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June 23, 2001

Sergio Garcia

HARRISON, NEW YORK

NELSON LUIS: We'd like to welcome Sergio Garcia into the interview room. Thank you so much for taking time out after you have already been let go for the day. Currently tied at the top of the leaderboard at 7-under. Obviously you have had some good success here last year and now again playing well. Maybe some of your thoughts.

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, yes, of course it's always important when you come back to a course that you have done well and you feel comfortable on it. So I think that's probably what has happened to me this week after a hard week like a U.S. Open always is, kind of gets you pretty tired and everything. But I hit some good shots; made a couple of good putts and more than anything I haven't been making too many errors. That's always important on these kind of courses.

NELSON LUIS: We are going to have about ten minutes or so then we are going to be bringing in Slugger White. Let's get to the questions.

Q. Would you mind going over what you did this morning when you came back?

SERGIO GARCIA: I finished yesterday on 10. I hit a great drive probably to seven, eight feet for eagle missed it. Today parred 11, parred 12, then I hit a pretty good shot on 13, spun it just off the green just short chipped it in, and then I didn't hit very good shot on 14, right, 3-putt for bogey. 15, I hit a good drive, hit middle of the green with 7-iron 3-putted again. Made good up-and-down on 16 from the right drop and I was able to finish with two nice birdies on 17 and 18. It was great to finish that way after making a couple of bogeys in the middle of the round.

Q. How long were the putts on 17?

SERGIO GARCIA: 17 I had 10 six yards. Hit very, very little wedge so the ball would not spin to probably about 6, seven feet, made it. Then on 18 probably another six feet.

Q. Do you look at this tomorrow as I got to be leading at the end of 54 holes in case of rain?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yes, well, of course, you always try to be leading after every round. But tomorrow of course you have to have it in the back of your mind just in case when you are -- whether you are able to play the whole round tomorrow and so Monday it's only to finish our rounds or something like that or we can play Monday. You have got to be aware of that. But you still got to go out there and play the best you can and not try to think, you know, you still got to go out there and try to play your best. And of course try to be in the lead. If not, try to be as high as you can.

Q. Have you ever faced any conditions like this before, situation where you have been rained out?

SERGIO GARCIA: There have been some tournaments where of course there has been a lot of rain and rain delays and stuff like that. We had it this year at Phoenix Open and but not really where, you know, we are almost thinking about playing Tuesday. It is kind of weird to think about that. But of course we have had some tournaments where it has rained a lot. I didn't play Kemper, but I think it was really 5:30 in the morning or 5:15 in the morning for five straight days. So it's not very nice. But you just got to take it the way it comes and try to be awake and play well and try to do as I have been doing for these couple of days.

Q. I know everybody is -- how difficult is it to keep your rhythm going with all these stops and starts and suspended rounds?

SERGIO GARCIA: It is tough. It is not easy because you like to get your rhythm going, as you said and play some holes and then you just get it going. So for example, for me or Scott Hoch, and Gabriel, it has been kind of tough because we played first day at 8 in the morning. We played 17 holes then we come back yesterday, we play one hole, then we waited for like 10 hours; went out there again; played ten holes and go back to sleep. Come back today at 7 in the morning again, play eight holes, go back to sleep, and take a little nap. You think you are going to come out again and play then all of a sudden it is cancelled. So it's not easy, but you just got to realize that it is almost the same for everybody. Just got to try to play well and do as Scott and Gabriel and I did, post some good scores and be up there.

Q. What do you do the rest of today?

SERGIO GARCIA: I am going to go to the -- I am going to work out a little. I am going to go to the movies, just relax a little. I am going to have a little more time to sleep tonight so I am not teeing off at 7 o'clock in the morning tomorrow.

Q. What movie?

SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know. I like to go watch the Fast and the Furious.

Q. After you played so well here last year and then after you got the double-bogey on 11 and then you finished third, I think, any extra incentive coming back here this year after becoming so close last year?

SERGIO GARCIA: Of course. Of course it is because I really felt like I should have won that tournament and if I would have known that I was leading by 3 instead of by 1 as I thought, you know, probably would have just hit it out there, hit it on the green probably make 5 and try to hang to my lead. But that's the way it goes sometimes. You have got to realize that. Probably gave me more strength to come back this year and try to do well again. It's a course that I like. I feel comfortable on it, and played well last year and I have been playing well for these first two rounds.

