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May 20, 2010

Paul Casey


Q. Is 70 a fair reflection of your play today?
PAUL CASEY: I think maybe I would like to be in the 60s. I don't know, I felt like I actually played a little bit better than that. But you know, it's tricky out there. It's very difficult. I think it's reflected in the scores.
I still feel that double digits will probably win this thing, and you know, there's a lot of sort of like 1-unders and 2-unders, but then there's a lot of guys who are quite a long way over par and you have to be patient around here. I'm not too unhappy with it, but wish it could have been better.

Q. Tell us about the second to 18. How daunting is that?
PAUL CASEY: I pulled it. (Laughing) I was aiming down the right side of the green. We had a good number. We had a 4-iron in the hand. We had 232, 231 -- actually 225 to cover the left side in line with the flag. When it took off, I thought, I hope it's got at least 225 on it, and it did. Carried a little bit further than I thought.
It's nerve-wracking. I must admit, I have not laid up yet on that hole. I've played it a couple of times now, and I've hit some lay-up shots but I have not hit some shots from the lay-up area, so what was I going to do? I had to go for it, because I didn't know what to do otherwise.

Q. You said yesterday you were trying to figure out the best way to get it around this course, the tactics to get it around this course; any closer after today?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I think so. You know, the Tour messed with us a little bit. They moved some tees around, which, you know, when you think you've got to play them down, and then it's their prerogative. I like it when they do move tees around. It makes us think. But that's the problem. A couple of times I thought, well, I knew I'm going to hit here walking up to it and the tee is up 20 yards. 18 is a good example of that. I was preparing for a driver off the tee, and they moved it up 25 yards today which forced it into a 3-wood.
So every day is a school day, and you know, I feel more comfortable now having been out there, especially in a tournament round. The practise rounds are one thing, but until you actually get out there in the heat of battle and test yourself on what is a very different golf course, you just don't know.

Q. Defending champion, 1-under par, are you satisfied with the day's work?
PAUL CASEY: Never satisfied. It could always be better; ifs and buts. But I wasn't knowing really what to expect out there. This is a golf course, as we know, it's very different. It's very difficult now and that's reflected in the course.
Lots of guys are 1- and 2-under par, but also a few guys who have gone quite high today. You know, I'm not unhappy with that. It's kept me right in the mix of things. The Tour actually moved a couple of the tees around and made us think a couple of times on some of the tee shots. 18 was a good example; changed from a driver in practise to a 3-wood off the tee, because we were up 25 yards.
So you know, I think a lot of guys, including myself, are still trying to figure this place out, and every day we go play is a little step closer to figuring it out.

Q. Scary shot into 18, wasn't it, your heart was in where you are mouth, was it?
PAUL CASEY: Because I pulled it, so yeah, a little relieved, I must admit.
I was going down the right-hand side of the green and it was 231, according to Christian, and 225 to cover the left side to take the water out of play in line with the flag. And when I saw it aiming straight at the flag, I thought, I just hope it's 226, and it was. We got a little bit of wind assisting.
It was a well-struck 4-iron, so I had to go for it, because I must admit I have not laid up on that hole yet since I've played in practise rounds, and I didn't know what to do. Laying up was probably more daunting than giving it a whack with a 4-iron.

Q. Now that you have your first competitive round under your belt with all of these conditions and changes, how do you feel about them all now?
PAUL CASEY: Well, I mean, you know, I think it was probably printed today as to some of my thoughts about the golf course. I will say this: We will end up with greens around here which will be phenomenal once you give them maybe another year to bed in. Putts right now are rolling much truer than we had this time last year.
You know, whether you like it or not, it's now a very difficult golf course and we are not going to see -- we are not going to get the complaints you used to get from some of the players. We need to focus on what a great championship this is and we have got a great sponsor in BMW and somebody at the end of this week is going to be a very happy champion.

Q. A quick health update, you were not able to defend in Houston a few weeks ago; are you still icing the ribs and looking after yourself? What's the story?
PAUL CASEY: I'm trying to look after myself. Houston was not that big of an issue. It was something in my neck that went, and one of those things. Nothing connected with the injury from last year. Although I do feel that some mornings I wake up and I still feel the ribs a little bit and I still have to ice them.
It's just one of those things. It didn't hinder me in any way on the golf course, which is a good thing. I'm 100 per cent and looking forward to getting into the rest of the season. This really kick-starts the great sort of European stretch that you get going, and it's good to be back at Wentworth.

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