PGA Tour: Paul Casey Talks Pace of Play and The American Express

PGA Tour professional Paul Casey speaks with the media prior to the start of the American Express about hot topics including pace of play and the passing of Pete Dye.

Paul Casey Previews The American Express after strong open to the 2020 PGA Tour Season

THE MODERATOR: Please welcome Paul Casey to the media center. Paul, welcome back to the American Express. This will be your fourth start here in Palm Springs. How are you feeling to be back?

PAUL CASEY: I feel really good. Yeah, it’s, I love the desert. As you know, I live in the desert not this — well, it’s kind of just down the road, Phoenix. So when was the last time I was here? Was it 2016? Yeah, know. Somebody will know.


PAUL CASEY: 2017. Thank you. It’s really good to be back. Season’s already got going. I was in Maui a couple of weeks ago. So game feels good, course looks amazing, condition of it is absolutely perfect. I’ve just played the Stadium Course. And yeah, happy to be here. Got good friends at American Express, so the whole thing is, there’s lots of reasons for being here.

THE MODERATOR: You’ve had a strong start this season with two finishes in the top-20. Is something different working for your game?

PAUL CASEY: No, I feel like my season didn’t really stop because I played all the way through. I had a lot of international commitment. I played the Australian Open, about the first, first or second week in December. So really my off-season’s been very, very short and I feel like I’ve just kind of continued, continued my year, not really stopped, which is a bit strange, but I’m actually fine about it. It’s kind of, I feel like my game is probably, although my results in Maui wasn’t great, for what I was looking for, I feel like the game’s in a really good place. And normally this time of year I would still be trying to get going and learning where my game is at, but I feel like my game’s in a good position, so the lack of off-season, if anything, is probably going to put me in a good position.

THE MODERATOR: Nice. Questions for Paul.

Paul Casey on Pace of Play

Q. Having been on the PAC, have you been part of a decision-making process? Can you talk about the new policy that got revealed?
PAUL CASEY: How did I guess you were going to ask that? Sorry, what was the question?

Q. Thoughts on the new policy.
PAUL CASEY: With all honesty, I need to read it again before I answer, because, yes, I sat in that room and the last time I thoroughly discussed it, I believe was Medinah and we agreed on exactly what was going to be implemented and then it was passed off to the policy board and all the rest of it. I need to refresh myself before I say something where I’m not — because I’m not exactly sure of exactly what it says. I should probably know because it goes into effect.

Q. April.
PAUL CASEY: April. So I’ve got time. There you go. Whew. Thank you for answering my questions. I mean, I sort of know it, but I don’t want to regurgitate something and look foolish.

Q. I know you understand the basics of it, and I guess the idea is they’re going from focusing on the group to focusing more on individuals and maybe changing habits.

Q. I guess one of the priorities of the policy is to make sure people, that maybe habitually slow players understand they’re slow, and they’re giving opportunities to improve that. Do you think that can happen?
PAUL CASEY: I hope it can happen, because as we all agreed when we discussed this, we’re not looking for a — I guess there’s two or three things that we’re looking for, that we felt that we were looking for, this is from the players’ point of view. One was we’re not looking for a massive change in — we can’t get around these golf courses that quick. It’s just very difficult to walk some of these golf courses in the time we’re meant to, this time-par thing always frustrates the players a little bit. But we need to speed up. But it’s not a massive change. We’re just looking for sort of 10 minutes here or 15 minutes there, ideally is what we’re looking for. We’re looking for guys to take responsibility, because hitting a standard golf shot and taking two, two and a half minutes to play it is not acceptable. So taking ownership of that responsibility, however you want to phrase it, that’s all about education. And then the perception, then, drastically changes if you do those two things, which are fairly straightforward, fairly painless games, to be honest. And that’s basically all it is, from our point of view. There’s more to it, obviously, the policy. But that was our feeling. It’s just, it should be a fairly simple thing to fix, so hopefully this fixes it.

