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July 18, 2010

Paul Casey


Q. Talk about your day and your emotions at the moment.
PAUL CASEY: You know, it was a frustrating day. I played pretty solid for most of it, certainly got a few bad breaks. I mean, that was -- you know, even coming down the last, I thought I hit a perfect tee shot to the centre of the greens, and it rolls off towards the Valley of Sin and it doesn't get into the middle of it, which would have been nice, would have left me an easy putt. It was disappointing.
Having said that, even if you take away the mistakes I made, the couple of 7s I've had this week, I don't think it was good enough to get near Louis. That was an unbelievable performance. He was very calm, played wonderful golf, and all credit to him. I'm disappointed, but the emphasis has to be on that performance, because that was fantastic.

Q. You had a couple of chances to move up the leaderboard, just nothing seemed to go for you.
PAUL CASEY: No, a couple of putts slid by, and one of those things. I ended up with a lot of straight putts, which was not really what I wanted. They were very difficult to read, and I wasn't sure whether to try and imagine some break or play the wind. You know, I found it difficult to get it in the hole. But you know, I was hanging in, or thereabouts. I'm disappointed not to get second place, especially I played the last few holes pretty good. But that's the way it goes.

Q. After a week of great play on the Old Course, are you feeling stronger?
PAUL CASEY: Stronger, as in do I like this course more?

Q. A bit more?
PAUL CASEY: (Laughing) I've grown to love this course. And even when the R & A throw in pin positions like that one on 16, you've got to chuckle. It's great. It's never the same twice. I mean, I always find something new out there that I have not seen before, every round I play. I love it, I really do. I've enjoyed playing it this week, and as disappointing as today is, I've had a lot of fun. I got back into playing links golf, which I've not been great at the last few years, you know, enjoyed sort of manufacturing shots, tried to laugh at the crazy bounces, and it served me very well.
Yeah, St. Andrews. I mean, it dealt me -- I still go back to what Tom Watson said earlier this week about what she gives away today, she'll take back tomorrow. She took a little bit back from me today.

Q. Do you take some positive vibes going forward into the rest of the season?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I spoke yesterday in the pressroom, it's been a year ago that I injured myself. I first sort of strained the muscles in the ribs, and then Bridgestone was where I tore them. And it's sort of full circle now. We're back to -- I had some good bounces, as well, this week, and maybe it's the golfing gods sort of getting me into good form. And the beginning half of the season, although I've had some good results, I must admit I've been playing a little bit tentatively. Just trying to get back into the rhythm, into competitive golf. I've done okay, and maybe this is a sign that things are -- the latter half of the season is going to be great for me. That would be nice.

Q. Do you feel better than you did in Germany where you said you weren't happy with your game, and then you had the break, and --
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, it's just that it's a year on since a pretty down period for me, not just sort of my golf game, but not being able to get out there and play and practise and enjoy the game, sitting there and watching everybody on TV compete. And that was tough. So I'm having a blast.
You know, as disappointed as I am with the way I played today, Louis was in a different league. You know, that softens my disappointment slightly, because it was a tremendous performance. Hats off to him.

Q. What did you say to him coming up 18? Was there a moment where you kind of just talked to him?
PAUL CASEY: I said, "Well done," to his caddie on 17 green, and then he missed that short one. (Laughter.) Or left it short, I should say.
I didn't say anything to him until he had actually holed out on 18, and then I just told him what I thought of that performance. That was four days of tremendous golf. He didn't flinch today. I mean, his rhythm looked superb, he drove the ball beautifully, he was very calm. I've played with him many a times, but that was a world-class performance.

Q. It's unusual to see two guys at the top of the leaderboard having that great a time together.
PAUL CASEY: You know, I can go either way. I can either give it the sort of -- you know, the stare and get into that sort of mode where I'm not going to say anything. In a match-play situation I'm happy to do that. If I can get a little bit of energy off the other guy, like I did with Lee yesterday, having a little bit of fun and chatting and taking away some of the pressure, then I'll do that, as well. So Louis is -- I know Louis, we've played enough golf together to -- there was no reason whatsoever to go out there and try and give him the firm handshake on the 1st and get a shot off him that way. What am I going to do? He's four, five shots ahead most of the way round.
You know, it's stressful enough out there, so just have some fun. We both wanted to make birdies. I wanted it to be -- I wanted to play well. I wanted another round in the 60s, and if he could -- feeding off of some of his play would do that, then that was the game plan.

