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Sergio Garcia on his U.S. Open putter switch, World Cup thoughts

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With the start of the World Cup just a few days away, one Spain supporter arrived at the Adidas Flagship store on Fifth Avenue to check out the wares, make a custom jersey at the print shop and…talk to reporters ahead of his 76th straight major appearance.

Sergio Garcia, the La Roja fan in question, took a quick chopper ride into Midtown from Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, site of the 118th U.S. Open, for a meet and greet yesterday; he was kind enough to talk to GolfWRX for a few minutes.

Photo by Tom Bender.

Q. Any equipment tweaks for Shinnecock?

A. Not really. Just a new putter; but other than that, pretty much the same stuff. But I’m just excited to be there after 2004 [Garcia tied for 20th].

Q. So no adjustment to the wedges? No new grinds?

A. No. I’ll go to the course tomorrow and see how it feels. But I don’t think I’ll be changing much at all…the way I look at it, it’s not easy to practice with something all the time and then come in two days before the tournament and change everything. Unless it’s really radical–the course is extra firm or something like that–I’ll usually just deal with it.

Q. And then the putter: tell us a bit more about that.

A. I’ve got one of the [Odyssey] EXOs [Rossie X]. A little bit more of a…half moon shape with a little bit more weight on it. It swings a little bit easier. (See in-hand photos of Sergio’s putter here)

Q. Since we’re here at Adidas, and you’ve been signed with the company for nearly 20 years, I wonder about your exposure to the brand was before you signed…maybe when you were younger, watching soccer?

A. I’ve always been a huge soccer fan, as everyone knows, and I played it myself, so I’ve always been connected to Adidas from a very young age. Obviously, when it comes to golf, they started just around the time I turned pro…so it fitted nicely–me being European, I felt very connected…it was a perfect fit from the beginning…

Q. Two decades. A lot has changed in terms of apparel and footwear in that time, hasn’t it?

A. I think of 1999-2000, and it doesn’t feel like it was almost 20 years ago…it feels like maybe five or six years ago. But the quality of everything, every single aspect of clothing, shoes, hats…has come a long, long way. It’s an honor to be partnered with a company that is fighting to become so much better every single time…the way they’ve introduced new materials, always innovating…they’re doing things that are not only good for us, the athletes, but for the environment. [They’re doing] those things that are easy to say, but are not always easy to do.

Photo by Tom Bender.

Q. Cool. So, World Cup. I was looking at the Official FIFA Ranking, and I think Spain is No. 10. I saw a couple of power rankings that had them at, like, No. 2 or No. 5. How do you like their chances?

A. To be totally honest, I like the team we have. It’s a little bit younger team. Some good young players. It’s just a matter of seeing how fresh they are…some of them have had really long seasons with Real Madrid and Barcelona. A lot of games. So it’s always a bit of a question…to see if they get in a rhythm. It isn’t easy.

And the other teams, they’ve all improved so much. Any team that maybe 10 or 12 years ago…you struggle to beat them 1-0 or 2-0.

Photo by Tom Bender.

Related: See our most recent WITB for Sergio here.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. HDTVMAN

    Jun 13, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Still have a White Hot Rossie, but gotta get that new EXO Rossie S…it’s gorgeous!

  2. golfraven

    Jun 13, 2018 at 9:47 am

    The fella holding the putter looks like a young Tiger. The guy in the back went over the top with his Adidas socks. Sergio is class when meeting young kids or any fan – he spent some time taking pictures and chatting to my wife and son not long ago. I have a picture with him couple of years back too. Certainly cheering for him – Vamos Sergio

  3. gif

    Jun 13, 2018 at 1:10 am

    … [Odyssey] EXOs [Rossie X]…. wow, good to know… microhinged face too… potent putter… 😮

    • golfraven

      Jun 13, 2018 at 9:42 am

      The EXO putters are killer but so are the prices. You are talking twice the price of a current iWorks model. However if I was in the market for a new putter the Exo #7 would be my first choice. Great looking club and the insert is awesome – I rolled all balls into the hole from every possible distance, not that it counts.

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Tour News

5 things we learned on Sunday of the 2018 U.S. Open

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Opportunity knocked for so many golfers, yet it was the 2017 champion who seized the moment when it was his. Brooks Koepka fired his second sub-par round of the week on Sunday to separate from playing partner Dustin Johnson, and enter the pantheon of multiple major champions. He became the 7th player to defend his title, joining old-school legends like Willie Anderson and John McDermott, mid-century icons like Ralph Guldahl and Ben Hogan, and the last man to accomplish the feat, Curtis Strange. With that introduction, let’s move to the main event, the 5 things we learned on Sunday at Shinnecock Hills.

