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July 21, 2010

Paul Casey


NELSON SILVERIO: We welcome Paul Casey to the media center here at the RBC Canadian Open. Paul, you got a chance to look at the golf course Monday, I believe, and also today. What were your first impressions on it?
PAUL CASEY: Very impressed. It's obviously old school. It's tough. Gotta keep the ball below the hole. Gotta keep the ball in the fairway.
And you know, I think there are plenty of birdies out there, but it's incredibly easy to make bogeys, as I found out on Monday and today.
I like it. I've got a friend of mine who's been a member here for 20 years caddie for me today. Showed us around a little bit, tried to figure out where to go.
And you know, I like it. If the wind's blowing like it did when we finished up our pro am here, I think it's going to be very difficult.
NELSON SILVERIO: Okay. Questions.

Q. Paul, if I'm not mistaken, I believe this is your first time playing the Canadian Open. I'm just curious what prompted you to enter this tournament, especially coming to the heels of a tough week last week?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah. First time playing Canadian Open. Any time I've played in Canada before it's just been some charity stuff.
I think the two things that really sort of tilted the scale for me to come here would be, one, a friend of mine who's a member here, Steve Lobb, L-O-B-B. He's always said he obviously loves this place, and I know the members here have sort of been asked which is the best course in Canada. I think this is ranked probably No. 2, something like that; one or two.
That's the thing. It's the best course in Canada. And he's like, you gotta come play it. And I've always said, yeah, yeah, I'll come play it. And here it is, I had to come play it. I couldn't back out.
Plus, obviously, you know, they've made it very easy for us to come here, playing straight from the Open championship straight from Scotland here is a nice perk. And everything kind of fell into place.
Last year I had two weeks off before the Open, couple weeks off after the Open, and I felt that was probably a little -- that wasn't enough golf for me, and I wanted to put something out there and this was the perfect filler.

Q. Paul, just wondering, where do you view yourself among golfers and how your career's gone so far?
PAUL CASEY: I don't know. I try not to think about it too much. You know, I'm very hungry for major success. That's the one thing that I haven't achieved yet that I want to achieve.
And you know, I don't sit back and -- I don't get complacent. I don't sit back and go, okay, I'm Top 10 in the world and I've won this and done that and made some nice money. I mean it's not about that to me. It's about titles.
And you know, I'll be honest, it's the major title. It's the majors, it's the historical events like Canadian Open, things that I want to win to get my name down in history.
And I don't think about, you know, who's won what and I haven't, I haven't won as many as he has or I'm running out of time or anything like that. I don't think about it. So I try not to -- (brief interruption).
Yeah. I don't know. I don't think it's for me to judge, certainly right now at this point in my career. Maybe in 20 years' time I can look back and go, I exceeded my expectations or I didn't live up to it or whatever it was, but not right now.

Q. Can you talk about your friend Steve carrying the bag? And in your last Twitter post you also talked about Caddy For a Cure. Can you explain that, please?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, Caddy For a Cure is run by -- excuse me for actually not knowing the main kind of cause, the main disease where a lot of the money goes to.
It's Christian. He's the sort of ambassador for the particular charity. I haven't seen him so far this week. But what happens is guys will agree to have -- be part of Caddie for a Cure, which I did for this week. The opportunity for the caddie for that player is put up for auction usually on the charity side of ebay.
Guys will bid for it, they'll win. They'll get treated as a real caddie. They get to be able to have the full experience. My caddie walks around during the day as well. So he's taken care of. And I make mine work. It's not a free ride.
But that money goes to -- the money that they kindly -- the winning bid gets split between the main charity, Caddie For Cure charity, and there's about three or four charities that it goes to.
I do apologize for not being up to date on the charities. But it's such a neat experience and a worthwhile thing to do. I mean it's a pro am. I'm out there having fun anyway. And we get some good money. Guys get from 5 to $20,000 going to charity. So it's great.

Q. What's your background with Steve? How did you come to be friends?
PAUL CASEY: Good question. We're both members at a golf club in England, just outside London. Robert Trent Jones, Jr. designed the course. And we have a mutual friend who's a teaching pro who's based there.
And I don't know. Probably known him 10 years or so. Whenever I'm in the UK, he seems to be around and played a bit of golf. Just, you know, fun guy to have around.
You know, he is a -- he's kind of how I base Canadians. If everybody's like Steve Lobb, then the world would be a great place. He speaks very highly of his country. So I have to come experience Toronto. I've done Vancouver. I've done Montreal, a few places in Canada, but I've never done Toronto, which is where his home is.

Q. What have you experienced in Toronto so far?
PAUL CASEY: I love the golf course here. I've experienced the traffic from here to Yorkville. It sucks. Seems to be one way everywhere in town.
But you know, I really like it. It's -- you know, everybody seems very relaxed here. It's almost -- you know, it's a much bigger city than I expected. It's like a mini New York. I mean it's a big place.
But I love sort of so far people I've met, great attitudes. It's almost got a little bit -- it's a cross between an American and European sort of flavor. You know, I think I've been up in Yorkville. I went for a jog yesterday and got to see some of the old houses around to the north side of Toronto there, which is beautiful. You know, the architecture downtown is fairly modern. You know, most of it burnt down.
But it's cool. It's very, very cool. And he took me to Oak Ridge restaurant last night. And so I'm loving it. It's a great place.

