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May 22, 2009

Paul Casey


SCOTT CROCKETT: Paul, many thanks for coming in and joining us, as always. Just reflect on today, the scorecard itself looks fairly up-and-down, you're two shots ahead, just give us your take on proceedings.
PAUL CASEY: I would certainly have taken two shots ahead if you asked me at the beginning of the day. Yeah, actually looking at number 67 is not bad, but as you saw coming in it could have been better. But then again a couple of eagles is very rare on a card, and I should have entered the 2 Suite, as well, might have won some golf balls.
But it was good. Ball-striking was much better today. I hit a lot of good golf shots at the flags and felt pretty comfortable with that, but still made a few too many mistakes, so that's a bit frustrating.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Highlight of the day obviously on 13, just talk us through that one.
PAUL CASEY: 3-wood off the tee. We had, I think 163 to the flag. I tried to hit a 9-iron about 45 shot because we had a lot of wind down and just cut it in there, and struck it beautifully. I saw the ball sort of pop up on the green, so I knew it wasn't past the flag, and everybody went bananas.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Apart from you.
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I don't know why. Because I didn't see it go in.
SCOTT CROCKETT: That might be the reason. And the end, a slight irritation at the end, it was the same as yesterday, I believe, the last five holes not quite what you had wanted.
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, 14 was disappointing. It was a good shot in there, only just ran through the back, but didn't strike the -- caught the putts in the fringe a little bit and didn't roll out. The next one was very difficult and it just slipped by the hole and made bogey on 14 there.
I had chances on 15, 16, missed those, but bogey on 17, it was a terrible tee shot with a 3-wood and unfortunately bent my 4-iron around the tree, not in anger, but playing the recovery shot, which then struck a tree and didn't escape, so I ended up making bogey there. So I have to fix the 4-iron, because actually I wanted to hit 4-iron into the last; and I hit a cut 3-iron and didn't come back in the wind and ended up in the bunker.

Q. Did you fear your wrist on that, because you were only about two feet from the stump.
PAUL CASEY: What's your question?

Q. Did you fear that you might hurt your wrist?
PAUL CASEY: No, I was worried that the club might snap and injure somebody in the crowd. That was my biggest fear. And second was escaping from the trees. No, the wrist, never. Wrists are fine. (Smiling).

Q. I remember when you won The World Match Play here, and I know it's a different course, but I remember you talking about how comfortable you felt to the degree that you were comfortably moving the ball in both directions and almost had total control. Are you in a similar sort of place at the moment?
PAUL CASEY: Not quite. The ball-striking is not quite where I want it. I have battled that the last couple of days, and it's been -- I've got to say, that's been the reason for the mistakes I've made out there.
But I have a -- I've sort of built up over the years, a liking for this golf course, and certainly the Match Play has helped. I feel good on every hole and I'm trying to find a way of sort of positioning the golf ball to give me the best possible chance to make birdie, so that I'm enjoying.
So maybe because the ball-striking is not perfect and I've still got a good attitude, maybe that's why I've shot some decent numbers.

Q. What is special about the shaft, because you said it might be difficult to replace.
PAUL CASEY: It's an old one. It would have been made by Precision, it's a Precision shaft, Project X 7.0, but it was an old one, the company was later bought by True Temper and they don't make that shaft anymore. They probably stopped making it probably two or three years ago.

Q. And you say you developed a liking for the course; you didn't early on?
PAUL CASEY: Yes, I didn't like it.
I'm not sure, I think I struggled to play it I struggled to figure out a way around it. And I don't know whether it was perhaps Ernie moving some of the tees back gave me more options; maybe played into my sort of -- with having to open up the shoulders in places where I couldn't in the past; or whether I generally figured out my way of plotting my way around this golf course, I'm not sure.
But whatever it is, The Match Play helped, and I think more of a comfort thing than a like/dislike. I think that's the best way of putting it. I used to stand on certain tee shots and be quite squared because they can be quite intimidating. Now I feel pretty comfortable.