Q. Was there a moment where you thought it was going to be your day?
PAUL CASEY: No. It wasn't until I hit it straight into the gorse bush. More than that, it's just not getting up and down from the front of that green, taking 4 or whatever I did to get up and down. The worst it should have been -- what was I? I should have been making 5, at worst 6. Cost myself a shot there, and that was very annoying. That was poor.
At that point, yeah, really, I felt like I was -- I felt like I needed to play a great 3-, 4-under coming in, and if he made mistakes or got very unlucky, maybe it's still on. I never gave up until really coming down -- shots like 16, I hit an absolutely beautiful shot into 16, a 6-iron just left of the flag, hit the top of the ridge, thought it was going to stay there maybe about 15 feet, and it rolled all the way down into a valley, and at that point, I was like, okay, clearly I've -- back away from the sharp objects. And the same on 18.

Q. We've seen consistent golf again from English golfers (inaudible).
PAUL CASEY: Louis Oosthuizen playing tremendous golf got in the way this week. No one was going to stop him. He was superb. Lee will be I'm sure disappointed with the way he played. Felt he could have been up there challenging. I'm obviously disappointed with my finish, but there are positives. I'm trying to take the positives out of this because six months ago, no idea if I was going to get back to this sort of form again. And you know, I know I'm going to win a major, it's just a matter of time. This week just wasn't my week.

Q. Louis had such a big lead, it was almost impossible to catch him because he was playing consistent.
PAUL CASEY: I'm frustrated about not getting second place. After 12 or the 6-iron on 16 that kicked down that bank, I mean, lifting the Claret Jug was kind of done for the day.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, you never know what's going to -- if I put him under some pressure, it could have been different. But it was done at that stage. In fact, I'm not sure if I put him under pressure he would have flinched at all because he didn't miss a shot today. I don't think he's missed a shot all week. I'm sure he's hit golf shots into places he didn't want to, but he didn't sort of react to anything negatively and had a great attitude and did what he needed to do.

Q. If you put yourself back for the rest of the year where you were, you've got to be glad where you're at right now?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah. I'm pain-free, I'm hitting it good, and we've still got one major left this year.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PAUL CASEY: The fact I had fun on a links course again because it's been a while since I've enjoyed myself around a links course. I used to love it, and I probably got very frustrated with it the last few years, and this week I had an absolute blast. I don't know whether that was because it was St. Andrews or whether it was I just relaxed a bit and went back to what I grew up doing, creating shots and accepting that sometimes a 5-iron from 120 yards is the club you've got to hit.

Q. Does it bode well for the Ryder Cup, the fact that there are so many Europeans at the top of the leaderboard?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I need to get on that team, though, first. Yeah.

Q. You took another big step this week, didn't you?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I'll be honest, I think we're going to -- we're already going to have an unbelievable team. We're going to have a great team. It doesn't guarantee a victory, but I think we'll be pretty good.

Q. How important is it to you for the rest of the year?
PAUL CASEY: Pretty important. The only major left for the year is the PGA at Whistling Straits. I didn't play well the last time we were there in '04, so I want to get stuck in.
Yeah, plenty of big stuff left. A couple of WGCs, a major, FedExCup, Dubai, missed out on all of that stuff last year. So you know, I intend to carry on this form and actually play a little bit better and try and sort of leave a mark the rest of the year.

Q. You've contested the last day of a major, the final group. That has to be a positive kind of ending this week. I know you didn't win it, but --
PAUL CASEY: I finished third, so it's not. It's a bit -- yes, I mean, it was great, but the competitor in me is not allowing me right now to enjoy that.

Q. You talked about six months ago, was there one point where you weren't sure you were going to get back to where you are today?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, you know, the scariest was HSBC in China. I tore the muscles at Bridgestone, got to HSBC, thought I was ready to go, final round, felt exactly the same pain I felt when I tore them at Bridgestone early in the fourth round and had to withdraw. It was very -- I'll be honest, it was scary. I was very worried about it. I thought, is this something I'm going to be battling the rest of my career? Am I done? Will I ever be pain-free? I had no idea. And I was pretty down. I was pretty upset about it.

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