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June 17, 2010

Paul Casey


Q. That was a heck of a round of golf out there today. You talked to Rinaldi saying that you were out of form today?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, the ball-striking has certainly been indifferent, and even today I struggled with it. Kind of missing it both ways, which isn't great.
But I did a wonderful job of managing my way around this golf course. And I had low expectations coming in because of the ball-striking and practice had been certainly frustrating. And went out there thinking just have a great time, enjoy the crowds, enjoy Pebble Beach, it's a wonderful place to be any time of the year, let alone when it's gorgeous sunshine and it paid dividends. The putting was obviously very good today. That was the key to the round. I made the putts and made the par saves when I needed to.

Q. Is that the key to getting through the first day like this with the way the course is playing, managing your way through it and not taking too many risks?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, the first round, you can never win any tournament on the first day, but you can certainly lose it. Yeah, it was -- you know, it was fun. I had a good group, playing with Sergio and Steve, just good guys. I tried to hit shots out there. I tried to move the golfball around.
I feel if I can eliminate one side of the golf course. I did double cross myself a couple of times, certainly the tee shot on the 14th when I knocked it into the crowd, down the left, it wasn't very impressive. But I'll take it.

Q. You've seen the way this course plays, is that extra special to you, leading the first round?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, certainly, I wanted to make that putt on the last. I'm not sure what anybody else has done. But I thought leading would be quite cool, especially around Pebble Beach. This is a fantastic year for Majors in terms of where we're playing.
I haven't been back here in a long time. It's one of -- I've actually -- it's moved up my list on courses because I must admit most of the times I've played here tab in AT&T or the told sort of time of year, where maybe it's been a bit difficult to smile while going around this golf course because of the weather, but it was truly great out there today.

Q. Padraig Harrington said Pebble Beach has become the true home of the U.S. Open, it feels like where this championship belongs. Partly because of the course and partly because of the lure of the four championships here. Do you feel that if there were one place you could one the U.S. Open and you could pick it, it would be Pebble Beach?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I think so. I think Pebble would be the one place -- the ultimate place to win a U.S. Open Championship, just the same way I feel that St. Andrews is the ultimate place to win an Open Championship. Others may disagree. It's a big country, you've got many wonderful golf courses. Looking back at the history and who's won here, without a doubt I would love to -- you know, for me there are always tournaments you want to win and places you want to win at. I would love to win any tournament around Pebble Beach. And when you suddenly throw a U.S. Open into the mix it becomes -- maybe it is, I hadn't really thought about it, but I guess what Padraig has said, I can back him up on that.

Q. A round of golf like you played today, does that turn around your psychology?
PAUL CASEY: A little bit. I can swing a little easier when you're one or two under par. The U.S. Open has always been about eliminating mistakes. But we've got an awful lot of danger out there, so it's difficult to -- you can wrack up numbers in strange ways. But I've always felt that if you make worse than something like a bogey, it's usually been a mental error. I did a good job of that of keeping anything worse than a bogey off the coward.

Q. The USGA did a good job with the course setup where you need to have everything together?
PAUL CASEY: It's excellent. A couple of players have raised concern over some of the fescues around the edges of the bunkers. Esthetically it's wonderful, it adds to that. But that's a very small fraction of this big property. And I think that, you know, it's set up brilliantly. I've never seen it like this, maybe even shaving it down on holes like 6 towards the water there will make it slightly easier, because guys will take on that tee shot and if they knock it in, so maybe you're taking away the possibility of a big number on 6. I like it. It looks fantastic, and I hope they actually keep it that way when we're done here this week.

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