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Garcia to cut back US schedule in 2003

Sergio Garcia says he has played too much golf on both sides of the Atlantic this year and is not planning to extend his playing schedule in Europe for 2003.

The Spaniard, one of the pre-tournament favourites for this week's season-ending Volvo Masters at Valderrama, expects to compete next year in the minimum 11 European Tour events required for him to retain his tour card.

"I don't know what happened -- everybody got everything wrong," he told a news conference on Wednesday after being asked to expand on comments allegedly made by him in the United States last week.

"I said I would love to (play more events in Europe) but, unfortunately, I can't.

"I said I would probably play a couple of tournaments less there (in the U.S.). Instead of 21, I will probably play 19 and the same amount (11) in Europe."

The 22-year-old Garcia, who lies sixth in the 2002 European order of merit after producing nine top-10 finishes in only 10 starts this season, said fatigue had been a factor for him this year.

"I feel like I played a little bit too much this year," he said. "It's pretty much the travel. It's quite hard and the more you do it the tougher it gets."

Garcia is committed to three more events before ending his 2002 campaign -- a skins tournament in Singapore next week, the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan and the Million Dollar Challenge in South Africa.

"Three tournaments to go and I am looking forward to a nice break after that," he said. "I do it (all the travelling) because I love it -- no other reason than that.

"But this year has been particularly long and that's why I am cutting the schedule back a bit."

Garcia was the only player this year to finish in the top 10 at all four majors but still feels his year could have been better.

"I'm quite happy with this season and my level of play has been pretty good," he said.

"But I'm a little unhappy in that, from the beginning of the year, I felt like my game was better and that I should have won more tournaments.

"I was playing really well -- probably the best golf of my whole life -- but I wasn't putting well.

"If I keep working on that and get my game back to the level where it was at the beginning of the year, things will look good."


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