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May 24, 2009
VIRGINIA WATER, ENGLAND
SCOTT CROCKETT: All right, everyone, thanks for coming and joining us. Paul, many congratulations. It's been said many times already, but give us your thoughts on being the BMW PGA Champion.
PAUL CASEY: I think it might take a while to sink in, that one. I'm glad I holed that putt on the last (chuckling).
Yeah, don't know where to start, really. It was a tough day. I always knew somebody was going to come through, and 64 by Ross is a fantastic round of golf. It really is. Was that low round of the week?
SCOTT CROCKETT: Yes.
PAUL CASEY: So very, very satisfying. Kept my head down for the first nine holes. It wasn't pretty. I did hit some good shots, maybe a couple of poor ones, but then looked at the leaderboard, and knew what I had to do coming in. He kept making birdies, and luckily I had the answer every time.
Huge birdie, big one was 15. Obviously there are some birdies to be had on 17 and 18 if you get the ball in the right position, but 15 was good.
SCOTT CROCKETT: You just had a look at the trophy there and you've been asked about coming to watch this event when you were a child; does it mean a bit more to you, the history of the event and your name on that trophy, too?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, some impressive names on there. So it's nice to be part of that history. Let me think, I don't know when the first time I would have turned up to watch this tournament would have been, I'm going to guess probably around the time Mr. Faldo back in '89 or maybe Woosnam in '88, maybe even Langer in '87, who knows.
Q. Well, give us one.
PAUL CASEY: I'm sorry, I don't know. You'll have to ask my dad, but he's not here (laughter).
I remember those. They are great memories. It's quite strange actually thinking I used to stand there listening to the sound of a golf ball go off the golf club and whistle past your head, and now I'm standing on the other side of the ropes. So hopefully it was entertaining for people.
Q. The two of you, you and Ross, both products of foundations where two clubs gave the young guys a chance; is there a message for the clubs in the country to help out?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, you know, the scholarship I got to Foxhills when I was 11, certainly I would have to say is the reason I'm sitting here, one of the many reasons I'm sitting here. My parents couldn't afford certainly to be a member of a club in this area. And four of us every year were given free membership and coaching to Foxhills. They did it for golf and for tennis. And I actually went for the tennis scholarship when I was ten and didn't make it; probably a good thing.
Yeah, I think it's great that those schemes are in place, that those foundations are in place, and Anthony Wall was actually part of the foundation, as well. Yeah, a lot of thanks goes to them to be honest. It's all about the opportunity you're given.
Q. And Ross here, also, the same sort of thing with Wentworth.
PAUL CASEY: It's great. We've got so many wonderful golf courses in this area. A lot of them are expensive for kids and it's great a lot of clubs have something in place.
Q. You talked about the last putt, but the last putt on 17 wasn't too shabby.
PAUL CASEY: Slightly easier read. I knew that was going to break because I could see it run past the hole. It was just outside the right, maybe '89 feet, just outside right edge.
I kept SÃ¸ren's ballmarker in place. It was a nice little guide to knock it around his ballmarker and into the hole, and it came off just where I wanted to right in the middle. Really, the putts on 15, 16 and 18, were really good. Picked a line, got the ball on line and it on line online, so it was very satisfying to see that.
Q. Your reaction being 3 in the world, and your schedule from now on, please.
PAUL CASEY: Reaction to 3 in the world: Wow. Yeah, that's pretty cool. I haven't really thought about it too much. I had no idea I think until you told me earlier this week, that I would move to No. 3. But I'm excited about that. Yeah.
What was the second half?
PAUL CASEY: Schedule: I'm on a plane tomorrow and I'm going to play Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, next week; Memorial, Jack's event; and then week off. I actually go up and look at Bethpage the week before; the week after Memorial, the week before the (U.S.) Open, and then the U.S. Open. And then maybe a week off and then AT&T National or something like that.
Q. And obviously through very sad circumstances, No. 2 will probably be available.
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, that's obviously, you know, my thought's and Jocelyn's and my whole family go out to Phil, the whole Mickelson family.
Yeah, hopefully everything turns out good for them. I would love for Phil to be playing, but, you know, hopefully it's all right.
Q. You talked previously about having some huge ambitions and goals with Kostis at the beginning of the season. It's very hard -- given that you implied that you had not reached them, even after winning two tournaments, that one of those goals is a major championship; would that be a reasonable assumption?
PAUL CASEY: I think it's a reasonable assumption. (Laughter).
Q. And that's this year, is it, was the goal-setting?
PAUL CASEY: That would be reasonable to assume that, yes. (Laughing).
Q. Following up on that, this is one that you had always wanted to win; does a major championship basically remain the only thing that you are still to achieve?
PAUL CASEY: Oh, no, there's lots of things on the list to try and accomplish. Certainly the Major success is at the top of that list. I've tried to give equal weight to every event I've played in this year and try and prepare with equal weight, equal measure for every event, and maybe that's why things are going pretty well this season.
But there are lots of tournaments I would love to win. You know, this was just one I used to watch growing up as a kid. There are so many tournaments we have with great history or that are on great golf courses. For example, winning at St. Andrews would be on the list, say Dunhill Links or something like that. If it's not tournaments, there's places you want to win. There's not going to be any shortage of things I would like to achieve.
