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March 9, 2018

Paul Casey

Palm Harbor, Florida

PAUL CASEY: Difficult to compare to yesterday because I was tucked up in bed that time in the morning. They were extremely cold this morning and, you know, lucky we didn't have anything other than just very, very cold, wasn't that windy, not raining.

Yeah, it was tough, tough to get the body warmed up, but, you know as Tiger has shown and posted a decent score as well. The golf course is in such impeccable shape, even the tough conditions to get a good score.

Q. Nine Top-10s for you last season. Great performances but not really contending to win.
PAUL CASEY: The putting is the thing that's held me back over the last couple of seasons. You know, one of stats they use out here is strokes gained, difficult to explain, but basically I wasn't -- I didn't have any strokes gained on the weekend putting against the rest of the field.

The guys who won last season typically had very good strokes gained over the weekend. Plain and simple, putting needs to be better. I've been working on it. Happy the way I putted the last two days. That's what will change these numbers and the rest stays the same.

Q. Possibility maybe Tiger playing well, you could play with him tomorrow.
PAUL CASEY: That would be really, really cool to a man. Be fun. Great to see him back. I'm excited. Johnny and I both get along great with him. It will be a treat, really will. Feels like the old days, one behind Tiger, everyday, lose by four.

Q. Can you feel it on the course even as you're doing what you're doing that there's an electricity?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah. The thing that's been -- I think the thing I'm enjoying the most I heard, maybe I'm taking it slightly wrong but when I read some of the comments Rory mentioned like after L.A. and oh, that's like one shot disadvantage, talking about Tiger and the crowds, I don't know how he does it, distractions out there for the guys who have been around -- we've all seen it, it's just like back to normal which is the way it's always been.

He's always had an ability to deal with the distractions and sometimes draw from it and I actually I want him to play brilliant golf, want him to win again because I want these kids to see what we dealt with for a long, long time.

It would be brilliant. I want to win this week. If I don't win this week I want Tiger to win this week. I'm afraid to say that.

Q. Someone told a story about having dinner with Martin Kaymer and Martin asking him, is he that much better than everyone else? Do you find yourself in a similar situation where young kids how is he that much better, how was Tiger that much better --
PAUL CASEY: If I'm to explain to it younger kids?

Q. Yeah.
PAUL CASEY: If I knew the answer -- I know he is but if I had the answers to how he did it maybe I'd be doing it. He just is. You've seen it, I've seen it. It's tough to explain. I don't have that to explain. You have to explain it. I don't know the answer.

Q. To your point about what Rory said, when Jordan finished last night he looked sort of shell-shocked like?
PAUL CASEY: I've had that look.

Q. He didn't know what hit him. I guess is that what you're sort of chuckling at, they don't realize it until they're in the middle of it?
PAUL CASEY: I love -- most of these guys they Tiger is their idol. He's one of the very big reasons what they all wanted to be when they were young good golfers, amateurs. I want to be like Tiger, play with Tiger on Tour.

It's also so disappointment, now you have Jordan, JT, Rickie, these guys they didn't get to see him the way I got to see him and I hope they get to see him the way I got to see him.

Part of it is absolute amazement and brilliance. I'm a fan of the game so I love watching it and part of it is like oh, when you're in the mix of it and you're playing with him and he pulls off the miraculous and half of you say that's amazing, half of you is like damn, I can't do that or -- I want -- yeah, I'm not -- I'm not saying this in a nasty way. I want to kind of experience it, which is why I really hope he wins, if not this week, soon.

Q. Sort of talking about how they wanted him to play and experience that, be careful what you wish for.

Q. But from your standpoint you're right there and this is --
PAUL CASEY: I love it. I love the excitement and the energy that comes with it. It can be a lot more noise, be distractions but I've been very fortunate to play with him on numerous occasions and see it up close and firsthand. I'd love to see it again.

Q. Is part of you -- you've gone through injuries. In looking at what he's going through from the outside, wonder if he's ever going to make it back as a fan?
PAUL CASEY: Did I wonder?

Q. Yeah.
PAUL CASEY: Yes. Seems to be in pretty good position, though. You just don't know because you don't know the effects. Not only the physical side of things, Rex, the mental side effects of -- the only way that I can relate it, when I dislocated my shoulder, I didn't trust the shoulder for a long, long time, wasn't able to release a club and hit it, almost -- you look people in the eye, no, the shoulder is fine, which it was but then, for some reason, I just couldn't -- wouldn't trust it. It would be okay.

Like this mental barrier, you know. I was thinking will Tiger have that, you know, all his back surgeries and sort of mental scar tissue, can I trust the back, do I have to worry -- clearly not, because the guy has more clubhead speed than anybody on Tour right now. I think we're safe to say he's fine.

Q. Does he seem, like an observation standpoint, a different guy to you?
PAUL CASEY: No, still the same jokes.

Q. Seems happier, I guess.
PAUL CASEY: Yeah. He seems -- seems the same but I've always had a good relationship with him.

Q. Same when the -- take out the last few years. Same as last few years.
PAUL CASEY: The last few years but I haven't seen him much, either, going back however long.

Q. Pre-2013.
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, whatever. Still the same little comments walking past me on the putting green and little jokes, little jabs, it's good.

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