November 12, 2003
KIAWAH, SOUTH CAROLINA
GORDON SIMPSON: Welcome to the England Team, Paul Casey and Justin Rose, tied third last year and obviously want to go further this year. What is your first impression of Kiawah?
PAUL CASEY: Fantastic really. A very long walk. But Pete hasn't made a golf course that wasn't a long walk. Seen a lot of pictures. Fantastic events that have been held here over the years, but it's better than I expected. Don't really know what to say about the course other than that. It's going to be a fantastic challenge this week, and if the wind blows it's going to be a brutal golf course. It's one which will bring out the better teams. The better teams will rise to the top by the end of the week.
GORDON SIMPSON: Justin, your observations.
JUSTIN ROSE: I think how we played yesterday, it's a long golf course, but there are so many tee options on this golf course. Obviously yesterday we played where the markers were and where they put the sort of big posts. So I presume that's where we're going to play the tournament from. Should the wind change, the weather change, they have a lot of options to make the course playable no matter what. I think it's a really good golf course.
GORDON SIMPSON: How did it benefit playing the Seve Trophy last week to get used to playing with one another?
PAUL CASEY: Captain Monty didn't put us together. Whether that's a ploy to got give England an advantage over Scotland this week I'm not sure.
GORDON SIMPSON: The format.
PAUL CASEY: Oh, the format. I think at least we have had a round playing some foursomes golf and four-ball stuff before this week. That's definitely a positive. We didn't play together but I don't think that's going to be an issue, because we've played enough together and know each other's game that I think tomorrow morning we'll play nicely.
JUSTIN ROSE: One thing we learned last week was in four-ball better ball, if one guy is in play, it doesn't necessarily mean the other guy should open his shoulders and smash it as far as he can. The key is to have two balls in play and have two putts for birdie. I think that's the best way to score low in four-ball, instead of one guy going for the flag with one guy on the green. If you have two birdie putts on every hole it gives you a better chance.
Q. Going back to the course itself, can you speak to the conditions, and specifically the conditions of the greens which are very new?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think they're great. Right now they're at a speed where should it get windy I think they're still playable, which is something you have to bear in mind around here. I'm not sure what type of grass it is but it's a fairly coarse grass. They are in great shape. One thing I like about them is they're very firm which is sometimes characteristic of new greens. For me they're playing really nicely, if you hit a good shot, for it to react onto the green.
PAUL CASEY: I agree with Justin. Shots from yesterday were releasing, mid-iron shot were racing 5, 6, 7 yards. They had a tendency to not do what you think they're going to do occasionally, but it's the same for everybody. The surface is very good. I understand they lost them 6 months ago or so. So to be honest, it's an achievement to have them in such a good standard as it is now.
Q. When you played for the first time was there a sense of learning each other's game? And if so, is it an advantage having played together last year?
JUSTIN ROSE: For me, I don't think it's so much a learning curve about each other's game, but for yourself because we play so much stroke-play. When we get into a format like this, it's strange the first few holes to get into what the tournament needs. I would just say getting over the format is more important than getting used to the other guy's game in a way.
PAUL CASEY: I would agree with Justin. I don't think you need to change your game in any way to play this game. You stick with what you're good at. And he's definitely right, you expect it to be different. You expect to have to do different things in this event, but that's not the case. If you stick to your game, that's fine.
Q. Which ball do you use in foresomes?
JUSTIN ROSE: We're not sure yet.
PAUL CASEY: We haven't decided. It depends on the greens. I use the regular Pro V and Justin uses the X.
Q. Are you glad the format has changed? I know you didn't play it before.
PAUL CASEY: On a golf course like this, yes. If the wind blew around here you wouldn't like to have to count. I think something like better ball is a savior if your partner has a complete nightmare on a golf course like this. You need something to bail you out. I really don't remember the old format. I really didn't pay attention to it. Only in the last couple of years that I've sort of recognized this event. It's one of those things, growing up in the UK, it wasn't very -- I think I just remember Freddie and Davis winning it every year. That's all I remember about it.
JUSTIN ROSE: In the old event, the old format possibly you had to -- you could rely heavily on your partner, if your partner had a great week, which I know has happened, and the team won if the guy has an exceptional week. Obviously this week when you're playing foursomes, you're playing very much as a team rather than individuals and adding your scores up at the end. I think I prefer this format.
Q. Who would you say challenges you this week?
PAUL CASEY: Justin is my main challenge (laughter). Obviously the States. I think Sweden has a very good team.
JUSTIN ROSE: Korea might be a surprise.
PAUL CASEY: Australia.
Q. This time last year, you said you were having to gain some momentum to take into this year, which you got, is there some sense of role reversal this year?
JUSTIN ROSE: Definitely. This year has been good in a lot of ways. Obviously it's been lacking in other ways too. Obviously there's no better feeling than winning a golf tournament. That's something I want to do this week and to do obviously going into next season as well. Definitely in this off-season I will have time to revaluate everything.
