August 27, 2009
CHRIS REIMER: We want to thank Sergio GarcÃa for stopping by, a 6-under par today, 65. 2001 and 2004 champion in this event, but obviously a new course. Maybe some opening comments about the round today.
SERGIO GARCIA: Like you said, a good, solid round. The course, it's the kind of course that if you play well, you can shoot a score with the greens being a little soft like they are. But at the same time, if you're a little bit off, you can struggle a little bit. The rough is quite thick. The greens are very small and with a lot of movement on them, but you know, I managed to hit the ball well today. Drove the ball nicely. Hit a lot of good iron shots and made a couple birdie putts here and there.
So overall, a good, solid day.
Q. A lot of the guys in the first few days were saying that this is not their favorite course, it was tough, it was this and it was that. What do you attribute the change, are they moving the tees up?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, they have played a little bit with the course. They have played around a little bit, moved some tees up, put some pins that were a little bit more accessible than you can have. But I think the main thing is that little bit of rain last night made the course stay soft, and if you hit a 7-iron or 8- iron to some of these greens, but you're stopping it, it's a little bit easier to make birdie or make par and go to the next hole.
If it gets firm, with all of the movement that you get around these greens, and the targets are quite small; so you can miss a lot of greens, and then you have a lot of up-and-downs that you have to take care of. So you know, I think that the course is not a bad course. It could be a little bit better around the greens, maybe on the greens, but overall, it's a course that makes you think a little bit off the tee. It gives you different options, and that's not a bad thing.
Q. Do the greens remind you of any other course and how you play into them and that kind of stuff?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well it, reminds me a little bit of the greens at Valderrama, but these ones obviously with a lot more movement on them, and mainly because of the size of the greens and stuff like that. So yeah, that's definitely one of the courses it is reminds me of.
Q. Could you address your standing on the FedEx points list? I know you are a little further down than you would like to be.
SERGIO GARCIA: I'm doing great. A couple of weeks ago, I was struggling.
Q. Last week helped a little. Can you talk about adding last week and then playing this next stretch, because of course the better you do, the longer you're going to have to play, and this has been a long stretch of a lot of tournaments in a short amount of time for you going back to Firestone.
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, it's not something that I am used to doing. I wish I would have played better at the PGA and I would have been able to take last week off, but I went to Greensboro and I'm happy I did. I played well there. They treated me unbelievable. The people were really looking forward to seeing me.
I gained a little bit of confidence in my swing and my ability and I put a good round today. So I'm looking forward to hopefully keep doing the same thing and we'll just see. We'll see how we feel, depending how we do, we might have to suck it up and play a little bit extra.
Even if we play six weeks in a row, if we manage to do really, really well, then make I can take a little break. But we'll see. We don't want to get ahead of ourselves I guess.
Q. Could you talk about almost jarring it on 7 and 8?
SERGIO GARCIA: You always try to make it. Unfortunately sometimes it doesn't go as close as you want it. But that is the main goal, put it in the hole with the least amount of shots.
The one on 7, I didn't see it because the bunker kind of covers it. I was calling it to go a little bit, I thought it was going to go a little bit short, maybe ten or 12 feet, but it got there. Must have been fairly close, not very close, but fairly close to going in.
And the one on 8, I didn't see. That looked pretty close. I don't know how close it was but it looked like it had a chance. We always enjoy having those birdie putts.
Q. And the beard?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I've been on and off with it I guess. I had it last year, left it last year around PGA and some of the Playoff events.
I don't know, this year I just felt like doing it again. You know, I've got some good comments and maybe not some good -- some of them maybe are not that great.
Q. Are the comments from the male or female variety?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, they are all male. I've got no pull anymore. (Laughter).
Q. Has something clicked the last couple of weeks, and would you term the year as a whole to this point, disappointing, or is there a different word?
SERGIO GARCIA: Excuse me?
Q. Has something clicked the last two weeks and would you term this whole year disappointing, or another word?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, it's definitely a little bit disappointing in the U.S., but I felt like I played decent in Europe. I had some decent results. I had some chances of winning a couple of tournaments.
