Sergio Garcia sat down with All Square at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
The world #41 spoke about his goals for 2020, equipment changes and going back to Saudi Arabia.
You’ve never finished outside of the top 20 here, and you’ve won in the desert before, in Qatar and Dubai, which started off a pretty special year for you. Are you feeling confident playing here?
I feel good. I’ve been practising hard and I’m excited. It’s a very good tournament to start the year with, then there’s a nice run of tournaments over the next couple of weeks, and then back to the U.S.
So hopefully we can see some results after all the hard work we’ve been putting in, and have a good year because it’s a big year and we’re looking forward to it.
When you won the Masters, we thought you had kicked the door open and a second Major would follow. Does it make it more urgent now as you look ahead into your 40s and think, I need this more than ever?
Not really. I felt like I had a great career before winning the Masters. But obviously after winning it, it’s even better with everything I’ve been able to do worldwide and at the Ryder Cup.
I would love to get the second one and hopefully more. I’ve been fortunate physically throughout my whole career, so that gives me opportunities of playing a lot of Majors. So hopefully I’ll give myself some more options. That’s what I’m working for. But it’s not do-or-die. If we get the second or the third or whatever, it will be great, but if it doesn’t happen, I’m happy with everything that’s gone on in my life.
Is there something about winning in January that gives a player momentum?
Definitely. Any time you can start the year like that, it’s great. It’s a positive start. It gives you a lot of confidence. It probably takes a little bit of pressure off knowing that you’ve already got a win.
But even if you don’t win, if you have two or three good weeks where you’re contending and you’re playing well and you can see what you’re doing is going in the right direction, that’s already a win. But any time you can start with a win around this course it’s obviously an extra positive.
Are you in a new equipment situation heading into 2020?
I am, yes. Unfortunately our relationship with Callaway didn’t go any further. So at the moment I’m a free agent. I’m playing with whatever feels best for me. That’s where we are and that’s what I’ve been working on this Christmas break.
Is that a scenario that you wanted heading into the new year?
I wouldn’t particularly say that. Many of the things that Callaway wanted me to do, I couldn’t agree to them. Unfortunately we thought the best thing to do was to go our separate ways.
It’s all good. There’s no hard feelings by any side, and these things happen. At the end of the day, what I want is to go out there and enjoy what I do, try to do it to the best of my ability, and they are also trying to get the best equipment they can get. Unfortunately it wasn’t the fit that we thought it would be for me.
It would have been easy for you to not play the Saudi International this year after what happened last year (Garcia was disqualified in the third round). What were your reasons for going back there?
I feel terrible about what happened last year. Obviously there were some outside things that got me to that point. The easy thing would have been for me to hide and never come back, but I love the people there, and the Sheikh and everyone that takes care of us during the tournament. They are amazing people and they wanted me to go back.
So that was an easy decision and I’m excited to go back there. Show myself, show the true Sergio, and show them my respect and try to play the best that I can, and hopefully have a great tournament.