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October 28, 2009

Paul Casey


GORDON SIMPSON: Paul, welcome back to the golf course. Not something you're familiar with in the last couple of months, but maybe start by telling us your thoughts on being back playing competitively again after such a long break.
PAUL CASEY: I'm excited to be back. It's fun to be on the golf course. I think I've played maybe three or four rounds of golf, full rounds of golf, since The Open Championship. So it's been a while.
Just excited to be back. I mean, I was getting very bored at home.
GORDON SIMPSON: It's been a bit of a void, has it?
PAUL CASEY: It has. I'll be the first to admit that occasionally that the travel and the schedule I play, I get a bit fatigued and burnt out, but yeah, I'm chomping at the bit to get back on the golf course and play golf again, but really forgot how much I love this game.
GORDON SIMPSON: For somebody who has played so much golf over the years, how did you fill in that time?
PAUL CASEY: Unfortunately with not fun stuff. It's been, you know, rehabilitation, it's been spending time, ultrasound, cold laser, ice, heat, everything we can do to try to speed up the recovery process, which has been spent at home.
So it has not been a holiday. I wish it had. Would have been nice. But it's been fairly -- it's been fairly dull, actually. If I look at my schedule, it's go and get treatments and hit some chips and putts and do some light stuff and kill time.

Q. I was going to ask you, as a former winner of The World Match Play at Wentworth, what you think about the new format, and also the new venue as well, Finca Cortesin.
PAUL CASEY: The venue is fantastic. This place is beautiful. One of the finest hotels I've ever stayed in. Yeah, it's a gorgeous place. I think the golf course is in wonderful shape. I'm glad we are playing match play around it this week. It's going to be a fun match-play golf course. I'm not sure -- you know, if you get it off line or you get on the wrong side of the pin, it's very, very difficult. It's a tough golf course.
And I think the format we've got, is kind of different, playing the matches to conclusion all the way through to 18, you're going to have to be very patient. To me it's a little reminiscent of the way that the Dunhill used to be, the sort of 18-hole stroke-play matches. You just have to keep it going and sort of, even if theoretically the match is over, grind it out as much as possible, which is going to be something quite new for me. Because you've got sort of that really -- it could make a difference coming down to the groups.
I'm excited about it. We have got a great field and it's going to be tough.

Q. From what you were saying outside, it sounds as if you shouldn't be here, would you not have been here if not for the end of the season being the way it is with The Race to Dubai, etc.?
PAUL CASEY: I think it's a very strange one, because I thought I was -- I mean, I'm playing this week and I'm going to -- I feel that I've got a chance to win this thing. That's the reason I'm here.
I feel that it is fatigued more after two days golf, which surprising, but in no way is it going to stop me from trying to win this thing. It's very difficult to gauge. Sitting at home there have been many occasions where I felt like I'm ready, ready to get back into the swing of things and start practising again.
Trouble is, there's no way, really, of testing it until I'm out here in the mix playing golf. Trying to recreate that sort of scenario back at home when I've been on the golf course and practising, but part of it could be the travel. You know, a whole combination of stuff that is making me feel like maybe it wasn't quite as far along in being fixed as it should be.
But I'm aware of what my body feeling is feeling, so I'm not going to push it and do anymore damage.

Q. What would it take for you to stop?
PAUL CASEY: Sharp pain.

Q. One sharp?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, that's enough. I'll be out of here.
Right now it just feels like an ache. It feels tender, it feels tight, but it's not a sharp pain. And it gets tired. And I think a nice way of putting it is the muscles get slightly angry around there and they are telling me they are not liking what's going on, and I get tired and maybe I make sort of a couple of poor swings out there as I have done the last couple of days.
But a sharp pain, and the thing I still haven't done, is I haven't hit golf balls out of the rough since I did it, since Akron. And there's no rough this week. Next week, though.

