European Tour professional Sergio Garcia speaks with the media ahead of the Saudi International about the current state of his game and his favorite memories of Kobe Bryant.
European Tour: Sergio Garcia speaks with the media before the Saudi International
Q. Just describe the quality of these events?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, they are really good I think, and they get better every year. We’re excited for this beautiful swing that we have and excited to be back here in Saudi to hopefully have an amazing week and really enjoy.
Q. What does it mean to support these events, in a new country like Saudi Arabia?
SERGIO GARCIA: I think it’s very important. At the end of the day, we are trying to globalise the game of golf as much as possible and bring it to everywhere we can. To come to new places like Saudi Arabia and some others around the world, it’s important and they want to see us play. They don’t get to do it too often, so it’s good to be a part of it.
Q. Does it bring an added ingredient in the quality of the field this week?
SERGIO GARCIA: I mean, I think we seem to get great fields these three weeks in the Middle East. That’s obviously a job well done because it’s not easy to get the quality of the players that we have week-in, week-out. Everyone should be very proud of that, and you know, it obviously makes it an even better tournament.
Q. What improvements have you seen?
SERGIO GARCIA: It definitely seem like the course, it kind of settled down a little bit. Everything seems like it’s a bit more mature, everything: The tees, the greens, everything seems like it’s less grainy and definitely faster than they were last year. It looks really good, and you know, it just comes down to us to put on a good show.
Q. In time, do you feel it can establish itself as a world-class event and venue?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, I mean, I think it’s already halfway there. You know, to be able to get the quality of players that they have had the first two years, it’s not an easy thing to do. I think they are really trying hard to make it a great event, and I think it’s definitely on its way.
Q. How is your game coming into this week?
SERGIO GARCIA: Feels pretty good. I feel like the first two weeks, they have been pretty solid. Obviously a couple things here and there that, you know, beginning of the year, kind of getting used to some of the new equipment and stuff like that. But overall, I’ve seen a lot of good things. Some things that obviously need to improve on, but you know, overall, it’s been positive.
Q. What do you feel those are?
SERGIO GARCIA: Well, I think that at the end of the day, consistency obviously needs to be a little bit better than it has been. But overall, I feel like the short game has been quite solid for both weeks. Hopefully we’ll keep — obviously we’re working hard on it and we’ll keep on that same momentum here this week. You know, it’s just a matter of kind of keep grinding and keep improving on every aspect of the game that we can.
Q. Kobe Bryant’s passing, what are your memories of him?
SERGIO GARCIA: Unfortunately I can’t recall meeting him. Obviously we’re different brands. You know, I remember watching him, so many games on TV, and the way he played. He was just an amazing basketball player. Just a great sportsman and a true legend of the game. It’s very sad for him to pass. He’s just a year and a half older than me, so it kind of putts things into perspective a little bit. You know, you feel terrible for not only his family, but the families of everyone else that was in that helicopter.
Q. Living in the States for a number of years, how influential a character was he over there?
SERGIO GARCIA: Oh, he was very influential for sure. He did so many amazing things, not only on the court, but you know, obviously off the court and even winning an Oscar.
So obviously, you know, he moved a lot of people and a lot of people were huge fans of his. So it’s a big loss, but you know, unfortunately these things happen.
Q. Being at the top of the sport as he was, did he inspire you?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, I think that every time you watch a sports man like him, it does inspire you, even if it’s not in your own game. So when I watch Ronaldo or Messi or some of the greats? Football, they inspire me, and when I watch Rafa and Roger and Djokovic and all those guys in tennis, any sport that you watch, it’s inspiring to see someone at a level like that.
January 28, 2020
King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports