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September 17, 2019

Paul Casey

Surrey, England

Q. In 2009 you won the PGA with four rounds in the 60s. What memories of that occasion do you have?
PAUL CASEY: Birdie, birdie finish. Beat Ross Fisher by one I think. Up and down on 18 from the front left bunker. Doesn't exist, that bunker now, but great memories. You know, a lot of people do, that this is where I used to come and watch -- my first experience or exposure to professional golf watching grates like Seve hit shots out of the trees and play this great golf course.

So it's always had fond memories. I grew up only 20 minutes from here in Weybridge. Yeah, that feeling of being victorious around a course that I loved and wanted to beat and have strong affections for, nothing felt better at the time.

Q. You also won a World Match Play that was played in September. How is the golf course different this time of year than it is in May?
PAUL CASEY: I prefer it, actually, later in the season. There's been a lot of technology that's been thrown at this golf course, so it's probably going to be even better than I remember, but it was always, for me, a preferred playing surface and n sort of September, October. The course has had a perfect sort of growing season. Usually firmer in the latter half of the year because we've kind of gone through a summer where things have cooked a bit, which makes the ball release a little bit more on the greens and we have to be a little more precise with shots.

Yeah, the poa doesn't sprout quite as much, but these greens have changed. The surfaces are different now. Yeah, to me, a much superior test of golf later in the season as we are right now.

Q. Overall, what do you think are the biggest keys to scoring here at Wentworth?
PAUL CASEY: It's still a ball-striker's golf course, this place. It's a Harry Colt masterpiece. It's been, you know, fettled, obviously, through the years, but I believe it's back to, you know, a really good design. On a beautiful day, right here, standing right now, these winds swirl, and so it's a combination of great ball-striking, great driving, and then a lot of patience and knowing the nuances of this place.

Q. Two wins, two seconds, two thirds, nine Top-10s in total this year. It's been a wonderful season for you so far. How would you describe your golf this year?
PAUL CASEY: Solid. It's funny, I've not sort of sat back -- my PGA TOUR season has already finished. My European Tour season is sort of only just beginning. I've only played one, shall we say, regular event, outside of the majors and WGCs. So I've not really sat back and kind of reflected on anything. It's been amazing stuff. I've got a lot of important golf to play here this week, some Rolex Series events. So I'm just trying to do what I'm doing, basically. Guys are so good now. The level of golf being played by guys like Rory and Brooks is so phenomenal that they are -- I'm just trying to sort of hang on to coattails. I can't play that level of golf, not at my age, but I'm trying to push myself and be as good as I can be as long as I can be.

Q. With your win in Germany, what did it feel like to get back in the winner's circle on The European Tour?
PAUL CASEY: I read a couple things, "Paul Casey ends four-year drought." I haven't played that many times in Europe since rejoining the Tour last year, wanting to be part of that amazing Ryder Cup in Paris, which I was, and it's still one of the highlights of my career.

I've really not played that much and I felt I played some really amazing golf in Europe the last few years, and any win is special. To win that title, it was an event which I actually used to go and watch when it was at Walton Heath when I was a kid.

That's really, really cool, just as we are standing here at Wentworth. To get those titles and to win those trophies you remember watching as a kid is something very, very special. The Porsche European Open, I'm proud to be their champion.

Q. Ten years since you won here. Does it feel like ten years ago and what are your overriding memories that have week?
PAUL CASEY: It does feel like in a weird way a lifetime ago. I remember the birdie, birdie finish to beat Ross Fisher by one, bless him. I played great golf that week. It was one of the biggest victories and still is in my career because this is where I used to come and watch golf, and the greats like Seve and Faldo and Woosie and all these guys play around this golf course, which was the spark which really sort of lit the fire. Wanted me to sort of -- I wanted to play professional golf and do what those guys are doing. To do so well on a course that I knew and loved was a dream come true. I still pinch myself. I have two titles here.

Obviously the World Match Play was another one of those. I have two clubs on display in the great clubhouse behind us, which I'm very proud of. It's nice to be able to add to the fabric of golf and get your name etched on trophies.

I'd love another one. To have a decade between a couple of titles would be special and I guess no reason why I can't. Got an amazing field this week, but if I keep playing the golf I'm playing, I'll give myself a chance.

Q. Mentioned the field, with the date put back, the field is particularly strong. This time of year, the course looks the best it's ever been. How big is this for The European Tour and the event now?
PAUL CASEY: This is our Flagship Event. BMW are one of the greatest sponsors in golf, not just on The European Tour. This is a Rolex Series Event. This is always a big week. But yeah, something special about it being this time of year. The golf space is pretty cramped, and I think this is a fantastic position to be in the calendar. A lot of guys' schedules are free of other possible commitments. Hence, we have one of the strongest fields I think this tournament has had in a long, long time.

The playing conditions and surfaces this time of year are impeccable. We've had a perfect summer to grow grass. May was funky early in the season, still going and guys would be vocal about things like the putting surfaces but this place will be perfect this week, it really will, and I think that's -- that's reflected in the field and hopefully that will be reflected in the crowds that come out and support us as they always do around here. The European Tour should be very, very proud and be looking forward to this week.

Q. You've mentioned it's one of your favourite courses. There's been a lot of changes over the years. How has it developed and how does it sit right now and what makes it so special?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, it was always one of my favorites. I'm a Harry Colt fan. I'm still a member at Burhill just around the corner from here and used to play a bunch of Harry Colt courses in the area. It then went through a little bit of change, some of it I wasn't necessarily a fan of. But it needed -- you know, it did need a little TLC, there was no question about that, way back when. I think the changes that have been made, nobody ever gets them right, first time out. Things have sort of organically softened and changed, and it's fair to say that with the knowledge now of the changes and how to set up the golf course for a great championship, I'm a fan of it. You're never going to take away the history of it, either. Walking these fairways as pretty much every great has done through their career, everybody's been around this place or won around here. Wentworth always will be a very, very special place, very, very special golf course.

Q. You mentioned The Ryder Cup earlier. Points start this week. How important is it to add to this week and make it even more special, and for you, looking forward and get off to a good start this week?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, it's important for me because I don't play that much in Europe, as you guys know. If I can make points early, it takes the pressure off that I'll be feeling later, next year, to try and solidify a spot on that team. Crazy we are already thinking about it. I've not even got over celebrating last year's victory.

Yeah, in general, Race to Dubai, as well, I'm not playing a full schedule, shall we say, on The European Tour. I'm trying to always make points where I can, and getting into the real important stuff of the season.

This is a big week, as are some of the other Rolex Series Events leading up to DP World Championship when we get there in Dubai later this year. So I'm here, obviously to enjoy myself and enjoy this great place, but I want to win and I'd love to be on another Ryder Cup Team, especially at my age.

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