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March 20, 2017

Paul Casey

Austin, Texas

MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Paul Casey into the interview room for the Dell Technologies Match Play this year. You've got a solid record in this event, a couple of runner-up finishes in '09 and '10. You just saw who you're up against. Just some thoughts on your groupings with Schwartzel and Ben and Joost Luiten.

PAUL CASEY: Toast with a J, is what he always told me. No easy groups when you look at them. Todd Lewis just told me that I dusted off Schwartzel in the past in a previous appearance in this, but it means nothing.

You look at World Rankings, you go, that would be a nice draw, but again that also means nothing. So I have nothing to tell you. I don't know. You get a guy on form, he's going to be incredibly tough. And if I make some mistakes, it will be incredibly tough. Hopefully you don't get either one of those scenarios.

Q. Do you have any specific tactics in mind? What makes a good match player, I guess?
PAUL CASEY: A good match play player is one who actually doesn't make mistakes. A lot is always talked about risk-reward and guys going for it more. In fact, the guy that just keeps bogeys off the card and is always in the hole and always putting for birdie is so incredibly tough to beat.

So if you look at the European guys, there are a couple of little tricks, but really it's just keeping your nose clean. I'm thinking of the Lukes and the Poulters and guys who I played a lot of match play with. Just don't make mistakes. In fact, both those guys are champions of this event. Although I do know that the stats I saw last year, I think I was first or second globally on fewest bogeys, I think, on my card for the year last year on any Tour. So that bodes well. I have not (indiscernible) from the last round last week, which was shocking. I've kept a lot of bogeys and others off the card.

The other thing I would say is quick start. Guys who get up early tend to stay up and win matches. So I put a premium on playing the first four or five holes really, really well. Other than that, it's not fun playing a good putter. Good putters also win matches.

Q. You touched on this, but you said you are going to work harder on those first few holes because of that strategy?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, you've got a possibility of seven different pin locations this week. That's a lot of work. I'm used to four. And normally you know the course really well and what are you going to do? These greens are so small and have so much pitch to them and speed to them that it's imperative you find the right portion of the green or if you miss, you miss in the right spot.

So that's why I think there's a lot of work. I need to be diligent. I was today. I played the front nine today. I think the front nine is the most important nine to get off to that fast start, do my homework. If I'm the most prepared guy out of the group, out of the four of us, it doesn't mean I'll win anything, but maybe gives me a better chance.

Q. You played well at Dove Mountain and Harding Park, not as much last year at Austin. Did you feel like the course maybe didn't suit your eye as well as those other two or was that a factor at all?
PAUL CASEY: It can be a factor. If you look at my record at La Costa, I never made it past the first round at La Costa. I'm dating myself now. And when we went to Arizona, Dove, I did have a very, very good record.

I think unknown still, to be decided, to be confirmed. Last year was disappointing. I lost to Tom, I halved with G-Mac and I was up with Jason, and I withdrew because of illness after the 7th. And he still hasn't delivered that case of wine that he promised me. Because I said I'll keep playing, I'll push you away and then tire you out.

So I don't know is the answer. I really like the golf course, so I think that's halfway there to playing well on it.

The wind last year was all over the place, a lot of different wind directions last year. So if we get a steady wind, if the prevailing stays all week, I think that makes it easier. But I'm a good ball-striker, so I don't know. I really like it. Hopefully it works out.

Q. You mentioned the withdrawal against Jason Day last year in the event. Do you feel extra motivated to compete and win this year's event?
PAUL CASEY: Yes. I've always, as you've said, I've got a good match play record so I pride myself in that. And it's never fun losing any match. It was very disappointing to end the championship the way I did last year, shaking hands and walking off the golf course. In fact I was pretty upset about it. I felt there was nothing I could do. I pushed myself as far as I could.

Yeah, there's always motivation. This is one of those if you can capture lightning in a bottle, it's amazing how you can breeze through a few rounds and give yourself a really easy week, if you can. To a point -- yeah, you could just get lucky and have a real breeze through to maybe the semifinals if you get lucky. And therefore it can be less stressful than a regular event. But, yeah, motive is always there.

Q. Was it more annoying that you had to pull out given that it was Jason and Bill, that a little grudge match from years before?

Q. Obviously way back then in Dove Mountain, in 2011, got under your skin a little bit. Is it better to be an angry golfer?
PAUL CASEY: It's funny, because I don't remember. It was always brought up. I really don't care in match play. I've seen it all. So nothing -- maybe even at the time at Dove, if it looked like it affected me, I guarantee I didn't. I've really seen it all in match play. No, just a bit of -- I think you blew it out of proportion, but it adds to a good story, so I'm fine with it.

Q. What's the angriest you've ever been in match play?
PAUL CASEY: Usually at myself. I'm never angry at the opponent.

Q. What's the most frustrated you've ever been after a loss?
PAUL CASEY: Good question. It would have to be a time I've blown a lead, but I actually can't remember.

Q. Going back to hard go, just as an example, and I'm not citing that one with Rory. But I'm curious if losing early or losing late, if this thing is any different? Losing to Jeff in the finals?
PAUL CASEY: Losing early hurts more. Packing the bag. That's why when it was -- before we had the group format, packing the bag on the Wednesday afternoon is just such a waste, such an awful feeling. And I did it every year at La Costa. I think I just left the club glove ready by the locker, didn't even put it away.

Q. The other thing I was going to ask you, especially coming off the experience at Wentworth. Rory said he likes this format, but he'd like to see the championship match going 36 holes as a proper match?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I kind of actually second that. But then if you've had 18 holes all week as your format and suddenly flip it to 36, that's a difficult one to justify. The World Match Play, it was HSBC when I won it, it was 36 all week. You had a tiny field, 16 guys or whatever it was.

I think it would be really cool to see that kind of -- 36 hole matches would be awesome to see. As you know, I don't need to explain it, when you're trying to give value in everything it's difficult to do.

Q. Your last match only went 28?
PAUL CASEY: 28. 10 and 8. I failed to mention it was 36 holes. But when it's 10 and 8, it's 10 and 8.

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