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January 30, 2010

Paul Casey


SCOTT CROCKETT: Paul, thank you for joining us, as always, and many congratulations on a spectacular third round and a good position in the tournament. Just give us your thoughts on that, and going ahead to tomorrow.
PAUL CASEY: I think it's my best round around this golf course in four years of trying, so I can't say anything bad about it.
Really good front nine, very solid. Lots of opportunities. And continued that early into the back nine. The only slip-up on 15, poor tee shot, which I contemplated trying to hit the golf ball over the water, but I felt I couldn't get it on the green, so I didn't think it was worth the risk to try it. I laid up, knocked it on the green, missed the par putt.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Good birdie on 17 and a chance at the last as well.
PAUL CASEY: I should have made birdie on 16 and 18, but the grain got the putt. I got a bonus put on 17, looked like it wasn't reaching. Overall very, very happy. I thought the guys were going to go away a little bit Todd, and they didn't. So I'm surprised to be at the top.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Were you looking at the boards, seeing you going gradually up the way?
PAUL CASEY: I didn't look until 12 and was surprised to see that I was maybe tied for the lead at that point, on 9 I think. So very surprised.

Q. Inaudible?
PAUL CASEY: I'll go 95, which is almost 100, isn't it. The only thing I feel now is tightness in the back. No, it's been a good test this week because the rough has been thick this week. I've not held back on anything.
The only reason it's 95 per cent is I don't feel I've got complete range of motion back yet, but I haven't held back on any shot. I've been hitting it as hard as I've needed to, and yeah, it's just every day has been better, which has been exciting.
I don't think, give it another couple of weeks, and there's no reason why I can't be 100 per cent.

Q. Inaudible?
PAUL CASEY: I have no idea. I've come here three times in the past and missed the cut three times. I can't explain it. I've come off the golf course thinking I've played quite well and been sort of even par. Just really struggled with it and I'm not sure why.
I don't feel I've changed anything this year. I feel like I've played the golf course differently. I guess I've just played it better. I'd like to think that I'm capable of at least certainly making the cut of any tournament if I play decent golf. I'm just shocked it took me four years to do it.
I'm actually quite happy it hasn't been sort of made the cut and scraped through. I'm now sitting here at the top of the leaderboard. Makes me smile.

Q. Inaudible?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, Christian did remind me that he has 100 per cent record in cuts made on The European Tour just before we got on the plane to Qatar.

Q. What's the deal there?
PAUL CASEY: What's the deal there? Yeah, Christian is full time. You'll have to ask Christian why Luke and himself sort of split. I don't know. I took the opportunity to get him on the bag. You'll probably ask me about Craig -- no, Craig's my friend, and Craig is a fantastic caddie, so he will find a bag and he will be back out here.

Q. Inaudible?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I do. Today, I mean, guys didn't -- right now, looking at it, I'm really surprised guys didn't shoot lower than they have today. I thought scoring was -- I thought it was great conditions for scoring. Just the right breeze. Slightly different angle on the breeze I thought. I don't know which angle, which direction it was coming from. But we played holes like 16 straight downwind this week and all of a sudden it was into slightly off the left. So it's a different wind.
I don't know if that had anything to do with it and maybe that's why I found the golf course easier today or if other players didn't; if that's the case, I hope it's the same direction tomorrow.
But having nobody else really going low today, I expect somebody to jump out of the pack, and I think I'll probably feed about the same sort of score if I want to remain near the top.

Q. Inaudible?
PAUL CASEY: Yes and no. Tomorrow, I'm not putting any pressure on myself. Tomorrow is just a case of going out and having fun and giving myself as many opportunities to make birdies as I can. If somebody start playing great golf and I need to react to that and maybe force the issue, then I'll go for things a little bit.
But I've had a good game plan on where to hit it and what to hit off every tee, and I'm just going to stick with it that.

Q. Inaudible?
PAUL CASEY: I'm clearly pleased with it. For me it's never really an off-season, just in the off-season, you're not playing golf tournaments. I get all my work done through the sort of winter break if I need to do swing changes or work on my fitness.
I feel I never -- with the exception of the injury last year, I never have any sort of excuses not to play well starting out the season. The only thing is maybe sort of sharpness on the golf course, maybe I make a couple of mistakes which I shouldn't because I haven't played enough competitively.
Winning certainly relaxes me and takes the pressure off. Does that answer it?

Q. How sharp are you?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, really good. I haven't made too many mistakes this week. I've been very, very focused on every single shot. I felt last week was frustrating, I like that golf course so much, I felt like it was uphill struggle, slightly on the wrong side of the draw, all of the guys on the wrong side of the leaderboard from the other side of the draw. I didn't see a way of getting around that golf course 12-under par through the first two days. I was pretty happy with 3-under. Threw in a couple of nice scores on the weekend but nothing really spectacular. So that was a little bit frustrating. So there was no reason not to do well this week, apart from my previous history around this place.
No, I'm excited. I'm making good decisions on the golf course. Occasionally seeing the lines of the putts. I feel pretty sharp.

Q. Inaudible?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I don't have any old PING Eye 2 lob-wedges.
Knowing Phil, he would be the player on TOUR to go out and calculate exactly how much extra spin he was getting; if anybody was to know, he would. As I say, he's playing by the rules, so if there's an issue there it needs to be taken up with the USGA and the PGA TOUR. I have no issue with it whatsoever.
SCOTT CROCKETT: All right, Paul, thanks very much for that. Good luck tomorrow.

End of FastScripts

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