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May 19, 2019

Paul Casey

Farmingdale, New York

Q. 69, good score today. This golf course is playing tough with the breeze?
PAUL CASEY: It is. We just walked in, you laughed at me because there's a dog near the scoring area with a little jacket on it, says emotional support dog, which is what I feel like I need after playing that golf course. I played really well today. I made a couple of errors still, but what Brooks is doing so far, is unbelievable. I think he'll win but it's going to be a really tough golf course today.

Q. Walk me through the last four. That shot you hit at 15 today, that's still a guess going up the hill to get it below the hole, down breeze, uphill like that?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, it was lucky, wasn't it. That's probably the only receptive pin that I've seen the last four days where you've got some -- a backstop and a bit of a bowl. We haven't really seen anything where you feel you can get away with a poor shot and still get close to the pin. But it still requires an amazing tee shot with wind down off your left shoulder, for a right-hander, that's really, really difficult.

Look, the whole place, its reputation is true, plain and simple.

Q. 16, the par 5, today, if you don't hit the fairway --
PAUL CASEY: It's not that long but yeah, Phil hit two shots there. He found his first, luckily, and he didn't walk away with a par. He probably should have. And the movement on the ball off the tee, on a normal day, that probably would have been maybe 20, 30 yards between his two drives. It was 80 yards between his two drives, just the elevation and amount of wind you're facing. This place exaggerates any error you make.

Q. I had Phil at 146 at 18 and you were a couple yards past him. What kind of number were you playing that shot for. Weren't you less than 140?

Q. What were you trying to hit? 160?
PAUL CASEY: No, because the wind dropped so I tried to hit about 147 and totally messed up and hit with 130. It was rubbish. And I admit that was probably a mental error. I thought, I can see the end in sight. My week is like, you know -- just want to get -- honestly, just get to that point. I'm not winning -- what am I, 50th, so I'm just trying to get out of here. It was a great day. Love playing with Phil around here. The reception was amazing.

Q. What was it like playing with Phil? Can you imagine what it's going to be like playing here in 2024?
PAUL CASEY: We're friends, we have the Arizona State connection. The crowd were amazing. He gets nothing but positive reception around here, and I got a lot of that off the back of him, which was great. In 2024, I will get none of that.

You know, 17 tee was quite raucous, and we're off -- I don't even know, five, six hours before the leaders are going to go off and it's raucous. So yes, amazing. I can't imagine what a Ryder Cup will be like around here. I think it would be intimidating, no doubt. I think I said in an interview earlier this week, it's like a 13th man for the U.S. Team, big advantage.

Q. Any particular comments stood out for you today, anything you heard?
PAUL CASEY: I like the one a couple of days ago when the guy was like, "Paul Casey, you went to Arizona State, the Harvard of the west." That one made me chuckle. I get a lot of forearm comments and Popeye stuff.

Q. If you were in the United States, would you make Phil Mickelson captain here?
PAUL CASEY: Yes. Obviously Stricker is next year. Yeah, I think Phil has a big impact being on home soil if he were to be a captain. I talked to him. He's trying to play. He's got -- it's not even in his -- you can ask him, I don't want to answer for him, but he said he's not even thought about, it not once, which shows -- I mean, he could play. He could be a playing captain. That's good.

Q. Presumably wouldn't set it up like this for a Ryder Cup?
PAUL CASEY: No idea. I genuinely don't know. I wasn't at Hazeltine, I don't know.

Q. Wouldn't want to see you guys slogging it out -- could you imagine playing 36 on this course?
PAUL CASEY: I don't have to worry about that because I'll be too old by then I think.

They are going to set it up to give them an advantage. Yeah, we might have backup caddies, I don't know. Don't know. Electric trolleys.

Q. Do a John Daly and ride around in a buggy.
PAUL CASEY: That's part of the sport, isn't it. It's become more and more of a physical game the way the guys hit the golf ball, but walking around the golf course is a part of the game. That probably answers my take on that. That's a massive factor, as it should be at The Ryder Cup, is fatigue and managing it. Around here it's paramount. I couldn't imagine playing 36, and I'm fit-ish.

Q. How do you prepare for the U.S. Open?
PAUL CASEY: Play next week and two weeks off. I don't play Pebble brilliantly, but obviously AT&T earlier this year is the mix of the three courses, so my low scores were at the other venues predominately. But I love it, having played it early this year. I don't feel I need to go in there early and do anything different. We saw the mowing patterns for The Open at the AT&T. Things like the 8th shifted drastically towards the right, towards the cliff, so we know those. There's a lot of things we don't need to worry about because we know certain things. 11 has shifted, as well, the fairway line.

I played a U.S. Open there in the summer. Not a lot I need to do. I'm excited for it, so just get ready and make sure I'm fit and healthy.

Q. When you look at what Brooks has done this week, and really in the majors the last two years pretty much, can you come up with an explanation of why he's able to compete so well in his events?
PAUL CASEY: Because he's that good.

Q. As opposed to PGA TOUR events?
PAUL CASEY: I've never thought about that. Somebody said to me -- I didn't realize -- has he never won a regular event?

Q. He's won two.
PAUL CASEY: Somebody said to me -- of course he has. Okay, whoever told me that.

What's the question?

Q. Any explanation for that.
PAUL CASEY: He's that good. His ability is that good and he believes and he's got the confidence.

Q. He said his focus goes up tenfold for majors?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I know, I read -- somebody was taking a leave out of Jack's book about how half the field will not play well and this and that and he's only got to beat a certain number of guys at a major, and he's right, and he backs it up, as well.

Q. When you see what Tiger has done, the generations, can you compare this at all, the stretch he's been on in the majors compared to what Tiger did in the early 2000?
PAUL CASEY: His major performance is very similar, yeah, but Tiger was every week, wasn't he, as well.

But his physical attributes on the golf course put him in a category that only one or two guys can really compete when he gets going, Dustin and Rory and some other guys, J.T. probably. When he gets cranking -- I saw it close-up. At The Ryder Cup, I saw it close-up and I saw it at the Masters. That was unbelievable ball-striking for the first two days, as good as I've ever seen, in a category with -- how long have I been out here, 18 years -- with Tiger.

Phil is a very different golfer. Dustin, Rory, that's kind of it.

Q. If you could only use one word to describe his performance this week?
PAUL CASEY: I mean, it's something cliché. Just go, spectacular or something to describe him, as well, strong. Powerful.

Q. Does this feel different than when Rory was ripping off majors from 2011 to 2014?
PAUL CASEY: Don't know. I've not really compared the two. Rory is a guy who impresses me, as well. Does it feel different? I don't know. It's just both unbelievable players. Ask me again in another year or two and we'll see how many -- we'll see where those two guys are. There is -- there seems like a separation with some guys. Maybe there was a quite period where we couldn't quite see it and Rory would show some stuff. We are seeing some separation with guys like Rory and Dustin, ability is so good. I can't do what those guys do. That's impressive.

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