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February 28, 2009
RODDY WILLIAMS: Paul Casey, welcome to the interview room. Great playing out there today. Great win. You've beating a friend from Surrey, England. Now you got to play a friend from Scottsdale in the final.
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, that was -- I'm very happy with today. A long day. I think I got a little bit lucky this morning. Sean O'Hair had a little bit of food poisoning, I found out later in the round, last night.
And to be honest, he got a lot of bad breaks this morning. The ball's always stayed on the wrong side of the slope. So I feel fortunate about that one.
Then this afternoon against Ross, again, I played very good golf. Made a couple of mistakes. Halving 1 with double bogeys wasn't very good.
But he played some very good golf closing in. I mean, that up-and-down on 15 was phenomenal. Almost went in the hole. And his birdie on 16, again, great putt. And I was under pressure.
So I feel very satisfied to hole that birdie putt.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Talk about facing Geoff in the final. Look forward to that?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, we are both members at Whisper Rock in Scottsdale. Be kind of like the Whisper Rock Club Championship, sort of.
Q. We asked him about coming down here, I guess it was a week ago Friday. Could you -- he drove his Porsche. What did you drive and why did you come in separate cars and how did the gas crisis -- you know, anyway. And did you just sort of say, I'm going down, I'm going down? How did that work out? And is it amazing that you're in the finals?
PAUL CASEY: It was a couple of weeks ago Friday. We bumped into each other on the range at Whisper Rock. I think it was about a Tuesday or Wednesday. And I asked him if he played this golf course, if he had been down here yet, and he said, I'm going down Friday. And I said, perfect. Do you want to tee it up? We'll figure it out. Sent him a text. We decided on a time.
Admittedly we actually didn't talk about how we were getting down here. But he did turn up with his trainer, so we should have car-pooled and, you know, saved fuel, admittedly.
But I did have -- I will make my excuse. I had stuff to go do afterwards. We played very quickly. We played in probably three-and-a-half hours using carts.
No wagers. It was just a fun round of golf trying to figure out where to go. It was a lot to see out there. I think it was a huge help playing with Geoff, I think seeing two golf balls sometimes even three or more golf balls off the tees, for a guy who hits it I think very similar distance to me, very similar distance to how I hit the golf ball.
That really assisted me. I think it's very -- it's quite surreal that we're now going to be playing each other again tomorrow in the final.
Q. You didn't tell what kind of car you were in.
PAUL CASEY: Why does it matter what car I was in?
Q. He drove a Porsche?
PAUL CASEY: Did he say he drove the Porsche?
Q. Yeah. Just for accuracy sake?
PAUL CASEY: He probably got here quicker than I did then.
Q. When you're standing at 14 and it's 10 minutes' worth of stuff going on that I heard you talking about somebody got nicked by a cholla, and I think you were chatting with somebody about that and other stuff. What's going through your head when you have this 10-minute break in the midst of a pretty important round?
PAUL CASEY: Clearly the right stuff wasn't going through my head, because I failed to get up-and-down from a very simple position. Just trying to save energy. It's still -- in the afternoon's, it's extremely hot out there. Didn't want to get tied up with what Ross was trying to do, trying to figure out the drop there. It's not my position to be over there looking over his shoulder.
I'm just trying to sort of pass the time but trying to focus on the shot as well. Clearly I didn't do a good enough job.
Q. And you found the shade of the saguaro to stand in?
PAUL CASEY: The shade of the saguaro was treating me very well.
Q. Geoff was saying that you guys played quite a bit when you are both in town in Scottsdale. Can you talk about what attributes he brings and what makes him such a good match-play player, and will it be difficult playing against a guy that you're good mates with?
PAUL CASEY: I don't think it will be difficult playing against him because he's a mate. I think it will -- the match will be enjoyable tomorrow from that standpoint.
We have got stuff in common. We can talk while walking down the fairways. My caddy and his caddy get along very, very well. But it's not going to be an easy match.
He's clearly a phenomenal match-play player, a former champion. He knows how to play golf in the desert. There are no weaknesses that I see in Geoff's game. It's just -- it's very, very well-rounded. Hits the golf ball long, putts well, he's got it all.
I just have to go out there and worry about my own golf ball tomorrow. It's as simple as that. I think I'm a good match-play player, but you can't predict anything. I have to approach tomorrow's 36 holes as I've approached all the other matches this week. Start fresh from the first tee and see what happens.
Q. The fact that you've not trailed all week, does that serve you well going into tomorrow, or is it helpful to maybe have a little bit of adversity throughout the week?
