home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


September 21, 2010

Paul Casey


JOHN BUSH: Paul Casey joins us here in the interview room at the TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola. Paul enters the week No. 5 in the FedExCup standings. Big week ahead for you, just get some comments on your goals.
PAUL CASEY: Thank you. I'm happy to be here. First time at the TOUR Championship, so I'm excited just to see this great golf course. I got to play it today. You know, anybody who's not happy to be here this week, I think something's wrong. And also, I've got a chance at winning this thing outright if I win it, which is exciting.
That was one of my goals coming into this year. I've got a chance to accomplish that goal. So hopefully drive the ball straight and put myself into contention.

Q. What are the goods and bads of the FedExCup? What are the highs and lows and the up and downsides of it?
PAUL CASEY: I haven't really thought about it too much. Is the system perfect? Probably not. I don't know. I mean, certainly when we had the situation when Padraig Harrington missed the TOUR Championship, even though he was a double major champion. He was actually Player of the Year if I remember correctly. That wasn't right. But it's changed since then, I think, hasn't it? I don't know.
I'm sure FedEx would love to have had the defending champion of this event and defending champion of the FedExCup, both of them in the field. We've got Phil -- what is Phil? 10th or something? But without Tiger and Phil, it's going to be disappointing to FedEx. I don't know. I don't know how to -- the highs and lows?
I haven't really fallen afoul of the system, and as far as I'm concerned, it's an opportunity to obviously made an awful lot of money. So from my angle, it's all positives.

Q. Tell us about the bike trip next week, where you're going, what are you doing? Do you envision watching any television at all?
PAUL CASEY: I've been up there before. We're going to Whistler, so I've been up there before. I didn't watch a lot of TV the last time I was there. I'll definitely turn on the TV at some stage and check out what's going on with the Ryder Cup matches. You know, as much as I'd love to be there, as much as it hurts me that I didn't qualify on my own merit, I still have an interest in it, and I will still be rooting on the Europeans.

Q. I thought you were more American now. I read that somewhere; it's got to be true.
PAUL CASEY: I'm going to be riding a bike. I'm going to be having fun, pretty relaxing. I've got four weeks off, which is the first time I've had a four-week break this time of year in forever, probably since I've been on TOUR. So I'm excited about that.
Looking at the schedule, there's sort of a lot of international stuff to finish up with and depending on where I start the year next year, hopefully in Hawaii, but if not the Middle East, then I don't get that much time off between Chevron and the Middle East. So it's going to be a nice time just to wind down.

Q. Can you tell us your thoughts about what it will be like to play for $10 million this week?
PAUL CASEY: I'm trying not to get too caught up in it because it's a sum of money -- it's a figure that I'm not too familiar with. I mean, that's just -- still the biggest check I won was when it was a million pounds for the World Match Play. Back then the exchange rate, it was like $2 million. To think this is -- you've got the winnings from this particular event, as well, so you're looking at $11 point something -- $11.35.
I said to Christian, my caddie, today standing on one of the greens, we have to treat this as a regular tournament. If we're standing over the final putt on 18 and you read it and get it wrong, we're going to have to renegotiate your percentages.

Q. You control your own destiny with a win. Do you take a different approach or strategy heading into this tournament, especially that you haven't played in this tournament before?
PAUL CASEY: No, I think I approach this the same I've approached any tournament this year. I'm going in -- I want to win it. That's the reason I'm here. For me I look at this golf course and I've got to try and -- between now and Thursday afternoon, I've got to figure out how to play it. It's pretty tight off the tee. It's going to reward guys who drive the ball really well. The greens are impeccable, but you need to be below the hole.
So I'm going to have to figure out a game plan of what clubs I'm going to hit off various tees, where I'm going to put the golf ball and stick to that game plan. And if that's going well after a round or two rounds, then keep doing it. If not, tweak it a little bit. But whatever I have to do, I'm going to try and put myself into position so I've got a chance to win this thing on Sunday. Nobody can win this thing until Sunday. I can't get wrapped up in this too much, just approach it as a regular tournament.

