May 21, 2003
RODDY WILLIAMS: Okay. Justin, Paul, thank you very much for coming in. Perhaps start off with you, Paul; you're the more recent winner. Let's get some comments on how you're feeling right now and thoughts in your head for the next four days.
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, things are obviously going fairly well the last two weeks have been great. I've been playing good golf. Very happy with the game. I'm looking forward to this week. I know the course very well. I've lived in the area for over 20 years. It's nice to stay at home this week, which is going to -- I don't know if that's an advantage or not.
Typically I don't play this course very well, so it's going to be a challenge. Really, the biggest threat this week is myself and getting around that and trying to play this course well.
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I guess much the same, really. Beginning to feel comfortable with my game. Heading into Wentworth, which is always a great event on the European Tour schedule, one that I always look forward to and one I always try to prepare my game for.
Staying home is also such a nice difference. It makes the week in some ways harder actually because -- I don't know -- focus-wise; you're staying home and it's almost as if there isn't a tournament going on. But it's a great tournament. I'm pretty excited to be playing.
RODDY WILLIAMS: How have you done here in the past?
JUSTIN ROSE: It's a bit so-so as well, to be honest. I think I've only played two or three, but I missed the cut last year. Then the year before that, I may have finished around 30th. So, yeah, so-so. I do enjoy the course. I probably do enjoy the course a little bit socially on the grounds. My caddie reckons he's keen on Wentworth.
Q. Paul, you probably didn't have the season you hoped to have last year and you maybe having the season you hope to have this year; so how have you turned it around?
PAUL CASEY: I've answered that question before. I think the biggest difference, I didn't prepare any harder this year than I did the previous year. The key was really, I was ready to come out and play golf from the get-go-go. The key probably, the weeks I took off, I spent a great deal, sort of two or three weeks to coming out and playing tournament golf. I played a lot before I came back out here. That's all I did. The practice was done. The game had been worked on and I went ahead and trusted it for a couple of weeks and got back into scoring. I felt that last year, I had worked very, very hard but I was still possibly thinking about golf swing and thinking about scores. I would probably put that down to be a factor.
Q. That's an interesting phrase, "gotten back into scoring"; what do you mean by that?
PAUL CASEY: You know, you have to throw away certain thoughts and feelings when you are just trying to shoot your score. You can go out there and try to put golf swing after golf swing together but you're not going to put a good score. I mean, it can every now and then, and Justin I think would agree with me. It's a different thought process. If you're going out there trying to shoot 65 or 64 or something. You have to trust your game and get on with it. I didn't do that last year coming out, and that showed.
Finally, when I did trust it, I was putting together some good scores. I had low round of the week three consecutive weeks, a 63, 64 and 62 at the German Masters playing with Retief and Padraig. That's trusting your swing right there. I wasn't doing that at the beginning of the year. I was disappointed.
Q. What prompted you to do that? Did someone say to you, now is the time to trust your swing, or is that something you worked out for yourself?
PAUL CASEY: Possibly a combination of myself working it out. Everybody is going to comment and everybody is going to give their opinion on what they think the problem is. I discussed it with Peter Kostis and we figured out the problem pretty quickly.
At no time was I ever worried about it. It's a learning process, my first full year on TOUR. We all go through -- if that's as bad as it gets, it's fine. I wasn't at any time worried about it. I was looking forward to this season.
Q. People are beginning to think of the two of you as a rivalry, sort of like Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood, sparking off of that, did you think that to be the case?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, I think so. I don't see why not, anyway. We're both young. Obviously you need to be the same generation or the same age group for that to be an issue. I think it's nice, in way. As you say, a friendly rivalry, I think that's the key word, to be honest. I think that's very healthy on the golf course.
