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January 17, 2009

Paul Casey


MICHAEL GIBBONS: Paul, thanks for coming in. That was a beautiful round of golf and must be quite an enjoyable day for you.
PAUL CASEY: I think it's always enjoyable to shoot 63.
Yeah, it was a lot of fun. I didn't expect much after yesterday's 65. It was nice playing with Graeme Storm. Graeme is actually a good friend. We all got off to a great start, birdied the first, bogeyed the second, calmed things down and just sort of rolled on from there and it was quite unexpected.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Going into tomorrow playing with last year's champion against the 2007 champion, could be quite a good group to watch.
PAUL CASEY: Yes, we are both members at the golf club we play at in the States. It's like the club championship.
I've never won my club championship. I think fourth was my best. Billy Mayfair won.

Q. Who else is a member there?
PAUL CASEY: Owing Geoff Ogilvy, Badds.

Q. What club?
PAUL CASEY: Whisper Rock.

Q. Inaudible?
PAUL CASEY: I don't think that's the game plan. The game plan is to go out there and stick to my game plan. Put the ball in the fairway and give myself lots of birdie opportunities much.
Martin is very capable of shooting low numbers, so if he shoots the same number I shot today, a 63, that would require me to play some very good golf in order to beat him. You know, I just want to shoot under par golf tomorrow, and if you need to worry about the situation down the last couple of holes, then do you, but you don't think about that from the start.

Q. Inaudible?
PAUL CASEY: That would be very nice. The Algarve guys, one of my sponsors, are changing the face of Abu Dhabi with what they are building here. They have got a great group of people upstairs in the chalet that I saw yesterday, a lot of them walking around today.
So it would be very, very nice to get a win for them. I'm just very, very happy I'm playing good golf. It's no added pressure. I put enough pressure on myself anyway. It's great to be having fun and fun knowing that they are enjoying it, watching me play some good golf.

Q. Inaudible?
PAUL CASEY: Room for improvement.

Q. After five holes -- and you were within four, after playing well yesterday?
PAUL CASEY: I practised, really hard.

Q. How many hours a day?
PAUL CASEY: It's difficult to put into hours. I think the two areas were -- I played a lot more golf than normal. I think in the past couple of off-seasons, I perhaps spent too much time on the range and not enough time on the golf course actually playing and trying to shoot a number.
So I've done that, tried to sort of keep a score when I was playing so it wouldn't feel foreign when I had a scorecard in my hand on Thursday, which it didn't, felt very comfortable.
And on the putting front, part of it was technique. So I worked very hard with Peter Kostis on the technique, and really just putting in some hours on it.
Other than that, I think a couple of things were slightly flawed, with the stroke and the setup. That's really it. Just trying to build the confidence. The confidence was the thing which I was lacking, but it's actually a little more complicated than that. It's pretty simple.

Q. Any correlation with your performance in the Masters last year --
PAUL CASEY: I think if you look at probably the back nine of that round of golf, the back nine was very good. I only shot three or so more than Trevor did, and he won. No, it has no correlation with that whatsoever.
I felt that I've always been an extremely putter, and when it's been extremely good, like I said earlier this week, the World Cup in Seville, that was some pretty good putting. Everything went in that day, and it needed to to beat the Spanish. But that's no good. You can't continue for it to be streaky, hot or cold. I just need to be -- 193rd, rubbish, isn't it. I'd like to say it's because I hit a lot of greens in regulation, but it's still rubbish.

Q. Inaudible?
PAUL CASEY: Good question, not sure. It just feels very, very comfortable. I'm not putting really any pressure on myself because it's early in the season, as well.
You know, I've had sort of glimpse of that. I've putted well, 2006 Ryder Cup at The K Club, putted very, very well. Again, had to to beat Furyk in the singles.
It's sort of -- I putted well in certain situations when I've been forced to putt well. I think just the sort of light bulb going on that I can't keep -- I can't stay in that place, it's no good. I just have to make a change, so I've made that change and I feel like I've turned a corner.

Q. Inaudible?
PAUL CASEY: Exactly. Very good, and part of that is a confidence thing or an attitude, certainly an attitude thing. In match play there are no consequences for a missed putt, shall we say, you have a putt to halve the hole and it must go in; that's something I've tried to emulate when I've been on the golf course certainly this week, not worrying about the next putt.
The most important thing is this particular putt and trying to make it; and hence, I've run a couple of putts by this week and then cleaned them up nicely.

