Interview with Pro Golfer Sergio Garcia
11/10/2008 News Flash - After winning the Shanghai Tournament Sergio Garcia now ranks number two in the world, behind number one Tiger Woods. In statements to Spanish press, Sergio reported that he was overjoyed as he has never been so close to number one. The only Spaniard in history to reach the top of the world ranking in golf so far is Severiano Ballesteros.
At 28 years old, golfer Sergio García has reached number three in the world ranking. In spite of his youth, Sergio has been a professional golfer for 10 years, with many more to come.
Sergio is a big fan of Andalucia, the land where his mother and sister were born. He visits the Valderrama course in San Roque whenever he can and takes advantage of the chance to enjoy Andalucian cuisine and a bit of rest and relaxation in the sun.
This young golfer's contagious smile and good sense are humour stem from his optimism at knowing that the best years are still to come.
AC: Not long ago you were fighting to become number three. From this week forward, do you feel motivated to compete to become number two?
SG: Without a doubt, after winning the Players Championship (the fifth big one) and reaching a good position among the seven or eight greats in the world, it was clear that the gap between the third and second was a big one, but the gap between the seventh and the third was tiny. With a good game, it was possible to get there and that was one of the goals. I knew that if I played well, if I played at a good level, I could end the year as third in the world. Now that I'm here, I've got to keep looking up. I have three weeks left and need to try to play as well as possible, to continue this good streak and see - if I don't reach number two, then at least get as close as possible. I think that at present, due to Tiger's injury, we have a better opportunity than in other years to reach number one.
AC: And getting to number one is reachable or still unreachable?
SG: That depends on the time it takes Tiger to recover (laughs). Without a doubt, now it's closer than it was five or six months ago, but it's still far away. It's like when Rafa was second and Federer was way up there on top; it's not something that happens over night. We have to keep trying and keep playing well.
AC: The Volvo Masters at Valderrama is reaching its last edition, the 21st. How does that make you feel?
SG: I feel bad because I really like that course. I practice there whenever I can and I'm friends with the Patiño family. We'll miss it, but I'm sure they'll do something. They'll find another event. There's no way that a course like Valderrama, with its history and the events it has hosted could end up without events. That's why I'm sure they'll find something.
AC: These days it's impossible not to remember Severiano Ballesteros and the difficult situation he's facing due to his health problems. What's your opinion of this magnificent golfer?
SG: He took the game to a different level, not just because of the way he plays but because of his charisma. It's wonderful when you get a chance to meet someone so great. But these are hard times and all we can do is hope he recovers and gets well.
AC: You've said that your attitude has improved. Why the change?
SG: Getting older and realising that golf means a lot to us, but that it's helpful to have other things. Having a good family and other hobbies also helps to realise that golf isn't all there is. I believe it's especially experience and maturing little by little. I feel young but I have a lot of experience behind me at my young age and I'm not as young as I was.
AC: And what are these other past times that help you disconnect?
SG: I like football (soccer) and I really like tennis and padel, and I play them too. I've always loved movies and I read a bit now and then - and I've always loved speed and cars.
AC: Speaking of football... Are you a Villarreal fan?
SG: When it comes to football, Borriol is my team. In the first division I'm a fan of Real Madrid and Villareal.
AC: The days before the tournaments and championships, do you follow a special routine to relax?
SG: No, nothing out of the ordinary. I practice a little. If I have time I go to the gym, but nothing out of the ordinary.
AC: Tiger Woods has confessed on various occasions that he uses visualisation techniques to achieve success. Did you use visualisation techniques for this tournament?
SG: Yes, I have in the past.
AC: And if you could choose among the courses in Andalucia, which would you prefer and why?
SG: Valderrama is one I've always loved and it's one of my favourites. There are many good courses out there though. The Sotogrande course is fantastic, I've heard Cortesín is really good too, even though I've never played it. But I think without a doubt my favourite in this area is Valderrama.
AC: What are your favourite places in the San Roque area to relax, have a drink...
SG: When I come I'm here I normally come to practice at Valderrama, at Puerto Banús, at Puerto de la Duquesa, where there are good restaurants to eat at. In general there are four or five fun restaurants between the Sotogrande Port, the La Duquesa Port and a couple of italian restaurants that are really good. I try to mix a little of everything and not always eat the same thing.
AC: And in Andalucia, what are your favourite places?
AC: If you had to choose one of those places to retire in many years from now, which would it be?
SG: If I had to choose one? I don't know. Probably Seville. Seville is a really beautiful place, it's just a bit hot in the summer, but apart from that it seems like a beautiful city with a lot of energy and a lot of life.