Friday 23 March 2018

Outcast Casey makes Ryder Cup point

Oliver Brown

Paul Casey may not have made Colin Montgomerie's European Ryder Cup team, but he has emphatically made a point.

Casey followed up a first-round 66 with a 71 yesterday to end up five shots behind joint-leaders Jim Furyk and Luke Donald, who lie on eight under.

Come tomorrow evening, Casey might discover that his dismay at missing out on the drama at Celtic Manor is tempered by the little sweetener of £7.2m.

In his pursuit of Furyk at the top of the leaderboard, Casey was also eyeing the capture of the FedEx Cup, among the most extravagant prizes in sport.

That trophy would bolster his bank account by £6.4m, in addition to the £860,000 on offer here at East Lake. "It would be the most important victory of my career -- certainly financially," he said.

Of course, the potential for mischief-making is almost as tempting in Casey's eyes.

One American reporter asked him, playfully: "I assume you wouldn't mind if 'The New York Times' printed that you have had six consecutive rounds in the 60s since Monty snubbed you?"

"I can't stop what you print," he replied laughing.

Casey putted with impeccable smoothness yesterday, before a disappointing finish saw the Englishman hit three bogeys on his final three holes.

"Although it's just 30 players, I still think this carries serious weight. There will be a lot of pressure on whoever has to make that final putt to win. I hope that's me," Casey said.

It would be the perfect send-off for the cycling holiday Casey is planning in the Canadian Rockies. But someone who could yet foil those dreams, and who does tee it up for Europe in South Wales, is 32-year-old Donald, who put himself right into contention at the top of the leaderboard with a second-round 66.

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Irish Independent

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