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April 7, 2018

Paul Casey

Augusta, Georgia

Q. He made a comment to you when you were going up to mark your ball, and you laughed about it.
PAUL CASEY: I think he said it was good. Because he picked up his ball on 2. He made a very nice pitch in there, about 12 feet for birdie, slipped past the hole, and then he scooped his ball up. As I was standing and putting my ball down, for my nine foot for birdie, if you don't make this, don't pick it up (laughter) my week done. Luckily I didn't. But I did miss it. He's very good. He birdied 11. Brilliant birdie. Great played this year go stroke. Even Tiger said to me on the putting green he goes, seriously, dude. He's played the last 8 weekends at the Masters. He's got to be a regular.
It was great fun, I played with Marcus before, but that was the best experience I've ever had with a marker.
He knocked it down the first fairway, rolled it up, just misses birdie. Second, just skirted birdie. 3, hardly missed that one. 4, hit it close inside of me. Three and four, it was great stuff. 6 he said he aimed left of the pin, because he hates hitting that pin and ricocheting back into the bunker. He landed that far from the hole, Ben Hogan style. He played better golf than a lot of the pros will play today.

Q. You played well today.
PAUL CASEY: Because of him, yeah.

Q. Are there any things you can pick up from his knowledge of the course that you can take forward?
PAUL CASEY: Yes, there would have been. I didn't pick his brain too much today. I mean the clubs we were hitting were very different. But I've got a pretty good grasp of this place. If I played with him enough there would be a lot of things I can glean from his golf game, for sure. But today I played very nicely.

Q. (No microphone.)
PAUL CASEY: Just one shot at 8, kind of scored off the club face a bit.

Q. The putt he made on 11, it kind of dropped in at the last minute, would you have seen that break?
PAUL CASEY: I didn't think it was a crazy break.

Q. It died in the hole right there.
PAUL CASEY: It was a pretty beautiful putt he hit.

Q. I just wondered if you saw that break?
PAUL CASEY: I didn't see what it did they end from my angle. Because I was pin‑high away from the flag, and he was directly behind it. I didn't see that, but it was beautiful speed, right bang in the middle. I was too busy trying to figure out how to make my 12‑footer for par.

Q. You guys went around in three and a half hours. It was closer to five and a half yesterday. Is that you being the first group?
PAUL CASEY: Combination. We both know the course very well. We both played nice, clean rounds of golf. Obviously I prefer how we played it today in pace of play. That one extra guy does add a lot more to it. On pace of play, honestly, it frustrates me. I would love to do that every single weekend if I could. I don't know‑‑ what was the question?

Q. You answered it. Thank you. The how did the course play compared to the first two days?
PAUL CASEY: The first two days was some of the toughest stuff I've seen around here. I've seen the greens fast before. But you combine some of the pin positions I saw yesterday. For example, the hole location I saw on 14, it's very fair where it was positioned, but it's so close to the front of that ridge, with the firmness of green, how do you get a golf ball close to that? And we've had pin positions like that, but there hasn't been the technology to suck the moisture out of the greens, and make it as unreceptive as it was. Some of the toughest things I've seen for three days straight.
So today a little bit of moisture, maybe they prepped it, knowing that there could be different conditions coming in, weather coming in. I've always approached this place understanding that it's one of the ultimate tests, so I don't mind when it's excruciatingly difficult, because they never cross the line, in fairness. But it was two of the least enjoyable days, because of my lack of ball‑striking that I've had at Augusta National. And today was a complete antithesis. It was an absolute joy to stroll around.

Q. Do you not see a difference maybe in the setup philosophy from the new competition committee chairman?
PAUL CASEY: Not so far. It's never been about noticing changes. That's part of the challenge, isn't it, to spot the differences? Which tee has been moved, which bit of the green has been changed. It's always part of the allure. No, and I don't think we'll see‑‑ I think we'll‑‑ I'm sure things will change. They always do.

Q. First couple years with Fred Ridley were difficult, too, as I recall. When he was the competition committee chairman, when he was setting up the course?
PAUL CASEY: Again, my job is to walk on that first tee and shoot the lowest round of golf. If I spot the changes then‑‑

Q. What advice would you give to someone who hadn't played in ten years but has to play this course on Monday (laughter)?
PAUL CASEY: Ten years. Who won ten years ago? I'm trying to think what the conditions were. I don't know. How did he play ten years ago? It's not going to be much better, is it? (Laughter.) The hip has been very tight. It's frustrating because I haven't been able to fix it. I actually ended up sleeping with my little boy three and a half years in his bed three nights ago, because he has a different mattress. Do you mind if daddy sleeps in your bed tonight? Yeah, sure. It's a proper bed, the bed in the house we rented, the one I've got, isn't that great.

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