Q. Can you give us details on the eagle on 4? And when you leave, obviously it's a great position, but will you leave the course tonight thinking you should perhaps be a couple more shots ahead?
PAUL CASEY: Eagle on 4, driver off the tee, I think it hit either a sprinklerhead or downslope because it went miles. I had, I don't know the exact yard age, I'm going to say it was about 190, maybe just below 190, 180 something, a little bit of help and wind off the right, and I hit 7-iron in. Pitched and released to probably seven feet just past the hole.
And will I be leaving here tonight a bit frustrated? Well, yeeaaahh ...
SCOTT CROCKETT: Good luck with that one, Renée. (Laughter).
PAUL CASEY: If I look at the number of at the bottom the scoreboard, but yes if I'm thinking about the last five holes.

Q. A couple of questions, can you remember the year it was when you played here and you feared for the audience because you were spraying the ball so badly?

Q. And the shaft --
PAUL CASEY: Thank you for reminding me.

Q. The shafts in your 3, 5, 6, etc., are they different?
PAUL CASEY: No, they are all the same. Yeah, I'm going to go to have to cannibalise one of my old sets. The trucks are still here, so there shouldn't be any issue fixing it. I just have to find a shaft.

Q. Is it a problem having one club with a different shaft to the rest?
PAUL CASEY: Yyeessss. Yeah.

Q. How would you solve that if you can't cannibalise one?
PAUL CASEY: I'm not sure. I have to check. But my 2-iron is not in the bag this week. I'm wondering whether I can take -- if I can't find a 4-iron shaft, cannibalise one of the longer ones and cut it and chop it and tip it and the rest of it. Don't know. I'm not that technical. We can always straighten that one out, it's actually not that bad. That would be an option, as well.

Q. You said you're not happy about the mapper of your 67. Would you be happier with a round of 13 pars and five birdies?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, especially if I finish with five birdies in a row.

Q. Two days playing with young Ross Fisher, do you see him as being a potential Ryder Cup teammate?

Q. What is it going to be like?
PAUL CASEY: Very bold, very confident, aggressive, likes to hit driver, not scared to give a whack. Yeah, he shows a lot of flair, and he's worked incredibly hard on his short game, and that's made him a very well-rounded future Ryder Cupper.

Q. Did Ernie say anything about the way you were handling the course before the finish?
PAUL CASEY: No. No, he liked the shot on 13. But no, he was engrossed in his own golf today.

Q. A couple of players today have said that Ernie has done a hell of a job with his bunkering on the course, making you think all the way around the course. Do you see it like that, as well?
PAUL CASEY: I would suggest a couple he could fill in. (Laughter).
I think Ernie has done a good job with this golf course. However, I believe every player thinks they are capable of golf course architecture, golf course design.
I have to confess I found one of his bunkers yesterday I would fill in, and that would be the one 15 on the right. Because where my golf ball was heading yesterday, it would have put me in a position where I think Mr. Faldo was a few years ago, sort of on the edge of the trees. My ball maybe even run further, and to me it took away the creativity, because that would have been a situation where you either have to -- if it finished in that position, I would have had a carver shot around the corner which I think would be entertaining and who knows if I would have pulled it off. Might have made a mess of it. As it happened I'm in the bunker and pitched it out and pitched on the green and missed the putt.
I remember those great shots; that cut around the corner that Faldo hit and that guys used to be in the trees do you know the right-hand side on 12, and the trees on 17, kind of like I was this afternoon. I think he's done a stellar job, but that one I would fill in.
And I did ask him.

Q. And he said he would?
PAUL CASEY: Don't know. He told me a couple that he was taking out, which I agreed with. So he knows. He's got a good idea.

Q. Have you had to reassess your goals for the rest of the season given the excellent start you've had to the season, and does it surprise you that you've had two victories so early in the season?
PAUL CASEY: I haven't had had to reassess my goals. I wrote down goals with Kostis and they were fairly lofty. So I haven't had to redo them.
Has it surprised me? It's been very -- I don't know what the right word is, sort of gratifying, or a sense of sort of accomplishment, I don't know what the right word is. But it's nice, because the work I've been putting in; but I don't want to say it's surprising, because I think that would be the wrong --

Q. I don't suppose you would like to tell us your goals, would you?
PAUL CASEY: No, I wouldn't like to tell you my goals.

Q. Worth a shot.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Are we all done, ladies and gentlemen? I think we are. As always, Paul, good luck tomorrow.

End of FastScripts

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