Q. Yesterday you were talking about you were not really happy with the way your game was and that you were not really in control of the golf ball. What about today?
PAUL CASEY: Clearly it was very different. Sergio and I yesterday seemed to have a contest of who could be furthest from the fairway. I certainly won on the 9th hole yesterday. It wasn't very good. I just didn't feel very comfortable over the golf ball yesterday from a technical aspect, which I've always sort of prided myself on being a good striker of the golf ball. So when it's slightly off, I'm very critical of that.
Today, I don't know what it was, I actually didn't practise yesterday afternoon. I did some corporate stuff with my Algarve friends upstairs and had a lovely lunch and enjoyed myself and dodged the range and just thought not to worry about it and had a good night's sleep. It cures a lot of things; not everything, but it clearly cured the ball striking.

Q. I know you want to stay in the present, but how much have you missed winning?
PAUL CASEY: A lot. Yeah, it's not very fun not to win. I would happily trade all the sort of made cuts in the majors and stuff like that for wins. It's that feeling of winning which is very special.

Q. After a 63, were there any parts of your game you felt needed a slight improvement?
PAUL CASEY: Clearly my 3-wood off the fairway on No. 8 wasn't very good. I managed to hit it about six inches behind the ball. For some reason, at the top of the backswing, I thought I needed to give it a little bit extra. Sort of had a mind lapse at the top of the swing and sort of collapsed on it and the spine angle. It wasn't very good but recovered nicely. So there were some poor shots.
But I think the key was patience, stay very, very patient out there. I did hit the ball in the rough more than once, and just tried to get it back in play and give myself a birdie putt every time.

Q. When you finished did you --

Q. Just wondering, that's all.

Q. He was talking about the chance that he had and the fact that you are a good front runner.
PAUL CASEY: I had not even thought about it.

Q. Martin said earlier that he was watching you practise back at the club?
PAUL CASEY: Was he? I was watching him.

Q. When you're on form like this, is it easy to keep things going or do you want to change your schedule around a bit to capitalise?
PAUL CASEY: I'm playing the two weeks after this, so it would be difficult to change it and play anymore than that.
I thought he looked very good on the range, looked very solid. And I saw a lot of -- not a lot of. I saw some money being handed over to him on a couple of matches that he had been playing in. So clearly he was playing some good golf.
He's a really good guy actually. What was the question?

Q. Well, I wasn't sure about your schedule, but if you are playing the entire Desert Swing --
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I'm playing the two following this. The goal was to come out here and capitalise on these three weeks. The winning was clearly the goal having not won for a couple of years. I enjoy being in the desert. As I said before, I've got lots of friends here. Enjoy myself and see how it goes.
With the schedule I'm going to play this year, I'm playing a lot in the States, and I'll play the two after this, and then the Johnnie Walker and then I've got to play some in the States because I've got to play any number over there, as well.
I have to capitalise -- well, every tournament now, as I said earlier this week, is of equal importance to me this year. That's the way I'm looking at it and whenever I get on an airplane, I'm getting on the airplane with a purpose, and that's to try to win a golf event.

Q. Just wonder if it's very difficult to try to maintain both in the United States and The European Tour for The Race to Dubai.
PAUL CASEY: What do you mean a challenge?

Q. Well, if you're kind of globe trotting every now and again.
PAUL CASEY: It's not difficult to get up for the events. I mean, no, I don't find that difficult. The difficult part is to stay fit and healthy and continue the good golf. Stay on form. That's the challenge. But it's not difficult to be excited about what I'm playing in.
Last year was really, again, still a little bit learning some of those golf courses in the States. Some of the golf courses over here, I felt that golf courses like this, I feel incredibly comfortable on and they suit my eye, and I'm still learning a little bit in the States some of those golf courses. Hopefully they can be -- well, it doesn't matter. You're trying to win. It's not a competition as to where you play your best golf. It matters to me but --

Q. In terms of playing the two tours as you do, there's such a big influx now of big tournaments over here, and you're obviously married and living in the States, could you ever see yourself, if you got more ranking points and more money --
PAUL CASEY: For me, the way I work the schedule is I base it around the most important events. Working back, majors, world golf events, PLAYERS Championship, big events over here. That's how I figure out the schedule.
So when I'm making up the numbers, then for me, it's about places I enjoy, golf courses I enjoy playing, maybe courses I want to go see, how got food is. That's what's important to me.
World Ranking points and money we are playing for are irrelevant, I think.

Q. In one word, when you look at 2006 and 2007 and making your schedule, the main difference -- inaudible?
PAUL CASEY: I think I played better golf in 2006, even though I won in 2007. The main difference? Don't know. And I'm not going to worry about it.

Q. Inaudible?
PAUL CASEY: I'm very relaxed. I'm a married man now.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: I think we can end on that note. Paul, thanks for joining us.

End of FastScripts

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