2001 US Open - Sergio Garcia News Conference Transcript
Q. Sergio, did they forget to tell you that no European has won this thing since 1970? Are you aware of that?
SERGIO GARCIA: Where are my thoughts on that? I don't know, records are made to be broken, so I hope I'll do that tomorrow. But it's not in my mind right now, if it's something negative for me. I just feel like I'm playing well enough to do it. And I just hope to go out there tomorrow and play as well or trying to play better than I've been playing these days, and, hopefully, you make a couple of putts here and there, and you get away with it.
RAND JERRIS: Could you walk us quickly through your birdies and bogeys on the third round.
SERGIO GARCIA: I birdied the 3rd, hit a nice 3-wood over the right of the middle of the fairway. Pulled it just a hair with a little 9-iron, a little long, probably about 20 feet, made a great putt there. Then on 5 I had a tremendous drive, about 375 yards. I hit 2-iron to the green. I hit it just a little right, just right of the bunker. Hit a very nice flop shot from there to about five feet and made it. Then on 7 I hit a good 3-iron off the tee, pulled it a little with an iron, tried to, as I said before, trying to be a little too greedy. I hit it in the back bunker, hit a great bunker shot from there, the best I could, to about 15 feet and almost made it. Then on 10 I hit a very nice cut 4-iron off the tee, a nice cut 9-iron from there to about 12, 15 feet, kind of hit it just a little too hard, probably went about six inches past the hole and started coming back and made it. Then on 12 I hit a great 3-wood off the tee with a little draw. Hit it -- I was a little uncomfortable with the 8-iron, thinking that it might have been -- might have hit it too long, and hit it over the green. And I hit it a little heavy in the bunker. Hit a pretty good bunker shot to about five, six feet and missed it. Then on 13 I missed the fairway on the right, again, and hit a nice sand wedge out of the rough, then hit it to about five feet, made it. Then on 14 I hit a bad shot to the right, hit a pretty good chip, just a little too long to about five feet again, missed it, five, six feet. And then on 15 I hit a great 2-iron on the tee, very nice 7-iron to about six feet, made it. And that was it.
Q. Sergio, what did you do differently with your driver to hit so many fairways? And secondly, being slight of build, how do you hit it so far?
SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know. My mom's cooking. I don't know. I mean to hit it far, the other thing you need is, of course, club head speed and hit it on the right part of the club. So I'll say it probably is that. That's what my little lag gives me. To hit the fairway, I was just feeling very comfortable all year. Last year I felt like I hit the driver pretty well, too, I hit a lot of fairways, too. But this year it's just been very good. I hit a lot of fairways. I hit quite a lot of greens. And that's what you need to do here in a U.S. Open.
Q. Sergio, how does having won in this country make you a different player in the final round of the Open as compared to the final round at the PGA in Medinah?
SERGIO GARCIA: It makes me a different player, I'll say, more I think because I'm, overall, I'm just a better player. I'm smarter, I know how to hit the ball. I can hit it any way I want to, more or less. And I have a victory under my belt. So I don't feel like I have to win because I haven't won in this country. So it does help a lot. But it's still a major. And it's a different win. So you still have to be able to go out there and play the best you can and hopefully win the tournament.
Q. Sergio, you seem to look at the board several times throughout the round today, and responded accordingly, either with a birdie or with a near miss on a birdie putt. Do you find that you get charged up when you see your name on the board and you know you have to make birdie to either be in the last group or to be leading the golf tournament?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yes, more than anything, I like to know where I'm standing. I like to see how close to the leaders I am. And certainly I wanted to see how Retief was doing, because I wanted to play with him on the last round, if possible. But other than that, I just like to know where I'm at and if I need to maybe be just a hair -- a little more aggressive, and just -- it's just the way I feel.
Q. Tell me about that birdie putt you had. I don't think it went in the back door, I think it went all the way around the back door and in the side.
SERGIO GARCIA: It was in the middle, but in the back door. It was a little weird, because on 9 I hit two very good shots, hit it probably to about ten feet, and I pushed it slightly in -- it was just enough to miss it on the right side, just lipped out on the right side. On 10 I had a similar putt, but it was breaking a little bit more, so I didn't want to push it again and miss it low. So I kind of hit it a little too hard and missed it left, probably about three or four inches left. But because of the pin position the ball just probably went about four or five inches past the hole and started coming back. And as soon as I saw it coming back I'm like, 'Well, is it going to go in?' It looked like it was going to go in, then it looked like it was just going to miss long, and then it -- obviously it went in the middle of the hole, but on the other side of the hole.
Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.
He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.
“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.
At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.
Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.
“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”
Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?
Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.
Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.
“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”
Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.
Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.
“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.
More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.
“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”
After 36, new Open favorite is ... Fleetwood
With a handful of the pre-championship favorites exiting early, there is a new odds-on leader entering the third round of The Open at Carnoustie.
While Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner share the 36-hole lead, it's England's Tommy Fleetwood who leads the betting pack at 11/2. Fleetwood begins the third round one shot off the lead.
Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.
Tommy Fleetwood: 11/2
Zach Johnson: 13/2
Rory McIlroy: 7/1
Jordan Spieth: 8/1
Rickie Fowler: 9/1
Kevin Kisner: 12/1
Xander Schauffele: 16/1
Tony Finau: 16/1
Matt Kuchar: 18/1
Pat Perez: 25/1
Brooks Koepka: 25/1
Erik van Rooyen: 50/1
Alex Noren: 50/1
Tiger Woods: 50/1
Thorbjorn Olesen: 60/1
Danny Willett: 60/1
Francesco Molinari: 60/1
Perez (T-3) looks to remedy 'terrible' major record
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez’s major record is infinitely forgettable. In 24 Grand Slam starts he has exactly one top-10 finish, more than a decade ago at the PGA Championship.
“Terrible,” Perez said when asked to sum up his major career. “I won sixth [place]. Didn't even break top 5.”
It’s strange, however, that his status atop The Open leaderboard through two rounds doesn’t seem out of character. The 42-year-old admits he doesn’t hit it long enough to contend at most major stops and also concedes he doesn’t exactly have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the game’s biggest events, but something about The Open works for him.
“I didn't like it the first time I came over. When I went to St. Andrews in '05, I didn't like it because it was cold and terrible and this and that,” he said. “Over the years, I've really learned to like to come over here. Plus the fans are so awesome here. They know a good shot. They don't laugh at you if you hit a bad shot.”
Perez gave the fans plenty to cheer on Friday at Carnoustie, playing 17 flawless holes to move into a share of the lead before a closing bogey dropped him into a tie for third place after a second-round 68.
For Perez, links golf is the great equalizer that mitigates the advantages some of the younger, more powerful players have and it brings out the best in him.
“It's hard enough that I don't feel like I have to hit perfect shots. That's the best,” he said. “Greens, you can kind of miss a shot, and it won't run off and go off the green 40 yards. You're still kind of on the green. You can have a 60-footer and actually think about making it because of the speed.”