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April 8, 2017

Paul Casey

Augusta, Georgia

Q. You had a heck of a round, never nice to finish with a bogey, but how did you feel about it?
PAUL CASEY: Really good. It's almost like you don't know how you're playing when conditions are that tough on Thursday and Friday, because you're just trying to survive. You can't think about how you're swinging it, how you're putting it. Just trying to post a number and not hurt anybody.
It's the most difficult I'd ever seen Augusta National play, Thursday and Friday. I've seen difficult‑‑ you've had difficult weeks, the Zach Johnson year springs to mind, incredibly cold. Last year it was blowing‑‑ one day it was blowing a hooley.
But to have Thursday and Friday open up, and then you see the scores guys are shooting, just shows you how good guys are nowadays. You can't defend any golf course, because they play such a beautiful game here, making it so incredibly difficult but keeping it fair. We may see somebody get to double digits, which would be remarkable, considering what we faced so far this week.

Q. You think this weekend the way it's playing now, that low numbers are out there?
PAUL CASEY: No (laughter).
But guys are playing such good golf these days. Today was exceptionally difficult. Greens are crusty, dried out. Really good surfaces. We'll see. We know that the Masters is all about some roars on Sunday.
We think we know where the pins are going to be tomorrow, and if someone gets on a hot streak, you can have a lot of shots you like to see towards some of those traditional pin locations. And hopefully that's me. Shooting up the leaderboard.

Q. The way you played today, do you think you have your game right now together where you can be that guy tomorrow?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah. It's close. And you never know. I felt the thing that was really poor was the first two days of putting. In fact someone told me that I was last in putting stats of all the guys that made the cut. I started to go through it. I think I'd already had about four or five three‑putts, and I was seven off the lead. I believed easily find seven shots, but so could everybody. You don't play that game. You don't think about it too much. And the putting was rely good. Did a lot of practice last night and this morning. And I actually feel really good about the game.

Q. Do you think today you played yourself into contention for this tournament?
PAUL CASEY: I'm playing it down because all the guys just asked me that. I'm flying under the radar, because I generally think I'm just too far out of it. Not so much if you look‑‑ currently you look at the overall score, how many shots I'm back. I think you have so many great players on that leaderboard, somebody will keep pushing on and make a couple more today.
And then tomorrow all those guys are going to stumble, when you've got Spieth and Fowler and Rory, and you know the guys on the leaderboard, and the guys that maybe the media don't know as well, some of the‑‑ non‑golf media don't know as well, but the Charley Hoffmans and William McGirts, those guys are tough. More than one of those guys will keep tracking on, and that's why I think double digits might be a really good thing to aim for at level par and probably just too far back.

Q. (No microphone.)
PAUL CASEY: You saw great play at the Ryder Cup last year, for the uninitiated you'd say, "Who is this guy? But incredible guy. He's got all the attributes he needs to play Augusta National, though, great ball‑striker, strong set of legs to hit off the uneven lies. He seems unflappable. He's probably made as many birdies as anybody else this week. He's been up and down that leaderboard more than anybody. He was the guy that was 5‑under early on the first day in really, really tough conditions. So clearly he's got the skills.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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