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February 26, 2009

Paul Casey


RODDY WILLIAMS: Paul, thanks very much for coming and joining us. That was a very good win, pretty comprehensive victory there against Mathew Goggin.
PAUL CASEY: Thank you. It didn't seem that easy. I think the score lies a little bit. It felt like a tougher match than 6 & 4.
But yeah, I played very solid golf, which I was happy with, because yesterday I played -- I felt like I played very well for the 16 holes and then got quite tired actually on the last couple from, I think, traveling back from Australia. So I was just very happy to get through that one, but today was very nice.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Well, let's open it up it some questions.

Q. Oliver Wilson was just in here, and he was saying that he didn't speak to his opponent today. He was a bit deliberate, I'm not going to be chatty. What's your approach in these things?
PAUL CASEY: I think it depends on the player, and then it depends on who your opponent is. I chatted to Mathew for probably about two holes (laughter). I asked him about Tasmania. It's difficult. I mean, you're all concentrating. Personally I've never been one for the sort of stonewalling, just the no conversation whatsoever.
I guess I'll end up talking to somebody. I'll talk to Craig or I'll talk to my golf clubs or something, or I'll talk to my golf ball.

Q. Another thing Ollie was saying was he was calculating the distances it goes in the desert, which he found quite difficult. Was that your experience that desert golf would kick in and help you this week?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, definitely. The wind always seems to be heavy in Arizona. If it blew like this in Scotland, you wouldn't even think about it, it was probably quite a nice day, wind-wise. It seems to be very heavy. It affects the golf ball a lot in the air.
We're at almost probably 3,000 feet here, something like that, that's certainly a factor, and the heat. You know, as soon as it gets above 80 I've found the last 12 years of being out here there's a significant increase in distance. You start to combine all these things and then basically you have to guess (laughter).
You know, yesterday, today, 160-yard wedges, it's not uncommon to hit sort of -- I was hitting 8-irons -- I hit an 8-iron 186 yards on the 9th today and I didn't even hit it very well.

Q. What would you normally hit an 8-iron?
PAUL CASEY: 165 is a normal 8-iron if it was a little bit colder, let's say Wentworth on a cold day, 162. The Open last year probably would have gone about 120 (laughter).

Q. Your pre-tournament preparation, you've played a few rounds out here in the past. Could you kind of run over that, and how big do you think the local knowledge is out here?
PAUL CASEY: I only played one round prior to turning up at the beginning of the week. I knew I was going to be -- it was going to be very difficult getting back from Australia from last week, so I came down a couple of Fridays ago and played with Geoff Ogilvy, which I think was very useful.
It was going to be useful just playing any round I played down here, but playing with another player, certainly Geoff, because he knows desert golf very, very well having lived out here for a while. We both had a rough idea how far the golf ball goes, how to play desert golf. So I took a lot out of that one round.
We drove around in carts, and we were only out here probably three and a half hours, but I learnt a lot. So I felt very comfortable. And the fact that I only played nine holes on Tuesday -- I was so tired, not actually hitting it very well when I got to the latter half of last week, got in Monday afternoon, went home, unpacked, repacked, saw Peter Kostis on Tuesday morning at Whisper Rock, and then drove down here and got here probably lunchtime. It was a very rushed preparation for this event, but I had done my homework leading up to it.

Q. People are talking about the greens being slow and undulating and all of that. That's different than regular desert golf you might see at home. Has anybody turned to you and gone, "Is it always like this?" Is there anything you can contribute from that end given your experience in the region?
PAUL CASEY: Nobody has really quizzed me on why the greens are so slow, but I think they realize if they were regular tournament speed that we experience every week, they would just be unputtable.
I'm struggling, to be honest. I've left a lot of putts short this week. You feel like you have to hit the putt rather than just sort of stroking it.
It's still a sort of fun golf course, and you know, I think the golf course lends itself quite well to match play, but this one is not bad. There's some reachable par-5s, I mean, lots of -- crazy slopes, which are actually, I think, fun for the crowd to watch, because if you hit a very, very good golf shot you're rewarded with a pretty simple birdie putt. But if you get it wrong, you can be in some awful places.
Nobody has come up to me. Actually I think everybody is pleasantly surprised because in the past when we have played in Arizona it's usually -- January and February can be quite cold, and two weeks ago when I was last here, we were having frost delays until 9:30 in the morning, so this is pleasant. This is great.

Q. The day when you came down here a couple Fridays ago, do you remember, three weeks ago, four weeks ago?
PAUL CASEY: It was the Friday before I left, so it would be two weeks ago tomorrow.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Paul, thank you very much.

End of FastScripts

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