Q. What is the exact injury? Is it a muscular thing?
PAUL CASEY: I tore my internal obliques down by the 10th rib, and tore or strained, not exactly sure, my intercostals, same area. And there was fluid around the ninth rib and eighth rib.
I don't know, I'm not really -- I read the report, but it just showed up as a big sort of white area in the MRI.

Q. Do you know the way it happened?
PAUL CASEY: Hitting golf balls, yeah. The first time I did it was practising for The Open with Kostis, I'm going to blame him. Some people call it the "inter-Kostis" muscle.
The drill we were doing with the driver, closing up the stance to get a bit more extension through the swing, sort of a bit more extension through there, and as I came through, I just felt something go, right in here. Didn't think too much of it and never done anything like that before.
Played through the pain the week of The Open, and then eighth hole at Akron, 6-iron out of left rough in practice, I hit it -- I went at one hard and it was a very, very sharp pain, much worse than I had before, in exactly the same area. And as I said outside there, I had never done anything like that before.
So hindsight, probably should have been straight on out of there and got the MRI and all the rest of it and start to check out what it was and start getting treatment, but I didn't know. I just assumed I had strained a muscle.

Q. And had you been told that with one sharp pain, you should pull out?
PAUL CASEY: No, I'm going on my -- no, that's myself. My doctor said it's fine to go, but only I know what I'm feeling. And if I did do that again, I would be on a plane and go get another MRI just to go see what I've done again. But we are not going to do that. (Smiling).

Q. Do you think had The Open not been the following week, you wouldn't have played and you might not have done anymore damage? Do you think you damaged it playing The Open?
PAUL CASEY: No. I don't think I damaged it during The Open. I don't think I made it any worse. And then I had two full weeks before Bridgestone when I had only played, I think maybe one full round of golf in that two weeks. I played a small exhibition thing with Stephen Ames and that was it. Hit very few balls. I was aware that it wasn't feeling quite right. And those first seven and a half holes were pretty good in Akron.
So it was discomfort, but it wasn't debilitating.

Q. Before the injury happened, did you do some extensive physical training, any body, weight lifting or something like this?
PAUL CASEY: Nothing different from what I do or have been doing up until that point, no.

Q. But are you doing a lot of that stuff?
PAUL CASEY: I haven't been able to, no.

Q. Or before, training in the gym?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I always have. Yeah, I think my training regime is pretty good, and it's fairly intensive. And I felt like I was in good shape, and it just --

Q. Well, you look in good shape.
PAUL CASEY: Doesn't mean anything, when you're hitting golf balls; sport is sport, stuff happens. What was interesting was trying to find -- I was always out there trying to find, why did this happen. And what I got from it was the cause was actually from the shoulder and some muscles, I'm not very good on my physiology, but the right shoulder blade wasn't winging correctly. It wasn't sort of moving the way it should. That was restricted, that put pressure on the front, and so that's the bit that went. And it's the weakest.

Q. Will you train with a trainer who gives you the right regime and program? It might happen some something goes out of balance.
PAUL CASEY: Golf is very symmetric, that's why we pend our time trying to get back to neutral. It highlighted to me that all of what you think is silly little exercises to work on specific parts of the body, not just throwing the weights around, are very, very important, and I've been good with that. But you can always be better. So when this is fully cleared up -- I've been trying to address all of the areas that could possibly lead to something in the future, as much as I can without aggravating this.

Q. One would assume that you're not going flat-out at the moment, but have you noticed that you've lost any distance?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I have. (Chuckling) I was probably down -- it's not too bad this week because it's sunny and hot. It's probably off at least five percent. If a 7-iron, this sort of temperature was sort of going 180 yards, fully fit, it's probably only doing low 70s right now. It's a bit frustrating.

Q. How does that translate to the driver?
PAUL CASEY: I haven't been going at it full. I mean, it's going okay. If I time it right and I strike it very well, then I'm efficient and the golf ball still goes a good distance.

Q. Would it be down, say, 310, to 290?
PAUL CASEY: 310? Was I hitting 310 before? I did hit one yesterday into the wind on 14, and I hit it really well. It went 270 yards, which maybe because I haven't played -- surprise me. Even Craig was chuckling at me.

