High-flying Englishman says he is playing his best golf in seven years as he continues to climb back up the rankings - and he says it’s all down to a settled life with ‘Team Casey’
By Michael McEwan
English ace Paul Casey believes that he is in his best form since 2009, when he climbed to third on the Official World Golf Rankings.
The 39-year-old has enjoyed a superb season on the PGA Tour and, at the time of writing, had climbed to 16th on the OWGR having tumbled to 169th in June 2013.
He credits the turnaround in his fortunes to a more settled life off the course and, in particular, the team that he has built around him.
“It’s just wonderful to be playing this sort of golf,” he said following the BMW Championship where finished runner-up for the second event on the spin and recorded his sixth top ten in 21 starts.
“I played this sort of golf years ago. I always felt that I could produce it again and I want to produce it for a very long time. I’ve got everything in place now. I’ve still got [Peter] Kostis giving me the tips, I got Johnny Mac [John McLaren] on the bag and [wife] Pollyanna and [son] Lex at home, so I feel great.”
Casey likened his form to that of 2009, when he recorded his first PGA Tour victory at the Shell Houston Open.
“I’ve been putting in a lot of hard work and I’m never one for looking back, but I was playing some pretty good stuff in years like 2009 and that,” he added. “[Since then] I’ve had a lots of injuries and stuff going on in my life, so it’s just very, very satisfying to get back and play the level of golf that I know I’m capable of. I’m holding my head very high.”
As the sixth highest ranked European on the world rankings, Casey would have been a tremendous asset to Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke as he seeks to make history by winning the famous gold trophy for Europe for a fourth successive time. However, Casey made himself ineligible for this year’s match at Hazeltine by giving up his European Tour membership at the end of last year.
The decision prompted a backlash, both against Casey, for turning his back on the match, and against the European Tour, for making membership a condition of Ryder Cup qualification. However, Casey maintains that he didn’t ‘take a stand’, as some have said.
“I made a decision to not rejoin the European Tour to try and spend as much time with my family,” he added. “It’s never been a stand. I still have massive love for the European Tour and I’m going to watch Hazeltine with a sort of sadness that I can’t be part of that. But [in terms of ‘taking a stand] that’s couldn’t be further from the truth.”