Paul Casey fights back to claim Irish Open title
Paul Casey today claimed the 12th European Tour title of his career in dramatic fashion after overturning a four-shot deficit in the final round of the Irish Open.
Casey carded five birdies in six holes from the eighth at Carton House, the same venue where he finished second to Thomas Bjorn when the event was last staged here in 2006.
That gave the 35-year-old a three-shot lead and seemingly one hand on the trophy, but after dropped shots at the 15th and 16th cut his three-shot lead cut back to one, the former Ryder Cup star sealed the win in style with an eagle from 45 feet on the par-five 18th.
A closing 67 gave Casey a total of 14 under par, three shots clear of playing partner Robert Rock (71) and overnight leader Joost Luiten, who had been looking for his second win in three events but could only manage a 74.
Spain's Pablo Larrazabal finished fourth after a closing 75, with former Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal a shot further back in a share of fifth.
Olazabal, 47, had moved into a share of the lead with four birdies in his first 10 holes but bogeyed four of the last eight to card a 72.
Casey was ranked third in the world in 2009 but began the week 169th after form and fitness problems, most notably in 2012 after suffering a broken collarbone while snowboarding.
His last European Tour victory came in Bahrain in January 2011 but he qualified for the recent US Open with a round of 64 at Walton Heath and was inspired by seeing former Ryder Cup team-mate win his first major title at Merion.