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February 16, 2010

Paul Casey


STEVE TODD: Paul, thanks for joining us here in Tucson. You did well here last year. It must bring some memories coming back to this place.
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, good memories. You know, it was a very good week. Got very close, Geoff played great golf on Sunday. Very close to getting my first PGA TOUR win. It really set up a very good season to me, got me off to a good start.
I enjoy playing golf in the desert. I'm looking forward to getting stuck here tomorrow.
STEVE TODD: Of course, you did get your first PGA TOUR win. You had your injury after. You've come back and so far it's been pretty strong coming back. How do you feel about your game so far this year?
PAUL CASEY: I think the game is all right. It's still not a hundred percent. It could take a very long time until the muscle is fully healed. They can get fatigued and tired, especially in the evenings. I feel it late at night.
It's not hindering me on the golf course in any way. I'm not holding back on shots. I'm not feeling any pain when I hit the golf ball. From that angle, I'm not worried about them. You know, raring to go and feel fairly good about the golf I have played so far this year. I have got a lot of stuff I need to work on. I made some mistakes, I've hit some good shots, hit some bad ones. I guess that's to be expected starting out a season, let alone when you've missed almost six months of golf. It's kind of an exciting challenge at the same time. I have got lots of stuff I need to go away and practice. I'm excited to see how the season pans out.
STEVE TODD: It's obviously a different challenge this week being match play. You're known as a bit of a strong match play player. Does that give you more confidence coming into this week?
PAUL CASEY: It means absolutely nothing. Every match is very difficult. Everybody here is capable of winning this tournament. I think you'll hear that from a lot of guys. It just you need a little bit of luck and you need to play some good golf. You know, if you make a couple of mistakes, you hope you get -- you find a player who also makes a couple of mistakes. It is a little bit of a lottery. That's what makes it exciting. You just don't know. You can't get ahead of yourself.
STEVE TODD: Perhaps you should reflect on your first round opponent, Stephen Ames.
PAUL CASEY: I just saw him in the locker room and he said not to say anything bad about him. I'm good friends with Stephen. Hopefully he has been watching too much of the Olympics on TV, he's been up late at night. He is a strong ball striker. I think this is a golf course with the heat and the slight bit of elevation we've got here, over 3,000 feet, he's one of the guys who can take advantage of desert golf and get the golf ball moving out there a long way.
He's going to be right next to me on the fairway on every hole. And yeah, he's an accomplished player. He's won a lot. He is going to be very, very strong, very, very difficult to play against. But it's going to be a good friendly match and we'll see what happens. I'll just try to throw a lot of birdies at him. We'll see, one shot at a time

Q. Do you prefer to have a nice friendly match? Do you imagine you'll be joking with him tomorrow? Are you the kind of guy where you just --
PAUL CASEY: It really doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. You know, Stephen is one of those guys he likes to talk on the way around, and he will tomorrow. I'll let him, that's fine. We'll probably chat on the way around, yeah. There will be a bit of banter. It may get serious on the end.
I'm not one of those guys to sort of -- there's certainly no gamesmanship. It's all about whoever plays the best golf. But if there is a match -- you know, I've played plenty of guys who will be, you know, very serious on the first tee and not say anything. That's fine as well. I know how tomorrow will go. It will just be a lot of chatting and trying to fire as many birdies as possible.

Q. Do you think a lot of players, maybe the majority of players, would like to see more match play?
PAUL CASEY: I think it's split, Mark. I think the players enjoy match play. I don't like to speak on behalf of everybody, but the feeling I get is that they really enjoy it.
At the same time, because it is a little bit of a lottery, who you get to play against, you know, you could play a great round. You could shoot a 63 and be going home tomorrow afternoon. You just don't know.
That element, I think, is a little bit sort of frustrating. It can be frustrating. So yes and no. It's difficult. Maybe if there is a way of sort of playing a round-robin thing. You can hang around for a week and play the lots of matches and see what could happen at the end of it. That would be great.
I think generally it's a -- it's nice to break up the season with match play events.

Q. It's more exciting to watch. Is it more exciting to play?
PAUL CASEY: I think so, yeah. I think they are very exciting to watch.

Q. So you are not a hundred percent and it could take a very long time?
PAUL CASEY: I got told it could take up to a year for it to be a hundred percent. But I don't feel any restrictions.
I was slightly restricted in Hawaii and the beginning of the Middle East. I don't even feel that now. I feel fairly loose and fluid. Yesterday, for example, I hit 20, 30 drivers, practicing on the range. It was -- I could feel it. It felt sort of tired in the evening. It doesn't really. It didn't hurt when I was hitting it. I'm not too worried about it. It's fine.
STEVE TODD: Any more questions for Paul? I think we're done. All the best.

End of FastScripts

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