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July 6, 2006

Paul Casey


STEVEN FRANKLIN: This seems to be a regular occurrence, you in the media centre. Another fine round. Tell us about it.

PAUL CASEY: Very happy with that. I didn't know what to expect scoring wise because I think Goose won at about 13 the last time we were here but it was atrocious conditions.

So, yeah, I thought a few under, 3 or 4 under or something in the 60s is what I was aiming for. So very, very pleasantly surprised with that. Drove the ball nicely and just gave myself a lot of chances and really only got into trouble once.

STEVEN FRANKLIN: Do you feel like your extra length off the tee will help on this course?

PAUL CASEY: Certain holes like 18 where I could take it over the corner makes the drive incredibly straightforward for the likes of myself and Stenson. We have a big advantage if it's downwind on holes like 18 and maybe that was the key to sort of saving one or two shots as well today.

STEVEN FRANKLIN: Take us through your card and then we'll open up to questions. You started with a birdie at 10.

PAUL CASEY: Driver, slingshot, like a 2 iron, front edge, chipped up to two feet and made it.

13, 3 wood, 7 iron to 12 feet.

14, 3 wood, 9 iron to about two feet.

18, driver, 3 iron and two putts from 45 feet.

No. 3, driver, 3 wood just short of the front edge and putted from about 50 feet away up to four feet and made it.

5, driver, 7 iron from the right semi to about 18 feet No. 7, driver, left happened fairway trap, 8 iron out, lob wedge from 100 yards to about two feet.

8, 9 iron, pulled it long left, bad lie, pitched to just over the edge of the green and missed my par putt from about 16 feet.

Q. Have you ever had a purple patch like this in your career?

PAUL CASEY: No, I think I've worked very hard at the game. I'm trying to approach every week individually and go into that week and try and figure out how to play the golf course well, figure out how I can be in contention at the end of the week.

Probably just put it down to hard work more than anything else.

Q. Do you ever think, gosh, I am back at the top of the leaderboard again?

PAUL CASEY: You guys are probably sick of me being in here, but, no, no not really. The reason I play is I enjoy to compete. I enjoy the competition. No, I certainly wouldn't get sick of it, not at all.

Q. Is it what you expect?

PAUL CASEY: I'm not going to say it's what I expect but it's a very nice feeling, trust me. Pleasantly surprised I think.

But something I want to have. It would be great if that was what happened every single week. I mean, that's what I'm putting the hard work in for is to be in contention every week. So pleasantly surprised and hopefully it continues.

Q. When you are playing like this does the game ever feel like it is easy?

PAUL CASEY: No, it doesn't, but 18, for the likes of myself be maybe is an easy tee shot. But the game, no, I don't think it suddenly becomes easy. I think maybe it becomes clearer as to how to get around the golf course. But you still have to perform the physical task and hit the golf shot to that place.

I think, you know, trying to look back at sort of maybe when I struggled a little bit, it became very difficult to see how I could get around the golf course. Almost like the hole becomes smaller and right now, I guess maybe the fairways look a little larger, the greens look a little larger. But you still have to hit the golf shots.

Q. Are you going out there not worrying how you are going to play, as you expect something in the high 60s?

PAUL CASEY: I'm definitely going out there with a goal. I mean, today it wasn't really a specific number. I had a goal really for this week is over Thursday, Friday that I set myself with a good chunk of my golf, a very good chunk of it.

But I'm going out there with sort of nice anticipation, not worrying, anyway. Just basically we'll see what the golfing gods deal me today type thing. I'm not going out there

Q. And your mood going out last year would have been what?

PAUL CASEY: Worry probably as to what was going to happen, and now it's I guess sort of excitement. I can't control what's going to happen every single day, but, yeah, pleasantly looking forward it, really.

Q. Worry about what might happen on the golf course?

PAUL CASEY: Last year? Worry on the golf course, fairways looked very small.

