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September 12, 2010

Paul Casey


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Paul Casey, thanks for joining us, four rounds of 69 this week, finished runner-up, excellent playing. Maybe just a few opening comments. I'm sure you would have liked to have won the golf tournament, but very good week for you. Maybe some comments.
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, thank you. It was -- you know, four 69s was not bad on that golf course. I thought it was extremely difficult. It changed a lot through the week from very firm to soft and then firm again.
You know, I played great golf today. Had a little stiff neck when I woke up, and maybe that was a good thing; kind of beware of the injured golfer; they don't think about things too much and just try to put the ball in play, and did that wonderfully on the outward half, the first 12 holes, and made lots of birdies.
Stumbled a little bit on the back nine. You know, the tee shot on 13, obviously leave that right and make bogey there.
The frustrating one was 14; 206 and we flew 7-iron past the flag. The wind was really gusting. I've never thought it's been an 8-iron from 206, but I guess I'll have to rethink that next time I have that number. So that was disappointing.
Tried to make some birdies on the last couple holes and fell short, but congratulations to Dustin Johnson. He's gone through a lot the last month or so and he obviously played wonderful golf. I didn't see the shot into 17, but congratulations to him.

Q. Take us through -- I thought 9 was maybe a pretty pivotal hole in that that shot got away from a lot of guys, that third shot. I watched a lot of guys hit that long. Obviously yours went a little too long and you didn't make birdie. Did you feel like you let one get away there, and did that impact you at all? And then the second part, I think, what was it, 14, 15, the other par-5 --

Q. 15, obviously that was a tough one because of the tee shot, you didn't get a chance, and a lot of guys birdied that hole.
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, 9, you know, the golf course was either extremely firm and dry or quite sticky in places, and that upslope was quite sticky. Admittedly I didn't play a very good shot. I thought if I landed it on the green, there's no way it would have stayed near the flag, so I was trying to bump it and hit it way too hard. Tricky, sort of sticky lie. I thought it was almost quite easy to chili dip it. That was frustrating.
It didn't affect me. I mean, the birdies I made, made a very good swing at 10 and again found a wet patch that spun off the front of the green but great birdies on 11 and 12.
15, the tee shot there, I've hit driver all week. I thought about hitting 3-wood off that tee, but that would leave me a very long second shot into that flag, and I'd have to check, but I'm not sure I hit that fairway all week. For whatever reason, it didn't set up well for me. You know, that was the one side I couldn't miss it was left, and I did.

Q. Had you missed it right prior to that?
PAUL CASEY: Yes, probably because I thought I was going to miss it left, so I thought I'd miss it right.

Q. How do you think the course played relative to I guess years past and some other top courses across the country you're playing?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, this is my first time actually playing this, so I've got no clue how it's played in years past I'm afraid. I saw it last year, but I played the pro-am and that was it. How does it compare to other courses we play? Um, I'm not sure. I mean, that's just an opinion if I go down that route.

Q. Was it as challenging --
PAUL CASEY: Yes, it's very challenging. It's a very difficult golf course. You know, you get -- it was firm and fast, these greens, certainly the first two days and today, difficult to hold the ball near the flag. If you just look at the scores, things were so spread out, you know, it's rare that you see, I think, scores that -- from the leader, the winner at 9-under to whatever last place was. I mean, it was a huge spread, and that's because of the way this golf course plays. It was possible to make birdies if you put it in play, but very, very easy to go the other way.
Q. Just talk about how do you balance the knowledge you played well enough to win with the disappointment of somebody else beat you?
PAUL CASEY: I'm playing the golf course. It's myself against the golf course, 72 holes. You know, if it's a match play situation, then I can get frustrated that maybe I didn't play the opponent the right way and reacted to things, but it was myself against the golf course, 72 holes, and I played it one shot worse than Dustin Johnson. That's the very -- that's the way I look at it. Makes me sleep at night.

Q. Can you talk about getting into the top 5, which means obviously if you win at East Lake --
PAUL CASEY: I don't know if I finish --
PAUL CASEY: Hey (smiling). Well, the goal at the beginning of the week was to make the TOUR Championship, so I guess I did that. That's a nice consolation. I didn't know that. I actually didn't even think about it coming down the stretch. At least I've now got a chance to control my destiny, as they say.

Q. You were talking about the golf course, you against the golf course, so who do you think won today?
PAUL CASEY: I don't know. I'm not sure the golf course beat us completely. I think Rees Jones got us at times. He got us on certain holes.

Q. Just the last one, I know obviously the Ryder Cup selection was a couple of weeks ago, but in the back of your mind, I mean, has it been a motivation for you to say, hey, I'm good enough; I was good enough to play? Obviously you're playing very well.

Q. Would you care to expand on that?
PAUL CASEY: No. I can't go there, unfortunately.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Paul Casey, thank you very much.

End of FastScripts

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