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February 23, 2007

Paul Casey


RODDY WILLIAMS: Paul, a terrific winner and a closely-fought contest. You beat the man who you beat at Wentworth just a while ago. Talk us through today.
PAUL CASEY: It was a very tough match. I got off to a great start, played very solid golf to begin with and found myself 3-up very early, which I thought was a bit of a surprise.
You know, I did give him a hole -- I can't remember, about 6 or something like that, but he quickly gave it back. And then the tides turned a little bit. I made a couple of mistakes, and all of a sudden found myself square.
So it was a battle all the way down to the last, and I find myself very fortunate that he missed his birdie putts on 17 and 18. So very lucky to get away with that.

Q. Looking forward to the weekend now, you're playing well?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, it's wonderful. La Costa was not good to me not getting past the first round, so this was a nice change to get through three rounds here, and Geoff Ogilvy tomorrow, which is a good friend of mine. We've been doing dinner together all week, so maybe I'll have dinner with him tonight and put something in it (laughter).

Q. How far do you and Geoff live apart?
PAUL CASEY: About seven miles, which in Arizona is not that far away. And we're both members at Whisper Rock, so I see him quite a bit when we're back home.

Q. You've got to be the only guy on the course wearing short sleeves today. You didn't feel the breeze?
PAUL CASEY: The legs were warm. I've got the rain pants on. The stuff I've got on is pretty warm, but it's still very cold out there. I'd rather have good movement and be slightly cold than all be bundled up and not be able to hit it.
I wouldn't say it's not cold. I had to put the jacket on a few times to stay warm. Once you start moving around -- I have to say I sort of grew up with this weather, so it unfortunately brings back memories of being back home.

Q. Your opponent tomorrow, he's 8 and 0 in this match play now and of course he's the defending champion. Do you feel that puts more pressure on you, or does your friendship kind of offset that?
PAUL CASEY: Well, there's always pressure on it because he is defending champion. He's higher in the World Ranking, U.S. Open champion. It's going to be a tough, tough match. I mean, I'm going to have to play some very good golf against Geoff to beat him.
But I relish the challenge. You know, it's going to be fun. It's nice playing friends because you get to chat talking down the fairways. Geoff is pretty relaxed as it is anyway, but still, when push comes to shove we're going to be grinding it out and wanting to beat each other as badly as possible.

Q. You guys play a lot of matches at Whisper Rock back home. Is there any anecdotal interesting story there?
PAUL CASEY: None I can probably repeat (laughing), but yeah, he's tough. I mean, even -- there's a lot of great players back at the club, so I'd rather Geoff was on my team than playing against him.
You know, we'll turn up -- we've got sort of Friday games up there where guys roll up and make up a team and go play. I've played with Geoff a couple of times and things like that, our club competitions where all the pros get to enter. It's tough.
I've only won one club competition out there and I'm not sure how many Geoff has won. It's not good when guys like Gary McCord beat you and Timmy Herron and things.

Q. Were you aware that Shaun had maybe come back in his previous two matches, and were you thinking, Here we go again?
PAUL CASEY: A little bit because I didn't see the first round match, but I did see the match yesterday against Pampling. He was 3 down, I believe, and I watched the two putts yesterday on TV on 17 and 18 which he did make, so it did go through my mind.
You know, you have to sort of expect the worst and hope for the best. You never wish ill on anybody. You always have to expect he's going to make the putt. I got very lucky that he missed both of those putts because that's very unlike Shaun. He's a good, solid ball striker but he really is a great putter. Yeah, just dodged a bullet there.

Q. You're sort of one of the young guns. Half this field is 30 or under. Do you guys get razzed by maybe some of the guys that have been on Tour longer than you have?
PAUL CASEY: When you say razzed --

Q. Made fun of, teased.
PAUL CASEY: I'm holding onto the under 30 by my fingernails. I'm 29, and in July it'll all be over. I've been professional now for six or so years. You know, I don't feel that young anymore. I don't think we get teased at all. Everybody talks about the sort of young guys coming through and where are they, but I think it takes time for guys to find their feet out here.
I think now you're seeing the 20-something guys who are -- high 20s, who are finally making the move. You know, with a bit of luck, a few of them will break through this year and maybe win some majors.

Q. What's the secret? 7 of the 16 are 30 or under. Do you think there's a secret to that fact?
PAUL CASEY: No, not really. I mean, a lot of the guys you see out here have been prepped for professional golf through the college system, you know, through their amateur careers. This is what they dreamed of doing.
You look at somebody like Trevor, I heard of Trevor when I was probably still an amateur probably 18 years old, and Trevor is a few years younger than me.
But Trevor was a well-known player when he was 14, 15 years old, so it's now -- we're now ten-plus years later. I mean, it's taken a long time for -- it's not an overnight success. Trevor has been working extremely hard, as has everybody else.
I don't know why it takes time for guys to find their feet, but it does. It's just something -- it's a traveling circus, and I think a lot of the travel and the hotels and everything else is something you need to get used to before you can start to win.

Q. Undoubtedly as the matches get down in numbers, you're now a No. 8. Particularly any type of strategies you use with giving putts, that type of thing, with players? I've been asking a lot of players this question.
PAUL CASEY: It's a good question. I think the general rule of just give it to the guy if you think he's going to make it or there's no chance of him missing it. I think I'm fairly fair when it comes to giving putts. I gave Shaun a couple today. You're standing there and you're thinking, Shall I give it to him? I want to give it to him but he might miss it.
You've got to be a sportsman, as well. I'm not into gamesmanship, so it's -- he did miss a short one out there, but, you know, as I say, you've got to expect the guy to make everything. So I'd rather win a hole through making a birdie than have a guy miss a putt. I mean, of course I'll take it, but that's the way I look at it.

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