Q. Since the World Rankings began, only four of the British players have made the world's top three, I'm sure you can probably guess who they are, Monty, Woosnam, Faldo, Lyle; is that the company you envisaged keeping growing up, or are you now exceeding your expectation?
PAUL CASEY: No, I'm still getting used to maybe being included in that group. Three of those guys are major champions. Colin won seven Order of Merits.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Seven in a row.
PAUL CASEY: Sorry, Colin. Apologies to The Ryder Cup Captain. (Laughter).
That's very, very impressive figures from those guys. So it's very flattering to be included in those names, and no, I don't see myself as beyond that in any way. I would love to be included within those names and I think I still have a lot to go to get even slightly close to what they achieved in the world of golf.
Q. When we were in Abu Dhabi when you won, it seemed a great relief that you could win after such a long break, how do you explain, now getting married, that you won three tournaments this year?
PAUL CASEY: Guess I should have got married sooner, shouldn't I. (Peering around room for wife, Jocelyn).
Yeah, no, I can't explain it too much. This time last year, I wasn't playing great golf, and yeah, very frustrating to be sort of -- people starting to talk about, "he hasn't won in a while," and it was nice to get that out of the way in Abu Dhabi, very relieving.
But I can't explain how good it feels to suddenly pile on a couple more wins after that. I think maybe beyond my expectations a little bit. Would have loved for this to happen, but didn't know that it would, so very special that I've had three wins this year so far.
Q. Are things like say No. 1 in The Race to Dubai a target now?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, lots of targets. I would love to give myself an opportunity to challenge in both The Race to Dubai and the FedExCup. That's huge money to be won there, and it's very attractive. Plus, the prestige that goes with that. I think you get a nice exemption, as well, a five- or seven-year exemption winning The Race to Dubai. That's very appealing, something I would like to snap up.
Q. I think you referred to, the words you used, were "sneaking into this tournament" when you were little. Did you actually mean that literally?
PAUL CASEY: No.
Q. On the fact that you had your scholarship and what-have-you, do you think you represent any sort of a role model for quote, unquote, normal kids, playing the game?
PAUL CASEY: I hope so. My dad still looks after several juniors, and a very good friend of mine, Hugh Morris, the Surrey coach, and I go down and visit the guys when I get the chance, training sessions, and try and sort of help them out on questions and do what I can just to hang out.
They are sort of like I was, they are all sort of wanting to be sitting right here doing this. Anything I can do to sort of help, you know, I would love to sort of provide it for them. I don't think there's any right or wrong way of sort of going about trying to become a professional golfer.
Is it any easier to be in a sort of fortunate position and a member of a nice country club, or a member of just -- a member nowhere, playing sort of your local nine-hole chip-and-putt? I don't know. But it's just nice to give the people the opportunity to sample golf, and it's a great sport.
Q. Your career seems to have had a couple of spurts, seemed to be 2003, a couple of wins, 2006, a couple of wins; is that almost deliberate, where you've had to perhaps stop and reassess, or is it a case of needing to kick on each time?
PAUL CASEY: It's not deliberate, but you're right, it has sort of gone that way. I have certainly been very critical of myself when it's gone slightly sort of south. It's been very satisfying, as well, to see it turn around after the work I've put in.
So, yeah, after 2006 and the great season, winning the Match Play, winning Ryder Cup, all of the things that happened that year, which were fantastic; and then it was lackluster in 2007, maybe a little bit better in 2008.
Yeah, I'm my harshest critic, so I went away and really worked hard at it. I'm not satisfied with, you know, sort of mediocrity. I'm not out here -- for me, it's not about the cheque. It's about trying to get my name on trophies if I can, and as I say, trying to sort of get even slightly close to what the likes of Faldo, Woosnam, Lyle, Montgomerie have achieved. As I say, it's very flattering to be included in a sentence with those guys.
Q. And the work you did over the winter to get back with Peter and other people, was it physical or was it mental or was it swing changes or a new attitude?
PAUL CASEY: A lot of physical stuff. Damon Shelton is a guy I work with in the U.S. on fitness a lot time at the gym, and I think the physical strength that I have is assisted with mental strength.
Kostis is unbelievable. He's kind of got the whole -- he knows the sort of whole package. He works incredibly hard with me on the swing, but he works on the mental side of things, the fitness side of things, and pushes me very, very hard.
So he has to take huge amounts of credit for what I've been doing so far this year.
Q. The bunker shot at the third hole, would you nominate that as your shot of the round?
PAUL CASEY: Yes, I guess it could have been a bit of a turning point if I had not managed to reach the green and maybe I chipped up and missed the putt and been 2-over for the round.
It was pretty good.
Q. What, two inches?
PAUL CASEY: I will say a little bit of luck, because the wind switched down. Ross Fisher, we actually had a conversation before the prize giving, he was in the same bunker or similar bunker and hit something like 7-iron or eight iron out of the bunker and scratched his head when I told him I hit 9-iron but the wind did go down. Sometimes you need those good breaks, and I got one on the third one.
Q. That 9-iron has been good to you this week.
PAUL CASEY: 9-iron has been good. 4-iron is fine, as well.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Paul, many congratulations.
End of FastScripts