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March 5, 2004

Paul Casey


MODERATOR: Well done today. First time playing with Tiger, your thoughts on it?

PAUL CASEY: Happy. I started off shaky both rounds, actually. Yesterday it teeing up for me it was like teeing off in the last group on the weekend. Although I dropped a shot in the second, it was just getting the wind completely wrong. In fact both shots, the shot I dropped yesterday were misjudging the wind and not getting up and down.

So all in all I felt like I give myself pretty of chances in the first round. Didn't make too many putts.

This afternoon, same thing, shaky start but finally made a couple of front on the front and that was the difference. Still felt happy with being 7 under, in position, but feel like I did leave a few shots out there. And I enjoyed playing with Tiger. It was fun.

MODERATOR: You seemed quite chatty with him.

PAUL CASEY: We had a practice round but never in a tournament situation. He's always been very friendly to me. It's fine. It's not really the playing with Tiger. It's not the Tiger that's the issue; it's everybody surrounding the whole group and the cameras and the mayhem, which wasn't too bad today.

Q. What would you and Tiger talk about?

PAUL CASEY: Lots of things. (Laughing) I asked him about playing Bay Hill and THE PLAYERS Championship, his thoughts on the courses there, what I could expect, various things. Too many to list. I did ask him a few things like that, trying to get his insight, tap into some of his knowledge on some things that I'm going to experience in the next few months. He was very helpful, very nice and very helpful in answering questions that I had. And then just the usual stuff that you chat about when you're on the golf course.

Q. What sort of tactics did you use to overcome all of the distractions?

PAUL CASEY: You've just got to be very patient. And I think that's where Tiger is so good, he is so composed. If I learned anything last two days, it's just his composure is fantastic. I know he didn't play how he wanted to play, and I felt I didn't I certainly left a lot of shots out there. The composure almost rubbed off. He had his moments. He hit some poor golf shots and got upset, but he was always composed about it and got on with the job and was focused on the next shot.

That's the way I have to be with any distractions out there. I did back off a couple of shots because of people moving or making noise or whatever it was or cameramen. Possibly in another situation, I may have lost my focus a little easier, and the last two days, I certainly didn't. Certainly didn't give away any shots through allowing anything to put me off, anyway, which I was happy about.

Q. Obviously you say there are lots of distractions, but at the same time do you feel there's a big adrenaline buzz when you play with Tiger and that can actually bring your game up?

PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I think so. I didn't want to go out there and play poorly. My caddie said an interesting thing to me coming down our last hole there, the ninth, he said: "Well, at least now he knows who you are." That was an interesting thing to say. The practice round doesn't count, but when you play with a guy in a tournament situation, it's completely different. And I certainly felt like we didn't show any weaknesses the last two days, which was good.

And it's not a match play situation or anything like that, but it's nice to do that, play that way when you play with somebody for the first time. We're all out there to beat each other and compete with each other at the end of the day.

I've got a lot to learn from him, but I certainly had fun the last two days and I would enjoy and look forward to playing with him again if I had the opportunity.

Q. Was one of subjects of conversation the records of his that you've beat?

PAUL CASEY: No. You know, college stuff came up but we didn't talk about any records. We were both discussing how when we were in college he was trying to explain basketball to me because I wasn't quite getting it. I didn't know too many good English basketball players and he agreed with me. But, no, records didn't come up.

Q. Do you feel you're as long or even longer maybe?

PAUL CASEY: I think we're pretty comparable. He hits a very long 3 wood, very, very long 3 wood. But the rest of his drivers and irons seem to be pretty much the same.

Q. Was it an enjoyable experience?

PAUL CASEY: Yes, and I'm glad my first time playing with Tiger was here. Not to say this isn't an important event but if it was a major or a scenario such as that it was just a lot easier to deal with. There wasn't that many people out there. I expected a lot more. It will certainly be easier to play with him again.

Q. You mentioned on Wednesday that you don't normally watch your playing partners, but you were going to on this occasion; and you talked about the composure aspect, but is there anything else?

PAUL CASEY: That's the biggest one, the composure. You know, I haven't really thought about it yet. Good question. But I haven't sort of maybe I'll think about what he did that impressed me or I should learn from or anything like that.

My caddie is very good at pointing those things out, as well. Sometimes you're in a situation and you're worried about what you're doing, you don't necessarily remember what you're looking at.

Q. Would you willingly swap lives with Tiger?

PAUL CASEY: No. I want to be Paul Casey. I don't want to be Tiger Woods. I would certainly like to have the record he has, yeah, the wins and everything else, but I wouldn't like to deal with it, and he does a fantastic job of dealing with it, he really does.

Q. The distractions around the greens, and so many people, did you talk to Tiger about that at all?

PAUL CASEY: No, I didn't, actually. It's funny, no. It was just more watching how he dealt with any distractions.

Steve, his caddie, is a big part of taking care of those things. He was the one getting upset out there rather than Tiger, which I thought was interesting.

Q. How close to your own best game do you feel you played the last couple of days?

PAUL CASEY: To be honest, not great. I felt like I've been playing very good golf, striking the ball well, doing everything well the last month or so and not putting in the score. The last few days actually felt like I actually scored all right and didn't necessarily play great today.

Scoring is obviously more important than hitting well. I certainly feel like I left five or six shots out there the last few days, easily. And I know everybody could say that, but if you play great golf, I feel like other guys will, as well. You feel like, well, you could shoot 15 , 16 under through two rounds, no problem.

Q. Can't help but notice when you play with someone like Tiger that you are actually playing with the world No. 1. Was there a determination before you even started to try and ask or

PAUL CASEY: I think for me it was play a few holes, see how you feel, just get it going, because I was nervous. And then when you make a birdie or two certainly back nine, my last nine holes, I was certainly trying to make as many putts as I could and trying to put a gap there. I'm not showing just trying to test yourself against him, definitely and measure your score to his and say, look, you know, I shot this, he shot that and try and make yourself feel good.

Q. Given the option, which game would you prefer to play other than golf, the next one?

PAUL CASEY: Other than golf motor racing. Formula I probably. I've never been in a Formula I car. Probably wouldn't fit. If I had to, motor racing, GT, Formula I racing.

Scorecard. 10, 3 wood, left rough, 6 iron up the fairway, chipped it over the green, a 5 footer for par.

No. 13, 4 iron to about 45 feet. 2 putt, birdie.

16, 3 wood off the tee drove off the tee, pitching wedge to about 15 feet and made the putt.

No. 3, driver off the tee, 4 iron over the green, bump and run down to about two feet, birdie.

No. 4, 9 iron to about 18 feet. Made birdie.

5, 3 wood off the tee, pitching wedge off the green and a putt from 15 feet.

End of FastScripts.

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