PAUL CASEY: My answer would be I'd agree. I think it's nice to have a little healthy -- it's not really a rivalry but a couple of guys, we're very good friends and I think we feel like we're pushing each other. I know we I know I looked at Justin's results last year and made me work harder. I'm sure Justin, possibly looking at -- I don't know if he can say that, but the two wins I've had this year, I'm sure it's going to make him work harder. At no time were we jealous of each other. He called me up after the B&H and congratulates me. I think that's good. We are both trying to push each other and we both want to be as good as we can and I feel like we both have to believe that we can be inside the Top-10 in the world, and pretty soon.
Q. How different are you swinging now than when you were winning in college?
PAUL CASEY: I'm swinging much better than in college.
Q. Is it much different?
PAUL CASEY: It's very different, yeah. I've put a lot of work in. I didn't have a coach, a swing coach, when I was playing college golf. I was winging it. You could get away with that when you play amateur golf.
Q. Do you remember the first time you played with each other?
PAUL CASEY: I remember playing a Junior Open at Army golf club. How old were you? (Looking at Justin) he almost hit in the clubhouse with his second shot and chipped in two from 40 yards, I think he won by a couple.
JUSTIN ROSE: That was my trademark.
Q. Beat you by a couple?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah. It's nice that we are sitting here and are fairly evenly matched and we've had different paths. I've done the American thing and Justin stayed over here.
Q. Can you put a year on that incident you just told us about? Going back ten years?
PAUL CASEY: It would have to be 11 or 12.
JUSTIN ROSE: I reckon 12 or 8.
PAUL CASEY: I would say 12 years, 11 years.
Q. Would you each talk about your games compared to the other person's game?
PAUL CASEY: It's difficult. I don't tend to analyse guys games and compare mine to theirs. You know, Justin's game, at the World Cup, it was nice I had full confidence in Justin's game that week. I feel like we are both long off the tee. I think we just have an all-around good, general good game and I think we are both very good at course management. He's the king of Wentworth.
Q. Is there anything that the other has in their game that you would like? Justin, what is it that Paul does better than you? Vice versa?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well -- (Laughter.)
Q. There's nothing, clearly.
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, you do hit it longer than me.
PAUL CASEY: Only just.
JUSTIN ROSE: By about three yards. I don't know, I hit it long enough for it not to be an issue, but still Paul is a touch longer. I don't know, you can be a pretty good putter when you get it going.
PAUL CASEY: That's true.
JUSTIN ROSE: See your backside in the air most of the day.
Q. What can Paul expect at the U.S. Open?
JUSTIN ROSE: Well, if I played the U.S. Open, I would be able to tell you. I don't know.
Q. It's going to be a tough week.
JUSTIN ROSE: I think it's a tough week for everybody. I guess leading up into that, you've got to work on your driving, drive the ball straight. It's an advantage for Paul to be able to hit 2-iron off the tee and not sacrifice too much yardage. Maybe begin to work on some of those shots. But I think -- I don't know, playing more golf in the States, Paul should be able to tell me what to expect more at the U.S. Open, I guess.
Q. Having enjoyed playing, is it in the World Cup, do you look forward to playing in the Ryder Cup together?
JUSTIN ROSE: Yeah, and there's another World Cup in between, so it would be nice to go back and do a couple better than we did. Third place was a nice place to finish and a nice way to end the season but we left a few shots out there, too. The four-ball/better-ball, we probably fancy that as being our stronger of the two formats, we didn't really get it going at all and we played well in foursomes, which as you say, it bodes well for something like a Ryder Cup, having a foursome format. There is that is some way down the road yet.
Q. As young players, what do you think of the Sorenstam issue this week?
JUSTIN ROSE: I answered a few questions about that the other day. I think that she's going to perform admirably, really. Whether it's good enough to make the cut or not, I'm not sure. I think she's a world-class performer. I don't think the situation is going to get to her at all. I think the course will suit her, she knows she is up against it. She will perform well but I don't know quite what a good performance would be, if it would be narrowly missing the cut or whatever. But I think she'll conduct herself well no matter what happens.
