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June 18, 2008

Paul Casey


RODDY WILLIAMS: Welcome to the 20th anniversary of the BMW International Open. You've been on the course this morning, may we just get your initial thoughts on the challenge that awaits this week.
PAUL CASEY: I think it's very good. I think the course is in spectacular shape, the best I've ever seen the greens. And again, there's some changes on the golf course; I'm trying to think what they are. It looks like there's an addition to maybe the right side of the 18th green, slightly different something going on over there.
The par 5, 6th, as well, right-hand side, shaved down area on the right-hand side there. Every year you come back, the golf course gets better and better and this year I think it's going to provide a wonderful test with the rough I suspect, but the greens are rolling beautifully. It's just great. I'm looking forward to it.
RODDY WILLIAMS: This course always seems to bring some pretty low scoring, which is slightly different from what we saw last week at Torrey Pines. Do you think there's going to be plenty of birdies out there?
PAUL CASEY: I think there's going to be plenty of birdies out there, but I also think there's lots of bogeys out there. This was a golf course where you try and shoot 20-under par, maybe lower than that, but I'm not sure you'll see that this week. I mean, today, I think I had six or seven birdies and an eagle, but it's Wednesday. Doesn't really matter.
Yeah, it's out there and I hit the ball wonderfully today and it's very different tomorrow. But it can't be done. I don't see why somebody can't shoot fairly low around here and that's what I intend to do and hopefully I can get myself up there on Sunday.

Q. It's really reaching crunch time now, the next week or two, with the big tournaments and The Open, leading up to the Ryder Cup qualification. Have you really thought about what you think you need to do?
PAUL CASEY: I need to win. Yeah, I need to win, simple as that. I feel very happy with my game. I'm playing I think very good golf. I seem to be managing to shoot the highest number every time I go out and play, but it's right there. I'm working very hard and I'm happy with the way I'm swinging it.
Just changed putters this week and I've gone back to a Nike putter. Slightly different style but the same sort of technology that I had when I won three times in 2006. It's a unitized putter, it's a one-piece putter and has a great feel. And for some reason it chucked it in '06 and I have no idea why I ever changed. And I picked one up from the Tour Van yesterday and loved it, and hopefully that will turn it around, because it seems to be the putting is probably the only thing holding me back.

Q. You're the only one left standing of the three-ball who started last week; you're all right, are you?
PAUL CASEY: My wrists are fine. (Laughter) I don't know what happened. I did talk to Poulter actually during the round on the very first hole on Friday. I was in it fairly long last week, but got a good one off the tee and was quite a long way by him and sort of chuckled and gestured toward the fact that I was a long way by him. And he mentioned his wrist and discussed it and you could see it as a little inflamed.
You know, it's his call. You don't want to injure yourself. He knows how bad his wrist is. So I will back him up. He wasn't hitting it very far. He didn't seem to have much power in the swing and wasn't the usual Ian Poulter.

Q. Are you amazed that Tiger didn't pull out for fear of injuring himself?
PAUL CASEY: That's a good question. I think he's so focused on his goals, beating Jack's record. You know, he's an athlete. He knows and I think he's very in tune with his body.
I spoke to Karlsson's caddie, Gareth Lord, spoke to him yesterday, or Monday night spoke to him, and he said there's actually noises coming from Tiger's knee. I wasn't there, but Gareth's words, but clearly it's not -- clearly he was in pain from what Gareth said. But he battled through it. It shows how determined he is to beat that record, and hopefully he hasn't done himself any further damage.

Q. Are you aware of Retief Goosen's remarks?
PAUL CASEY: Somebody mentioned them. I haven't read them.

Q. You have no reason to believe that Tiger was in any way other than seriously injured?
PAUL CASEY: From what I saw on TV, only amazing golf; to me, pretty evident. I mean, why would -- he looked to be in pain to me. I haven't seen Tiger and I haven't spoken to him, but from what Gareth said, you know, Gareth is one of Robert's fairly critical sources and said he was right there and clearly said he was suffering; and they were right inside the ropes and up close with him.
I mean, he did say "noises from the knee." That doesn't sound particularly good to me. They said there were moments, I think on the 18th, where he stepped up to hit his tee shot and he'd even get in there and was setup in his stance and backed off on the sort of weird noises. And they all sort of chuckled and he said, I shouldn't hit this one too hard, is kind of the story, and hit his cut down the fairway and got it in play and obviously made the eagle that day.
Yeah, amazing.

Q. Going back to my original question. What is your priority now: The Open or Ryder Cup qualification?
PAUL CASEY: It's The Open. I mean, Ryder Cup is very much a goal, but the priority is the open. My goal is to win The Open. That was my dream as a kid. That's what I'm working towards is to get the game in shape for that.
If I succeed in that and play great that week and post a Top-5 or something, then that helps The Ryder Cup cause. At no time am I going away from taking event one at a time and giving it my best. This week, it's all about the BMW.

Q. Which is what you did two years ago, you took it every round at a time.
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I want to be a part of that team, desperately. And if necessary, the last two, three weeks, I will change my schedule if I have to in order to fit another event in and play as much as I can.
But I have to be focused on playing every single event to the best of my ability and try and win them, as simple as that. And then The Ryder Cup is a by-product of playing well, and right now I haven't played well enough to get myself up there in the points, and that's only right.

Q. Has that worried you?
PAUL CASEY: Yes. (Laughing).
Yeah, it's frustrating.

Q. Any particular reason; the putting?
PAUL CASEY: Putting is probably the one thing, yeah. Putted nicely today. Maybe it's because of the new putter. A little bit of a fresh wand, and just need to build the confidence up.
I am a great putter, at times, and I need to be great all the time. I feel like the ball-striking is great right now, tee-to-green.
I'm very, very happy. I think I've got all the shots in the bag that I'm capable of hitting right now and hopefully that's enough shots to get me around most golf courses. But it doesn't matter how good you hit it if you can't get it in the hole.

Q. Is this around the time you start looking at how other top players are in the standing, with the battle for two wildcards if need be, or how many players seem to have got a lot close?
PAUL CASEY: No, I haven't really looked at the rankings, mainly because I'm depressed at my position. I don't want to depress myself any further.
I'm more concerned about my performance. I don't want to be particularly looking at other players and seeing where they are and how far ahead they are of me. I have more than enough motivation; I don't need to do that.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Paul, thanks very much for joining us. Good luck this week.

End of FastScripts

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