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U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

June 12, 2003

Sergio Garcia

OLYMPIA FIELDS, ILLINOIS

SERGIO GARCIA: When you think you have everything under control and you miss a shot here and there, it's tough, but under par in a major is always tough, and in a U.S. Open it's even better.

Q. Having missed the last few putts, I would have to think that you feel pretty good. Things are coming to you a little bit easier now?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I'm not going to come out and say that I'm going to win this week because I played well today. I think you've got to take things slow like you've been doing. I haven't been playing as bad as everyone thinks the last two, three weeks. Unfortunately my putting hasn't been there, but I think everything is coming along. I've been working hard on my putting. Good putts, I'm starting to hit good putts. My swing is definitely feeling better. I hit a lot of greens, a lot of fairways today, so that's important.

Q. Doing as well as you did, is this part of the progression of getting it to the point where you have total confidence?

SERGIO GARCIA: I think so, definitely. It doesn't matter if I go out there tomorrow and I don't play well. I'm not going to be worried about it. I focus myself on trying to take it slow and realize that it's going to take time. Hopefully I can have a great week and the swing can just click in there like it did today and be perfect for the rest of my career. You know, I'm working hard and that's the most important thing.

Q. What do you think about a 53-year-old guy tied for the lead for the U.S. Open?

SERGIO GARCIA: I think it's great. It must be something about Chicago and the old guys, in 99 with Hale doing great, and I hope he gets good with his back problems, and here with Tom. I mean, it's great to see. It's not easy because it's a long week, U.S. Open is always tough, but it's really nice to see.

Q. Is it patience that whatever you're doing with your game that this is a long-term thing, golf, and you can be doing stuff like this into your 40s and 50s like Tom? Do you stay patient?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, that's why I'm changing my swing.

Q. How scary was it standing on the first tee with the new swing?

SERGIO GARCIA: I wasn't -- I was a bit nervous because it was the U.S. Open, and in a major you're always going to get butterflies on the first, but I hit a great drive to start with. As I said before, I felt like I played pretty well at Memorial. I hit a lot of good shots, and unfortunately, you know, everything has been going a bit wrong. I felt like I should have easily made the cut on the last three tournaments, I missed by one, two and one. You know, if things start turning around, and the way I've been hitting the ball lately, you know, I feel good about it.

Q. How much did the train bother you on 18 before you went for your par putt?

SERGIO GARCIA: No, it didn't. That's why I took my time. I didn't want it to bother me and it didn't. I unfortunately pushed it just a little and didn't make it.

Q. When you competed in Chicago for the championship a few years ago, you hit that shot off the root of the tree that everyone has been talking about forever. Are you the same guy now? Do you still have the same confidence?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I'm working on it. As I said before, I'm working on my swing, so I'm trying to get good things into it. You know, definitely. I think I'm going to be -- when everything settles down I think I'm going to be much better than what that guy was. You know, that's what I'm working on.

Q. The last putt on 18, the long putt, was it just hard to hit it that hard? You're 65 feet away.

SERGIO GARCIA: I hit it as hard as I could. It was unfortunate because I hit a great drive. I thought it was a great drive, and it just snaked into the rough and not a good lie. I hit a pretty good shot from there, and I hit it as hard as I could with my putter and just left it about seven feet short. It's tough, but that's what the U.S. Open is, hard, difficult greens and tough driving, so it's okay.

Q. You're one of the best players in the world. How hard is it to convince yourself that you need to change your swing?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I've been thinking about it for a while, so I knew that I had to do it. It just came to a moment where me and my dad, we decided it was the right timing to do it. I think we were good, but we wanted to be better, and this is the way I think it's going to do that.

Q. When was that realization?

SERGIO GARCIA: That was about three months ago.

End of FastScripts....

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