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THE IRISH OPEN


June 27, 2013


Paul Casey


KILDARE, IRELAND

PAUL CASEY:  It's a wonderful golf course.  The greens are fabulous and I took advantage of that the first few holes.  Hit some wonderful approach shots and rolled in a couple of putts.
Things got a bit ugly in the middle of the round.  I made a couple of mistakes but it really was quite horrific with the rain coming down.  When it goes like that, you've just got to hold it together, which I did.  And then threw in a couple more birdies at the end to climb back up that leaderboard and not be in the lead but near the lead.
So I'm actually very, very happy with that start.  You can't win it on a day like this but you can certainly throw it away.

Q.  You've held it together admirably here, seven years ago, something like that; has it changed?
PAUL CASEY:  I don't remember it that well.  I have to confess, that was a horrible long week.  It was a Monday finish.
I played with Mr.Bj√∂rn and Mr.Clarke the other day, who¬† the three of us, I think we were the top three finishers.¬† I just remember 3‑putting the last.¬† Clarke remembers not getting up‑and‑down on the last from a relatively easy position, and Thomas just remembers winning.¬† We feel like we handed it to him and Thomas feels like he won.¬† We'd have to look at the tape and see what happens.
It does feel like a golf course that suits me, a lot of drivers around here.  Yeah, if I drive the golf ball well like I know I can, there's no reason why I can't replicate that or go one better.

Q.  And you have been, we've said this repeatedly, the form is almost there, it's almost clicking into place.
PAUL CASEY:  Today was a good example of that.
The putting has been the final piece of the puzzle.¬† I actually switched putters this week.¬† It's still a Nike putter.¬† It's a very similar shape to what I've had before.¬† It's got a slight‑‑ it's actually got a dot on top to help align things, and that's it, simple as that.

Q.¬† Round of 4‑under par, started beautifully with four birdies on the first six, tell us about those?
PAUL CASEY:  It wasn't raining at that point, Tim.  The greens were perfect today, they really are.  The course is in wonderful condition.  Trying to take advantage of that.
Hit some wonderful approach shots that gave me some great opportunities at birdies and I rolled them in.
You know, the putting is the one thing that's been lacking recently, and it's just a matter of time; I start to roll the putts in, I'm going to shoot some low scores and that was evidence of that this morning.

Q.¬† Conditions got pretty ugly in the middle of the round there; what's mind‑set when it's like that, just battle your way through it?
PAUL CASEY:  Yeah, simple as that, battle your way through it, slow thins down.  Take your time, work with the caddie and make sure the clubs are staying dry.  Simplify things.  Just stick it in the fairway, stick it on the green and manage yourself and not get frustrated with it.  It's the same for everybody out there.
You know, we did a very good job of that, dropped a couple of shots in the middle of the round, and picked a couple back up later on and actually calm back down.  So not dropping too many when it got ugly was very, very good.

Q.  For one reason or another you've not been your best the last couple of years, how tough has that been for a player like you that's in the upper echelons of the game for so long to then not be there.
PAUL CASEY:¬† It's extremely tough but it's a long career‑‑ well, hopefully it's long career.¬† Part of what we do with playing golf is the journey.¬† It's never going to be perfect, we know that.¬† There will be up‑and‑downs.¬† You don't want the up‑and‑downs to be too big, and some of the downs I've had recently haven't been great.
But, watching it on TV and watching my mates out there competing, like Justin Rose winning the U.S. Open last week was fantastic; it motivates me and motivates me in the right way.  I don't get upset by it.
Actually, I want to emulate what those guys are doing, so it forces me to work a little bit harder, work a little bit smarter, and I know that deep down my best golf is still ahead of me.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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