Unfortunately here in the U.S., it's been very, very slow. It's been a tough year on and off the course. But you know, we are getting back into it. Last week was nice. It was good to see ourselves getting that position, then getting that feeling of being out there trying to win a tournament and getting the juices flowing a little bit.
You know, we are just looking forward to hopefully finishing the year well here, keep this good momentum going, and see if we can make a year that has been a little bit slow hopefully a little better.
Q. Could you just talk a little about playing in this area of the Cup try, New York, New Jersey, and do you enjoy playing in front of these fans?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yes, I've always enjoyed it. I've always said it. They are definitely different in more than one way. You know, they are very loud and sometimes a little bit rude but at the same time, they cheer for you like no other.
So it's fine to see the mix on it, and they are just so passionate up here, it's always good to have the chance of coming back and playing in front of these crowds.
Q. Just to follow up on that, what are your thoughts about Westchester? Do you miss the place, having won there a couple of times?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yes, I obviously do. I've done well there. I've been fortunate to play very nicely on that course.
But you know, you move on. I guess there's nothing you can do. It's good to see the tournament kind of move around a little bit and some different spots and some different people that can see it. I guess it would be nice to keep playing it there, but at the same time, I'm not regretting that we get the chance of playing and seeing these other courses.
Q. Going off of last week, you've had obviously some good weeks and some not-so-good weeks, how important was it to follow a good week by opening up this tournament so nicely?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I think it was definitely nice. It's obviously very nice, after last week and playing well and being up there all week and in contention, to open this tournament with a good, solid round, on a course that you don't get to see by the scores, it's not an easy course. That's important and hopefully we can go out there tomorrow and play another solid round and get ourselves in a good position for the weekend.
Q. Are you going to stick around at all early next week and see Nadal?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I'm definitely going to stay for at least a couple of days and watch a little bit of tennis. Not only Nadal, but some of the Spanish players, Mardy Fish who is a good friend of mine and James Blake. Mardy came to see me today and followed me around and I'll see it a little bit. I love tennis, so I'll be out there.
Q. At Medinah a couple of years ago, you were saying, Tiger is not going to be 65 and still winning every major with a third-round lead. Were you surprised that Hazeltine was the one that it happened, and in some ways, is it good for the rest of the players to see that he can be beaten?
SERGIO GARCIA: Records are records, and at the moment, there's always a time where somebody comes around and breaks that. Like I said then, there was a time where something was going to happen and he was going to have a third round lead or co-lead and somebody was going to come and play well, or he wasn't going to be at his best and I managed to beat him.
But was I surprised? Yeah. I mean, I'm not going to lie to you. I was surprised that he didn't win that tournament. He felt like he was in control the whole week. At the same time, don't take any credit out of Y.E. Yang. He played awesome obviously all week and Sunday and he just kept himself there. He probably did something that most of the people haven't done when Tiger is up there. He just stayed there all day long. You know, he never went away. Tiger gave him a couple of chances making a couple of bogeys that he usually doesn't make, and then obviously with the chip-in on 14 and the last couple of holes, that's the way it is.
Q. A player like you, do you look at that and say, okay, he can be beaten on a Sunday, and this guy did it, and why do you think Y.E. Yang, as opposed to Ernie or Vijay or you or anybody else?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, don't get me wrong, but I'm not thinking any different than I thought three weeks ago. We all think that he can be beaten. It's just difficult. But obviously if you play well and he didn't play his best, you can beat him.
The difficult part is doing it, and that's what Y.E. Yang did. You've just got to give yourself a chance, put yourself in that position, and believe in yourself and hopefully it happens.
Q. Didn't you hit tennis balls with Rafa after the tournament last year over in Flushing?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, I did a little bit, yes.
Q. Have you played golf with him?
SERGIO GARCIA: I have.
Q. Is he good?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, he can play. He's probably about an eight handicap, nine handicap. Hits it long. Not very fit. (Laughter).
Q. Wanted to get a quick update from you. Are you still working with Stan Utley?
SERGIO GARCIA: I am, yeah. I saw him at the PGA.
Q. Anything that you guys have been working on that all of a sudden is clicking?
SERGIO GARCIA: No. Not really, no.