PAUL CASEY: I've been down before in matches, obviously not this week. But Ryder Cup, standing on the last tee 1-down, needing to do something to try and pull out a halve. I mean, that teaches you a lot. So the fact that I haven't been down this week, I don't think that -- I don't think it means anything, that you can read anything into that going into tomorrow. It's just been a very nice position to be in. Simple as that.
Q. Is it reflective of how you've played, do you think?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, yeah. I've come to like this golf course. I will admit that this wasn't a golf course that I -- I certainly didn't have it figured out when I played with Geoff a couple of weeks ago.
We both thought this was kind of quirky, and we have seen our fair share of desert golf. I've been out here 12 years, and these are some of the -- some serious green complexes.
But I've come to like this golf course. I found a way around it and I'm sticking with that.
Q. Your record here, your first few appearances you weren't able to get out of the first round. Then you win the big one at Wentworth, and since then it seems like you've gone much deeper here. Was there something you figured out about match play at some point?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, we moved from La Costa, which was nice.
Yeah, I can't explain why I didn't get past the first round at La Costa. It's a golf course that I just didn't feel comfortable on. It's as simple as that.
And no reflection on the golf course itself. It's just something I wasn't comfy with. I think Wentworth certainly helped, a golf course that I knew very well. This format allows me to maybe get away with occasional bad holes, which I have been known to throw in every now and then.
I've always been a guy who makes birdies and has my equal share of, should we say, blow-up holes. And you can hide them a little bit in match play. It's not a great thing, but you can get away with it.
So that win at match play was huge. And I think that my confidence in match play and as soon as we moved to Arizona I felt very, very comfortable in this state. I love playing golf here. I know how to play golf here; and two, I've enjoyed the golf courses at Dove Mountain.
Q. Geoff has already won two of these World Golf Championship titles. What would winning a first one mean to you?
PAUL CASEY: I'm not sure I can explain that right now. And hopefully I can be explaining that tomorrow.
It would obviously mean an awful lot. I don't know whether it might be a, you know, good for me that this is match play tomorrow. I've only got one guy to beat, to try and win my first PGA TOUR event. So that's a good thing.
We'll see. Hopefully I'm explaining that one tomorrow.
Q. Do you think it's been a significant week for British golf we have with Rory getting to the quarter final and Ross and others doing so well?
PAUL CASEY: It's very difficult to read into whether it's been significant for British golf. I did -- I haven't read a lot of the reports, but it seemed to -- I think it was maybe the second round it seemed like that a huge number of the Americans had won their matches, and then all of a sudden the following day we have got five Englishmen, for example, through to the next round, equal number of Americans and it's like, wow, look the British are coming, that type thing.
But this is match play. I don't think you should read anything into that. The Ryder Cup is a long way away. It's not certainly not in my mind. I doubt it's in any of the other British players' minds or European players' minds right now. They're just trying to do their best and get through as many rounds as they can.
I think Rory's performance this week has been phenomenal for his first performance in the United States. He's a class act. He's an unbelievable player. And I'm just very jealous of him.
Q. You mentioned the significance of winning your first PGA TOUR event. What do you chalk that up to so far? Because you played more in Europe, haven't given yourself as many chances here, travel, or is it just -- is there anything that you point to?
PAUL CASEY: I think it could be a few things. Yeah, a lot of those reasons you've mentioned. I'm not going to sit here and give excuses. My focus is from now on. And the first step of that is tomorrow.
I feel very good about my game, I put in an exceptional amount of work with Peter Kostis, I mean it's all right there. The equipment's perfect. It's all -- fitness feels good.
So I'm not going to dwell on why I haven't won a PGA TOUR event yet. I do look at it and I try and learn from it and make sure I'm not missing anything that I need to work on. But I'm not going to sit here and make excuses for it.
Q. I believe earlier Geoff was asked how close you guys lived to each other. And he said there was a funny story or an interesting story behind that and he kind of strayed away. About your house. He said there was an interesting story about where your house is or how it was built or why and then he rambled onward.
PAUL CASEY: I don't know. I'm certainly not going to tell the press where may house is.
Q. We couldn't get past the gate anyway.
PAUL CASEY: I honestly don't know.
Q. Tell us what car is in the garage?
PAUL CASEY: It won't be there in a couple of weeks. It will be gone.
(Laughter.) No, I'm sorry, I would love to help you out, but. I'll ask him on the first tee tomorrow.
Q. Will you wear red tomorrow?
PAUL CASEY: No.
(Laughter.) But I know Stewart's not in my match, but I will check with what Stewart's wearing. It seems like I had a problem clashing with a couple of Nike guys this week.
Q. You don't have to clash with either one of them.
PAUL CASEY: No, no red tomorrow.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Paul, congratulations and good luck in the finals tomorrow.
PAUL CASEY: Thanks, guys.
End of FastScripts