November 5, 2008
SCOTT CROCKETT: Sergio, thank you as always for coming in to join us. Welcome to the HSBC Champions. Just start us off if you would by giving us your thoughts on the week.
SERGIO GARC√ćA: Yeah, start of The Race to Dubai, so we are all very excited. I think that we've been talking about the new era for European golf, so you know, it's looking like a pretty solid season so I look forward to just keep going to the right way and get off to a good start and starting the new season here.
SCOTT CROCKETT: You had a good week last week, Sergio, and with your victories this year, your form suggests that you're in good shape for this week.
SERGIO GARC√ćA: Yes, probably a couple important victories, THE PLAYERS Championship and then the Castellon Masters on my home course. Moved up in the World Rankings and excited about that, and just looking forward to keep going in the same direction, keep moving forward, and see if we can get to the No. 2 spot in the world.
Q. The Race to Dubai has given The European Tour a tremendous impetus to go and truly challenge the PGA Tour on a global stage?
SERGIO GARC√ćA: I think The European Tour, like we said before, it's definitely growing. This Race to Dubai is going to bring some different things to the tour. Obviously guys are at least trying to join the Tour to see if they can get 12 events, so I know we are looking forward to keep making the Tour stronger and get us as close to the PGA Tour as possible. I think it's definitely going in the right direction and, it's just a matter of keep working hard at it.
Q. When you get into the top ten in the world, are there only tiny things that you can improve upon?
SERGIO GARC√ćA: Well, I think there's always a couple of things that you can improve on. I've been improving on my short game quite a lot this year but there's no doubt that, yeah, probably it's what's going to give you the extra edge.
So you've got to keep working hard on every single part and on my mental game and see if we can keep moving and taking the right steps towards what we want to achieve.
Q. In what ways can you improve?
SERGIO GARC√ćA: I think definitely in the same aspects. I think that my way of going about it is better than it used to be. You know, the same way, for example, last week to give you an example. Saturday, I felt like I played really well, and I couldn't really -- keeping my patience. I knew if I kept doing the right things, I was going to have a chance on Sunday.
And then Sunday, things were -- I had some good putts for birdies, a couple of lipouts and things like that. So keeping that calm and staying patient, it's very important. So get over the bad breaks, it's definitely going to make you improve.
Q. With this tournament, Padraig Harrington having such a good year last year, do you have confidence beating him since he is obviously the man of the year?
SERGIO GARC√ćA: Yeah, he's had a great season. I think that this week, we have a strong field here with obviously Phil, Anthony and Camilo, Robert Karlsson; there are so many good players here. But more than anything, I have to take care of myself and make sure I get some rest and ready to start nice and fresh tomorrow morning.
Q. In last year's HSBC Champions, you were not so lucky the last time, do you think the course it doesn't fit you well, or --
SERGIO GARC√ćA: I think last year, I definitely was feeling quite tired towards the end, like I pulled out of Sun City last year.
I think this year I am in even better shape than I was last year and obviously my game has improved from last year. So that helps things a little bit. And I think that if I play my game, I can do well on this golf course, so I'm looking forward to it. I've done well in the HSBC Champions before, so it's always a good challenge to have.
Q. Someone said that you are separated from Greg Norman's daughter; would you give some comments?
SERGIO GARC√ćA: No, this year actually she came this week. So I'm really excited for her to be with me.
Q. With so many of the Top-20 in the world here this week, there's a stack of World Ranking points, and there's so many at stake, isn't there?
SERGIO GARC√ćA: Yeah, like I said before, being that it's been a good, consistent year, and if I play well, I can really move fairly close to that second spot in the world. So it's something exciting, something that I'm driving towards, and this is a good week to have a chance at it.
Q. That's going to mean more for the Dubai event than in the past; it's a snowball, isn't it? The stronger the fields in Europe, they are going to become more important World Ranking-wise. I'm sorry, I'm stating the obvious, but do you believe that as well?
SERGIO GARC√ćA: Oh, definitely, but there's no doubt that The Race to Dubai is going to give it an extra edge. For example, in the past, probably three years ago, tournaments early in the season, the tournaments in the Middle East, they have had more World Ranking points than in the U.S.
So you know, that's why we play there. I mean, it's a great country to play and the courses are good, and at the same time, the fields are good and you get a lot of World Ranking points. You're moving in the right direction.
That's definitely going to be the case this year for The Race to Dubai and The European Tour for many years to come, and I think that's why you are going to see more good players coming more often and playing in Europe.
Q. How hard are you chasing the No. 2 ranking and do you have any timetable on your goals of when you will try and reach that?
SERGIO GARC√ćA: If I can, this week. You know, do well and hopefully win or come close to it, and that's what I need to do to have a chance. I feel like I'm playing well, and there's no doubt, and while your legs get a little heavier, but just trying to finish the year strong and see if I can get towards -- if not to it, as close as I can so I can have a good chance next year with another good, solid season.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Thank you very much.
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