5) The USGA gave golf a chance

True to its word, the USGA pulled out all the stops in the wee hours of Sunday morn. The course set-up team ensured that enough water was distributed to putting surfaces, that worthy shots would not be punished. Hole locations were assessed and confirmed, also ensuring that multiple opportunities for success were available. As a result, 15 golfers turned in scores under par of 70, highlighted by Tommy Fleetwood’s 7-under stunner. Although many fans, writers and players were quick to assault the organizers for losing control of the course, the USGA reminded us that it always had control of the conditions at Shinny, and that its only mistake was to soar too close to the sun.

4) Captain America ran out of gas

If Patrick Reed had been able to sign his card on the 9th tee, when he stood 5-under on the day and 1-over for the tournament, he would be in a playoff with the eventual champion as I type. Unfortunate for this year’s Masters champion was that 10 holes remained. Reed promptly bogeyed the 9th, added 3 more bogeys on the inward half, and summoned just one birdie toward the end. His fourth-place finish was his best in a U.S. Open, but knowing that victory was in the cards will sting for a while.

3) DJ and Finau gave it a run

Where to begin? How about this: DJ had four bogeys on Sunday. He totaled that many on Thursday-Friday combined. He had birdies, too, but couldn’t find the game that possessed him over the opening 36 holes. Oddly enough, this type of experience won’t be a setback for the 2016 champion. After all, he came back from a career-killer in 2015, when he 3-whacked his way out of a playoff with Jordan Spieth at Chambers Bay. As for Milton Pouhau Finau, aka Tony, the Utah native had never before been in the final group on any day of a major professional championship. He acquitted himself well, standing even on the day and 3-over for T2 at the 18th tee. Knowing that he needed eagle for a playoff might have taken the final winds from his sails, and he limped home with double bogey and solo third. Looking ahead to the final August playing of the PGA Championship, Bellerive near St. Louis might just be his type of course.

2) Tom Terrific nearly made his own U.S. Open history

I’ll write this cautiously, as I’m certain I would have intimated in the 1980s and 90s that Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood would have been major champions by now. Tommy Fleetwood ought to win one of these things soon. His record-tying 63 was a short putt away from a record-breaking 62. Eight birdies against a single bogey was the stuff of legend, and if only he had trusted that final putt a bit higher on the break … that’s not fair. Fleetwood right now is the fellow to watch at Carnoustie next month. Bet a few quid or bob or whatever on the Southport native, as he should contend for the title.

1) Brooks cooks up a winning broth

It’s easy to look back and see all the great shots that the defending champion hit over the four days of the 2018 U.S. Open, shots that would win him his second consecutive trophy. Remember that 60-feet bomb to save par on Saturday? Shades of Costantino Rocca. How about the approach shots to within mere feet that earned him 5 birdies on Sunday, including a competition-killer on 16? Koepka was the guy we thought Dustin Johnson would be. Perhaps it was the time off for wrist rehabilitation early this season that gave him the burning desire to win. Out for nearly 4 months, Koepka had plenty of time to ponder what he achieved last June in Wisconsin, and what might lay ahead for him. The begged question is, does the most recent, two-time major winner have the game to acquire more of the game’s cherished trophies?

Related: Brooks Koepka’s Winning WITB from the 2018 U.S. Open

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Wednesday’s Photos from the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club (par 70; 7,440 yards) in Southhampton, New York. The U.S. Open returns to Shinnecock for the first time since 2004 when Retief Goosen won (he failed to qualify for the 2018 event).

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Phil Mickelson, who has two top-5 finishes at Shinnecock Hills, will seek to fill out his career Grand Slam with a win this week. Also, it’s Tiger Woods’ 10-year anniversary of winning the legendary 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines — that was his most recent major championship victory.

Also in the field are headliners Dustin Johnson (now ranked No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings), Justin Thomas (No. 2), Justin Rose (No. 3), Jon Rahm (No. 4) and Jordan Spieth (No. 5).

Brooks Koepka (No. 9) is the defending champion; he won last year by four shots for his first and only major so far in his career.

Check out our photos from Shinnecock Hills below!

Wednesday’s Galleries

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums

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Spotted at Shinnecock: #RVLife, superb staff bags, stellar stampings

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We’re on the famed grounds of Shinnecock Hills Golf Club for the second major of the year. With the U.S. Open returned to such a visually and historically rich venue, it may be a bit tough to focus on equipment.

Nevertheless, we spotted some cool stuff, Tuesday, as the players move ever closer to the second major of th eyear.

Let’s get to the photos.

#RVLife propronent, Jason Day’s putter cover is incredible.

Michael Greller displays an essential caddie skill…

Face of Tiger’s wedge. Do these look like standard TaylorMade MG grooves to you?

Greatest side panel on a bag ever?

Who isn’t happy to see “Woods” on USGA tournament signage?

Shintaro Ban’s unique dot stamping is, well, money.

A look at the Bridgestone U.S. Open staff bag and headcovers.

Kenny Perry: Still gaming R7 irons.

Scott Gregory with some solid wedge stamping.

What is this lead taped and war torn beauty?

All our photos from Tuesday

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums

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