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April 26, 2014

Paul Casey


Q.テつ Posted a 64, well‑played, my friend.
PAUL CASEY:テつ Thank you very much.テつ Yeah, I had nothing to lose, did I?テつ Starting 10‑back, so I went for a few flags and got lucky, closed the gap a little bit.テつ I still think I'm going to be quite a few behind at the end of the day, but I'm really happy with that.

Q.テつ I know one thing, you get to sleep an awful lot later on Sunday than you did on Saturday.
PAUL CASEY:テつ Yeah, well, I got more sleep as the week's gone on.テつ Starting with the 7:00 a.m. first tee time on Thursday when I was still on west coast time.テつ It's a tough way‑‑ I just struggle getting up in the mornings anyway, so tomorrow I'm going to relish that lie‑in.

Q.テつ Your game's been on the uptick anyway.テつ I saw you play well, I believe, it was down at the Honda a few weeks ago.テつ What was it today that particularly clicked for you?
PAUL CASEY:テつ I felt very comfortable with the ball striking for the last couple of weeks.テつ I felt very good at Hilton Head last week.テつ The putting was really the thing the last three days that has come on.テつ I shortened up the stroke a little bit.テつ I think it was a little long, almost quitting on it to a point, so now there is more acceleration through the ball with the putter.テつ Really the last couple of days, aiming at a lot of flags.テつ I feel comfortable around this golf course considering I've never seen it.テつ I really like the way it shapes up for my game.テつ So combine all that together, and it equals a low round of golf.

Q.テつ 15 greens, 25 putts.テつ You're averaging more than 305 yards off the tee as well.
PAUL CASEY:テつ That's long for me, isn't it?

Q.テつ Yeah, that's long for anyone, my friend.
PAUL CASEY:テつ I'm getting older.テつ Though it didn't feel that long.テつ I played with Brooks Koepka today, and he absolutely crushes it.テつ It's hot out there, I think you're reading a lot into that number.テつ I like the greens in regulation, and I like how many birdies I've had so far this week.

Q.テつ You're playing a limited schedule.テつ You don't have full exempt status.テつ How hard is that for a player?テつ You were once third in the world?
PAUL CASEY:テつ Yeah, it certainly gives me a lot of goals, I know that much.テつ The goal coming in this week was a top 10, so I can get myself into Charlotte.テつ And, the goal might change a little bit now depending on how far away we are from the lead going out tomorrow morning.テつ But the goal has to be go and shoot a really good number.テつ If I get hot like I did today, maybe we have a shot at winning.テつ We don't know.テつ But I still want to get that top 10 so I can tee it up in Charlotte.テつ I haven't done it in a few years.

Q.テつ With his best round of the season on the PGA TOUR, it adds up to 64.テつ Just how solid was it?
PAUL CASEY:テつ It was really solid.テつ It was a great round of golf.テつ I thoroughly enjoyed that.テつ You know, I've been striking the ball well this week and putting has really come on.テつ I've shortened up the putting stroke a little bit and getting a better strike on the ball.テつ And today, admit, I hit at a lot of flags, but I got lucky as well.テつ It was a combination of some good stuff from me and a good bounce here and there.テつ Sometimes you need a bit of luck to shoot a low round.

Q.テつ Tied for 18th a week ago.テつ How much is it now a continuation of getting your feet under you again?
PAUL CASEY:テつ Very much so.テつ The goal coming into this week was a top 10 so I can get myself into Charlotte.テつ That goal might get tweaked a little bit going into tomorrow.テつ We'll see how far we are away from the leaders, but I feel great.テつ I feel excited about my game.テつ I feel like I'm hitting the ball like I did back in '09 when I won Shell in Houston.
My goals are very, very lofty.テつ The expectation is kind of there, but I'm certainly not going to rush anything.テつ I'm just enjoying playing great golf and being out here playing in Louisiana.

