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April 9, 2015

Paul Casey


PAUL CASEY:  Got away with two tee shots on 1 and 2.  Hit the trees on the left of 1 and 2, and they both span out in the back of the fairway, so I'm in the middle of the fairway.
Don't really want to be going into 5‑iron on 1 all week if I can help it.  So I did get lucky, but I capitalized on that and played some really good golf.  It wasn't anything special.  I just plotted my way around brilliantly, and holed some very good putts, which was the thing that kept me going.
Great par save on 4 after being in the left‑hand bunker, probably an 8‑footer left‑to‑right, heavy, big break.  So just kept the momentum.

Q.  And the birdies on 2 and 3?
PAUL CASEY:  2, after my tee shot ricochetting perfectly out of the trees, hit a 3‑iron just a couple feet short of that front right trap, perfect place.  Didn't play a great pitch.  That was an opportunity to make some crystal, about seven feet short, and rolled that one in.
3, 5‑iron, 124 yards, 52‑degree wedge to eight feet.

Q.  Try to drive that‑‑
PAUL CASEY:  I like driving it when the pin is back right.  It wasn't back right.

Q.  And the birdie on 9?
PAUL CASEY:  Great drive.  Had 124 yards, 52 degree wedge to inches, six inches.

Q.  And 13?
PAUL CASEY:  3‑wood through the fairway, 228 yards to the flag out of pine straw.  I hit 4‑iron pin‑high left in the swale.  Little 60‑degree wedge, very delicate.  It hung on the green, didn't go in Rae's Creek, probably about eight feet straight back up the hill.

Q.  What happened at the last?
PAUL CASEY:  Middle of the fairway, 174 yards, and luckily it didn't hurt anybody, because it went 184 yards, straight over the green.  I left it probably a foot from being very good, the pitch just hung up on the fringe.
From there, it was a good 2‑putt actually.

Q.  Overall, sort of impressions, pleased with the start?
PAUL CASEY:  Yeah, very good, very, very good.  Any time you break 70 around here, a damn fine day.  Although I had chances on 15, which is a very slippery putt, for birdie, five feet, six feet.  Was very slippery, just missed it.
Good par on 16.  Good opportunity on 17, probably ten feet, just slipped by.  Hit a good putt and it slipped by.  I really wanted to get to 5‑under, maybe six, have low round of the day.  That's the only thing, not disappointed, just set my goals high.

Q.  It's been a couple years.  Was it like riding a bike around here, you know where you have to go?
PAUL CASEY:  Yeah, I think so.  I've been fortunate to play‑‑ I've played a lot of practice rounds in the early days when I had the invite to come.  I've been fortunate to play with Tiger, play with Crenshaw, played practice rounds with Floyd and Langer, tournament rounds with Langer.  So I've seen enough of the wily champions to know or witness how they have got around here.  And there's different ways, but yeah, there is a way.  And you don't forget it even though it's been three years.

Q.  Do you notice anything that's changed since the last time you were here?
PAUL CASEY:  I think there's a tree missing on 17.

Q.  They made a table out of it.
PAUL CASEY:  Where's the cross‑section?  (Laughter).  No, we are always looking for subtle changes.  We always talk about back right of 10, if contours have changed very subtly.  Maybe front of 15 has changed since I was here.
I mean, there's things that have changed since I was here:  2 is longer and 15 looks a little flatter.  But that's been since 2012 was the last time I was here.  What happens year‑to‑year is so difficult.

Q.  Not to dismiss your round‑‑

Q.  Tom Watson said the way they set the course up usually in the first round lately is relatively gettable.  Do you think that's fair?
PAUL CASEY:  I just heard from some of the other scribes that guys were coming off saying it was like Sunday pin positions.
What did Tom shoot?  He was 1‑under‑‑ damn, that's good, isn't it?  That's really good.  He can say whatever he wants when he's shot 1‑under (laughter).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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