Round 2 Interview With:

Paul Casey

Friday May 4, 2018

Q. Thoughts on how you played today?

PAUL CASEY: I actually struck it much better than I did yesterday. I saw Peter Kostis on the range before I went down and he said I was too far from the golf ball, the hands were too low, so we corrected that. Stand closer, get the hands up. Changed everything. Changed my posture, changed the way I struck the ball today. And yeah, like you say, I got it wrong on holes like 7 and made some good pars, but I feel better than I did yesterday so I feel like I'm kind of trending in the right direction.

Q. The last couple of putts, you had a good putt for birdie at 17 and another chance at 18. Were those just a little offline, or why did you miss?

PAUL CASEY: Why did I miss? Because they didn't go in. Why did I miss? I thought the putt at 17 was pretty straight. Maybe the grain was a little stronger than I thought and just didn't go to the left, and on 18 I did not see that putt going right, just pure misread. They were struck well, they had enough speed, and nothing more that you can do.

I think the grain got a little bit more prominent as the day went on, and I learned the slopes back when we played the PGA here but obviously some of the greens were redone. Still haven't quite figured out the grain. It wasn't like grain in Surrey where I grew up as a kid, so I'm still learning. At 40 years old, still learning.

Q. Thoughts now heading into the weekend? Obviously going to put you in a position to make a move on Saturday?

PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I feel really good. I've actually not checked the leaderboard out that much. I was too busy trying to, like I say, save pars after hitting it in the water. So I'm not sure where everybody kind of stands.

But I feel good. It's a golf course I didn't have a lot of success on through the years and it used to be very sort of damp around here, sloppy around here. PGA, I had a good result, I think, finishing at 11th. For some reason it just seems to be clicking now around this golf course. Maybe the firm and fast, I like that. This is reminiscent of something like the small margin for error you get at something like Augusta National and I like that. If it stays firm and fast this weekend, I'll be a very, very happy man and I think my chances are good to at least contend and see what happens.

Q. Start talking.

PAUL CASEY: About what, your shirt? No. I'll start talking.

Today was much better, ball-striking was much better than yesterday. I had a quick lesson from Peter Kostis on the range yesterday. Apparently too far -- I didn't strike it well yesterday. Too far from the ball, hands too low, so he just said fix that, move in closer, which is never comforting because it feels like you're going to shank everything. I didn't, so that was good. But the ball-striking was better. Yeah, so it was a much easier round of golf today than it was yesterday.

Having said that, the conditions were still very, very tough, so happy.

Q. What's it going to take for someone to separate themselves on this course, these conditions and this setup because it's very --

PAUL CASEY: I hadn't thought about it. Is it bunched?

Q. Terribly bunched.

PAUL CASEY: I don't know, Doug. The margin for error around here is so small, I don't know if that has -- if anything, that would probably go the other way then. I don't know, I haven't thought that through.

Q. (No microphone.)

PAUL CASEY: Yeah, but I don't know what it takes to separate yourself and why it's so bunched. I don't know. I never had a lot of success around here in the past when it seemed to be quite -- used to play very long and wet some of those previous championships. And then had some success at the PGA last year finishing, I think, 11th.

And then this is a golf course I'm kind of not familiar with because the golf ball's going so far, different lines off tees. I saw different lines off tees because I'm playing with Rory so he has a totally different -- it's ridiculous. Maybe I find it more difficult, but maybe I'm having more success around here but I don't have an answer to your question.

Q. Do you feel like you play better on more difficult golf courses?

PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I think it favors me more.

Q. Why?

PAUL CASEY: Why? I like the challenge. I like if everybody else is finding it tough, too. It's not necessarily more enjoyable, but for whatever reason, I seem to thrive on that.

Q. With Kostis, do you go to him or does he come to you if he sees something?

PAUL CASEY: I texted him this morning. Just a casual kind of, what are your movements, which he probably read as "help."

Our relationship for 17, 16, 17 years, it's just such a quick thing. He'll just look at it and go, it's this and it's that. It's not really even a lesson, it's always a tweak. 90-plus percent of the time it's setup related and I always feel slightly foolish that I should have --

Q. (No microphone.)

PAUL CASEY: Well, I shouldn't have let it slip in the first place.

Q. (No microphone.)

PAUL CASEY: I played originally played with him in a pro-am at Grayhawk right after finishing at ASU. He just said, he goes, have you got a golf coach, and if you don't and if you need anybody to take a look, I'm here, I would love to help you out, and that was that. We had the same management company at the time and 16 years later he's like my -- he's like an extra dad. Good and bad in that.

Q. (No microphone.)

PAUL CASEY: Yeah, it's funny how he's at a lot of events but I don't see him that often. I might see him once more this week if I'm lucky. I want to be -- we've got such a good relationship and I trust him implicitly, but he always gives me what I like because he gives me the tools to go away and play and he doesn't need to be there all the time. I see enough of him. He would probably say the other way, but I feel I see enough of him while I'm home because we're members of the same club and live around the corner.

Q. (No microphone.)

PAUL CASEY: It was average at the Match Play, it was average at Augusta, it was missed cut at Hilton Head. There was no good golf, Rex. Today was the first decent round of golf since Tampa. Incredibly satisfying, Tampa. Maybe there's a little bit of a hangover from that. Hangover from satisfaction is a good thing. Probably more motivated than I was even before. Weight being lifted? I don't know. I didn't think there was a weight before, but based on how happy that was and how satisfying that was, something -- I mean, it feels good, so I don't know, you tell me.