.

Q. Would you care to give your side?

SERGIO GARCIA: I still have to do that. It's okay with me. I mean, if we have to talk and see what happens and make everything clear, let's work it out. No problems.

Q. When is the last time you played eight holes in a row without a par?

SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know.

Q. A lot of circles and squares?

SERGIO GARCIA: Probably never. Hopefully -- well, I was hoping it to be all circles.

Q. What's your opinion about all of the talk about the new Titleist ball? What do you think about all of the talk that you hear from the other players?

SERGIO GARCIA: I think it's great. I'm a Titleist guy so I think it's beautiful. And I tell you what, nothing about that is a lie. I think we are all -- you can ask all of the guys who play Titleist play the V1, I think they are all happy with the ball, the way the ball is doing and reacting to our game. I think we are all really happy that we have the chance of playing with this new ball. You know, it's something that Titleist did really well there.

Q. What would be the one thing that you learned most about last year that you can correct or put into practice this year?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I learned how to be a little more patient. I still have to learn more, but that's one of the things. You get some experience. You realize that, you know, you don't have to take it as, you know, winning or dying. You've just got to take your time. If it doesn't come, it will, and if not, you know, I can live with it. But I just think if you just stay loose and don't try to put too much pressure on yourself, you'll get those chances and, you know, you have to win. If you're up there playing well at the end, you have to win either because you do well or because they give you a little help. So, you know, that's what I have to realize and just keep trying that. I mean, anyway, you can still be a great player without winning. I think Davis Love has showed that for two and a half years almost or something like that. Now, you know, he's trying to win again. That's great to see. But it's not so easy to win. It's a lot harder than what it looks and there's a lot of guys who play really well.

Q. Do you still feel like the youngest guy out here? You've been out here a while but you're still the youngest guy?

SERGIO GARCIA: No, not really. Adam Scott is a little younger than me.

Q. But he doesn't play over here?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, but he will. Actually, I don't feel like the youngest guy. I've played for two and a half years here, and, you know, I feel like -- when I look around, of course, I look around at all of the players and I realize that I'm the youngest. But mentally, I don't feel like one of -- like one of the youngest.

Q. Do you enjoy interacting with the crowd during the course of a round?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yes, well, of course I like to -- just, I think it helps you to forget between shots, to forget a little bit about golf and stuff like that. So if I see somebody I know, I like to say hello or ask her or ask him how is he doing or stuff like that. But, you know, certain amount of time, I'm not going to be on the crowds talking to all of them and then running to the fairway to hit my shot and then going back. But, no, if I see somebody, I like to at least say hello.

Q. Do you find it easy to turn the concentration on and off?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yes. I find it -- the thing is, I think that golf it tough enough. You don't want to make it even tougher. You want to get to the shot. Concentrate that probably three or four minutes as much as you can, hit the shot then talk to your caddy or talk to somebody and just relax, because, for example, for me, it doesn't work like I can be concentrated for four and a half hours. I think that's too much for me. That's what I try to do. When I try to -- when I get to the ball, I try to concentrate as much as I can there. I try to see my shot. Try to hit it and after I hit it, I like to relax a little.

Q. When you went home to work with your dad on your backswing, what were you working on?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, more than anything, in L.A. i was kind of swinging it -- instead of going around, I was going like straight up, and, you know, my shoulders were not turning as well as they should. So, you know, it was kind of like -- I don't know how you say it in English, kind of like this. I was finding it really hard to hit my cuts that I usually hit with the irons. So I'll hit like pulls and suddenly I push it way right and stuff like that. So we just try to work a little on that. You know, it was really nice.

Q. What's your long-term feeling about your golf swing? Are you going to stay with this or are you going to try and customize it change it?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I don't know. You can look probably at the PGA '99 and you can look at the swing now in tapes and I think it's different. There's a lot less lag. My swing is a lot more like around and together. The thing is, I know it is going to take time, but I think little by little it will be fine and it will get to a point where there will be almost no lag or no lags and it will be fine.

End of FastScripts....

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