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August 30, 2006

Paul Casey


KLAUS WAESCHLE: Welcome, Paul Casey. BMW International Open 2006. First of all you had one round on the course already, what about the tournament here, first question, your hope for the ruts, how is the course, how are the conditions?

PAUL CASEY: First of all, conditions, I mean, it was a bit of a shock to the system, the temperature today from what I've been playing in the last couple of weeks.

The course, however, is absolutely fantastic. It's obviously wet out there. There's been some rain. But it's probably the toughest I've seen it in the years I've played it. The rough is up, the greens are very, very quick, and they are sort of soft, but they are quick. And some changes out there, a few new bunkers, a bit of shaping going on, and I think it's a very, very good test this year. I think scoring will not be as low as it has been in the past.

KLAUS WAESCHLE: And it will be a tough tournament with the last points and the decision for the Ryder Cup Team.

PAUL CASEY: It will. I'm obviously in a nice position now where I don't have to worry about that, but, you know, it's going to be very, very interesting to watch, and obviously considering my result could affect other players. So I'm going to try as hard as I can, but I do, you know, I'll be very, very interested to see how it goes for the rest of the qualification.

Q. You touched on the fact that you already wrapped up your place last week, how good is that for you, looking forward to the Ryder Cup, giving you an extra week with pressure off and getting your mind off the game than if you were under the gun this week?

PAUL CASEY: It will be nice. I'm going to try to take this week as a bit of a relaxing week if I can. Very excited, the fact that I'm into the HSBC now because it gives me some good competition, a good bit of practise before the Ryder Cup. It was a bit of a quandary as to what I was going to do the week before if I didn't get in, because last time around we played, I think it was German Masters the week before.

So I think this week it's just going to be a relaxing week, get ready, build up for the Ryder Cup if I can.

Q. Talk about playing in the States, the PGA, the NEC, your play in general during those two weeks?

PAUL CASEY: It was very good. I talked to Mark, actually, at the PGA and hit the ball well at the PGA. Obviously the results, the score, didn't necessarily reflect how I was striking the golf ball, because I didn't putt particularly well. But I put the sort of trusty putter back in, the one I used when I won Gleneagles. No idea why I took it out, but I did. Still a Nike putter. The other one didn't work very well, so that was a bad experiment.

The NEC was great. The first, I guess three of the rounds weren't spectacular but the round on Saturday really was the best round of golf I'd played in a very, very long time. I found I was surprised to be in the lead going into the back nine, but it was a nice position to be in, because obviously I played a little bit of poor golf through the summer, and I think that was just a little dip in form there.

And maybe, you know, because I give myself the goal, I talked all year about trying it play every week as it comes, but the goal was trying to get in the Ryder Cup. And I think once I felt like I nearly accomplished that, I mean, maybe I sort of I don't know if the focus goes, but sort of the drive every week, it's difficult to keep it going.

I think that's probably why I admire guys like Tiger because every week the intensity is there, so I think the intensity just went a little bit. I think it was really back the past few weeks and that proved to be proved to be a good showing at the Bridgestone, because the goal there was to get into The Match Play.

Q. What were you going to do the week before the Ryder Cup?

PAUL CASEY: I was trying to figure it out during the week. Do you mean The Match Play or the Ryder Cup? Not really until after last week I think, even then, they are a positive build, you just don't know. You hear sort of talking about stories about, was it Eamonn Darcy one year didn't play and sort of lost by a pound or something.

Q. The American team obviously have four rookies this time around, going back two years ago, Paul McGinley earlier alluded to last time you guys brought a freshness to the team; can you give an insight to what it was like being a rookie and what you learned and what you contributed in the team room?

PAUL CASEY: Well, to start with contributions, I'm not sure I contributed that much because I sat there and took in everything from all the other guys. You know, we just had a wealth of debt with, you know, guys like Padraig and Monty, you go through the names, but the experienced guys. Shall we say, the elder statesmen, did a fantastic job of just making the rookies feel like they belonged. They were part of the team, they were, you know, building us up, trying to make us feel like we sort of belonged. I mean, obviously we qualified to be there. But really, we were bringing something very valuable to the team.

What was the first part of it?

Q. The freshness.

PAUL CASEY: The freshness. Maybe there was a freshness to it, but it's, you know, maybe it's hard for me to say that, because, you know, I'm not seeing it from that angle. I was very much very, very happy that those guys were just so accommodated. I mean, Darren Clarke was brilliant that week, the words he said. He brought guys aside and would give you words of encouragement. Very, very comforting feeling. It's great to be a part of that family.

Q. Tiger couldn't remember on Sunday whether that was the first time he played with you since the Ryder Cup; was it?

PAUL CASEY: No. We played in China at the HSBC.

Q. He doesn't talk much in majors. Does he talk much in world championships?

PAUL CASEY: We chatted. I've not played with him in a major, so I don't know. But I got him chatting. He was cordial. He was great. He's always very polite to play with. You know, he says "nice shot" if you hit a nice shot. But still incredibly focused when he gets over the ball.

Q. Said Darren made you feel very much a part of the family at last Ryder Cup. Do you think this Ryder Cup Team could very much make Darren feel like a part of the family this time and would it be a benefit?

PAUL CASEY: Well, I would like to think that we sort of we're all part of a family anyway, being out here, and he is still part of that family. And we're certainly looking forward to him getting back, and I'm not sure which event that's going to be but we're going to make him feel very, very at home and do everything we can. I mean, I've got no idea. Woosie is the only guy who can tell you who he's going to pick.

All I know is when Darren Clarke is on his game, he's one of the finest in the world, he really is. You know, he's an unbelievable golfer. He's a great guy and he will be supported if he's, you know I've love him to be there, I really would. If he's ready to be there, then that's great and if he gets picked, fantastic. He did make me feel he was definitely one of the guys that made me feel very much at home last time around. So if we can return that in some kind of form, I've love to help him along if I could.

Q. Europeans have been instilled as favourites already, you know the Americans as well as anybody, what do you think at this point?

PAUL CASEY: Well, they have all qualified to be on the team, and I guess if you look at the World Rankings, you'd have to say that they are probably the greatest golfing nation right now in terms of the talent and number of players they have got and, you know, tour and all the rest of it, they qualified for the team. And if you've qualified to be a part of the U.S. Team, then I don't think you can underestimate them.

Four very, very good golfers. I don't know that much about them. You know, I said hello to them, chatted to these guys in the locker room. I haven't played much golf with them so I can't really say what they are games are like. So, yeah, I would be maybe as sign talked about, they will bring a freshness to the team. I don't think we should underestimate these guys at all. I think they are very, very dangerous.

Q. If Darren were to play, the overall atmosphere, do you think it might almost be too much, all of the support he'd be getting and how do you feel about the opening ceremony where others would be with partners and he wouldn't, how awkward an occasion might that be and how would you combat the awkwardness?

PAUL CASEY: Lewine, I've not even thought about it. You're right. I think the golf for Darren may be the easy bit. It might be the other stuff. That's something he'd have to answer. We'd be there to support him. I mean, this is all speculation; we're all talking like he's there. Yeah, I don't know. It's going to be very, very difficult. But, you know, the family is here and Darren, you know, he's a strong person.

KLAUS WAESCHLE: Paul, thank you very much. Good luck for the tournament. Have a relaxed week and enjoy the game here.

End of FastScripts.

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