Sanderson Farms Championship

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Jackson, Mississippi, USA

Country Club of Jackson

Sergio Garcia

Press Conference

DOUG MILNE: We'd like to welcome Sergio Garcia, winner of the 2020 Sanderson Farms Championship. Congratulations on a very convincing victory, your 11th on the PGA TOUR and first since the 2017 Masters. Obviously last shot coming into 18, third shot coming into 18, second shot coming into 18, just a few highlights of the week ending with that 18th hole.

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, obviously the perfect way, the perfect ending for an amazing week. I obviously knew that Pedrito -- he finished at 18, so I knew that I needed to birdie one of the last two or three to get ahead. I actually thought I birdied 17. I hit a great putt. I thought I made it. Unfortunately I didn't.

But then I stood up on 18 and I did what I've been doing all week. I trusted myself. I aimed down the right side of the fairway and just hit a hard draw, really, really nice drive, actually went quite long because it was playing a little bit into the wind, and it gave me the ability to have an 8-iron into the green instead of having a 6 or something like that, and then just hit, funny enough, my last win, Augusta -- well, my last win on the PGA TOUR at Augusta, the 8-iron on 15, this time it was the 8-iron on 18, and to almost hit the pin again and to hit it that close, obviously it was a dream come true.

DOUG MILNE: With the win you move to No. 4 in the FedExCup standings. You're making your first start here at the Sanderson Farms Championship, capped it off in great style. Just some thoughts on being here and playing the Sanderson Farms Championship for the first time.

SERGIO GARCIA: It's great. They've taken amazing care of it, Joe and everyone around. I mean, I saw -- I watched this tournament last year, and I thought -- obviously a friend of mine that I was talking with, Juan, and I thought, that looks like a really nice course. This year because of everything, I should be -- funny enough -- well, the Ryder Cup should have been last week. I probably should have been in Europe if things would have been normal, and because of COVID and everything, it kind of changed my schedule a little bit, and I'm able to play a few tournaments in the fall.

Then it was really, really great to be here, to play the way I played, to believe in myself the way I did, and I'm really, really proud.

Q. It's been more than a year, just over a year since your last win at the Dutch Open. Is it hard to trust yourself when you need to like you did on 18?

SERGIO GARCIA: Sometimes it can be. But I think that the great thing about it is my mind was very clear throughout the whole week. You know, I knew what I wanted to do pretty much every single shot I hit. The only one that I would love to take back -- not even the one on 8 but the tee shot on 15. I should have hit like a strong 3-wood and deal with that. But other than that, like I said, I was very confident throughout the whole week. I was believing in myself the whole week. I obviously hit a bad putt on 6 for par, but I stuck with it, I kept going, I kept believing, I kept telling myself, you're doing great, just keep doing what you're doing, it's great. So you're not going to make every single putt, and I was able to come up with some great shots and some great key putts on the back nine to win it.

Q. As much as you were yelling at your ball on the 14th when it was in the air, at what point did you realize how close it was?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, obviously when it just carried the bunker I knew that it was going to be fairly close, if it didn't bounce right and kind of caught the slope. I wasn't even sure if it was on the green. I was like, well -- it looked like it bounced pretty straight, but I knew that there was a little bit of a run-off area there. So until I saw it, I didn't know it was that close.

I was expecting it to be about 10 feet or so just right of the hole, which was already a great shot, but instead of that it was probably about three feet, which made it a lot easier for sure.

Q. Sergio, what club did you hit there on 14?

SERGIO GARCIA: It was a 5-wood.

Q. How frustrated were you getting having so many people, media, asking you what's wrong with your game?

SERGIO GARCIA: I really wasn't that frustrated because nobody was really talking to me. You know, they had other guys to talk to, and I was just working hard and just trying to get better in every aspect of the game, mentally and physically, and I was just doing my own thing, trying to figure out what I needed to do, and that's what I did.

Q. Also after the round you mentioned dedicating this win to your father and the loss of a couple family members. Can you share a little bit about that?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah. Unfortunately my father has a lot of family in Madrid. He's one of nine siblings, and unfortunately we lost two of his brothers because of COVID, one at the beginning, Uncle Paco, and one just last Saturday actually, not yesterday but the Saturday before, Uncle Angel.

