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THE HONDA CLASSIC


March 1, 2015


Paul Casey


PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLORIDA

JOHN BUSH:¬† Welcome Paul Casey into the interview room, 7‑under par, tied for the lead.¬† Paul, it's been an interesting day out there, if we can just get some comments, please.
PAUL CASEY:  Apart from the obvious statement, a long day.  More enjoyable day.  The first three days, incredibly tough.  The draw I had, which a lot of guys had, the early/late was brutal.  I found it extremely difficult, so I was looking forward to just playing in some sunshine.
I played wonderful golf for my first 18.¬† My third round today, tee‑to‑green was fantastic.¬† I didn't hole the putts I wanted to.¬† Felt like I left a couple out there, even though I snuck one in on 18.¬† Today, right off the blocks made the putts when I needed to, and the putter seems to be working nicely which is the difference why I've snuck up on that leaderboard.

Q.  Long day, but would you have wanted to keep going after that 31 on the front?
PAUL CASEY:  Yes, if there was obviously daylight, yeah.  Yeah, very much so.  In fact, my two playing partners are still on the 10th tee, and I elected to tee off and get down there.  I thought the wind was favorable, so I thought I would get on with it.  The lie is not great.  I might be against the collar in the rough.
Going in today, we all know that was going to be split up and it's very much sleeping on, you know this, sort of situation, is going to be difficult for everybody, and it just breaks up momentum.  Some guys will carry it through tomorrow.  Others won't and that's very difficult to predict.
So this is‑‑ you know, I've done this before.¬† And you just hope you wake up tomorrow and you feel like you've got the same kind of golf swing and the putts are going in the hole.¬† You just don't know.¬† Hope the golfing gods are nice to us tomorrow.

Q.  Were you aware of what was going on with the leaderboard while you were out there later this afternoon?
PAUL CASEY:¬† No.¬† No.¬† The only thing, when I walked around the lake on No. 8, I looked on my right and it looked like there was something going on with Mr.Poulter down the left side of 6, but that's it.¬† No, I actually didn't look at the leaderboard until I got on that green.¬† So, no, I was not aware of what's‑‑ I have not been aware of what's going on out there.

Q.  Given what you just said, given how you played last week in L.A. and how you've played so far this week, your confidence must be high?
PAUL CASEY:  Yeah, it feels great.  Feels like confidence levels for me, I never like to look back.  But I feel like when I was playing some great golf in 2009, 2010, it feels like that kind of stuff.  Probably even more so than that time in my golf career because off the golf course, I'm so relaxed and happy with where I'm at with Pollyanna and Lex.
I think the combination of being extremely happy off the course and confidence on the course, I think I'm maybe playing as good of golf, if not better than I've played in the past.

Q.¬† How much does the decision to focus on playing here full‑time factor into all that?
PAUL CASEY:¬† I think it's massive.¬† I played with Francesco Molinari the first two rounds, and I couldn't fathom‑‑ I couldn't get my head around, he's got to go back and play a lot of European stuff.
I know I've been in that position‑‑ I think I've been in that position for over a decade, and clearly it's been years I've done it very well and years I've struggled to do it.
And I'm genuinely, although I dearly miss playing The European Tour, and I'll make a couple of appearances this year, and it's a tour that's incredibly dear to my heart, I'm not missing that travel.  I've done it long enough.  And my situation now has changed with the family.
But I think it's a huge factor, and knowing that I can relax.¬† You look at some of these guys, Francesco or others, who are doing what I did for a long, long time, and others, Poulter and Rose‑‑ Justin, Luke and you know the names.¬† It's very difficult to do.¬† I don't envy their position and I'm happy in my position.

Q.¬† Are is there anything that you will do to keep that 4‑under par momentum going, anything special?
PAUL CASEY:  I ate a lot of cookies last night.

Q.  Same thing tonight?
PAUL CASEY:  Same thing tonight.  My hosts this week, yeah, she was baking cookies.  Homemade cookies.

Q.  I'm curious, having played basically 18 holes and then you go out, same greens, did that help with the four birdies in your nine holes?
PAUL CASEY:  Yeah, I struggled with the putting for my third round, and for me, just personally, I felt like I wasn't reading the grain enough on the putts.
So this afternoon, I've read more of the grain, I've played more of the grain to the way the putt is going to break and less of the slope.
That's been the difference.  I don't know why.  I've never read them that way in the past around here and I've played well in the past.  The only thing I can equate it to is the amount of rain we had yesterday, maybe it's just changed, if the crew couldn't roll the greens, if that's something they do typically around here, I don't know.  But for whatever reason, I felt like the grass is standing up and affecting the putts a lot more.  So that was the difference between the third and fourth round.
We'll see.  If they roll the greens tonight, I don't know, might be back to not looking at the grain as much.  I mean, that's something we'll have to try and figure out on the practice green and maybe we figure out on the 10th hole and hopefully figure out quickly.

Q.  You know how to win.  I know you want to keep in the present because there's still a lot of golf to be played but what would it mean to be sitting here tomorrow with the Trophy?
PAUL CASEY:  Very satisfying, because this is a golf course I have massive respect for.  Great field.  It would be huge.  I've not won in the U.S. since '09.
Yeah, very ready to win.¬† I'm eager to win.¬† I feel like I'm playing good golf, and there are no obstacles in the way.¬† Everything's great on and off the golf course.¬† No two tours to worry about.¬† There's just nothing standing there, nothing that can‑‑ that's distracting me, which is a great feeling to have.¬† It doesn't mean anything.¬† It doesn't mean I'll win.¬† I hope I win this year.¬† I'd love to win tomorrow.¬† Ask me the same question tomorrow, then I'll be a very happy man.

Q.  When is the last time you didn't feel distracted, whether it was injury, travel, all the stuff?
PAUL CASEY:  I don't know, '06 maybe.  '09, '06, probably something as long ago as that.  The rib was '09.  So probably early '09.

Q.  Even after the round, did you realize that at one point you were the outright leader, about 90 seconds I think?
PAUL CASEY:¬† Just round out (laughter) and I still currently don't know.¬† Fill me in‑‑ I think Patrick was seven after I holed out on 9.
JOHN BUSH:  Thanks for your time.  Best of luck tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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