Mar
9
2012
Paul Casey on Return From Injury, Ryder Cup Hopes & How Long Rory Will Be No. 1
By Stephanie Wei under Interviews

Tiger and Casey having a laugh, maybe sharing injury stories!

I sat down with Paul Casey, who is making his first start this season, on Tuesday for a Q&A at the tail-end of his pre-tourney media tour for the WGC-Cadillac Championship on Wednesday morning. Casey battled with turf toe last year and then this past Christmas Eve, he was snowboarding in Colorado when he fell and dislocated his shoulder. (I posted his X-rays here.) Unfortunately or frustratingly, he wasn’t doing double back flips — he was taking a lesson and wearing a helmet, elbow pads, the full deal, and he was trying to catch his fall, so he stuck his right arm out and landed on it the wrong way.

I was quite impressed with how well-versed he was in describing the different muscles, ligaments, and bones that were affected in his various injuries. I joked he almost sounded like a first-year med student.

Casey had only played once in three months — a practice round at Doral on Monday. I chatted briefly with him after the second round today and he said he felt pretty beat up. Before you make any jokes about how it’s just golf, etc., there’s a difference between being in “golf shape” and being “in athletic shape.” I know they’re just walking and swinging a club, not to mention they don’t even carry their bags, but you’d be surprised. I’ve talked with “real” athletes that admit they get tired walking 18 holes.

Anyway, I enjoyed the chat and thanks to Paul for his time. Check out the full interview over at Golf.com, but here’s an excerpt:

What were your favorite places to go to in Phoenix?
I’m usually found at places like St. Francis, which is a nice little restaurant, sort of a bar, in central Phoenix, or Chelsea’s Kitchen, another restaurant around the corner. It was nice. I became a bit of a regular. When you walk in and they know the vodka you’re drinking, maybe that’s a sign [laughing].

I know you didn’t catch Tiger’s 62 because you were on a plane coming here, but get this stat: Tiger is No. 1 in total driving [combination of distance and accuracy] currently.
Is he really?

Yeah, this year so far.
That’s impressive.

Isn’t it? It’s a little surprising, too, right?
I’ve played a lot with Tiger, and he was always No. 1 in putting, the best putter maybe we’ve ever seen. And I’m not taking anything away from his driving because his driving was very good, but it wasn’t his strength. Golf nowadays is a little bit different. You can get away with a wayward tee shot every now and then, but he chips and putts phenomenally, so I think that’s interesting he’s No. 1 in driving.

(Photo via Daily Mail)