Q. Being English, St. George's, all the dragons around here, make you feel more at home or do you feel like this is your week?
PAUL CASEY: No, but I grew up playing a golf course called St. George's Hill. So the name St. George's rolls off the tongue very easily. Obviously you have St. George's Cross and St. George's Hill, and there's lots of St. George's golf courses.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
PAUL CASEY: Would be nice. I don't know the history of the Canadian Open. Have we ever had an Englishman win the Canadian Open? I don't know.
You know, it would be great. I mean it really would. You know, the golf course is tough. I like tough. You gotta drive it well around here, and I drive the golf ball good. I've gotta get the legs back to normal. They're a little bit tired after last week, a little bit of jet lag.
But yeah, it's the third oldest national championship in the world. I put it down as a great event. This is one of -- part of history if you are a champion, Canadian Open champion. So I would very much love to win this. And yeah, maybe the whole St. George's thing bodes well for the Englishman.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
PAUL CASEY: It's one of those stick it in the ground, golf ball on a string thing. It's perfect. If you don't want to go down to the range. Yeah, you just put it in the ground and whack it a few times.

Q. I missed the beginning. What was the reason that brought you to this tournament?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, you did miss the beginning, didn't you?
A couple of things. I mean obviously for just the connection very easy for me to be here. The plane on the way over is fantastic, getting out of St. Andrews and arriving here on Sunday night.
Actually part of that is Mike Weir had asked me as well if I would be interested in coming over and playing in the charity classic on Monday, which is -- any time a guy comes up to you, especially Mike Weir, he's one of the nicest guys out here, personally asks you to be part of something, it's -- I mean I find it very difficult to say no to people. But I can't say no to Mike Weir.
So that was two very big reasons. And a friend of mine is a member here. He caddied for me today in the Pro Am. He's been a member here 20 years and has always said he thinks it's -- I mean I think it's debatable whether it's the best course in Canada or not, but he loves this place. He says you gotta come play St. George's. He's been asking me for the last ten years, and I said, yeah, I'll come play; and I couldn't avoid it.

Q. (Indiscernible). Golf Channel. What did you think (indiscernible).
PAUL CASEY: They're not sponsoring me directly, but --

Q. (Indiscernible).
PAUL CASEY: A lot of guys, yeah. A lot of Canadian guys and Americans. I don't know. We're lucky to have them on board.

Q. (Indiscernible).
PAUL CASEY: Yeah. I must admit, I didn't know who they were till probably two, three years ago. And you know, A.K. suddenly changed the golf bag to a big RBC golf bag and caught my attention, and jumped up in the banking world with everything that's been going on the last couple years.
And I know very little about banking, but clearly a brilliant, very stable organization, which is why they've got so much power, and luckily they're using that power and that money they have to support our great game.
So I think, you know, they have the presence, a very strong presence around the world. And in talking to some of the guys, I think that presence is going to expand as well. And maybe we'll see that in Asia or Middle East. I'm not sure where else; in Europe.
But we're very lucky to have them. And there's some other banks that are big in golf as well. Obviously they're competitors, but it's nice that we can be in a sport where it doesn't matter if we've got one or two banks together or one or two manufacturers, whatever it might be.
Yeah. So far what I've seen here, they're putting on a great event. They're a great bunch of guys. They kept me awake on the plane on the way over here Sunday. So James Little, he's the Chief Brand of Communications officer for RBC. He's responsible for why I'm still jet lagged.

Q. Paul, part of the history has been since 1954 that a Canadian's last won here and every year Mike comes having people here pull for him. Did you feel that last week at the British Open, being a Brit who was in contention? Can you identify with maybe what they go through and how tough it is to play under those circumstances?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I'm not sure -- well, yes. I feel every time I get to a major, you sort of get bombarded with the -- when is Britain going to win. We've had a Brit now recently, Graham McDowell win the U.S. Open. But the English are very hungry for an Englishman to certainly win the Open championship or start winning majors. Faldo was such a dominant force that there's been sort of a void now for such a long time.
I want to fill that. All the other guys who are up there in the world rankings want to fill it. Maybe we have the ability to fill it, win the majors. We certainly have the desire. Might need a little bit of luck. I mean if you run into a Louis Oosthuizen in that form, there's not a lot you can do. That was an unbelievable performance last week.
But that sort of wanting is, from my perspective, just a fraction of the -- as much as we want a Canadian to win a Canadian Open, I guarantee that Mike Weir wants it a thousand times more than you could ever imagine he wants it. To win your national championship is -- that's what you want.
For me, winning the Open championship is the ultimate goal; for an American, the U.S. Open, and I'm sure for Mike Weir, he wants to win the Canadian Open. So the fact that you want him to win it and keep writing about it adds a little bit of pressure. I'm not sure it adds -- it's not stopping him from doing it. He just needs a little bit of luck. I think he's got the game. Maybe this week.

Q. Last week oughta be a big rush adrenaline wise. Do you feel that yet? Do you feel like you're over it or are you still kind of in the --
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I'm over the adrenaline rush from last week. If anything I need to get some adrenaline going for tomorrow.
I'll be honest, the legs are still tired, and they didn't want to cooperate today. Sort of were a little bit wobbly and hit some loose golf shots because the legs were a little tired.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
PAUL CASEY: No. That's related to James Little keeping me up on the flight on Sunday night. No. It wasn't related to the wine I had last night either.
You know, it's difficult pro am day when you're trying to have fun and entertain the pro am and the amateurs and my caddy. There's a whole lot of stuff you're trying to do on the pro am day, and sometimes the focus isn't quite there.
And it can be frustrating because you hit a loose shot, and you kind of kick yourself, but really you weren't 100 percent into it anyway. That's what I felt today was a little bit of gnawing.
But I'm pretty sure -- one thing is I've got an afternoon tee time tomorrow, so I've got more time tomorrow and get a good stretch this afternoon, rest. And as soon as I get scorecard in hand, and I'm playing with Stephen Ames tomorrow and Jason Bohn, I think. It'll start right away, so I'm not worried about it. The adrenaline will start flowing, and the first tee shot will catch my attention.
NELSON SILVERIO: Paul, thank you.
PAUL CASEY: Thank you very much.

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