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THE IRISH OPEN


June 18, 2014


Paul Casey


FOTA ISLAND, IRELAND

PAUL SYMES:  Many thanks for joining us.  You've defended a few times in your career but I'm sure you never get tired of it.
PAUL CASEY:  Never get tired of it, no.  Exciting to me and it's an important championship.  Irish Open is one of the biggest titles I've won.  It meant a lot winning last year.  It was quite emotional for me and I'm excited to be back here.
I think the golf course sets up well for me.  Loving the weather.  I checked in yesterday, and almost everybody in the hotel, "It's just too hot."  (Laughing). It's always like this in Cork, isn't it.  
PAUL SYMES:  Certainly was 12 years ago.  Do you remember of that?
PAUL CASEY:¬† I remember Freddie Jacobsen got a hole‑in‑one, everybody got free Murphys.¬† Lots of ice cream eating that week.¬† It was a wonderful week, that's about all I remember.¬† I think I played well and I missed the cut.¬† I think that's what I did last time‑‑
PAUL SYMES:   Quite emotional a bit of Irish ancestry in the family, as well.
PAUL CASEY:  My great grandfather. And Dad's father, my father, went to South Africa, so it's not that far down chain.
After I got home last year with the trophy, yeah, it was quite emotional, which I had not seen before from him.  He said that your great grandfather would have been extremely proud, and my dad was extremely proud.
PAUL SYMES:  Can you make him proud again this week?
PAUL CASEY:  Try.

Q.¬† What did that win do for you confidence‑wise?
PAUL CASEY:¬† It was huge for the rest of the season and the remainder of this year.¬† I felt like I played actually some very, very good golf since then and there's not been ‑‑ the focus I think leading up to that was trying to play my level of golf again.
Still thinking about maybe technology things or just very conscious of everything I was doing.¬† Trying to sort of get the golf game back.¬† And since then, the focus has been, all right, okay, how can I make it better again, but the focus is, how can I win, how can I be‑‑ even if I have a course for the first couple of days, how do I get myself further up the leaderboard.¬† The focus have changed.
And although I played a lot of golf the last few weeks, and this is like sixth in a row, just the way everything has kind of been dealt, but I've been playing some really, really good stuff and that's off the back of last year, last year's victory.
No focus anymore on trying to remember how to do it.  It's a case of I know I can do it.  Eliminate the mistakes and just try to play my own event.

Q.¬† The card¬† ‑‑
PAUL CASEY:  Yeah, I'm a green card holder.

Q.  Inaudible.
PAUL CASEY:¬† I was advised not to travel.¬† I was in the late process of completing‑‑ just don't travel, because otherwise you run the risk of cancelling everything that's happened and you start again, which isn't a process I thought was going to take kind of three months and it took a little bit longer.¬† It's not something I wanted to start again.

Q.  Start of the year you arrived in some form in the States having not played a practise round?
PAUL CASEY:¬† New Orleans, I arrived Wednesday afternoon because on Tuesday of that week, I had to be in L.A. doing fingerprints for the green card and then there's something else‑‑ actually that was another corporate I had.
But played all right.  Finished 11th.  Practise rounds are clearly overrated.  Never seen the course in my life.

Q.¬† So by missing that PGA, does that count as missing‑‑
PAUL CASEY:¬† It is at the discretion of the CEO.¬† It's George's discretion.¬† So if I call five for the Match Play, does that then count as my‑‑ I don't know either.
I have no idea.  And I don't even remember how I graded when I came through the committee on that one.
Yeah, I'm never a fan of forcing guys to do things.  I'm always a fan of guys should want to do something.  That creates the best environment.  We'll see how that pans out, because I believe I have to play 15 if George pushes that issue.

Q.  Inaudible.
PAUL CASEY:  Correct.  It was.  So we will see.  I'm playing this week, next week.  Next week is seven in a row.  I can't have The Open Championship be ten or whatever that would be, so I'm skipping France and then playing Scottish and The Open, and then I'll play what I can the rest of it.  We'll see.

