MORE INTERVIEWS: The Barclays interview transcripts archive
JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome our 54-hole leader of The Barclays, Sergio Garcia into the interview room, 10-under par, Sergio, tough day out there. Tough conditions, tough golf course, get your comments.
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, you pretty much said it all. Obviously much windier today. The course is extremely firm. The greens, just probably some of the fastest greens I've ever played. Just one of those days where you knew it was going to be tough and you have to hold them very tight, and just kind of hope for the best.
Q. What do you think was the main difference between your play and Nick Watney's??
SERGIO GARCIA: I don't think there was much difference. I think Nick played amazing. He started very, very well, very strong. I guess made a couple of bogeys in a row, a couple of bad shots on 11 and 12, and that kind of stopped him a little bit. But, it was so easy to do. I mean, it was easy to make bogeys with good shots. I mean, he made bogey on the last with a good shot. I made bogey on 3 hitting a great shot.
You know, he had a couple 3� putts, which was easy to do today. But you know, I think he played extremely well. Probably better than me. I thought I was just a little bit more fortunate.
SERGIO GARCIA: This will tell you how fast it was: Usually when you are putting on fast greens, you have an idea where the ball is going to stop. And today, you didn't. (Laughter). You thought the ball was going to stop two feet behind the hole, and it went six. So you know, it was pretty much as simple as that.
When the greens get this crispy, there's so little resistance on the grass, on the ball from the grass that if you catch a little bit of that brown patch, the ball just doesn't stop. I mean, I thought my putt on 3, don't get me wrong, I was standing over it thinking I need to be careful, it's downhill, it should be quick. When I hit it, I thought, eh, hit it a little too hard.
But I thought it was going to go no farther than Nick's putt, which was three feet. I don't know, I think I had like a seven� or eight� footer. You know, it was just one of those days.
Q. After that 3� putt on 3, you didn't have another one rest of the day. How did you do it??
SERGIO GARCIA: (Chuckles). I don't know. I made a great putt on 9 for a 2� putt. But that's what we were talking about before. I mean, on 9, I had, I don't know, probably a 25� footer up the hill� � well, I think it was up the hill. So I'm thinking it's fast but it's a little up the hill. I hit it, I thought it was perfect, and I actually thought it had a chance of going in, and it went five feet by, easily, six feet by.
So even the uphill putts were really, really quick. I made that one to save my 3� putt there. And then I got on a stretch where I managed to hit it fairly close for birdie, and so that was a little bit easier. Then I made a good 2� putt on 15 and 16, and you know, then I made a nice putt on the last to save my 2� putt.
I guess it was just like that.
Q. Was it unfair??
SERGIO GARCIA: Was it unfair? I wouldn't say it was unfair. It was borderline. It was very close. I mean, it felt like the greens were very close to Shinnecock Hills at the U.S. Open a while back. I don't know, it didn't feel unfair, but, for example, my par putt on 15, I hit my tee shot five feet behind the hole I want to say and I'm looking at it thinking, it looks like an inside right putt, a little bit downhill, and I saw Nick's putt run away and, I thought just touch it, even if you leave it short, I don't care. And I thought I just touched it; it broke a little bit more than I thought, and it went four feet by.
I don't know, it felt like if you caught like a little� � like a little subtle slope and it was one of those slopes that it was very, very brown, the ball just would not stop.
Q. How did you manage to keep your nerve on the greens when the balls were not rolling as you expected them to??
SERGIO GARCIA: At the end of the day, all you can do is try to trust the line you pick, and the speed you think it's going to be. And then just hope that you are guessing it right. It is a little bit of a guessing game, you know, when the greens get like this.
So you think, okay, it looks quite brown; it should be fast. Sometimes you get it wrong, like I did on 17 where I thought it was going to be very, very quick, and it wasn't. And sometimes you do, if you get it right.
There's just nothing more to it.
Q. Three times you followed a bogey with a birdie. Can you talk about the mental adjustment you made to make that score??
SERGIO GARCIA: No, I didn't really make any mental adjustment. I think it was great. I think it was fortunate to do that to make sure that my momentum was still going the right way, even after making a bogey.
I realized that bogeys were going to happen no matter what. I mean, you get� � like I said before, you make a bogey, you could have a ten� footer and hit what you think is a good putt and hit it six feet by on these greens.
So I just kept believing what I was doing, what I've been doing, and just keep my patience.
Q. Other than Shinnecock, did you ever experience greens like this at the U.S. Open or at Augusta, speed like this??
SERGIO GARCIA: No, the greens at Augusta, they can't get like this because they would be unplayable. So not Augusta.
Yeah, I mean, you get the firmness at a British Open, but not the speed because they can't have them that quick with the winds and all that. So no, probably not many other times. Probably Shinnecock and here, and if I think hardly about it I might find another time. But maybe PLAYERS when I won in 2008.
I think you really know the greens are very fast when you put the putter down, and you can't keep it straight. You know, it just moves. You know, it doesn't grab to the grass. So when that happens, you know that the greens are very, very quick.
Q. The last two times you guys played here, it was impossibly wet. Today, very dry. Is this just an impossible place??
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, no, I wouldn't say it's impossible. Obviously there were some decent scores out there.
If you play well, you can shoot a decent score, but as the day goes on, the course just gets harder and harder. No doubt playing in the morning makes it a little bit easier. Even though the greens were still firm, they were probably not as firm and probably not quite as fast.
But, you know, it's just� � we know what Bethpage Black is all about. We know it's a tough golf course and you've just got to realize that that's the way it's going to be.
Q. Is there anything you learned when you won back� to� back last fall that will help you tomorrow??
SERGIO GARCIA: Shoot one less than the guy that finishes second. (Laughter) It's simple as that.
Q. How are you going to put this away tomorrow??
SERGIO GARCIA: You know, at the moment, I want to go back to the hotel, take a nice shower, and relax. I don't want to think about tomorrow at all. There will be plenty of thinking tomorrow. So I just want to go out there and try to play the way I've been playing, try to believe in what I'm doing as much as I've been doing, and if I manage to win, that will be great. If I don't, it will still be great. I'll be giving it my best effort, so we'll see.
JOHN BUSH: Sergio, we appreciate your time. Good luck tomorrow.