PAUL CASEY: Yeah it was the first I knew about it when I holed out 9, my last hole today, Dick, the rules guy, came up and mentioned something happened on 14. And we went into the scorer's hut and I talked to Mike Davis and he explained the rule and I went through what happened from my angle.
It was my fourth shot onto the green, I chunked it. I had a sandy lie in front of that green, played the fourth shot, wiped off the soil of my club, and out of frustration, out of anger I banged the ground and then the ball rolled back down towards me and I got out of the way as it rolled past me. That was what I did.
I didn't know the rule, Mike said that if that was improving the intended, I think, line of play? I'm not exactly sure of the exact, how the rule reads, then that would be, then I would have broken a rule. I banged the ground out of frustration, because it wasn't a very good shot. I played seven pretty good shots on that hole and one poor one.
Q. Even par going into the weekend, we have been hearing a lot of assessments that this is not going to be a tournament that will be decided below par. Do you like your position?
PAUL CASEY: Yeah, I do like my position. I've had a good two days in terms of getting the golf ball around this golf course and managing where I put the ball. Maybe slightly better yesterday, I kept it below the hole a few more times than I did today.
But I think it's about eliminating mistakes and I've done a pretty good job of that. Graeme is 3‑under, is that right? So yeah, I mean there's a lot of golf left yet. There might be some, maybe there's some more treacherous 14th holes to sort of contend with and who knows what happens. I mean, I feel like I played very good golf over two days and I've wracked up some birdies and wracked up a big number as well. So anything's possible. We got a long way to go.
Q. Would you agree that this course is a confluence of heaven and hell. Do you agree with that assessment?
PAUL CASEY: I wouldn't say it's hell. I mean, walking around Pebble Beach, I mean unless it was blowing 50 and raining, I mean, yeah, it's definitely got teeth, this place. And you have to just have patience, very good attitude, and roll with the punches, realize that everybody else has to deal with this golf course too.
There was a lot of question yesterday about, we heard some grumblings about the greens yesterday and, you know, I'll admit they were difficult to putt on, but they're the same for everybody. And the USGA is setting up this golf course to not only test us as golfers, but test us from a mental or an emotional level and maybe get to us a little bit and make, maybe try and frustrate us. And you have to not let them do that.
Q. Tiger assessed his position at seven off the lead as one he said that's he's right there in it. That presumes of course that players are going to come back as well. Going into the weekend is it just ‑‑ everybody is talking about patience, of course, but playing steady golf, playing par golf, and when you have, especially with you, only a three stroke deficit, you're looking for players to come back. What is your approach to the weekend?
PAUL CASEY: You know, if I look at ‑‑ if you take Tiger's unbelievable performance out of the equation in 2000, what was the next best score? Ernie Els? What score was that? Was that level? He was over par? So has anybody shot under par, other than Tiger at a U.S. Open here? Excuse me, my history is not that good, it's terrible.
But it's going to be ‑‑ nobody's going to go away with this. So I'm completely fine with where I'm at and I don't feel like I've got to do anything out of the ordinary, just stick around par, see what happens.
If I need to hit a great shot coming down the stretch on Sunday, I would love to be given that opportunity to try and do it. If I got to go for the green on 18, I would love to be in that position to have to go for it.
But until then it's the case of just trying to stay out of my own way and eliminate mistakes and if some birdies happen, that's great, but I'm not going to force it.
Q. Do you think you're in as good a form as you've been in all year?
PAUL CASEY: I'm not hitting it great. I've just done a great job of managing my way around this golf course. From that side of things I'm way more mature than I was maybe a year ago, maybe even a few years ago, at dealing with an 8, dealing with things that don't go my way.
The ball striking's not superb, but maybe that's a good thing. When you're striking it well I certainly have a tendency to aim at flags. And that can be a bad thing at a U.S. Open. If you do get it wrong, you're going to be penalized very severely. So is it the best form so far this year? Well, I don't know. Yes and no.
Q. You had some struggles today on 14. What is it about that hole that's made it so difficult for players this week?
PAUL CASEY: What's made 14 so difficult? The size of the green. I landed my third shot four yards right of the flag and I finished off the front. Steve Stricker landed his ball three yards right of the flag and finished off the left. So I walked away with 8, he walked away with 7.
There's just no way to miss it. You've got to be right on the number. You can bail out a little bit long, long right even. The trouble is when you do miss it, if you do miss it, there is no way of recovering from a couple of areas and one of those is short right, as I did today.