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January 24, 2007

Paul Casey


RODDY WILLIAMS: Great win last week, a little tired after that win or raring to go again?
PAUL CASEY: I'm raring to go again. Yeah, I am tired, but I'm looking forward to it. It's a good golf course. It's tough. I clearly haven't played in the wind in a while because I didn't know what to do out there today. (Laughing).
RODDY WILLIAMS: Certainly gets up in the afternoon, doesn't it?
PAUL CASEY: And it wasn't blowing that hard, either. It's a ball-striker's golf course, and I didn't strike is very well today, so that has to be put right before we start tomorrow.
But an early round, hopefully the wind will be calm and I can post a decent number in the morning. So we've got an excellent field, so I'm going to have to play very, very good golf to get myself in contention on Sunday.

Q. Great start to the year winning first outing, how good was that for you?
PAUL CASEY: It was beyond my expectations, I have to admit. I've put a lot of work in in the wintertime with Peter, but still, you just don't know what's going to happen. And in the past I've been pretty much with the mind-set, go out there, try my hardest. If nothing clicks, then at least I know what's working when I get back. But it clicked straightaway.
So even after the first round, I didn't know it was going to work quite as well as that because the first round was pretty slow. Kicking myself a little bit because I didn't putt very well.
And then the ball-striking really picked up and holed some putts as the week went on. To be honest it was the first time I ever hit 18 greens in regulation that I can recall, anyway, unless Craig doesn't keep the stats correct. So that really took the pressure off the putting and hit a few close ones and it was wonderful to have a 65 to close with.

Q. You were saying that was your best finish to a tournament that you can remember. Still stick with that?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I've shot low round in the past, 62s and stuff like that out here, but you know, to finish a tournament like that -- because I feel I get myself in contention, you know, quite a few times throughout the year. To know that I'm capable of shooting low rounds on the final day, I think that's fun. Plus it makes the other guys sort of sit up and realise somebody can come through and challenge.
So very, very happy with that, because as I say, I used to do that in college quite often. It's taken a while before I've really got the knack of it out here but it's fun.

Q. And having got that win under your belt so early, does that sort of take the pressure off in the forthcoming events, because every player looks for their first win of the year; you've now got that one?
PAUL CASEY: Yes and no. It does take the pressure because I've got a win really early, but there's a lot of golf to be played throughout the year and I've got to keep pressing on.
Order of Merit is back on the goals again, and you know, you look at how many Euros it took to lift that title last year, it's a lot. So every tournament counts. You've got to play good golf throughout the year. I'd like this to be another multiple-win year. Three last year was great, best I've ever had. So it would be nice to emulate that again.

Q. If you were to win back-to-back titles, that would be an even better start to the year, as well.
PAUL CASEY: An even better start. Henrik came very close last year with the runner-auto up in Abu Dhabi and the win here, and it set him up beautifully for the rest of the year and got him up in the World Rankings, so that would be great. Lots of World Ranking points to play for this week. I was actually shocked I only moved up one spot. (Laughing)

Q. Still your career best.
PAUL CASEY: It is what is it but I thought it was going to be higher than that. But I think it will kick in as the weeks go on. So just start accumulating those points and creep towards the Top-10 with a bit of luck.

Q. Top-10 must be the next target?
PAUL CASEY: That's one target. I've got a lot of, you know, sort of no points to drop off, zeros to drop off; obviously because of the poor golf I played a couple of years ago.
But what's nice about that is that I can replace them with lots of points and move up fairly quickly. So, yeah, I keep playing golf like I did last week, hopefully I'll get to that Top-10.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Thank you very much, Paul.

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