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May 21, 2010

Paul Casey


Q. 1-over par for seven holes of your round today and you made four birdies in the next seven. What sparked that little run?
PAUL CASEY: I think the 3-putt bogey on No. 7 was rather poor. Nothing was happening. Hit some very good shots but not making any birdies and left one short on 6 and felt, well, I'm not going to make that mistake again, which I didn't. Maybe being a little bit behind the 8-ball sort of sparked a birdie streak, and I had to get aggressive. There's not a huge distance between sort of missing the cut and leading this tournament right now. There's not a big spread.
You know, with this golf course now, it's very easy to go either way and I felt that I wanted to go up, so needed to make some birdies. Got a little more aggressive and it paid off.

Q. You made four birdies and two bogeys in your last six holes; is that the nature of the course, if you get out of position you'll get punished?
PAUL CASEY: Very much so. The way I used play was just very aggressive. I used to try to make as many birdies as possible. You know, bogeys could happen, but they were not that common. This is very, very different now.
I think it's no surprise to see somebody like Luke Donald on or near the top of the lead; I think he's leading now. He plods his way around the golf course really well. His brother calls him "Plod." So that's all you need to know. And you know, he's plodded his way around very well.

Q. You haven't liked all the changes that this course has had done to it, are they growing on you?
PAUL CASEY: If I continue to shoot in the 60s, yes. I mean, that's the first time I've hit a sand wedge into the 18th green. I've not laid up since I played it, so even that today was a bit of a challenge.
You know, things are very severe out there. You know, we are still getting used to it. Joking with one of the snappers out there, Ross Kinnard, it actually makes his job difficult, because he can't even get the nice bunker shots that he once had. Somebody disappears in the bunker, they literally disappear. From that sort of angle and a spectator's angle, some of the changes are, you know, they don't get to see as much as they used to.

Q. An eventful last nine holes, last six in particular, but how much more aggressive could you afford to be out there today?
PAUL CASEY: Not a whole lot. You know, my rule of thumb is always be aggressive to conservative areas. The trouble is, you're either close to the pin around this golf course now or you're in deep trouble.
You know, after playing the first few holes 1-over par, it could have gone either way and there's not a very big spread right now between the guys who are leading and the guys who are missing the cut.
I wanted to push on and make birdies and get near the top of the leaderboard. A little bit more aggression, but not too much. You know, is seemed to pay off.

Q. As we speak, you're two shots off the lead and as you defend this title, how positively do you view your situation going into the weekend?
PAUL CASEY: I feel great about it. You know, really it was going into the unknown this week with this golf course, knowing how it was going to play. And you know, I'm surprised with a couple of names like Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter struggling on this golf course -- but it just shows that you have great players like that who have battled. I know Poulter is out this afternoon, so we'll see what happens, and I'm not sure how Rory is doing. But it's a tricky golf course now.
Gone are the days of just really going after everything and trying to make birdie. My first goal was really to make the cut, because I can't defend this title if I'm not on in the weekend.
Goal one is done, and the goal now is to go out and put two more great days together.

Q. Well done. You were equal to what are a new set of demands, really, from this West Course.
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, very different sort of demands, and it can be quite penal now if you get out of position. I think it's no surprise we have got somebody like Luke Donald somebody up on the leaderboard leading this thing now. He's probably one of the -- he's probably one of the masters at plodding his way around a golf course, and you need to have that now.
I used to be fairly aggressive when playing this golf course, and I'm going to have to very much rely on you know, golf course strategy and plodding my way around, which is what he does and I've got to emulate that.

Q. Does that inhibit you or does it satisfy you when you're able to carry it off?
PAUL CASEY: No, it's very satisfying when you carry it off. I don't mind it. I've never hit a lot of drivers around this golf course, anyway, and if it means I've got to keep it in the bag, maybe one or two more occasions, I'm fine with that.
I do hit it a long way, but I get great satisfaction, you know, figuring out difficult golf courses, which is exactly what this is right now.

Q. Does it feel like you're defending the title here, or is it so much different a test that you're facing now that it doesn't feel that way?
PAUL CASEY: No, I'm going to treat it very much as that over the weekend. I'd love to defend this title successfully. That's the goal. That's why I'm here. I've never done it.
You know, I actually looked at the replica BMW PGA Championship trophy that I've got at home, and you see names like Mr. Montgomerie on there, three consecutive times. That's very impressive! You know, if I can emulate a little bit of Monty, I would be very proud because, he's had a hell of a career -- had, that's past tense. Crickey (laughing sheepishly). No, let's rewinds there. He's right behind me, as well, he'll be here in a minute.
No, if I can emulate what Monty has done on the golf course, even just a fraction of it, I would be a very happy man.

Q. And if memory serves me right, it was Friday 12 months ago that you kind of put yourself in position for a big weekend. Does it feel the same?
PAUL CASEY: I don't remember what it felt like at this point last year. Maybe I should have paid for attention to it, because however I felt, I was obviously -- it obviously sort of put me in a good position and you know, carried that into a win.
This is a different golf course now, so I think the way that I have to play this golf course has changed, and I'm going to continue to approach it the way I have the first two days because it seems to be paying off.

Q. You need to get as many Ryder Cup points as you can at this point, as well, because I think the wildcard pick has just gone out the window.

Q. Is that good discipline with you with regard to the U.S. Open, because you have to adopt pretty much the same strategy, don't you?

Q. And you have to rely on your natural instincts, as well?
PAUL CASEY: Maybe you're right. Do you want to caddie for me that week? (Laughter).

Q. With you and Luke, do your good weeks tend to come in different weeks because of the way you play?
PAUL CASEY: Maybe. No, I think you might be right. Maybe they come in different weeks. Christian just reminded me that Luke -- obviously he should know, he's just nipped ahead of me, actually, on the Money List in the States, and it's sort of like, how did that happen. And it's -- you know, because you're right, the weeks I've played well, he hasn't, and vice versa.
I'd really like to beat him (smiling).

Q. Do you think it would be strange for Christian if the two of you were to go out in the same group?
PAUL CASEY: It could be very strange, yes. I've had a number of caddies in my career, so I'm used to the experience of playing with one of my old caddies in the group.
For Christian, though, yeah, it could be very different. We've played lots of practise rounds together and we've played quite a few practise rounds together this year. I very much respect Luke's game.
Actually looking forward, if I managed to qualify and can dodge, because obviously Monty is not going to pick me now (smiling), I'd love to play with Luke in The Ryder Cup, because our foursomes record is second to none, and, yeah, it would be good fun.

Q. Are you mates off the course, as well, dinners and families and things like that?
PAUL CASEY: A little bit. He's very busy. He's got a baby now.

Q. Amateur days, what's the best clash?
PAUL CASEY: I don't know, Christian might be able to answer that, though. I got myself in enough trouble.

End of FastScripts

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