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May 22, 2013

Sergio Garcia


SCOTT CROCKETT:  Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much.  Sergio, thank you very much for joining us this afternoon.
We know why we are here.  Sergio issued a statement last night after The European Tour Players' Awards Dinner.  You will have that statement and Sergio is very keen to add to that statement very now.  Sergio, the floor is yours.
SERGIO GARCIA:  Thank you, Scott.  Well, I just want to say a couple of things to start with.  Obviously I want to send an apology.  I didn't mind to offend anyone.  I obviously was caught off‑guard by the question.  But, don't get me wrong, I understand that my answer was totally stupid and out of place, and you know, I have no‑‑ I can't say sorry enough about that.
Also, I'd like to say sorry to The European Tour and my European Ryder Cup Teammates for taking the shine away from what was a wonderful dinner, wonderful Players' Awards Dinner that we all thoroughly enjoyed until that moment. 
Obviously, finally, most importantly, I want to apologise to Tiger, and anybody that I could have offended by the comment I made, and you know, just say that I feel sick about it.  I'm truly, truly sorry, and I hope that we can kind of settle things down and hopefully move on.

Q.  Have you tried to apologise to Tiger in person, or will you be trying to do that if you haven't?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Yes.  Well, I don't have his phone number, but I've called Mark Steinberg, his manager.  He didn't pick up, but I left him a message and told him that I was very sorry and that I would love to talk to them as soon as possible and make sure that everything is okay.  I told him how sorry I am and that obviously it was a bad comment that shouldn't have been said.

Q.  Do you think that perhaps because of what's happened, your relationship with Tiger could, in fact, improve, in the sense of you're going to talk with him, you hope; do you think you can become closer?
SERGIO GARCIA:  I hope‑‑ hopefully, I think so.  Obviously like I said before, I'm terribly sorry about what happened and I'm sure that we will be able to talk soon and I will apologise to him face‑to‑face, you know, and move forward and forget about the whole thing.

Q.  You've spoken about a silly comment and a bad comment; do you accept that it's a racist comment, or would you disagree with that?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Not at all.  It wasn't meant that way.  Like I said before, I was caught off guard in what seemed to be a funny question and tried to give a funny answer that came out totally wrong.  You know, I want to make sure that, you know, everybody knows that I'm very, very sorry and you know, I can't apologise enough times.

Q.  Did you know straightaway that it was an inappropriate remark, and what's it been like this morning for you?
SERGIO GARCIA:  It was very hard.  As soon as I left the dinner, I started getting a sick feeling in my body.  I wasn't able to sleep at all last night.  I felt like my heart was going to come out of my body and I've been feeling, you know‑‑ I had this sick feeling all day.  Difficult to hit a shot without thinking about it.  But unfortunately, I said it.  I wish I didn't do it but you know, the only thing I can do is say sorry.

Q.  You'll be aware that when Fuzzy Zoeller made a similar remark, it was quite a backlash; were you conscious of that, and do you fear that you will get the same sort of backlash when you go to America?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Actually, I didn't know about that.  I was noticed of it, I was made notice of it today.  I think that was in'97, so I was only 17 years old, and I really didn't know about it.  But obviously they pointed it out to me.
But like I said, you know, I'm terribly sorry.  I didn't mean to make it that way, and you know, hope that we can move on and concentrate on this wonderful tournament we have here this week.

Q.  Do you think there will be a backlash from American golf galleries?
SERGIO GARCIA:  I don't know.  I wish I could answer that, but you know, that doesn't depend on me, so the only thing I can do is say sorry.

Q.  I assume you've spoken with the Tour about this.  I wonder have you been made aware of any likely disciplinary measures or penalties?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Yes, I want to thank the Commissioner, Tim Finchem, and the Chief Executive, George O'Grady, because I met with them as soon as we‑‑ as soon as I finished my Pro‑Am this morning.  They were very good about it.
Obviously they were both in the dinner.  They saw exactly what happened.  They were both fine with it.  I told them exactly how I felt, and you know, they told me that was good enough for them.  They felt very strong about it, and you know, I'm very thankful that they were there to obviously help and be behind me.
SCOTT CROCKETT:  I think they both accepted your apology, Sergio, didn't they.
SERGIO GARCIA:  Yes, they both accepted my apologies, both of them, so they were fine with it.

Q.  So there will be no further disciplinary measures, do you think?
SERGIO GARCIA:  No, they didn't say anything about that.

Q.  Just wonder, because all of the attention will be on you now, did you consider pulling out of this tournament at any stage today?
SERGIO GARCIA:  Well, if you would have asked me this morning, I might of have.  But I feel like maybe my mind is not in the greatest place at the moment.  But I feel like the tournament deserves to have me.  I think that the tournament has nothing to do with it.  It was all on me.  You know, I want to go out there tomorrow and try and give everything I have.
I'll try my hardest to do well and make sure that people can enjoy watching me play.  So like I said, I'm truly sorry, but the tournament has nothing to do with it.  It's just a coincidence.
SCOTT CROCKETT:  Sergio, I think we're all done.  Thank you very much for your time today.
SERGIO GARCIA:  Thank you.

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