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September 14, 2006

Paul Casey


GORDON SIMPSON: Paul, congratulations on your first victory in the HSBC World Match Play Championship. As debuts go, that wasn't bad, was it?

PAUL CASEY: I'm very happy with that. I was, yeah, tough player, the Goose, when he's hot, he's extremely hot. I was very happy to get back to all square after the morning 18, 2 down early in the morning was not good. He made some putts early on which was typical of Retief, so very, very happy to get back to all square.

Then went a bit crazy the beginning of the second 18 this afternoon, which was great. And fortunately for me, he couldn't answer it. Just great to get my first win.

Q. Does Retief's expression ever change when you hole a 40 footer or whatever?

PAUL CASEY: No, I think that's probably why he's I don't know what his record is like in match play, but I imagine it's pretty good, because it doesn't change, and he doesn't same to be frustrated. He doesn't seem to be happy. It's just, Goose.

Q. And is that irritating?

PAUL CASEY: No. I wouldn't say it's irritating. But he doesn't give you anything. You know, I think occasionally if I don't think many guys out here would start throwing their toys out in the Pro Am, so to speak, but if they did, you feel like you sort of had the pressure put on them and maybe you had an advantage, and Goose certainly doesn't do that. He's placid.

Q. How many times have you gone crazy like at the start of the afternoon round?

PAUL CASEY: I can't remember the last time I was 6 under on a yeah, it's been a while. They just seemed to be going in from all angles. World Cup would have been the last time they were going in from wall angles.

Q. What is your mind set like before you started playing, confident?

PAUL CASEY: I think a little bit nervous, not sure what to expect. An 18 hole match is one thing, but a 36 hole match is another. It's more of a marathon than a sprint out there, so I wasn't sure how it was going to go.

Just, you know, if you look at Goose played very, very well at the BMW a couple of weeks ago, finished second, runner up there, and I was about 18th or something. So that performance suggested that he clearly was the favourite, World Rankings and current form.

So I was just trying to stay close to him, if I could, and give myself a chance.

Q. Is this one you used to come at a kid, watching this?

PAUL CASEY: No, I was back at school. For some reason, I didn't, no. By the time I was by the time the weekend came around, I think I was just eager to get on the golf course. I always came to the PGA, but not The Match Play.

Q. The weather last night, did that have any effect in terms of driving, were you getting run out on the ball or was it target golf?

PAUL CASEY: It was strictly this morning. I've never seen the first two shots we hit into the first, the first thing this morning, spin back. Probably pitched it seven or eight on the green and the ball came back off the green with 6 irons, 5 irons. I've never seen that.

Q. So they were firmer?

PAUL CASEY: No, they were the opposite, they were soft, they were incredibly soft. It makes holes like the second very difficult, a front pin location. So it creates target golf, you have to control the spin of the golf ball. But I think Retief played very similar games. We both hit the ball quite hard and I don't think either one of us had an advantage because of the rain.

Q. How does your mind set differ from match play to stroke play, great aggressive scoring this afternoon in the opening few holes, fantastic from a match play point of view, Ryder Cup coming up?

PAUL CASEY: Just a case of playing consistent golf, trying to keep the ball in play. Only once today did I change my game plan because of something that Retief did, and that was this morning on the 12th hole when he knocked it in a ditch off the tee, took a drop, and then his third shot ended up in the water further down the fairway, actually changed my game plan and chipped out and wedged on to the green, when I was actually going to go for the green in two. That's the only time in however many holes that we played today that I actually changed the plan.

So it's keep it in play, keep it consistent and keep the pressure on the other guy.

Q. What does it do to the championship if Jim and Tiger both go out today?

PAUL CASEY: I think we lose some TV ratings. (Laughter). One and two in the world, if they go out, then, yeah, I guess those two really were the favourites coming into this thing. But I think it's a stellar field. All the guys, everybody's worthy of being here this week. Everybody's qualified. So anybody on their day can beat anybody else.

Q. Did you do anything at lunchtime that sparked that run, did you do anything on your game at all?

PAUL CASEY: Nothing unusual. No, nothing different for lunch or anything, no.

Q. Very important for next week to get confidence here?

PAUL CASEY: A little bit. I'll tell you what was good today was playing 36 holes in a day. I've not played that many holes in one day in quite a while and I've been working hard on the fitness and I feel pretty good right now.

So fitness is going to be key next week. So I think that's what I'm going to take out of today obviously with the great golf as well.

Q. It's different, though, too, you've had 36 holes today that sorted out, if you needed it; next week, not only being on a team, you've had just a short period of time to get around, that's got to be a different change of thinking.

PAUL CASEY: Very different, sort of sprint mentality. Yeah, but I think the fitness is still going to be key. The morning guys will be fresh in the afternoon. If they play in the morning, they are going to be slightly fatigued. Next week will be difficult, as I just said, anybody can beat anybody and that applies to next week as well, so it's going to be interesting.

GORDON SIMPSON: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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