Q.テつ You got here late this week.テつ Why the late arrival?テつ Apparently practice rounds are overrated.
PAUL CASEY:テつ I was doing some green card stuff, so I was in L.A. until Wednesday morning until probably 10:00 o'clock Wednesday morning in L.A., flew out here, arrived late.テつ Didn't get a practice round, was so tired I didn't really feel like walking the golf course either.テつ Of course I had the 7:00 a.m. tee time on Thursday, which was always going to be the way.
But the greens were perfect.テつ My expectations were pretty low, and maybe that's a good thing.テつ I was very, very easy on myself even if I did make a mistake out there.
But I know Pete Dye golf courses.テつ I grew up playing‑‑ not grew up, but Arizona State's home golf course is a Pete Dye golf course.テつ I know the way he designs things and the way he thinks, and I feel very, very comfortable around them.テつ So I think that played into my hands a little bit.テつ I really have enjoyed this golf course all week.テつ I'm not sure I'll continue the trend of skipping practice rounds, but it's fared well so far this week.

Q.テつ You have not played this course before, have you?
PAUL CASEY:テつ No, sir.

Q.テつ I heard you just came in from L.A., so no practice?
PAUL CASEY:テつ No practice rounds.テつ That wasn't the plan.テつ The plan was it was actually a longer week than I actually suggested.テつ I was meant to be here on Monday, but a flight got delayed on Sunday night out of Savannah after last week at Hilton Head.テつ Was going to come in on Monday, play a couple of holes, walk the rest of it.テつ Because of that delayed flight, I scrapped those plans and went straight back to Phoenix, L.A. Tuesday morning, green card stuff Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday over here, go to sleep, wake up early Thursday, and see what we've got.テつ So it's been pretty good so far.テつ Really just winging it completely blind, but it's paid off.

Q.テつ Do the 54 holes surprise you where you are based on all of that, I guess?
PAUL CASEY:テつ Based on all that, they surprise me where I am.テつ The way I've played, a little bit surprised because I've played really nice golf.テつ But, yeah, not knowing a golf course and being where I am, I'm over the moon.

Q.テつ Is it sometimes good to wing it and not have to overthink it?
PAUL CASEY:テつ Yeah, I've been through ups and downs in my career, and sometimes when you overthink this game, it can kind of pull back a little bit.テつ So sometimes you just have to relax and let it go.テつ I think it's a great example of it.

Q.テつ When you're not playing well, what do you miss?テつ Is it the control of the golf ball or is it simply the competition of contention and the fun of that?
PAUL CASEY:テつ Yes (laughing), all of that.テつ The competition will always be there no matter what standard you're at, whether it's good or bad.テつ I think the biggest frustration is not having control of the golf ball when you're struggling.テつ When you're aiming a certain place and believing you're going to hit it in that place and looking up and it's somewhere else, that's incredibly frustrating.

Q.テつ What were your goals coming in?テつ And based on where you are, are they changing?
PAUL CASEY:テつ The goal for the week was top 10, because I'm not in Charlotte.テつ With my status out here, which is kind of a past champions category, I'm not getting into everything I'd like to get into and I'm on an invite this week, which I'm very thankful to Zurich for that.
You know, top 10 still is the goal, although going into tomorrow, maybe we're closer to the lead than I was starting today.テつ Which I was ten back starting today.テつ So whatever, the goal has to change, and if I get off to a hot start or at least play the golf I played today, doesn't have to be a hot start.テつ I made most of my birdies on the back nine.テつ There is no reason I can't at least challenge for the lead.
You've got to rely on the guys up front treading water or making a mistake, which I'm not expecting them to do.テつ But anything can happen.

Q.テつ I don't remember when you were in contention to win a tournament recently.テつ What do you remember?テつ What do you take from it?
PAUL CASEY:テつ Yeah, that was the last time I was in contention, really.テつ Well, in the U.S. it was 2010.テつ I had a great year.テつ I had a chance to win the FedExCup.テつ You know, I won in Ireland last year, so that was very much getting back on the bicycle, back on the horse last year.テつ That was the first time I really had a good look at winning a golf tournament.テつ I felt incredibly comfortable.テつ I mean, I was nervous, had some good shots, hit some poor shots.テつ But I've been lucky enough to win a number of events around the planet, and don't always get it done, but I know how to win a golf tournament, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow.テつ For me, it's just there is a nervous excitement going into tomorrow.テつ I don't feel like‑‑ I feel very much over all the injuries and the struggles I've had.テつ So tomorrow it's just a really exciting day for me.

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