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October 25, 2006

Paul Casey


GORDON SIMPSON: Well, here we are at last, the final event of the season, and you're still top of the list. What's your assessment going into the last week, feeling refreshed?

PAUL CASEY: I'm excited about this week. The goal for this week for me is trying to putt myself in contention on Sunday on the last nine holes and see how I do.

You know, the Order of Merit will sort itself out. There's nothing I can do in terms of how the other guys play. I've got to worry about myself. I mean, the simple truth is if I win the event, it takes care of it and that's what I've got to try and do this week, post my best performance, I'm not sure what it is, probably ninth or something like that. But I'm excited about playing here. It's nice and wet, which makes it longer, and I feel like the game is in good shape.

GORDON SIMPSON: Do you recall nice and energized again after a couple of weeks away from the game.

PAUL CASEY: I do. I could have done with a couple more weeks. I spent a few days in Florida with family, and then the last week in Scottsdale actually working hard on the game. So it hasn't been that much of a break. It's been continuous work. But it was nice just to get away from having a club in my hand for a couple of weeks.

Q. Are you a studier of the Order of Merit, so you know what other people have to do?

PAUL CASEY: I know how far roughly Padraig is, not to the penny, but I don't know the, what am I looking for, the computations or the possible ways it could pan out if players finish in particular positions. I'm not going to worry about that. I'm going to try to play well this week.

GORDON SIMPSON: But you know the money that's at stake or the points that are at stake?

PAUL CASEY: Roughly, but very roughly.

Q. Was the Order of Merit an objective when you started out at start of the season, or is it something that's evolved since the World Match Play?

PAUL CASEY: I think it's evolved slightly. All of my goals this year have been fairly short term, and the goal at the beginning was to try and get back in the Top 50.

If I think about how far I've progressed this year, I'm very, very satisfied with this year no matter what happens this week. So, it was good. I got back in the Top 50. I got back into the events I wanted to be and made that Ryder Cup Team. I won a few points and I've won three events along the way.

So I'm very, very satisfied with the way it's panned out, and the Order of Merit was a goal at the beginning of the year, but I have to admit it looked a very distant goal at the beginning of the year, so satisfied that it's now finally attainable.

Q. Padraig was in here yesterday talking about the Order of Merit and he sort of was saying he'd like to see a situation perhaps on Sunday with all five guys in with a chance of winning the Order of Merit still there with a chance of doing it and perhaps it coming down to a shot.

PAUL CASEY: Would he?

Q. What's your take on that?

PAUL CASEY: My focus is going to be on trying to play as well as I can this week for the Volvo Masters. That will sort itself out. And it would be very tough if it came down to one shot.

You know, the Order of Merit is a reflection of how you play it all year long. So if it does come down to that, then I would be surprised because it's such a long year, a lot of golf has been played. And honestly, I think you try not to put pressure on yourself that you've got to perform, let's say, one final put on the final green or something like that. That would be it's tough to do. We've had enough stress already this year trying to hole putts in crucial circumstances. (Smiling).

Maybe that's the way Padraig's thinking. I'm just going to go out and relax and have fun as I usually do.

Q. Do you like the fact that it's head to head the first round?

PAUL CASEY: It doesn't bother me. We've got to make sure that we go out there and don't get so stuck in a match play kind of situation and are too caught up in what either of us are doing. We've got to go out there and have both of us try and play a very, very good first round and put ourselves in contention.

Q. For a choice, would you prefer to have had somebody else?

PAUL CASEY: No, I love playing with Padraig. He's a great guy to play with. I feel I always play well with him. I still think I still look up to Padraig. He is one of my sort of guys I try and chase. You know, the guy's won many, many events around the world, I don't know where he is in the World Rankings, he's still above me I think. So I see him as a guy I always sort of need to chase. I look to him to sort of pick up the tips and see what he's doing and chase him.

Q. Padraig said yesterday he would hope you play well in the belief that if you play well, you would bring him along; do you feel the same?

PAUL CASEY: I agree. If somebody gets off to a quick start, you can sort of hang on their coat tails and get dragged along a little bit. It's fun. It would not be enjoyable if we went out there and struggled both of us tomorrow. I don't want to see that happen. I want us both to play well.

Q. Is there anything that you've ever sort of taken on from Harrington's game?

PAUL CASEY: I respect his work ethic. I respect I think he has great control of the golf ball. I remember I played with him in Ireland this year, the event that Thomas Björn won, and I think if it wasn't for the fact that I played with Padraig the first two rounds, I think it really helped because the weather wasn't going to phase him. I looked at his demeanor or and the way he carried himself around the golf course, I tried to emulate that a little bit and that certainly helped for that week. I think there's a lot to learn from Padraig. I think he's got a very professional approach to the game.

Q. Does it surprise you that Padraig Harrington has not won an Order of Merit yet?

PAUL CASEY: He came very close. I was here back in '01 or '02 when he lost by 30,000 to the Goose. Unfortunately there's only one guy who can win the Order of Merit every year, and I think Padraig, he's certainly on my list of guys who he deserves to win majors and win Order of Merits.

So it does surprise me that he doesn't have an Order of Merit yet but it's because there's so many other great players, it's always tough, you'd like to be able to share it around with everybody but you can't unfortunately.

Q. Do you feel great sympathy for David Howell that he's again struggling?

PAUL CASEY: I do, I really do. I keep seeing my comments pop up about the fact that, and I still believe, that David would be a long way ahead if we'd seen a healthy David Howell all year.

I don't know what David I don't know what the injury is. I'm not sure. I've just seen him in the physio room again having some more treatment. There's nothing worse than as another athlete, you don't want to go up against you don't want to beat somebody if they are injured. It's kind of a hollow sort of victory, shall we say. I truly believe David has played some of the best golf of anybody in Europe, and probably should be leading this thing rightly.

Q. Do you sort of monitor the Mallorca Classic last week?

PAUL CASEY: Not too much. I missed the first round. I slept in. And Padraig was off early think, is that right? I watched a little bit of it. I watched Sergio play and it looked very, very difficult. You know, I'm glad I wasn't there because I wouldn't have been ready to play if I was there. So it was the right thing to do in my mind not being there and not playing and regenerate for this week and the weeks coming ahead. They look very, very tough.

Q. What's your take on Valderrama as a layout in terms of how it suits your game, and especially I guess it's playing pretty heavy at the moment?

PAUL CASEY: It's very wet out there. Valderrama is a position golf course. You've really got to be very accurate off the tee, put the golf ball in play from the tee, and it can allow you to have some pretty good chances at making birdies at good angles at the pins, but you've got to be very accurate.

It's a golf course that I've probably struggled on in the past to get my head around, and figure out the correct way to play. But having said that, I struggled to figure out Wentworth for quite a long time and I managed to figure it out a couple of months ago. So never say never sort of thing.

So I do like it. I mean, it's very wet right now, which probably is a bit of an advantage for me. And I feel I've got good enough control of the golf ball that if I do play well, I can give myself a chance. There's no guarantees or anything. Yeah, looking forward to it.

GORDON SIMPSON: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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