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July 13, 2015

Paul Casey


THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the media centre. I'm delighted to be joined by England's Paul Casey. Paul, 2010 at St. Andrews you had a very good run in the championship, finished tied third in the end. Must give you a good feeling and a bit of confidence coming into this week back at St. Andrews for The Open.

PAUL CASEY: Yeah, it's a golf course I love. I had a very good view of Louis tearing the place to pieces back in 2010, but a real treat to be in the final group. Walking up -- any final group of any major is a special treat. To be at St. Andrews was something special. I really love this golf course. I think my golf game suits it very well. I've got enough length to carry some of the trouble, certainly on those opening holes, trying to get over some of those mounds, and I know it through playing it multiple times, obviously Opens and Dunhill Links, and I hear it's soft, so maybe that gives the longer hitters maybe a little bit more of an advantage, and looking forward to getting started.

THE MODERATOR: That's great. Good form there. Paul, very good finish at the Travelers, a little bit unlucky in the playoff there, so that has to give you a little bit of confidence, as well.

PAUL CASEY: It does, and I had last week off down in London, so I'm fresh. I haven't actually over practised which has kind of been a trend so far this year and helped me to really play some good golf. I've spent time with the wife and Lex, my little one, and they're here this week. Yeah, I've got a lot of reasons, or I should say no reasons not to perform well.

Q. What are the abiding memories if you can remember back that far of 2010, not necessarily the final round but just the week as a whole and how well you played to get into that position in the final group.
PAUL CASEY: I actually don't remember the golf I played. I couldn't tell you the scores I shot. There's a few things that stood out to me. The weather early in the week. I remember Wednesday it was horrific, and you thought, I'll play a few holes, just walk across the practice ground, play a few holes, scrapped going up 2 or 3 because there's a couple guys up there, so I thought I'll play 17, 18, 1 and then see how it is. I hit the hotel twice because it was so wet and the ball slid off the face. I went to the range, got a new driver from Nike with a lot more loft, hit it about three or four times, then spent -- took the rest of the day off, then got lucky with the weather because I know Rory had a great start and then a lot of guys had the wrong side of the draw and I had the other side of the draw. The only other thing that was -- that sticks in my mind -- was there were putts on 18 on Saturday and then maybe the first hole on Sunday. If I'd have rolled those in it might have been a little bit different. But the rest of it was very good. I played some solid golf. I just think Louis played some absolutely special stuff. From where I was standing on Sunday, he didn't put a foot wrong. But felt good about the way I performed, and maybe I made a couple of mistakes, but I won't make them again.

Q. I wonder how much of an advantage do you feel those who played at Gullane last week will have, perhaps, over someone like Jordan Spieth who did win last night over in the States, but he's only flying over today and he's obviously won the first two majors of the year?
PAUL CASEY: The only thing that's going to be against Jordan or the guys that have an advantage over Jordan would be the jet lag. I think you can argue either way for playing links the week before or not playing links the week before. Fatigue is going to be the only thing that gets in his way from having a great championship this week. He's young enough where he'll probably overcome it with a good night's sleep. You know, I've tried it various weeks, playing the week before, not playing the week before, and I think ultimately it depends on how you play and the attitude you carry sort of coming out of the event. You know, question coming off a win like he is this week or a win from last week, that's massive momentum. He certainly hasn't done any damage, but there's also a lot of guys like Rickie and -- that was a fantastic win on the weekend. But I wouldn't bet against anybody like Jimmy Walker who maybe didn't necessarily have a great Scottish Open. He might be even fresher than anybody else. I don't know. We'll see how it pans out come Thursday.

Q. You mentioned your wife and child are here. How much is a happy home life contributed to your excellent recent form?
PAUL CASEY: I think it's been key. I've spent -- it's probably the year -- this year I've probably done -- it's the least amount of practice I've ever done I would say in my professional career. However, the practice in terms of if you look at it in terms of time, the quality of practice has probably been better than it's ever been. You know, having had highs and lows, the lows have certainly given -- through my career have certainly given me a better understanding of my golf game, so when I work on it now, I'm very disciplined and I know what I'm working on. So having that fun time away from the golf course with them, I think I've just got a great balance of enjoying myself on the golf course and enjoying it off right now. I think I've also got something more to play for right now. There's a college fund I've got to pay.

Q. On the subject of the Scottish Open and Rickie Fowler winning, do you see Rickie joining Rory and Jordan Spieth in becoming almost a triumvirate for the next few years in golf, young guns as it is?
PAUL CASEY: I knew Rickie can answer that with the way he plays. Yes, I think he's -- he clearly has the ability, and I think as a golf fan, I think that would be hugely entertaining if he does step up and continues to win the way he has been winning, becomes a major champion and makes it a trio. I think that would be wonderful for the game. Only time will tell. Maybe he'll answer that this week.