Q. Talk about finishing on a par-3. Do you like it? Does it make a difference finishing on a par-3, 18?
PAUL CASEY: It's kind of cool. I hit the green, so that was good. I like it. It's very different. I'm not sure I've ever played a tournament where we finished on a par-3 before. I've played many a great golf courses, even major championships that have started with a par-3, Royal Lytham St. Anne's, or Royal Mid-Surrey. I mean, there's quite a few golf courses. Horton Heath is another one. Yeah, why not? I think it adds -- I mean, a lot can happen on there. It's pretty easy to -- it's real easy to -- you're either going to make a 2 or a 4, and a 4 is pretty easy to make on that hole. So you're going to have to make a 3 or a birdie to win the thing -- how about I just walk off the hole with a 1 would be cool.

Q. The $11.35 number you threw out there and the overall money that's invested in the playoff events here in FedExCup sponsorships, is it realistic to think that when this plays itself out in a couple more years and this contract is over that that number stays the same or goes up, or is it more realistic to think that it kind of goes down a little bit?
PAUL CASEY: I would be absolutely very accepting if that number went down. I'd be fine with that. You know, we have to -- I would completely understand and I would be surprised if it didn't. Certainly if we retain the same number of events we've got for these sorts of purses, I mean, to me I just don't see how we can sustain that right now, how the sponsors are out there. I mean, that's obviously Tim's job.
For me it's not -- the money is outrageous. I mean, every day I sort of have to smile at what we're playing for, and I love the fact that we're playing for it. We're never guaranteed it. We've got to go out there and win it, so I think we can sort of defend what we make for the golf we play. But I would have absolutely no issue whatsoever if the purses got scaled back because of everything that's been happening over the last year or two.

Q. Also focusing on money looking at the Ryder Cup, you're not in this boat but a lot of non-British players, whether it be U.S. players or other parts of Europe, coming over to play the new tax law or the tax law that came in a few years ago, Usain Bolt has come out against it and won't compete. Has there been talk from players as to how it might affect them, you know, guys that are sponsored and coming over there and then all of a sudden getting a tax bill?
PAUL CASEY: Well, it affects me, too, because most of my revenue is run through the U.S.

Q. Endorsements?
PAUL CASEY: Endorsements, yeah, are run through the U.S. Delaware, I've never been there. Is Delaware nice? Big shout-out to Delaware. It does affect me, and I know that there are some organizations or various athletics or governing bodies which have managed to get a sort of free pass is my understanding, maybe some of the football stuff, maybe the Olympics.

Q. Yeah, golf is not one of them.
PAUL CASEY: Golf is not one of them, and -- I don't know the exact law, so I don't want to get into it too much.
What worries me is if that kills the culture in the UK, because I think it's also applying to not only athletes but entertainers, so it might be affecting theater and movies and all sorts of stuff. That bothers me if that's going to damage the culture in my country.
From what I've read, I just don't see how it's particularly fair, especially if you get somebody like a Usain Bolt who's not competing that much, and if they're going after -- and if that person comes to be offshore and a bit of a tax haven, they're getting stung for spending maybe one or two days in the UK for one-third or one-fifth of their global taxable income. To me that just doesn't seem to sit right.
I'm not sure how it affects myself that much because I think there's some kind of treaty between the U.S. and the UK, so I'm not sure I get stung twice. But it's not something I'm a fan of if it's going to damage golf.
I think Sergio and a few other players have been fairly -- maybe not vocal, but they have certainly voted or have shown their sort of feelings about that law by actually just not playing in the UK that much. So I would like to see that fixed because I want to play against the best field possible every single week.

Q. I hate to change the subject from international tax policy, but since you're going to be riding your bike next week you can be a little more objective about this. With the exception of the crowds, what kind of home field advantage are the Europeans going to have in Wales? Weather, condition of the 2010 course, those kinds of things. What sort of home field advantage do you anticipate them having?
PAUL CASEY: I think they've got a fairly decent home field advantage. You know, they know the course well. It has been changed a little bit over the years. Having said that, I think the Americans will learn the course pretty well.
When I played Ryder Cup at The K Club, the big thing was setting up the green speeds and the rough length, overall sort of condition of the golf course to suit the Europeans. For us that was slightly slower green speeds, changing some mowing patterns here and there to sort of -- it was a distance thing, trying to sort of favor the majority of our team, where they were going to hit the ball or maybe even miss the ball, so maybe a slightly wider landing area and pinch it up if some of the American guys were longer, they might try and -- sort of like a Dustin Johnson, maybe they pinch it in certain areas if they think that's where he's going to hit it. That's how they did it in the past so maybe that's how they'll do it again. That can be the difference.
To me it's always about who holes the putts, so I think green speeds and pin locations and firmness of greens are going to be the big thing, and I think Monty, if he does it right, can certainly gain a point or two advantage if he sets it up correctly.

