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April 11, 2008

Paul Casey


Q. Going in the right direction it looks like.
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I mean, yesterday was my best start I've had at Augusta by a long way actually. I've never shot under par in the first round, so I was happy with that.
In the past, having always put myself behind the 8-ball, I've always had to battle and pull a number out of the bag to make the cut, and this year is slightly different.
It's nice that Trevor shot 8 because it gave me something to chase. That's an unbelievable score. I played very, very good golf. I let a few putts slip by, but I'm extremely happy with 4-under, extremely happy. 8-under is amazing, plus it's going to probably knock a few guys out of the cut.
I've never quite understood the cut rule, but I think it's 45 and ties and anybody within ten shots, so yeah, I'll sort it out.

Q. Did you expect the field would go this low?
PAUL CASEY: I had hoped it was coming around. I haven't played very good golf this year, haven't stroked the ball well, haven't scored particularly great. I was so looking forward to this week. Not that I haven't looked forward to the other events, there's just something very special about this one, get the major season started.
I had two weeks off preparing with Kostis and everybody else back home, back in Scottsdale, and I felt the game was right where I wanted it to be. I'm glad that it's finally sort of coming around so we can get the season underway. It'll be a nice week to start playing well.
I think four off the lead is not bad. It's in contention. There's a lot of golf to be played yet, and I think it's fair to say that I've played in great conditions for the last two days.
I mean, the wind is picking up a bit now, but it hasn't affected any of my shots. 15 was probably the first time we really felt it. We got caught out with the wind there, but I still made birdie. We thought it was into; clearly it wasn't.

Q. What did you hit there?
PAUL CASEY: A 3-iron, playing 235 to the flag. I didn't want to hit any less than a 3-iron thinking the wind was into and off the left.
No, there's a lot of golf to be played, and I would say I've had great conditions and I'm only 4-under. So if it gets a little bit different over the weekend, the scores might come back a little bit. I'll be very impressed if they keep going deeper into red numbers, very impressed.

Q. You've shown these last two rounds that you can play this golf course as well as anybody. Are you happy where you are?
PAUL CASEY: Very happy. The reason I've played the golf I have in past years is because I've put myself behind the 8-ball, so nothing to lose. And sort of horrible statistics, such as in probably the low man over the final 54 holes and things like that, which is great when you start with a 78 (laughter).
So very different, different mindset now. I feel I can't be as aggressive, but that's why I'm very happy with today's round. Plus I know my way around the golf course well and I didn't really make any mistakes. Mistakes such as being over the green on 15 is not a bad mistake. I got caught out by the wind, and I'd rather be long than short. I was almost underneath Feherty's tower, a good 10, 12 yards over the green.

Q. Were you doing anything particularly well out there?
PAUL CASEY: No, nothing -- I was busy watching Scottie and Goose make eagles, so they've got some crystal, which will be nice. A jacket is what you want, but nothing unusual, just good, solid golf. Scottie did very, very good to make the cut. He ground it out.
But there's a long way to go. There's no reason why someone like Adam Scott can't be up there at the end of the week.

Q. Were you pushing each other on out there?
PAUL CASEY: It's not that sort of golf course where you can push each other. It's really just keep control of your golf ball and be very patient and hope putts go in when you've got the opportunity to make them. It's too difficult a golf course right now to try and chase somebody. You can sort of feed off what Goose is doing, but anything can happen. Adam Scott hit a shot that looked like a very good golf shot into 13 and walks off with a double or a bogey, whatever he made there. So anything can happen. You don't worry about anyone else. If you're worried about somebody else, you're not focused on your own game.

Q. Good pairing today?
PAUL CASEY: Great pairing. They're both friends of mine and it was fun to play with them.

Q. Any thoughts about how the course will be set up tomorrow?
PAUL CASEY: I've heard various theories about what they try to do, how Thursday is going to be compared to a Friday or a Saturday or a Sunday. I've heard they try to make Thursday incredibly difficult and scare some guys. I have no idea whether any of that is true or not.
You always have to be slightly wary of this golf course. Scared is probably an extreme word, but cautious. There are some scary golf shots out there, but they're scary golf shots when the wind is not blowing and the greens are nice and soft.
I don't think it's going to be any easier, put it that way.

Q. Do you get a sense that they will keep the course in control?
PAUL CASEY: I'd like to think so. They have the technology to do so under the ground. You know, although this golf course is incredibly difficult and some might say right on the edge, I've never seen it go too far.

Q. Peter Kostis also said your game is there.
PAUL CASEY: I saw him this morning on the range, Kostis came out. He's probably sitting in his tower on 13 right now. He saw some of it on TV and just said it was very solid round of golf yesterday, and today was more of the same, simple as that.

Q. Why does this course set up well for you?
PAUL CASEY: I have no idea. I'd like to say high ball flight and I can work it right to left. I've always liked the more difficult golf courses, Oakmont last year, for example. I like the challenge, and I see this as a challenge. I don't know. I mean, I think if something suits your eye and you enjoy being here, then you're going to play better golf, and I enjoy being here.

Q. How much of a test of self-belief will the weekend be?
PAUL CASEY: It's not really a test of self-belief. I'm putting in a lot of work, incredible amounts of work. That's golf. Sometimes it's ups and downs. It's not disastrous, it just hasn't really clicked yet.
I've been plodding along showing some good signs of play, and hit some poor shots, but I'm not worried. This is the first major of the year, so we have a lot of golf to play this season. I think this year by the end of the year I'll be very happy with it.

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