Q. Did you play any links golf last week?

Q. And going forward have you decided what you're going to do with your golf, here versus America?
PAUL CASEY: I've lived there 18 years. No, I haven't decided, and I knew you were going to ask that anyway. But no, I haven't decided and I haven't thought of a good answer for you, either. It is a conundrum. I sat down with Darren Clarke back at the Houston Open this year, and we missed it. I had Richard hills and various other people tapping me on the shoulder and asking me some questions a while back. There's nothing I can do until the European Tour season is closed for the year. Right now it's not my focus, and I'm not going to worry and spend time thinking about what I -- am I going to rejoin, am I not going to rejoin? Currently the position I'm in the World Rankings, yeah, looks like -- why wouldn't I? We'll address it again at the end of the year.

Q. After the problems that the snowboarding thing caused you, how did you feel when you heard about Rory's accident playing football?
PAUL CASEY: I felt for him. I still -- you have to enjoy yourself. You have to have a life. You know, mine was a complete accident. I'm sure Rory's was a complete accident, and other guys have had accidents by not having extracurricular kind of activities, as well. I feel for him, and yeah, I know he'd love -- this is a perfect golf course for him. Only thing I can say is having had injuries, you've got to take your time, and hopefully he doesn't -- at least he's announced that he wasn't going to be here fairly quickly. Nobody knows the seriousness of it except Rory, but I wish him a speedy recovery.

Q. What do you make of the British Challenge this week, and do you reckon you will lead it considering your form and your experience here?
PAUL CASEY: I'd like to lead it. Will I lead it? You need a little bit of luck with maybe tee times. You know, Luke is back in form, which is good to see. Poults is always up for a challenge on the links. Justin is the obvious guy to go with. G-Mac shows some signs, as well. I think we've got a -- I'd love to lead that group because that's a very strong group. I'm leaving out all kinds of names like Donaldson and Willett. Yeah, it's been good to watch actually. The thing about being away from the European Tour, I've actually watched a lot more of it, and it looks like it's in a good place. We've got a lot of British players coming through. It's nice to be kind of near the top of the list again.

Q. You said you had to live your life, but have you changed your approach to snowboarding and stuff like that?
PAUL CASEY: I've been banned.

Q. In terms of other things, have you thought, well, I can't do that, better not do that? Has it changed your approach?
PAUL CASEY: Yes. But I was always calculated with -- I felt I was always calculated with what I did anyway, and the snowboarding was just -- it was one of those things. I wasn't doing anything --

Q. Stupid?
PAUL CASEY: Particularly risky other than snowboarding, but I wasn't taking any greater risk than just snowboarding. I wasn't doing jumps, I wasn't in the terrain park. I was out with an instructor heading to some back bowls to be sensible and safe and enjoy my snowboarding. It's in the contract now. There's a lot of things I can't do.

Q. Should it change Rory's attitude for that sort of stuff?
PAUL CASEY: I don't know. Was it just a kick around with a football? I mean, that's so benign, isn't it? I think in my contract I've got no extreme sports is the way it's written. Depends how extreme it gets. I don't know, you could have an extreme Monopoly or something, couldn't you.

Q. There is a sport called Extreme Ironing, but when you set out to get back into the --
PAUL CASEY: You obviously haven't partaken in it.

Q. Thank you very much. When you set out to get back in the top 50, et cetera, and get back up the top of the rankings, how has it gone, apart from maybe not getting those victories? Has it gone as well as you could have hoped?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, probably better, faster. I couldn't have thought I'd get to this, whatever, 24th I think I am this week without a victory, so that's -- what was the rest of the question?

Q. Has it gone faster than you thought?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, it's amazing how quickly you forget once you -- yeah, the beginning of the year this all seemed a long way out, especially being asked to have a press conference at an Open Championship. I would not have thought of that at the beginning of the year. So I feel very honoured and happy that -- I can't think of the right word, but yeah, things have definitely gone very, very well, but I also feel kind of slightly unfulfilled that I've had a couple of chances and I'm very hungry. If anything I'm hungrier than I was at the beginning of the year because it was almost like, let's get this going, let's get in the majors, let's get in the World Golf events. Now that I've knocked on the door and not opened it, yeah, it's very much back to sort of where I was '06, '09, '10, those kinds of years where I'm very much hungry. I'm pretty focused this week. I'm not here just to make up the numbers this week.

THE MODERATOR: Paul, thank you for joining us, and best of luck this week.
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