Q. How big a problem has it become and is it a bigger problem now than it might have been five, 10 years ago?
PAUL CASEY: What, pace of play? It’s been a problem since I’ve played golf. I’m 42 and it’s all we ever talked about. It seems like it becomes — I don’t know — it seems like it becomes more of a problem. It seems like, seems to be a little bit of a trend that players are becoming — they’re not becoming slower. When they come out on TOUR they seem to be a little bit slower than the previous generation, it seems. But that’s our fault, again, because you, a lot of the players who come out, you watch your peers, you watch your heroes and your stars on TV, the guys you want to emulate and you go, Well, he’s taking a long time to read the putt and that’s what I need to do. So we have to take responsibility for that, that maybe we affected, not say we, and I don’t consider myself a slow player, but we’ve all got to take responsibility, that we have affected the next generation that are coming through. But, no, it’s always been an issue, hasn’t it?

Q. To change gears away from slow play. I’m assuming you took up European Tour membership this year with the Ryder Cup?
PAUL CASEY: I think I did. I got a money clip. That came through the post, so I’ll take that as a yes.

Q. How hard is it to balance the two schedules, particularly this time of year when the lucrative events are going on in the Middle East?
PAUL CASEY: Define lucrative.

Q. A Rolex series event.
PAUL CASEY: Oh, yes, one of them is. It doesn’t seem to get any easier. I notice now that, again, I need to brush up on what I’ve read, but I believe there might be a case of, for guys who play both the Olympics and the Ryder Cup, that they only get to count those two events as only one towards the European Tour, however you want to put that, as they only get to count one basically instead of counting two. You might want to check that one. So I look at things like that and I, go that makes it even tougher. You’re penalizing the best players again. And if that is a rule that I read correctly, then I’m not a fan of that because I would like to be in both of those. Yeah, it doesn’t get any easier, because those are my two, two of my biggest goals this year, playing Olympics and playing Ryder Cup. And but I’ve got, but — you know FedExCup’s right at the top of the list, as well, and Majors and everything else. How do you balance it? How do you weigh it all out? I don’t know. I’ve been doing it 20 years and I still haven’t figured it out. Having bigger events, the Rolex series has been phenomenal, and I’ll give Pelley massive credit there. He’s put a lot of money into players’ pockets on the European Tour, and it does make it difficult to miss events like that. Because I also think, if I’m not wrong, that any event opposite a Rolex series event, my World Ranking points don’t counts towards qualifications for a Ryder Cup. Again — you can’t write out facial expressions, can you (laughing)?

Q. With Pete Dye passing away last week, what were your experiences on his golf courses and what did you think of his impact on architecture?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I was saddened by that because, for me, Pete Dye has been the best modern architect. Yeah, the greatest. A lot of names are thrown into the ring, thrown into the hat, but Pete Dye was just an absolute genius. And the way I back that up, because nobody, one of the great things in our sport that I always, when I play a great golf hole, indecision is always one of those things which — I love indecision. If an architect or a golf hole can create indecision, and usually it’s the simplest holes, 12 at Augusta, for example, creates massive indecision, such a simple golf hole. And Pete Dye was able to do it time and time again. Predominantly visually, that’s how he would do it. He would give most of us kittens, as we would stand on the tee and look down there and not see a fairway or incredibly intimidating, and then we would get down there and you suddenly see he was very generous and accommodating, and those tricks he would play and those mind games, and the indecision that he would create to the player, all players of all standards in their ability to do that, an absolute genius. The Arizona State golf course, which sadly is now just been dug up, but Karsten was a Pete Dye golf course and that was really my first exposure to it. Not having ever played one of his courses obviously growing up in the U.K. And instantly I thought — yeah, he was diabolical, there were some golf holes on that thing we wanted to blow up, but I loved it. So, yeah, sad, because, yeah, in my question, just brilliant stuff, just genius golf course design. It’s because there’s always flavors of the month or flavors of the decade, but he was the one. Brilliant stuff.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Good luck this week.


La Quinta, California

January, 14, 2020

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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