You know, it's sad. It's sad. And I know that a lot of families have lost a lot more people, but you never want to lose anyone like that, and I wanted to win this for them.

Q. What do you think this victory can do for you going forward with a Masters and other events coming up?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, it's obviously a boost of confidence, there's no doubt. Every time you play well, even if I would have not won it, it still would have been a massive high for me this week. To be able to do a lot of the things that I did, it meant a lot. It showed me a lot of what I still have and what I still can do.

It's obviously exciting. I'm finally very happy with the equipment that I have in my bag, with everything that I'm playing. I feel like I'm starting to be the old me, being able to hit shots from every angle, and obviously it's exciting.

Q. Just a point of clarification. First of all, I saw that you had mentioned previously that you'd been sort of putting with your eyes closed maybe up to three years ago and you did at the Masters. But you don't do it all the time in these three years; you kind of go back and forth; is that kind of accurate?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah. Most of the times, but then sometimes when it starts feeling really well, really good, I think, maybe I can just do it with my eyes open and kind of do it normal -- well, I guess my eyes closed is probably normal for me now.

But then I realize that I get too caught up in trying to make it too perfect instead of just letting myself do it. You don't have to hit a perfect putt every time to be able to make it, and that's what I've been working on, and that's what I'm going to keep working on. Don't worry, I'm still going to be putting with my eyes closed for probably a long time, so you guys probably won't have to ask me all the time.

Q. Better shot, 14, that 5-wood, or 18? They're both important, but 14 set up 18 in my mind --

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, it definitely does. I think -- I mean, I think obviously if I hit a good shot on 14 and I make birdie and then I birdie 15, which is a birdie hole, then I'm still at 18. Obviously 14 was very important because it gave me the opportunity of only having to birdie one of the last four to win it.

But then 18 you still have to do it. It's not an easy hole. It's 500 yards, and you have to hit a great drive. The pin was a good pin on the right side, and if you miss it a little bit right, it's a very tricky up-and-down. To be able to stand there and hit the kind of 8-iron that I did and then hit the putt that I did, even though it was only two and a half feet or something like that, you still have to gather yourself and trust yourself and do it. So that was really nice.

Q. Is it easier to trust yourself knowing that you've been a good ball striker, a great ball striker for your whole career? I mean, this is what you've relied on more than anything is being able to hit shots --

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, the great thing for me is that when I'm feeling it, I don't feel like I even have to putt too well to have a chance at winning, or to win. With an average or just above average kind of putting week, if I'm playing the way I played this week, I can give myself a chance of winning almost every week. Obviously it's not easy to play the way I played this week every single week because there's some weeks that you feel a little bit better, some weeks you feel a little bit worse. But my long game, it's always been a strength, and everyone knows that, and that's what I rely on, but that doesn't mean that I don't work on the short game, too.

Q. You've now won at least one time each of the last 10 years. Is that important to you? Is that impressive to you?

SERGIO GARCIA: I didn't even know. Yeah, obviously it is important. It's something that you have to be proud of, and I am. But I didn't even think about it.

You know, I'm not -- I've been out here for 21 years, so you know that I'm not the kind of records kind of guy. I've been able to achieve some of them without even thinking about them, and I'm very proud of them. But that's not what motivates me.

Q. I mentioned the Dutch Open earlier; did it feel longer than a year since you've won? When you struggle, does your last win feel like longer ago than it actually was?

SERGIO GARCIA: A little bit, yes. Without a doubt it does feel -- yeah, it does feel like it was a little bit longer.

But you know, I don't take any wins for granted. It doesn't matter which Tour, PGA TOUR, European Tour, Asian Tour, it doesn't matter. To me, winning nowadays anywhere in the world is tough. There's so many great young guys playing, and they play the game at an unbelievable level. Any win you can get, it's always something to really have in your heart.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
102292-1-1002 2020-10-04 23:37:00 GMT

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