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January 16, 2009

Paul Casey


Q. An excellent day, maybe spoiled a little at the end but overall a good day's golf?
PAUL CASEY: Very happy with that. Actually hit it really poorly off the tee, and the thing that has not been going right for probably past year or so is the putting, and that seemed to click today. So kind of funny the way it works out, but I'm very, very happy with a 65 and comfortable with where I am.

Q. What have you been working on this winter with your coach?
PAUL CASEY: Putting. It really has been sort of the Achilles heel, shall we say, the past, not just the past year, but it's always been kind of one of those things that should be better than it has been.
And when I get hot, you know, times like the World Cup, for example, a few years ago now, I feel I can put incredibly well, but I need to be consistent with it. And today was I think a sign that it's going in the right direction.

Q. The rest of the game to us looked pretty good. You say that you were not too pleased with it?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I felt a little awkward. I didn't quite know what was going on with the golf ball today, and you need to have good control with the golf ball out there. The rough is thick. There's some work to do on the range. Maybe part of it is the 11-hour time difference, getting here and the legs are a little bit tired and loose. Seem to be falling asleep in the afternoon every day.
But we'll get over that and hopefully get better as the weekend goes on.

Q. I understand congratulations is in order, after eight years, you've been made an honest man; congratulations?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, we finally got married, that's good. If the golf continues like this, it will be great. But she's out with me this week, and next week, as well, and hopefully things will -- the golf will continue to be great as long as the marriage is.

Q. Happily ever after.
PAUL CASEY: Thank you very much.

Q. Would I be right in presuming that this game is easy?
PAUL CASEY: Not at all. I think I just played on the ninth hole, and it's not very easy, is it. This is a difficult golf course and to be honest, I felt like I maybe got a little bit -- got away with one today because I didn't hit the golf ball particularly well but I putted very nicely holed the putts when I needed to, and that's what has put me right now at the top of the leaderboard.

Q. You said you don't think you hit the ball that great?
PAUL CASEY: I don't think I had control very many holes out there, and if you look at the stats, I missed a lot of fairways.
I did hit a couple of very good tee shots but that was probably more luck than judgment. But I did manage to get the golf ball on the green, and that was the main thing. Having said that, I did hit a couple of very, very good iron shots. But it really was the putting. I holed, with the exception of one or two birdie putts, I pretty much holed everything today.

Q. From a commentator's point of view, you're playing the game, I'm watching, you hit a great tee shot off 15, great iron shot, or rather 16; and 17 you hit another great iron shot there and you birdied some really key holes out there and you've won here before and you know how to win here. There's obviously something about Abu Dhabi that gets Paul Casey going?
PAUL CASEY: You're right, actually, I did birdie the key holes, or shall we say, the tough par 4s. 16 and 17 are very tough, and to walk away with two threes there, it's more than a two-shot gain on the field probably.

Q. And on the 5th?
PAUL CASEY: Well, the grain is very thick on the greens this week and trying to read the grain is very good and I got that one wrong. This is a great place and I love the development here and I'm excited about what's happening and I love this golf course. We get treated brilliantly. In fact, the rest of the year is a bit of an anti-climax after you stay in places like the Emirates Palace, seven-star hotels, everything goes downhill.
But it would be great to get off to a win this week and start 2009 off the way I want to. It been two years since I last one, which is on this golf course, so hopefully I can continue to play some good golf and see what happens.

Q. Very important stage of your career, isn't this, and start to the year; it would be great to get off to a flyer?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I'm in my 30s now. It's all downhill, isn't it?
Yeah, I've really got -- I don't know, I've got probably longer than ten years, but to me, it's fairly sort of urgent. Every year now is very important, and you know, the sort of pedal is flat to the floor. I'm working as hard as I feel I can, but as hard as I need to be to be sort of winning tournaments and trying to accomplish my goals.
So this is nice to play the first few rounds the way I have, and it sort of shows that maybe some of the work I did in the off-season is already paying off.

Q. One of the question, there's been a big sort of flurry of speculation that Colin Montgomerie might be the next Ryder Cup captain; he did not seem averse to the idea when we were talking to him. What's your reaction?
PAUL CASEY: That's the first I've heard of that. Very interesting. You know, I've always said, I don't really -- my main concern is I want to be on the 2010 Ryder Cup Team. I really don't care who I play for. I think we've got a plethora of players who are very capable of doing the job and doing it very well.
You know, I've played for Monty in his captaincy role at the Seve Trophy and I thought he was very good, actually. Who knows? I'm intrigued.

Q. What particular qualities did Monty show at the Seve Trophy?
PAUL CASEY: He was very attentive. He asked us, what do you guys want; we said we want a ping-pong table in the room, and not only did he get a ping-pong table, it was a good ping-pong table, and good paddles, which is very important (laughing).
Good attention to detail. I thought he spoke very well in meetings. He got guys nicely motivated. Yeah, he was pretty good actually.

Q. How did he work the pairings and the singles order and consultation?
PAUL CASEY: There was lots of consultation, but yeah, I don't remember how he did it, what the strategy was.

Q. But he talked to the players in that sense?
PAUL CASEY: Very much. So we felt very much -- it was a team.

Q. Given that José Maria -- is it important to have someone --
PAUL CASEY: Yes, but I don't think it's necessary to have that person lined up until maybe qualification starts. I don't think it's something that needs to be picked right away. I don't think there would be any.

Q. And yet they said they would do it in Dubai.
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I read that, which actually did surprise me. I thought we were going to wait until the summer or maybe Wentworth or something like that.
Yeah, I don't -- see, I don't think it's necessary to pick it right away. But you know, guys like Thomas and Henrik and guys on the committee have spoken to me and I voiced my opinion.

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