Q. Do you feel that you're extremely unlucky when it comes to the Money List in Europe? I'm just thinking back to Valderrama a few years ago when Padraig Harrington, you picked up food poisoning.
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, the food poisoning wasn't fun. Maybe if they had counted more money from the Match Play that year, I might have won it. (Smiling).
It is what it is. If Sergio made par on the last; there are a lot of scenarios but the ultimate thing is Padraig played great golf. He knew what he had to do and he did it and all credit to him.

Q. You don't feel cursed?
PAUL CASEY: No. I look at how I knew that that had happened to Paddy in the past, he got pipped by Retief one year, very close. So I took the positive out of it and I had a good chat with Padraig.
Yeah, I thought it was a great opportunity this year, looking at it in July and I can't believe I've still got a chance right now. I thought I would be much further back.
It was also very unlucky what happened to Martin, as well. Maybe it's the curse of leading The Race to Dubai, I don't know.

Q. Assuming you're fully fit, what's your schedule?
PAUL CASEY: I'm into the next four. Shanghai, Hong Kong, Dubai. So, we will see. I want to play them all. I want to -- I really want to finish off the season how I started it.

Q. Do you expect to play them all?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I do expect to play in them all. So it's going to be fun. I mean, it's nice, I got a nice -- there's lots of things; I haven't made any Ryder Cup points, I haven't made any World Ranking points in ages. There's lots of stuff to play for this year. But if it doesn't happen this year, then I will get one of those one day, but just need a bit of luck. You know, sometimes things go both ways.

Q. No worries about possibility of 36 holes three of the next four days?
PAUL CASEY: Well, I think we are going to play fairly quickly, in twosomes. I've hit a sufficient number of golf balls in practice. I've been able to hit a number of golf balls in practice, which is certainly enough to play 36 holes in a day, if I look at how many full swings I've made in practice.
Today was fairly long, 23 groups in a Pro-Am, it just took too long and that's why I got tired. I think if we go out there tomorrow morning, Scott Strange and myself, and we whip around in, you know, 18 holes, probably 3 1/2 hours or something like that, I will have been on the golf course after 36 holes, not much more than what I was today. (Laughter) Slightly more shots.

Q. How many buggy rides are there involved tomorrow?
PAUL CASEY: I don't know, but for some reason I get quite tired sitting around in a buggy and that's what we did today. I think the walking and stretching the legs and being able to move around will be nice. So I must admit, I had not really -- I had thought this out a lot coming here and then got here and realized I probably hadn't; seven rounds of golf.

Q. As a bear with a sore head the back at home the last few months, what other things did you do?
PAUL CASEY: I didn't take anything up. Probably should have learned a language or an instrument.

Q. Photography?
PAUL CASEY: I did very little. I can now think of dozens of things I probably should have done, but at the time, I was trying not to sort of increase my waist size when I wasn't really doing much.

Q. If Monty is asking everyone to play in Wales next year, in The Wales Open, would you do that? You've done all right down there before, not necessarily on that course, but would you play if he asked?
PAUL CASEY: If he asked, yeah. I haven't looked at the schedule. Do you know the schedule in the States, what's opposite that?

Q. Don't know the one in Europe. Is it around Memorial, first week of June.
PAUL CASEY: I would certainly consider it. I'd love to see the golf course. I haven't seen it yet, or the addition to the golf course.
It's going to be a difficult schedule again next year, trying to play both. It's sad that we have lost the Johnnie Walker Classic, but in some respects, that makes it a little bit easier with not having a long-haul flight in there at that time of year.
It does get very busy trying to prepare for the U.S. Open and The Open. There's a lot of travelling from sort of May onwards, really, isn't there, over to the U.K. and back to the U.S. and back to Europe again and back to the U.S. It all gets busy from May to August.
So I'll have to have a look. If I play, does it guarantee anything? (Laughter).

End of FastScripts

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