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May 29, 2014

Paul Casey


THE MODERATOR:¬† Paul Casey, thanks for joining us after a successful 6‑under 66.¬† Despite the bogey at the 1st, you finished the front side strong, eagle, birdie, birdie.¬† You're making your fifth start, I believe, here at the Memorial Tournament.
I'll turn it over for some comments on the round.
PAUL CASEY:¬† When was the last time I played here?¬† 2009?¬† Yeah, I'm loving being back.¬† It's all different.¬† Not all of it, but a lot of it.¬† There was no water on 16 the last time I played.¬† And 18 was a 3‑iron off the tee.
But apart from that, it's roughly the same.¬† That was a joy.¬† I thought the golf course was‑‑ it's in impeccable shape.¬† Beautifully set up.
Still very difficult test of golf.¬† And I had a couple of lucky bounces for sure.¬† The round could have gone maybe either way at the beginning.¬† Not‑‑ let me think.¬† 3, 4, 5.¬† Not birdieing the 5th, had a good opportunity there.
Opportunities are there.  Not necessarily taking advantage of them, but once the eagle putt rolled in on No. 7, it kind of snowballed from there.  And still a couple of good breaks coming in.
I'm very happy with a 6‑under.¬† I thought I would have snapped your hand off if you had offered me that this morning.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions?

Q.  You drove it well today at 13 and 14 fairways.  That seems to have been your problem so far this year, if you look at where you rank.  Can you talk about maybe what was different in that aspect?
PAUL CASEY:¬† Yeah, I didn't drive it very well.¬† I was very frustrated last week because I love Colonial, and I drove it very poorly around Colonial.¬† And, in fact, Byron Nelson, even though there was one spectacular nine holes in there, I think my fairway percentage was like 30‑something percent, which is ‑‑ it's a tough golf course anyway to hit fairways, but that's fairly rubbish.
And I've been hitting it well, but I got on the range, back end of last week after missing the cut, with Kostis, and the ball ‑‑ the grip had changed slightly.¬† Got a little too ‑‑ I don't know, that way, strong‑‑ weak.
The hands weren't in the right place.  Put it that way.  I can't remember what he said they were.  They weren't in the right place.  The ball position had crept too far forward.  And I was missing it both ways, which is very difficult to play, as you know.
So the ball position is back, the grip where it should be.  And I feel like I've got very good control of it now.  And it's not perfect.  But it was really good today.  Grip was too weak.  Just thought of it.  Strengthened it.

Q.  The fact that you haven't been here I guess since '09, you've had some injuries, is it a combination of that and maybe not being eligible in some of those years, or what's the reason?
PAUL CASEY:  Yeah, exactly that.  I can't tell you why I didn't play in 10.  I'm sure I was eligible in '10.  I don't know why I didn't play.  The last few years have been kind of lost, so to speak, with injuries and stuff going on.
I love this event, though.  The only problem is this event you seem to put on about 10 pounds.

Q.  What was the worst of the injuries?
PAUL CASEY:  The shoulder was by far the worst.  The reason being it changed the swing.  The change in the swing changed my ability to control the golf ball.  Ability to control the golf ball then was lost.  That affects the psychological side of things.
And then it's just this‑‑ then how do you fix it.¬† You can't fix one until the body is fixed.¬† That was the toughest one.

Q.¬† The adjustments by Peter, is that something you guys do looking at old video, or is that just Peter knowing your‑‑
PAUL CASEY:  That's just Peter knowing.  He said he could tell something was up from about 200 yards away.  He kind of watched.
He arrived to do TV.  He was driving around the golf course on Friday and got to kind of see a little bit of what I was doing.
He knew something was up.  He could tell the ball position was out just by the way I was swinging it, according to Peter.  On close inspection you could see the grip was out of whack.
And it's silly because myself, like I say, most guys out here, we've got it pretty much written down.  We've got these little sticks.  You've got these little aids to basically this is how I set up and you go play.  And then when you're done you kind of climb back in there and check everything.  And it was just a case of not being diligent and not checking ball position.
Most of my mistakes come from something I do before I hit the golf ball.  Make a mistake with the posture or setup position and then the ball changes.  It's not necessarily the swing that's always at fault, if that makes sense.

Q.  And what flavor of milkshake is that that you found?
PAUL CASEY:¬† Done a Strawberry and chocolate so far this week.¬† I'm not a peanut butter fan.¬† Buckeyes everywhere.¬† You don't get them?¬† Have you even been in there?¬† There's like six‑‑ there's like six milkshake machines on the go constantly.

Q.  When did it start to change?  You talked about your struggles with the injuries.  Was the turning point at the Irish Open?  Was it before that?  When do you think you cleared the hump?
PAUL CASEY:  I think it was before that.  I'm not sure when, but it was before that.  Although, that was a key moment.  I mean, that was big, because it was the first time I had a sniff at winning a golf tournament.
Wasn't in the lead, went out and played great golf on the weekend and won it.  Didn't back into it, didn't get lucky, just went and played really good stuff.
I know there was a moment, kind of like a one shot or one round that sort of happened, and I thought, okay, this is kind of‑‑ this is going in the right direction now.¬† But I can't remember when it was, but it did happen.

Q.  There was an epiphany moment last year sometime?
PAUL CASEY:  Yeah, I think it was probably near the end of '12I would say.  What are we now, '14?  I'm going to say if you look at some of the results, there's some good stuff, couple of good performances.  I want to say BMW Masters in China and things like that where I played good rounds of golf.
It wasn't great and I didn't win, but it was, oh, this is some good stuff.  You start to get that strike back and that feel, and suddenly the golf ball is going roughly where you want it to go.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

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