Q. And what is the nicest thing about how you are playing now?

PAUL CASEY: Haven't really thought about it. I just think I've got a really good attitude in everything. I've just got a smile back on my face. So whether it's a good round or a poor round, it's just I'm very happy doing what I'm doing. Very lucky to be doing what I'm doing.

Q. Does your happiness come from playing golf well?

PAUL CASEY: No doubt, yeah, without a doubt. But I think even I know I haven't had really sort of many poor rounds recently, but even I didn't have a great first round at the U.S. Open, for example. I was still have a very good mood and looked forward to what the rest of the week would bring. I wouldn't have played the golf I played over the final three days if I wasn't in a good mood and looking forward to it.

Q. Did you target the Order of Merit at the start of the season, or has it just become a target now?

PAUL CASEY: I think it's a definitely goal now after Gleneagles, it's a big goal. Goals before had been sort of getting into the Top 50 early in the year. And taking every week as it comes and sort of accumulating Ryder Cup points. But now, I've never been in this position before, this sort of close to No. 1 on the Order of Merit; obviously David. I'd be foolish if it wasn't a goal. It's definitely a goal of mine. I've love to win an Order of Merit. But we've got a long way to go.

Q. Can you remember any examples of how bad the worry got?

PAUL CASEY: No, I mean off the golf course I was okay. I just think on the golf course, step on the first tee, it was just confused how to get around the golf course. It's almost like sort of a tunnel vision. You just can't sort of see the light.

I said this before in the press, I really struggled at Wentworth, sort of the darkest depths of not knowing where the golf ball was going on the golf course. Yeah, I did occasionally fear for the crowd. (Laughing).

Q. Can you describe the feeling you have now when you are standing over the shot?

PAUL CASEY: I think I'm very, very clear on what I'm trying to accomplish with the golf ball and the shot. You know, there's no other thought. It's just about what I'm trying to do.

Q. Did you learn enough when you were in a slump to prevent it happening again, or deal with it if it did?

PAUL CASEY: I hope so. Yeah, touch wood, nothing like that ever happens again, but I think I learned a tremendous amount from that.

So, you know, if a loss of form came around somewhere through the remainder of my career, then I think I could hopefully deal with it quicker than it took me than the time it took me to deal with it last time around.

Q. Did the fact that this is a Ryder Cup year help you to recover?

PAUL CASEY: I think so. If you look at my results, as soon as the points started which was Switzerland, third place there was my best finish well, since the TCL victory early in the year. That was the best finish.

So I think it was almost for me as if the slate was sort of wiped clean, everybody was starting afresh, at least for the Ryder Cup. It gave me something to a really good goal, something to chase and a fresh outlook on things.

Q. Was Wentworth the worst in all aspects?

PAUL CASEY: I don't know. I guess you don't remember the scores I just really battled. I remember playing with Ernie and Thomas and they were very good. They were very supportive, but they could see I was struggling. And it hurt a lot, because I think that's also sort of my home event is the one nearest to home for me, and also one that I with sort of love to win one day. Clearly it wasn't the worst score I shot all year but it was the worst I felt.

Q. Did you think people were linking it to the fall-out from the Ryder Cup business?

PAUL CASEY: Probably to me, I didn't think about it too much, too much. It was just the confidence. It was just dark and gloomy.

Q. Has the Open appeared on your horizon.

PAUL CASEY: I'm not playing next week.

Q. Will you go down there?

PAUL CASEY: I will, some day. (Peter) Kostis is flying over so we'll work on some stuff for the week. I would ideally love Loch Lomond, I think it's a wonderful golf course. We've got a lot of golf to play from the Open onwards and a lot of goals we need to sort of reassess, so that's why he's sort of coming over and we can look at the latter half of the year.

Q. That must be a measure of your ambitions as Loch Lomond seems a perfect golf course for you?

PAUL CASEY: It's an illustration of I'm really focusing on trying to achieve those goals, is the best way of putting it, and unfortunately that means in the playing next week. But I will be practising.

Q. Have you played Hoylake?

PAUL CASEY: English Amateur about '95 - my history is terrible - and I lost in about the first or second round.

End of FastScripts.

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