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October 10, 2007

Paul Casey


GORDON SIMPSON: Due to time constraints, Paul has asked if we could make it short and sharp, a bit like his matches last year, in fact. Never took it past the 15th I recall?
PAUL CASEY: Of course I'd like to replicate that. Last year was a lot of fun, which, as I said before, the big step was getting into the HSBC World Match Play. I didn't think that was really a goal at the beginning of the season, and after playing some very good golf and getting in I think on the Order of Merit qualification, I felt very lucky to be part of it. I felt, well, if I'm in it, I might as well take full advantage and see how far I can get.
But with these matches, I think facing Goosen the first round, you just never know. The guys I played were the favourites I think every time I went into it, Goose, Monty, Mike Weir. But my confidence grew and I played some very, very good golf, as you've got to.
I mean, nobody in the field this week is an easy match, either, and anybody can beat anybody in any given day in match play so you really have to be on form. You really can't give the guy anything else, any shots or any holes and hopefully I get a bit of luck like I did last year.
GORDON SIMPSON: Jerry Kelly in the first round?
PAUL CASEY: First of all Jerry a really good guy. He'll be fun playing tomorrow. I get on very well with him. It will be a fierce match, but we'll chat on the way around. It's going to be one where birdies are a premium. He's an aggressive player, and hopefully that results in a few fireworks and we have a lot of fun out there and make lots of birdies and eagles.

Q. Did you find last year you played with more intensity or you were more relaxed?
PAUL CASEY: I had a fairly carefree attitude at the beginning, sort of, very much we'll see what happens at the start, playing against Goose. But certainly as the week went on, I was very much into it. I would say I was fairly intense on Sunday; even being I think 3-up on Shaun through lunchtime, I didn't see it as easy. He's a major champion. I know at any time he could throw birdies at me. I felt like I got a little bit lucky in the morning because he gave me the 16th, which I remember I won that hole with a bogey.
I felt, you know, I'm 3-up and I've been a bit fortunate and it could go either way. So I was certainly very, very intense. And the golf I played in the second 18, well, the nine holes I played, ten holes I played in the afternoon were some of the best golf I've played all year without a doubt.

Q. Is your form now similar to this time last year?
PAUL CASEY: Probably not too dissimilar. I love match play because it really doesn't matter -- it doesn't matter if you have a mistake every now and then. Obviously you don't want to give the guy any holes if possible.
But, the singles that I had against Raphaël Jacquelin in Seve Trophy were good. I played some very, very good golf that day, and I felt my golf is going the right direction. I played three very, very good round at the Dunhill last week. Sunday was the low round of the day at St. Andrews and first Top-10 in a while.
So, I'm not worried. I think the golf, I've been working extremely hard and hopefully now it's clicked.

Q. Would a win this week make the year feel a success?
PAUL CASEY: Very much so. I think I'm too far away for an Order of Merit chase, but certainly at this time last year -- well, this tournament was obviously earlier last year, it was a little similar. It was a little bit -- I had won early, I won Gleneagles going into this. But winning this week would really turn it around. I would be a very happy man if I could win this week. I've never defended a title successfully, so that would be a nice goal to tick off.

Q. (About Faldo offering swing advice).
PAUL CASEY: Peter Kostis is my coach, so you know, Nick told me what he saw and was helpful in his observations, shall we say, at the Seve Trophy. And talking to Peter on the phone, we got down to the root cause of what I was doing wrong. But it certainly helped. He's got a good eye for the swing. But no, I think I'll continue to go to Peter Kostis for my swing. (Chuckling).

Q. Putting has been holding you back in the past?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, my putting has always been -- blows a little hot and cold, but I love match play because the decisions are often made for you. And you can often be a lot more aggressive with your shots, the shots off the tee and into the green and obviously on the greens, as well. I found I often putt my best in match-play situations.
So I'm actually really looking forward to this week because they are completely different formats. I think it takes a lot of pressure off trying to sort of post a number, shall we say. This time of the year, the greens at Wentworth are much better than in May when we play the PGA, and the No. 1 reason is there's 16 guys on the course, and I have no excuse tomorrow, I'm first off.

Q. Will we see a change in your Schedule next year?
PAUL CASEY: I'm taking my card in the U.S. and I will play at least my 15 over there. So, it will change. I haven't yet figured out exactly what I'm playing, but I know there will be a few events in Europe which I'll have to juggle around a little bit. There will be a few I'll play next year which I haven't played in a while, and maybe there's a few that I often play that I might not.
You know, Ryder Cup is very much one of the large goals of my list, so I need to find a way of making sure I qualify for that. But if I play good golf wherever I play, hopefully the World Ranking points -- that's how I want to qualify. So I'm not turning my back on Europe at the moment and I never will.