Q. The U.S. Team is taking the longest hitting team in history, Tiger, Phil, Dustin, Bubba Watson. Do you anticipate the fairways narrowing in at the 320 mark?
PAUL CASEY: You'd have to check with guys who are there who know, but that would be my guess.

Q. How long did it take for the sting to go away after you found out that Monty had not selected you?
PAUL CASEY: You know, I was disappointed that I didn't qualify myself. That was -- I was annoyed at myself. You know, I can't be -- for me I can't be upset at anybody. I'm not upset at Colin for not picking me. I have to blame myself.
I got over myself, kind of forgave myself probably about two days after that, went and played some golf at Pine Valley, had some fun, played with Geoff Ogilvy and Bones, Kostis, McCord, and had a great time. First time I had played Pine Valley, and it was a great way of getting my mind away from that and focusing on Deutsche Bank the following week.

Q. And if you hit the $11.3 million jackpot on Sunday, how much does that fill that hole that was left?
PAUL CASEY: Well, it means I've accomplished one of my goals that I set for myself at the beginning of this year. There's not a hole to fill. In this game there are so many disappointments anyway, missed putts, bad shots, most guys out here -- I think all the guys out here are very quick to get over a bad bounce or a poor golf shot. And something like the Ryder Cup, I am not dwelling on it. I will watch the TV and I will be wishing I was there, but winning a FedExCup doesn't necessarily fill that hole because it's not really -- it's not about that. This is now a whole separate thing. This is about trying to win the FedExCup, and if you do that, it means I've beaten everybody in this field this week. And the winner of the FedExCup, which is, what, sort of the overall guy who's accumulated the most FedExCup points over the year. Maybe not Player of the Year, but pretty close.

Q. Two-part question. First is if you do win the FedExCup, it'll start right out here on No. 1. Can you talk us through that hole from tee to green, tell us how you attack it, maybe club selection, scoring opportunity, that kind of thing?
PAUL CASEY: On No. 1? No. 1 for me will be -- you want something landing about 265, 270, just catching the downslope. For most guys today in this heat will be a 3-wood, maybe see a couple of drivers off the tee. Some are just finding the fairway. Probably more golf balls toward the left side of the fairway to open up the green a little bit. From there it's not long, it's -- I don't know, I'm going to guess about 150 yards to the center of the green maximum. It'll be anywhere from probably an 8-iron tops to as little as a lob wedge going into that green. And I think you will see guys go at the flag. Unless they're in the rough, they're going to go at the flag and try to start their round off with something positive. It's a fairly receptive green, and there's no reason to shy away from going straight at the flag.

Q. You talked earlier about the 18th hole, which is a par-3 hole. Tell me about another par-3 hole, No. 11. Is that a birdie opportunity or is that one like 18 when you're trying to get out of there with a par?
PAUL CASEY: Depends on the tee location and the flag. If the flag is up front and the tees are maybe up, you're going to be going in there -- it's probably only about 190, so you'll see guys go at the flag. You've got to avoid the bunker on the right and the bunker on the left. But yeah, guys will fire at it. If the pin is on the back tier, left or right, you're just going to see them going to the center of the green and leaving themselves with a 20-footer up the tier. It'll play anything from a 7-iron, if it's very short, to I think you'll see guys maybe even hitting a 4-iron if the wind pops into their faces.

Q. You and Ian were captain's picks last time around?

Q. What type of extra pressure does that create, if any, to try and validate your position on the team? And I'm thinking specifically of some of the guys who were picked this time and all of the controversy that ensued? Harrington, I would imagine, is going to be a man under the microscope not just this week but next week? Did you feel it?
PAUL CASEY: I'll be honest, yes, there's a little bit of added pressure.

Q. Ian did.
PAUL CASEY: Yes, I'd agree with that. And Ian rose brilliantly to that challenge. I mean, I think he had probably the most fire in his belly of all the players. I wasn't there seeing all his matches, but I saw the replays of play and I saw him in the team room. He was fired up.
Yes, it was difficult. You feel you want to justify your selection, and the only way to do that is by winning points.

Q. Last one, I know you're trying to win this week for obvious reasons, $11.35 million of them. But would any part of you get a perverse thrill out of the proverbial crap storm that you winning this week would stir up overseas?
PAUL CASEY: (Smiling).
JOHN BUSH: Paul, thanks for coming by.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297