Q.¬† You'll play‑‑
PAUL CASEY:  Always defend a title.  I won in Korea and I went back to Korea.  Timbuktu, I'll go back to Timbuktu.

Q.  Where is The Ryder Cup on your radar at the moment?
PAUL CASEY:¬† I've been playing good stuff.¬† I need to play better stuff.¬† In my mind, I'm not‑‑ certainly not far enough up that list to be kind of in consideration currently.¬† That's my feeling.¬† I don't know where I am on the list.¬† You probably know better than I do.¬† Probably five, six guys have almost solidified their place by now, something like that.
Need to play some stellar stuff.¬† Flat‑out I need to win at least one big one or a couple of others by the cutoff.¬† I think it's plain and simple.¬† And even that doesn't guarantee anything but at least that might get me into consideration.
I don't think I can be‑‑ although I've played some stellar stuff, it's been around here or nine holes or whatever it is.¬† I've not really chucked it together for four days like I would have liked to.¬† I think I need to step it up a little bit between now and then.

Q.  Inaudible.
PAUL CASEY:  I think it would be great.  I voted for him.
What was the second part?
I have, yeah.  He's already been a great captain, because he's been a captain since he was asked to take the position.  He's been a great captain to this point and he'll continue to be a great captain.  I think he'll be a fantastic captain the week of Ryder Cup.
It would be an honour to play for him.¬† I'd like‑‑ it's one of those things, you don't know.¬† He can only do so much.¬† He can only get his team as ready as he can get them and hopefully that's good enough to retain The Ryder Cup.
I would like him to go down as one of the best captains we've ever had, because given the way he's approached this, leaving no stone unturned, yeah, it would be nice for people to understand how much work he's already put in and how much work he'll continue to put into this, because it's been very impressive so far.

Q.  Do you like the venue?
PAUL CASEY:  The venue I do like.  Two victories around it.  My first victory was there.  I love it.  It's great.  I'm excited for The Ryder Cup to be at Gleneagles.

Q.¬† On the green card‑‑
PAUL CASEY:  My category is kind of a past champion's category.  So still a member of the Tour.  Just a category as a member of the Tour means sort of unlimited invites and various other things.
And the reason I'm sitting here after playing, this being my sixth in a row, whatever it is, was because not leaving the states for Wentworth, I thought, well, I might as well take advantage of that and try to play as many as I can and try to get my full playing rights back.
I got into a few things and pursued invites for other stuff and basically got into everything I kind of asked, which didn't think I would, and once I got into them, well, I can't really turn it down, so just go play.
They sent me some rough numbers the other day.  They felt that 415 FedExCup points for $700,000 would get you your card back and I'm already over $700,000, and I'm 380 or 400 or something FedExCup points.  So I'm basically there if their predictions are right.
So you have 125 on FedEx but Top‑125 in money still get their card back.¬† So basically I'm there, and I still plan on playing The Open Championship, US PGA, and if I'm in Bridgestone, I'm going.

Q.  Inaudible.
PAUL CASEY:¬† I think it's already changed me as a person.¬† I'm sure it will change me further.¬† That's going to be‑‑ I don't know the exact date, it was going to be the 10th of September, but Pollyanna will induce the birth.¬† So that date, I'm not sure, it's like the 6th or 7th or something like that.¬† I should know these things.¬† She was meeting with specialists this week.
Very quickly, not far away at all.¬† It's fantastic.¬† I bumped into Lee Slattery yesterday in the players' lounge, and I want to say ‑‑ latest edition, and fantastic, and I can't wait, I really can't.¬† To me that will be the most important thing that happens to me this year; even if I make The Ryder Cup, even if I win something else‑‑ to me, that's what I'm looking forward to the most.¬† It's like a guaranteed victory.

Q.  Is it a boy or a girl?
PAUL CASEY:  Boy.  Haven't got a name yet.

Q.¬† Do you remember how popular‑‑
PAUL CASEY:  It's a tricky one, because it's trying to create a situation where guys should promote their National Championship, their home event.  We have had cases where guys have not played it.  It's been important for them to play this and maybe that's hurt the relationships with the sponsor.  But I'm never a fan of forcing guys to do anything.  You want to create an environment, where, yeah, I want to go do that and I want to go support the Tour and my home event.
I'm not worried about the situation.¬† We'll figure out a way.¬† I'll play my 15 if I have to.¬† I've always played my number and I've always played‑‑ I've always played Wentworth if I've been eligible.¬† So I didn't miss it just to miss it.

