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January 11, 2014

Paul Casey


Q.  Lowest round of the year; you must be pretty satisfied.
PAUL CASEY:  My lowest round of the year, very happy with that.  Yesterday was quite the opposite.  Yesterday I struggled in the wind.  Didn't feel like I had control of the ball.  I struggled with the putting.  I mean, it was all just off and I was quite disappointed with that.  Although I've taken a lot of time off, I've put in a lot of hard work before coming to South Africa and coming here this week.
So a nice little text from Kostis last night.  I don't think he saw me hit any golf balls.  He just said:  "Slow it down.  You always get quick in the wind, slow it down and allow yourself to get turned and collect at the top, and get out there and make a bunch of birdies," and I did that.  And it was a pleasure out there today, wonderful to play.

Q.  It's a challenging course anyway.
PAUL CASEY:  It's very challenging.  The winds are back to almost prevailing, which is‑‑ I've got no idea, I want to say like a southeast or something.  Slightly down out of the right today and down off the left off the first yesterday, which it's just an awkward wind yesterday.  It's a tricky golf course anyway.  You've got to drive it incredibly well.  It's narrow.  It's a fine line between shooting a very low score and struggling a little bit out there.
And it's a great place to be; obviously we've got great weather but it's a great place to be to start the season off, great test of golf, great field and good sponsor this week.

Q.  Absolutely.  Because it means there's guaranteed prize money, four guaranteed days of action to start the year and so you're never looking over your shoulder.
PAUL CASEY:  Yeah, it is nice standing on that first tee, knowing you have 72 holes and when you start double‑bogey, bogey, you wonder how many over‑par you can rack up over the course of 72 holes but luckily I got it back into the red.
It is a nice, relaxed atmosphere but it will get quite serious tomorrow afternoon.  We have a lot of money to play for.  The purse has been not just bumped up but it's rocketed up since last year.  For guys like myself, Europeans, there's Ryder Cup points.  Most importantly to me, World Ranking points.  I want to get back in the Top‑64 in the world for the Match Play and Top‑50 for things like the Masters.
So I've got an important few weeks ahead and that starts tomorrow morning, tomorrow afternoon, whenever I'm teeing off.

Q.  It will be late and not only back in the red, you've actually got an opportunity, depending what the leaders do, but as a former champion of this event, it's nice to be in the mix again I'm sure.
PAUL CASEY:  It is.  Looking over your shoulder I can see I'm a few back, probably five back right now.  I expect them to keep going low.  I mean, will I have a chance tomorrow?  I think it would be outside.  I'll have to produce another 65 or better and hope that they kind of stagnate, which probably won't happen, but, you can dream.  Go out there, and if I play another great round of golf like I did today, I'll just be a happy man.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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