Q. Still looking for your first PGA TOUR win does that--?

SERGIO GARCIA: You are little late. (Laughter).

Q. First in New York.

SERGIO GARCIA: Yes. First on the East Coast.

Q. Can you talk about the string you have been on the past month or so, you have been really played well. Talk about your confidence this last month and a half.

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, it has been great. I have been working pretty hard with my dad and for the last -- since the Byron Nelson I have been playing well. Also the Spanish Open it was really nice week too. I played really, really well there too. I putted horrible. The greens were pretty bad. But other than that, since there, I have been playing really well, really good golf. I felt comfortable. I more or less know how many I am going to hit the ball every time. I have been putting a little better too. That's what this is all about, try to play well, make a couple of putts here and there and you give yourself some good chances of winning. That's what I have been doing lately. It is just great to be able to do that and just hoping to keep doing the same thing for the next 25 years.

Q. What was the driving force behind your decision to play on the PGA TOUR almost full-time instead of playing in Europe?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I still play in Europe. I still play full-time in Europe, 11 tournaments, something like that. But I have always said it, this is, I think -- well, for sure it is the greatest Tour in the world. It is the toughest Tour in the world and if you want to be a No. 1 player in the world or as close as you can get to it, you got to play here because I have always said that in Europe having seven seasons better than Colin Montgomerie is really tough. For 7 straight seasons No. 1 there and winning five, six, seven tournaments a year and being ranked No. 3 in the board, think I you can't get to that. I think that this is the place to be and if you -- for me I feel like if I want my golf to raise to a level that I want it, I have to play here.

Q. I assume you want to make the Ryder Cup feel.

SERGIO GARCIA: Of course.

Q. Would you change your schedule at all in order to make sure? Second of all, having been to Brookline a few years ago, do you expect any represent percussions in Europe at Belfry after what happened last year?

SERGIO GARCIA: About the second question, you can never -- as a player I can never -- I can never tell because I am not a spectator. I am sure that, you know, that the players are going to be as gentlemen as they are and they are going to be good on the golf course. You can never tell what the crowds are going to do. I hope they will behave and they will be good crowds. You don't know what is going to happen. About the first question, of course that this year I have talked to Sam Torrance already and if I am not able to make the Ryder Cup team by playing well, Loch Lomond and British then at the PGA, if I play well those two or three tournaments I will be able to play NEC .If not then I will have to come back to Europe and play probably BMW to try to get my spot on the Ryder Cup team.

Q. Only real change you would make is that one tournament maybe?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, maybe one, two at the most, yeah because you know, -- I still think that with the ones I have I should be able -- as well as I am playing I should be able to make it.

Q. When you have the lead or a share of the lead like you do, how much would -- if the tournament were reduced to 54 holes, how much does that play to your advantage as far as reducing the amount of guys to catch up?

SERGIO GARCIA: Of course it plays to my advantage and Scott's. There is no doubt it's like if we were leading after 54 holes, it is just one round to go. But it is not that because you don't know if it's going to be 54 or 72. So I still think you got to go out there, try to play your best and try to be leading off course after tomorrow if we are able to finish. If not, it's a 74, try to finish your best and high as you can. If you are not leading after tomorrow just hope for some good weather tomorrow.

Q. Since the 1999 PGA there has been some talk that you are the one guy who could have a career rivalry with Tiger. Are you flattered by such talk? Do you like hear such talk?

SERGIO GARCIA: Of course it is great, but I have always said that you can't only focus in one or two guys or three guys on the Tour. There's a lot of great players. I think that if you only focus on one or two guys you are not showing any respect for the other guys because I think they deserve as much respect as anybody else. Maybe they don't win as much as some other players, but they are still great players. To be able to play on this Tour it's not easy and you have got to realize those things. But of course, I feel happy about those comments and that stuff, but at the end you still got to go out there and play well. If you don't play well, all those comments, they are not worth it.

NELSON LUIS: Thanks for your time.

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