Q. Just wondering maybe from a fan standpoint, backing up to the Tiger issue, now that he's been proven to be less than invincible, whether it maybe makes it more interesting, because now people might tune in to see not so much he's going to win by on Sunday but whether he's going to win it all and maybe makes the game a little more interesting for fans, maybe even for players?
SERGIO GARCIA: I can't answer that for the fans. You'll have to ask them.
For us, no, it's the same old thing. We are here every week trying to play our best, trying to win. It doesn't matter who is in the field. Sometimes we do better than others. But it doesn't change at all. So we can do one of those thingies out on the street -- (laughter).
Q. Do you think had you pursued tennis you would be good enough to play on the tennis tour?
SERGIO GARCIA: Tough question. I would like to say I would, or I would have. We'll never know though. But I mean --
Q. What would your handicap be as a tennis player now?
SERGIO GARCIA: What would my handicap be?
Q. The equivalent, like a number. What do you think, Chris?
SERGIO GARCIA: (Four games a set) you can't compare yourself against a professional, they hit the ball so hard, it's so difficult to get serves in and if you don't get it in time perfectly, they are just going to put it away.
On an amateur ranking, I could probably be a five, six handicap. So I have some good shots. It's just the consistency kind of fails me a little bit. But I don't know.
Q. And were you a better soccer player or better tennis player?
SERGIO GARCIA: I would say I was probably a better soccer player than a tennis player.
Q. Just one last thing on the overall picture of this thing, assuming you get to THE TOUR Championship, unlike last year, that's pretty much a big shootout, just about anybody has a chance to win, especially the top six, seven, eight guys, do you like that better? Do you think that's fair that way?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I think that's exciting. I think if you get to THE TOUR Championship and the guy that is first finishes 25th and the guy that is second wins, doesn't have a chance of winning the FedExCup, I think it makes it a little bit more exciting, there's no doubt about it. When you have maybe six, seven, eight players that could win it, is it fair; well, I don't know. I guess we'll see.
For some people, they will think that it is and some people will think that it's not. I guess that's why it's a new format, that's why it's the Playoffs. It's supposed to be a little bit different than if it was just a regular TOUR event.
Q. I'm not sure fair is the right word, because nothing is hardly ever fair. I guess what's the value of winning the FedExCup besides the obvious check?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, it's great. There's no doubt that winning the FedExCup is something special, because that means that at least you've played really, really well for four weeks, for four good tournaments during the year. Obviously it's not a major. It's not like if you win the FedExCup, you feel like you won the Masters, the British Open, something like that. But it's definitely something extra that gets yourself going a little bit.
CHRIS REIMER: Just lastly, would you go through your clubs on 7,8 and 9.
SERGIO GARCIA: Just the last three?
CHRIS REIMER: Those are the fun ones.
SERGIO GARCIA: You just want to think about the bogey.
CHRIS REIMER: I like your beard. And I'm a guy. (Laughter).
SERGIO GARCIA: 7, I hit a good drive. It was a little bit downwind and I hit a good solid pitching wedge from about 154 to 3 1/2 feet or so.
Next hole, I hit a good drive, we played into the wind. We couldn't reach. Hit a good drive and hit 3-wood, had 88 yards, hit a very nice lob-wedge low there so it didn't spin too much and probably to about three feet again.
And then on the last, I blocked it a little bit with a driver, hit it in the right rough. I had a tough shot to get to the green because I had some trees in the way. So hit a pretty decent shot with a 5-iron just left of the green a little short. Then I only hit my chip a little bit and only hit my putt a little bit and left it short in the middle and unfortunately the only bogey for the day.
Q. What was the best shot that you hit today?
SERGIO GARCIA: The best shot I hit today.
Q. If we could only write about one shot you hit today, what would you like it to be?
SERGIO GARCIA: The best shot I hit today, there was a really nice, smooth 9-iron I hit on the third hole from about 138 yards just from the first cut. Tight pin, that little front pin. And I hit a really, really nice smooth 9-iron there and probably hit to about eight, nine feet short of the hole but straight at it.
Q. How far was that?
SERGIO GARCIA: 138. A little bit into the breeze.
CHRIS REIMER: Thank you, Sergio. Good luck this week.
End of FastScripts