Q.  Inaudible.
PAUL CASEY:  I totally get it.  It will be interesting 20 see, if I get into the Match Play, does that count and what does George decide.  We'll see.  I'll make work.  If that means flying around the world at the end of the year, we'll make it work.

Q.  Inaudible.
PAUL CASEY:¬† You know, I'll try.¬† It is a Cork name, you're right.¬† One of my cousins who lives in the States, he's done a whole bunch of research on all our ancestors so I will try this week to find out more.¬† It was my great grandfather who was over here, and I want to say my grandfather moved to my‑‑ my dad's side, moved to South Africa.¬† So it's a pretty close‑‑ I'll try and find out.¬† I'll shoot an e‑mail off and find out.

Q.  You look quite Irish.
PAUL CASEY:  Yes, I just woke up (laughs).  I got into London on Monday and flew over here yesterday morning.
Any major takes it out of you.¬† Last week, it was an incredible course.¬† I think it was a great course.¬† I think the emotions went up‑and‑down and all my feelings about the course went up‑and‑down during the week.¬† But I thought it was a great championship.¬† I thought it was a great golf course.
Barring, we'll have our opinions on some of the pin locations, but put that aside, I thought it was brilliant, and I hope we play more setups like that.¬† And I'm sure there will be, oh, yeah, but it had brown bits.¬† I thought the general reaction from the players was it was fantastic.¬† It was bloody difficult but it was fantastic.¬† You could be creative.¬† You could play numerous shots.¬† It was‑‑ yeah, I loved it.¬† Thought it was great.

Q.  Inaudible.
PAUL CASEY:  Phil did?  I don't know.  I thought the players thoroughly enjoyed it but we'll see.  We'll see what Mike Davis and the Tour think about it.

Q.  Inaudible.
PAUL CASEY:¬† 3‑under.¬† Playing a practise round with the guys, what do you think, and we came up with 3‑under would be pretty good.¬† We thought there might be maybe two guys under par at the end of the week.¬† I didn't see a 9‑under, or what did he get to at one stage?¬† Ten.

Q.¬† Is that just something, that he played so well‑‑
PAUL CASEY:¬† I don't know. ¬†I didn't get to see enough of it, which I rarely watch the other guys playing in the afternoon.¬† Going back to the hotel, I rarely turn it on‑‑ last week I turned it on but I turned the sound down.
Like you say, on Saturday, where I 3‑putted No. 3 with that very treacherous pin location, Martin is in the fairway, nice lay up, and actually spun it back to about seven feet away from the hole.¬† I mean, he's nine feet away from disaster over the back.¬† What a bold, aggressive and brilliant shot.¬† And he just continued to, and then drives it in the junk.¬† Drives it in the junk.¬† Composure was fantastic, took medicine, penalty drop, saves it, unbelievable bogey, basically a par, and eagle the next.¬† So I turned off, I thought, that's it¬† (laughter).

Q.  (Regarding success of caddie Craig Connelly).
PAUL CASEY:¬† I don't know.¬† You need to find out.¬† His record is unbelievable.¬† Everybody he's worked for‑‑ he worked for Monty won in Ireland.¬† I mean, you go through what he's won, Solheim Cups, Ryder Cups, major championships, World Cups and numerous regular tour victories, it's quite phenomenal.¬† He's one of the most prolific winners, caddie‑‑ how do I want to phrase it‑‑ winning caddies.
I don't know, does anybody ever rate them?  So how can you call him underrated.

Q.  Inaudible.
PAUL CASEY:  Must be good because he's got a nickname.  Can't be a good caddie if you don't have a nickname.
I don't know, probably a minimum of half a dozen and a World Cup and a couple of Ryder Cups.
PAUL SYMES:  Thanks very much and have a great week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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