Q. (About managing schedule).
PAUL CASEY: I think so, yeah. Yeah, certainly I feel very good now, but I think probably after the -- probably July, August time, yeah, I felt very tired. There were way too many -- I can't do something ridiculous like 11 or 12 long-haul flights from January to May or something like that. It was way too many.
Yes, I've got to cut those down. You know, it's not going to top me to go play Abu Dhabi at the beginning of the year, but maybe it's sort of cutting down the trips I did to China and Thailand, those trips. I can't keep doing it if I want to play the sort of golf I want to play.

Q. (About requirements for keeping PGA Tour card).
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, the rules are kind of intricate. I could always rejoin the Tour if I was eligible, simple as that. But as long as I wasn't a PGA Tour member, I was always restricted to I think ten tournaments or something like that.
But no, now I've earned enough money, they are very welcoming. I mean, as soon as you're able to join their tour, they welcome you with open arms. So I'm looking forward to playing a full schedule over there next year and obviously trying to play as many in Europe as I can, as well.

Q. Might not be a good idea not to play 15 in America?
PAUL CASEY: Probably not. Thank you, Mark.
GORDON SIMPSON: Justin has done well from a schedule in the States and Europe?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I'm in a very different place than I was a couple of years ago when obviously I didn't play my quota. But I'm really looking forward to it now, and there's no reason I can't do it well and do it successfully. I mean, Justin has done it brilliantly. The thing that's impressed me about Justin is the fact that he's €30,000 behind Padraig, and he's only played nine events. It's frightening.

Q. Did he ask you to be his World Cup partner?
PAUL CASEY: Did he ask me to be his World Cup partner? He did. But it was more of a discussion. And I could tell that Justin -- there were a couple of factors.
One, I've done so much traveling this year anyway. I could also tell that he wanted to play with Poulter. I knew to -- he flat-out asked me, he said, "Would you like to play it."
But I need to concentrate on next year and playing the World Cup would get in the way of my preparation for next season, and that's unfortunate, but that's the way it is. The goals are majors, and looking at what Justin has done this year, playing both tours and playing very, very well.
So being in China for the HSBC Champions and then having to go back to the States and then fly back to the China is doing exactly what I did at the beginning of the year, which is way too many long-haul flights and I've got too much to work on. So it wouldn't be -- simple as that, it just wouldn't be conducive to great preparation for next year.
And Poulter seemed very, very keen to play in it, and you've got to have guys who are keen to play in it. If those two really want to go there and they want to win, then I shouldn't get in their way. So there's no point in me being there if I'm not in it 100 per cent.

Q. Would you see yourself playing a similar Schedule to Tiger?
PAUL CASEY: I haven't actually looked at the tournaments he's played, but I think I will. Yeah, I talked to Mark Steinberg yesterday as to events, asked his advice on events I should play in the U.S., courses that would suit my game, tournaments that would fit in with preparation to big events like majors and world golf events. Probably looking at something like Justin's schedule, as well, the events he's played in would certainly help make my decision as to how I need to balance it out.

Q. (More about modeling after Tiger's schedule).
PAUL CASEY: Well, I'd love to think that I can -- I mean, my game is not exactly similar. I think I'm capable, if Tiger plays well at a golf course and suits his game, then it's more likely to suit my game than a player that plays a different style, shall we say. That's my reason for asking Steinberg sort of what Tiger plays and his advice on where to go.
Plus, he does a brilliant job of being successful of not playing too many events which is what I'd like, that's how I'd like to be. That's I think the ultimate goal. I need to cut down the schedule. I found myself a couple of times this year not being able to give 100 per cent to trying to win a golf event because I've just been too fatigued or for whatever reason, I'm fried. And that's not a great feeling; wanting to be there, trying to be there, but not having anything left.
You know, I did a good job this year of preparing for the majors. But I feel I should give every tournament equal attention, shall we say, and not prepare any differently to majors than other events. If I'm going to go to an event, I'm only going to go for one reason and that's to try and win it, and if I'm not doing that -- or if I'm doing it for some reason, that's the wrong reason.

Q. Is there an event this year were you were too tired --
PAUL CASEY: BMW -- I want to pick events -- BMW, Munich, after the U.S. Open, I wanted to go there. I think it's a golf course I enjoy playing and it's a lot of fun. BMW events are great. But once I arrived there, I realised I was toast and I had nothing left, and that's very frustrating.
In hindsight, I should have taken a week off after the U.S. Open because it was too draining. And it's not fair to our sponsors, as well. It's not right for me to turn up and not perform as well as they are wanting me to perform.

Q. Any pressure from the sponsors to play?
PAUL CASEY: No, not at all. The decision is completely mine. Of course they want us to go.
GORDON SIMPSON: Thank you very much.

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