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October 27, 2016

Paul Casey

Shanghai, China

Q. Thoughts on 5-under par to start here?
PAUL CASEY: I'm very happy with that. I think Rickie is leading the clubhouse. He played brilliantly and I got a front row seat to watch it, and Russell Knox, defending champion, also played some great golf.

So it's nice to be in that group. They kind of dragged me along and really, really happy on what is not that easy a day. It's like being in a cloud. So pretty happy.

Q. This course is tricky and long anyway, what with all the rain we've had, on a day like today, it's miserable, isn't it?
PAUL CASEY: It is pretty miserable. Actually the moisture in the air just knocks the golf ball out of the sky. That's why it plays so long.

But the advantage is, the ball is not rolling, so it makes things a little bit wider. But then maybe it makes the greens slow, which is difficult. So it's give and take. It is what it is. But when you have a world-class field such as this, there's always going to be somebody who jumps out of the pack and makes a lot of birdies. It's nice to be near the top and off to a good start.

Q. And you have been near the top in this championship a number of times before, a couple of Top-10 finishes?
PAUL CASEY: Probably a few. I think you're selling me short there. I've had some front row seats with Kaymer and various other people coming down the stretch.

Yeah, I've played with Tiger around here many a time. I've got good memories from this place. It's a golf course I like, and struggled a little bit around it last year for whatever reason, and looking to sort of certainly get a Top-10 would be kind of the least of my wishes this week. I really want to be up there with a chance to win.

Q. Seems like this year, there's consistency and you're challenging just about every tournament.
PAUL CASEY: Try. It's always difficult to sort of know, put your finger on why. I mean, certainly, a decision I made to focus in the States, I feel has paid dividends. It's made things a lot simpler for me. You know, I think it's reflected in the golf I've played.

But there still are desires to play in another Ryder Cup and play some more stuff in Europe. But right now the focus is here and I am enjoying it.

Q. Your thoughts watching The Ryder Cup, because no doubt you did.
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, really tough watching that. My biggest thing was I felt a lot for a lot of rookies. I really wanted Sully and Woody, sat having breakfast this morning, Fitz and these guys, the rookies to have a great experience. We know what a pressure cooker The Ryder Cup is, and I'm sure they have a wonderful experience. There's nothing like representing your country.

But hats off to the Americans. Played phenomenal golf. And maybe what hasn't happened over the last few Ryder Cups has happened this year, is they holed the putts. And the performances by Mickelson and Reed were just absolutely flawless, and you have to applaud that, tremendous stuff.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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