Sergio Rings Opening Bell on Wall Street


Sergio Garcia had a little business to take care of on Wall Street before heading home for a two-week vacation. The two-time Barclays Classic winner rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange during a short promotional stop Monday for the June 23-26 tournament at the Westchester Country Club.
'That was an unbelievable experience,' said Garcia, the top European in the world rankings at No. 8. 'I never dreamed I'd get to do something like that.
'This is a great city. It has so much energy. It's amazing seeing all the people on the streets and all the big buildings.'
After playing three straight weeks, the 25-year-old Spanish star is taking a two-week break in Spain and Switzerland to visit family and friends and prepare for the U.S. Open at Pinehurst and his Westchester title defense.
'I'm looking forward to a nice couple of weeks away,' Garcia said. 'Hopefully, I'll be fresh and ready to go when I come back.'
Three weeks ago in the Wachovia Championship, Garcia matched the largest final-round collapse in PGA Tour history, blowing a six-stroke advantage and dropping out of a three-man playoff with Vijay Singh and Jim Furyk on the first extra hole. Singh ended up beating Furyk on the fourth playoff hole for his third victory of the year.
'I was disappointed, no doubt about it, because I felt I played well enough to win,' he said. 'But unfortunately I didn't. I still took a lot of positives out of it. There were a lot of good things to take out of that week.'
He followed the Sunday meltdown with a 35th-place tie two weeks ago in his title defense in the Byron Nelson Championship and missed the cut last week in the Colonial.
'I'm looking forward to getting my whole game in shape,' Garcia said. 'This is an important time of year with some big tournaments coming up.'
Last year, Garcia won the Westchester event - then called the Buick Classic - for the second time in four years, beating Padraig Harrington and Rory Sabbatini in a playoff. The five-time PGA Tour winner has 19 straight rounds of par or better on the hilly, tree-lined Westchester course and has earned a record $2,042,375 in five appearances in the tournament.
'This tournament is one I always looking forward to playing,' Garcia said. 'It's been by far the best course for me on the tour. ... It's a great golf course. When the weather's good and it's firm and fast, it's a great test.'
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.