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An Interview with Garcia & Donald


September 17, 2004

JULIUS MASON: Sergio Garcia, Luke Donald, ladies and gentlemen. Luke, some comments on your opening match and we'll get some comments from Sergio and we'll go to Q&A.

LUKE DONALD: We played very well together today. I think me and Sergio get along very well. That was a big key for us. We were very relaxed. I had a lot of fun out there, played some good golf, and it's been a long day for me, but I'll hand it over to Sergio.

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I think as Luke said, you know, we had a great day. You know, I think when you have such a good relationship as we do, it's just easy to play together. You know that the guy you're playing with is behind you know matter what you do. You can hit the worst shot in the world and the guy that is right next to you is not going to even give you a little bad look or anything like that.

You know, that's really important I think to me when it comes down to playing on pairings. So, you know, we just talked nicely, we hit a lot of good shots, we played very -- I think we played very smart and aggressive at the same moment. You know, we just managed to get out of trouble when we were in it and made a couple of putts that were pretty big.

Q. You're known for being very calm, but as a rookie, in this Ryder Cup sort of intensity, you didn't seem to be showing any nerves, but were you feeling a lot of nerves?

LUKE DONALD: Didn't you see my tee shot on the first this morning? (Laughing).

I was definitely nervous this morning. But after the first hole, I really did settle down and felt very comfortable out there.

Yeah, there was some nervous times along the way, but all in all, I felt confident. When you're going into this match, playing as well as I have, it's obviously nice to know that I can hit the shots when I need to. This is a good course for me. I think the way the greens were today, getting firmer and faster, it's playing like a major almost. It's a U.S. Open course and you just have to be very smart and very consistent around here and that helped me.

Q. Luke, Bernhard said that he cited your iron play as one reason he picked you for this team and you obviously had to hit a couple of pretty pressure long irons, 18 this morning and 17 this afternoon, can you just talk a little about the shots and the emotions and the nerves that you felt there?

SERGIO GARCIA: He did good.

LUKE DONALD: This morning, 18, it was a little into the wind off the right and I tried to just fade my drive and that took a little bit of distance off. I hit a good drive but I was left with 214 I think to the flag and uphill, still into the wind. I could only hit a 2-iron. Just made a good, solid swing. I got some good height on it, you know, had a good chance for birdie there. I was disappointed I didn't hit a better putt, but I did force the Americans to make their putt.

Today, you know, on 17, Bernhard came to me, and that pin was just a pin you couldn't go at. He just said, "You know, you've got to hit this in the middle of the green. Just use the slope to get it somewhat close to the hole." You know, I hit a good 5-iron just straight down the middle of the green and left the ball in a good place for Sergio to 2-putt.

Q. It seems like your emotions in this competition elevate your game a little bit and it seems sometimes in majors those same emotions work against you. Would you agree with that statement and why would there be a difference?

SERGIO GARCIA: I wouldn't say so. I think that it's just a matter of it comes down to playing well or bad. I think that my emotions have done well for me in majors. Of course, you know, I've played some good majors and some bad majors.

I don't think they make that big of a difference. But, anyway, you know, I just love this event. I just live for it. You know, to have a chance of coming here and being paired with some of your friends and playing against huge crowds and against the best players in America, it's just something that I can't wait for.

Q. How big of a lift did it give you guys to see Phil and Tiger getting beat in the first match and then getting beat both times, how big of a lift does that give you going into tomorrow?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I think it's great, there's no doubt about it. But as I said when we finished, unfortunately, all you can win is one point. It's just like any other victory. I think that it's great to be beat the best players in the world, but, you know, it's better to beat a whole bunch so you can get to 14 1/2 points. That's what we have to do.

Q. Did you expect to play twice this afternoon and how did it feel as the day went along playing?

LUKE DONALD: I pretty much knew I was going to play twice. Last night Bernhard said I was going to probably play in the afternoon with Sergio. It felt good to go out there I think on the first day. It's going to be hard for some of the guys who didn't play today to go out.

Now I feel kind of in the thick of things and I'm very prepared for how I'm feeling on the tees and how my emotions are.

I was glad to play two points, two times today. Would have been nice to have holed that putt on 18 this morning, but it was a long day. We'll try again tomorrow.

Q. You've now played ten four-balls and foursomes matches in three Ryder Cups, you've had three different partners and you've won eight and lost only two. What's the secret?

SERGIO GARCIA: I've only lost one. I halved one.

Q. I beg your pardon.

SERGIO GARCIA: But thanks, that's fine. (Laughter.) At least somebody's keeping track.

No, it's okay, just joking.

I think it's great. You know, I've always, as I said before, I've always enjoyed playing team events and I've always enjoyed playing soccer, anything that brings a team together, it's just a thrill for me.

You know, I probably have more fun playing with somebody than playing by myself on the singles. I have somebody there to talk to and to laugh about things and just relax. I think I've been very fortunate because all of my three partners that I've had, they are all very open, they are fun guys, you know, we just get along nicely. So I think that's huge. I've been fortunate to play well with them.

JULIUS MASON: Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald, folks.



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