PAUL CASEY: Personally, I hope she plays well, I really do. I think there's a lot of things that have been said and I don't know Annika, but she's going to find it tough out there. It's not going to be easy. I'm sure they are going to make greens nice and firm. She doesn't have the length that the other guys have, so if she plays well, it's going to be a fantastic performance. Not going to comment, the sponsors are entitled to invite her and the sponsors invite players who they are going to attract people through the gates and it's obviously done that. I think it's great if she plays well.
Put it this way, if I was playing in a match against Annika, I'd be nervous. I'd be very, very nervous. She's fantastic.
Q. When you say you hope she plays well, what's your definition on playing well?
PAUL CASEY: I don't know the course well enough to know if she plays well, how she's going to do. I can't say if she plays -- it depends on how the course suits her. Probably the course suits her game and there may be situations where she can't reach some of the par 5s or whatever, she's going in with two long a club at some holes and it just makes it impossible. If I was going in with long clubs, I would find it very, very tough. I think if she puts in a performance and makes the cut and finishes up there, it would be a wonderful performance. If you put me on a golf course an LPGA golf course, I may struggle because I'm not used playing a golf course possibly -- I've not played an LPGA golf course the way they have set it up. I won't be, I might find it very, very difficult. Hard to say. We'll see.
Q. Can you elaborate on, do you think she would hole putts that you wouldn't?
PAUL CASEY: I think she's a great player. I would be as nervous as any other match I would play against anybody else. I would not class playing her as an easy situation. I class playing Annika in a match-play situation, or even a stroke-play situation, as a very, very serious challenge. Simple as that. Doesn't matter what golf course it's on.
Q. I'll give you the choice, Justin or Annika?
PAUL CASEY: Neither.
Q. How many times have each of you played here, approximately?
PAUL CASEY: I won't answer that, because I used to sneak on here. They might charge me for the green fees. (Laughter.)
Q. A hundred?
JUSTIN ROSE: I've played 30 times, 30 to 40 rounds.
PAUL CASEY: I would say about 40, yeah.
Q. You used to sneak on at what age?
PAUL CASEY: A lot of guys when I was 13, we had friends who were members here and they would say, yeah, don't worry, it's taken care of. We just used to go and play. Dominic Griffiths now works for Ping out here, the tall guy, he used to be a member here for years.
JUSTIN ROSE: You just ditched him. (Laughter.)
PAUL CASEY: I used to know -- I won't go through the list, but I used to know the secretary here and stuff. It was a good, real nice situation, with the kids at Fox Hill and guys at Sunningdale. They used to invite the other kids over and go out and play. I was very fortunate to be in this area and go out and play golf courses like this.
Q. Do you have a view on the Seve situation?
JUSTIN ROSE: I don't know the story other than when I was watching TV he got penalised, refused to sign his card because he didn't accept the penalty.
Q. He changed his score.
JUSTIN ROSE: To be honest, that's as far as I know. I don't know if they were taking further action or what.
PAUL CASEY: I don't know the situation. I played with Seve the week before and he was fine. Granted, we weren't on the clock, but I didn't see a problem. So I have no explanation for that.
JUSTIN ROSE: I haven't heard any guys out on the range talking about it or anything like that.
Q. Do you think he plays slow?
JUSTIN ROSE: I've never played with Seve, so I don't know.
PAUL CASEY: He didn't strike me as slow. To be honest, he was a joy to play with. He was a gentleman and he was very complimentary and I thought he played some very good golf that day. His short game was outstanding on a couple of occasions, really, really good. That was nice to see for a guy who was one of the guys I looked up to when I was a kid. And I chipped in when I played with him. (Laughter.)
Q. Is he still a hero for guys like you?
JUSTIN ROSE: He probably became more of a hero, having got to know him in the players lounge, I just think he's a really lovely guy. After my dad passed away, he was incredible. He was very genuinely felt for me, really, really nice; then saw my mom at the Masters and he was very comforting towards her. I saw a different side of him and it made him more of a hero for me rather than watching him play.
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, that would be the answer, definitely. Even after playing with him, more so because I saw some of the magic that day and I can only imagine what it must have been like we was in his prime.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Paul, Justin, thank you very much.
End of FastScripts....