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Sergio Garcia gets to open Wall Street

Sergio Garcia had a little business to take care of on Wall Street before heading home for a two-week vacation.

The two-time Barclays Classic winner rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange during a short promotional stop Monday for the June 23-26 tournament at the Westchester Country Club.

``That was an unbelievable experience,'' said Garcia, the top European in the world rankings at No. 8. ``I never dreamed I'd get to do something like that.

``This is a great city. It has so much energy. It's amazing seeing all the people on the streets and all the big buildings.''

After playing three straight weeks, the 25-year-old Spanish star is taking a two-week break in Spain and Switzerland to visit family and friends and prepare for the U.S. Open at Pinehurst and his Westchester title defense.

``I'm looking forward to a nice couple of weeks away,'' Garcia said. ``Hopefully, I'll be fresh and ready to go when I come back.''

Three weeks ago in the Wachovia Championship, Garcia matched the largest final-round collapse in PGA Tour history, blowing a six-stroke advantage and dropping out of a three-man playoff with Vijay Singh and Jim Furyk on the first extra hole. Singh ended up beating Furyk on the fourth playoff hole for his third victory of the year.

``I was disappointed, no doubt about it, because I felt I played well enough to win,'' he said. ``But unfortunately I didn't. I still took a lot of positives out of it. There were a lot of good things to take out of that week.''

He followed the Sunday meltdown with a 35th-place tie two weeks ago in his title defense in the Byron Nelson Championship and missed the cut last week in the Colonial.

``I'm looking forward to getting my whole game in shape,'' Garcia said. ``This is an important time of year with some big tournaments coming up.''

Last year, Garcia won the Westchester event -- then called the Buick Classic -- for the second time in four years, beating Padraig Harrington and Rory Sabbatini in a playoff. The five-time PGA Tour winner has 19 straight rounds of par or better on the hilly, tree-lined Westchester course and has earned a record $2,042,375 in five appearances in the tournament.

``This tournament is one I always looking forward to playing,'' Garcia said. ``It's been by far the best course for me on the tour. ... It's a great golf course. When the weather's good and it's firm and fast, it's a great test.''


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