Q. What are your plans now?
JUSTIN ROSE: Taiwan next week and then seven or eight weeks off. I'm going to spend a lot of time down in South Africa where I can do a good amount of practice in some decent weather.
Q. Did you concentrate last winter more on fitness than practice?
JUSTIN ROSE: I think the problem was the World Cup finished something like the 18th of December, really late whenever it was, and the season started on the 7th of January, so there wasn't really any time to do anything last winter. This season I will make a more conscious effort -- we're lucky in a way that the season finishes earlier so it gives you more time off.
Q. Were you two warring last year in Mexico?
JUSTIN ROSE: Did you say warring?
PAUL CASEY: We couldn't stand each other.
JUSTIN ROSE: No, it's news to me.
Q. What are your plans for next year?
PAUL CASEY: Probably going to start in South Africa. I will be there for Christmas and New Year's. It makes sense to start down there.
Q. How do you rate your chances this week?
PAUL CASEY: I think we have a very good chance. We certainly know what to expect this year. We know it's not going to be easy, but I think both of us have got -- our games are in good enough shape to definitely challenge this week. You can't predict in a format like this until you really get going, because a lot of momentum I think that you need in this kind of event, if you're both feeling good and both gelling together nicely, the foursomes I think are really the key. We had one good foursomes round last year, 63, I believe, the first foursomes, and we really didn't finish the job off the last two days, unfortunately.
Q. Coming back from being down, do you think that will help you this year?
JUSTIN ROSE: Are you talking about the Seve Trophy?
PAUL CASEY: Especially in foursomes, it's never over until it's over, it's a tough game to play.
Q. Having not played so well last year, will the experience last week help to carry you through this week?
PAUL CASEY: The four-ball is where we lacked last year. We thought we would be strong in four-ball and we weren't as strong as we thought we would be. We actually surprised ourselves that we played better in foursomes than four-ball. So this year we'll improve on the four-balls.
Q. The comment about both being in play, is that a result with the end of the first match?
JUSTIN ROSE: Paul realized that as well, we learned that from last week, obviously two balls in play is a lot better, because if one guy is on his own on a hole, he can't hit the putt the way he wants to or he's got to be a little more defensive.
PAUL CASEY: I think it's keeping as little pressure as possible on your partner. There's enough pressure out there already. I think, like Justin says, two birdie putts from 20 feet, you have a better chance of making one of them than if there is only one guy left and he has a 10-footer. To be honest, it's just playing the odds, I think. I'm not a gambling man, but you have a better chance with two balls in play.
Q. Going back to the golf course, did you guys watch the Ryder Cup in '91? What were your thoughts about that?
PAUL CASEY: I thought that putt was going to break on the last. It's different what you see on TV and standing in the middle of the fairway. It's really different. The greens are smaller than I thought they were going to be. We're close to the ocean but the waves are not lapping up on the edge of the fairways like I thought they would be. You don't see the ocean until you get to sort of the last three or four holes.
Q. How did you do on 17 yesterday?
PAUL CASEY: We both hit two very nice shots in there. I think he just got me, actually.
JUSTIN ROSE: Obviously, that was one hole I was really looking forward to seeing. Stepping onto the tee, it was shorter -- visually it looked shorter than I was expecting but it played a 4-iron, further back on the right. It's a tiny little green, really, and it's angled across, so the further right you go, the longer the carry. If you pull it left, it always goes further anyway, so anything slightly pulled is in the traps left.
Q. Did watching the Ryder Cup fuel your own hopes in playing in the Ryder Cup?
PAUL CASEY: The thing that got me going was the last one. Now being on TOUR and knowing the guys who are playing in it, was the one that got me fired up. All Ryder Cups have been a big interest up until then, but it's not really the same as when you watch them on TV as a kid and get out there and know the guys. It's slightly different.
Q. Paul what are you doing in the off-season?
PAUL CASEY: I'll be in Scottsdale for two months, and then play either Johnnie Walker or Phoenix Open. I'll decide which ones I'll start the season with and work on stuff out there. I think it's about 75 degrees. I can't wait. No bugs in Scottsdale.
Q. You had a victory last year when you came to World Cup in Mexico. Are you planning to defend your title?
PAUL CASEY: I can't defend my title, actually. I have a function I have to go to that week which is going to be disappointing. I look forward to getting back and working on various aspects of my game.
Q. You might start with Phoenix next year?
PAUL CASEY: I might start with Phoenix Open but I might go to Australia. And then I don't know from there, Heineken and ANZ. Things obviously change. Augusta maybe and stuff like that. We will see.
Q. What will be your run for Augusta? Would you like to spend more time in the States?
JUSTIN ROSE: I really enjoyed the Florida swing up to Augusta. I felt it prepared me nicely for Augusta. I'll be doing much of the same next year.
End of FastScripts.