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October 4, 2006

Paul Casey


GORDON SIMPSON: Welcome to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship for 2006. You come into the interview room on top of the heap, on top of the Order of Merit. It's got just a few weeks to go, how do you assess the race, there's quite a few players, in fact, still in contention with so much prize money available.

PAUL CASEY: I feel very lucky to be on top ahead of Howler. I think if he hadn't as we know, David's been injured a lot of the year and had fitness problems. So if David had been healthy all year, I think he'd probably be so far ahead that it would be over by now. And I feel very, very honoured to be at the top of the list right now. It would be wonderful to win the Order of Merit, but that's still a couple of events, as well, and a lot of golf to be played and a very, very good player snapping at my heels.

GORDON SIMPSON: Not just the two of you, a few interesting names as well. Okay, we'll take some questions for Paul.

Q. (A case of fatigue last week?)

PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I wasn't good last week. I was toast. I just ran out of energy last week. From the previous it was from the previous two weeks. I was looking forward to the grove but I just had nothing to give unfortunately. I tried very, very hard but there was nothing there.

I mean, we got lack late on Monday, about 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM to Heathrow, and Sunday wasn't a long evening at all for me. I went to bed probably about midnight. So it was, you know, a fun evening. Spent a lot of time singing karaoke in the American team room. It was fairly calm. It was just I think the sheer effort level that went into the previous week, the mental side of things and the physical side of things, a lot of golf, just took it's toll I think.

Q. (Concerned about playing four in a row?)

PAUL CASEY: Going back to what I said a few weeks ago at The Match Play, my energy level should now be okay. Last week, I had nothing mentally to give. If I'm fresh mentally, which I think I'm regaining that in recharging the batteries, I think I'll be fine. Although these can be long days, as you say, six hour rounds, it's still 18 holes. At least we're not playing 36 holes, and if I can stay fresh and chat all the way around and have a joke, it should be all right.

Q. Knowing David has an injury, do you go and slap him on the shoulder?

PAUL CASEY: I wish he had told me that earlier. No, I don't wish David ill at all. I really think he's played great golf this season. He's won the two biggest events on The European Tour other than majors and the world golf I vents I think. I feel very privileged to be, 'on top of the heap,' as you put it.

PAUL CASEY: On top of the Money List, Order of Merit. It would be very, very special if I was to win that. It would be a great honour with a lot of the history behind that. I was fortunate enough to win Rookie of the Year my first year out. To think of the names, you know ever, the Monty's, Els, Seve, Oosterhuis, I would definitely love that to happen. There's a lot of golf to be played and I can't control what the others do.

Q. (Strength of English golf at the moment.)

PAUL CASEY: I feel very proud to be part of English golf and be listed with those other guys. Luke is No. 8 in the world now. It wasn't that long ago, a couple of years ago, that we only had one or two guys in the top hundred. It's not the change of the guard hasn't necessarily happened because we still have the Montys and everybody still hanging around, but I think a lot of the younger guys have now matured, and there's more to come, Nick Dougherty and all the rest of it. It's great, it really is, and I think we're all pushing each other along.

There's no we're very, very good friends. When I see Luke or David playing well or winning tournaments, it pushes me harder and makes me try even harder on the practise ground and on the golf course.

Q. Do you enjoy playing here in Scotland? It seems that way, having won twice here.

PAUL CASEY: I do feel very comfortable. I've played a lot of amateur golf in Scotland. I first came to St. Andrews, it was sort of the Links Trophy, probably 17 or 18 years old. I had always loved the golf courses. You know, to be driven around by my father and British Boys' and amateurs And all the rest of it. So very, very comfortable, very, very welcoming with wonderful fans. You know, the most knowledgeable fans in the world up here and it's the home of golf.

Q. Favourite moments playing the karaoke?

PAUL CASEY: I did join in with David's rendition of Barry Manilow's 'Copacabana'.

I have some history. I did some karaoke in Japan with Justin Rose, he went on a solo career doing 'Jack and Diane' but I think we did Bon Jovi, 'Living on a Prayer'.

Q. I don't mind to be unkind at all, but we just had David Howell slowly coming to terms with it, but you've played well enough

PAUL CASEY: I sort of agree with David. Part of me would be very proud knowing that I've put in the hard work to reach this level. But I think part of me will definitely be pinching myself to say, am I really if it happens, No. 1 in Europe the end of the year. I wouldn't be No. 1 in the World Ranking or anything like that, but to be No. 1 on the Order of Merit at the end of the year is a heck of an achievement.

I kind of agree with David. At times I have to pinch myself to realise that I'm sort of won The HSBC Match Play and picked up three points at the Ryder Cup all the rest of it and I haven't had time to sit down yet and think about all of those wonderful things.

Well, I agree, yeah, but I still feel very lucky to be here. It wasn't that long ago which I was still struggling with the golf. So I think I believe once I get on the golf course that I, you know, off the golf course, I still look at some of the players on the range and think, you know, sort of can't quite believe I'm standing next to some sort of great players and Ernie and Monty and all the rest of it. But when I'm on the golf course I'm a competitor.

Q. (Do you feel you're matured?)

PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I think so. I think this year I read some comments in the paper that Sergio said about he feels he's matured and that there's more to life than just golf. I think the past, you know, couple of weeks ago, with Darren being there, I think we all feel that.

So I think I certainly agree with Sergio. I think I've also grown up a lot as well. Very, very happy to be here and very pleased for any success with comes my way.

Q. (Concerned fatigue will still be a factor this week?_

PAUL CASEY: I have to admit, I haven't really worked out the last two weeks, a little bit last week, but The Match Play and the Ryder Cup are such long days that it was a good two weeks there where I managed to get one workout in in two weeks, which isn't very good.

So a little bit fatigued right now, but, you know, I think I'll be ready for this week, and if not, I'll be ready in two weeks' time. I have no excuse for Valderrama.

Q. (What is the effect like, being fatigued?)

PAUL CASEY: It's difficult to quantify it. It's really just poor decisions and it's a very fine line between last week, making putts and not making putts. I hit the ball actually okay tee to green but for the life of me couldn't get the golf ball in the hole. I don't think the stroke had deteriorated overnight. It's just a case of the focus isn't quite there. The golf course last week was set up beautifully, the greens were great. No excuse not to hole putts. It's just the simple fact that if you're not quite on it, you're not quite on it.

End of FastScripts.

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