Sunday, March 24th, 2019

Notable Quotes: Valspar Championship, Sunday’s Final Round – Casey Successfully Defends Title

NBC Sports Notable Quotes
Valspar Championship
Final Round
Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club (Copperhead Course)
Palm Harbor, Fla.
Sunday, March 24, 2019

Valspar Championship Final Leaderboard
Paul Casey -8
Louis Oosthuizen -7
Jason Kokrak -7
Bubba Watson -6
Sungjae Im -6

On Paul Casey, 2019 Valspar Championship winner at 8-under par (1-over 72 on Sunday), successfully defending his 2018 win
Dan Hicks – “He has had other opportunities with 54-hole leads that he has not closed out in the past. He is aware of that, but he had a good feeling about this 54-hole lead on this golf course.”
Paul Azinger – “He has had a streak where he hasn’t done well in the last group with the lead. This week he had to stand in there with Dustin Johnson, the best player in the world, and he went toe-to-toe with him and left Dustin in the dust a little bit.”
Azinger – “It is amazing how many times a TOUR player has to re-prove himself or vindicate himself. Casey has never defended as a pro, something that always has bothered him.”
Azinger – “He hit it really solid all day long. Never was really in any kind of trouble today.”

Paul Casey speaking with NBC’s Steve Sands following his victory
Paul Casey – “Obviously I’m finding it easier, although today wasn’t easy. But I felt very different since winning last year. Last year’s win was so big. I felt so different since then. New confidence. I’m getting older but I feel like I’m getting better. Great playing with Dustin, he’s a gentleman. I know he didn’t play the way he wanted to. But, this is so cool. I’m so happy. Valspar is such an awesome sponsor and to come back here and defend it means I don’t have to change the caddie bib either.”

Paul Casey, speaking with NBC’s Dan Hicks on his caddie, John McLaren
Paul Casey – “John McLaren is one of the world’s best caddies, and I am fortunate to have him on the bag. I can honestly tell you what is going through his mind when it comes to the golf course. When it comes to picking out his socks in the morning, you and I will never figure that out.”

On Louis Oosthuizen, T2 at 7-under par (2-under 69 on Sunday)
Azinger – “What a score for a guy who hit six greens in regulation. Only 22 putts today. That is impressive.”
Azinger – “Louis has been working on his mindset more so than his stroke lately with Brad Faxon. Making a difference with the way he thinks on the greens.”

On Jason Kokrak, T2 at 7-under par (even-par 71 on Sunday)
Notah Begay – “When you are trying to win, you just stick to your routines, go through your conversations with your caddie and get your lines. It is about commitment and trust, which is what Jason is focusing on coming down the stretch.”

On Dustin Johnson, T6 at 5-under par (3-over 74 on Sunday)
Jim “Bones” Mackay – “This is as flat as I’ve ever seen DJ in a spot as big as it was today playing in the last group. Certainly, he is the best player in the world, but it is so unusual for him to come out and not be a factor later on and playing some explosive golf in terms of making some birdies.”
Azinger – “He hasn’t hit it very well today and the putter hasn’t been able to bail him out. That is not a recipe for success on a course like this that is so difficult.”
David Feherty – “Time and holes just ran out for Dustin Johnson.”
Mackay – “No momentum the entire day.”
Hicks – “Dustin Johnson goes the entire final round without a birdie. Hard to believe.”

On Sungjae Im, T4 at 6-under par (1-under 70 on Sunday)
Feherty – “This 20-year old is really started to shine over the last few weeks. Pretty special prospect.”
Azinger – “He has been in contention for about the entire Florida Swing. For a 20-year old, that means a bright future.”

On Luke Donald, T9 at 4-under par (2-over 73 on Sunday)
Hicks – “A positive week overall for Luke Donald, playing just for the second time in 2019.”

On the Valspar Championship / Copperhead Course
Azinger – “We haven’t seen a lot of great golf today, but it is so difficult, this golf course just punishes you. The greens are firm, dry and crispy and the holes are in really hard spots.”
Gary Koch – “The last thing you want to do is get on a bogey string out here on this golf course. Once you start making ‘em, you can make a bunch, and we have seen a lot today.”

-NBC Sports Group-