CASEY: ‘I LET AN OPPORTUNITY GET AWAY’
Paul Casey has insisted that wanting to make the Ryder Cup was not behind his disappointing finish at The Barclays.
Paul Casey has insisted that making Europe’s Ryder Cup team was not the reason for his disappointing finish at The Barclays on Sunday.
It was very much at the back of hius mind, he said afterwards.
Casey ended in a tie for seventh place at New Jersey’s Ridgewood Country Club after a closing one-over-par 72 that left him at six under for the tournament – just two shots away from the three-way play-off won by Vjiay Singh.
Having started his final round only one stroke shy of the 54-hole lead, he felt he had missed a great chance to land his first PGA Tour title and also lock down one of captain Nick Faldo’s two wild card picks for next month’s Ryder Cup at Valhalla in Kentucky.
“These golf courses are so difficult, week in and week out,” Casey said. “It makes you a great golfer, and you’ve got great fields. So you just have to be very patient, and opportunities come along.
“I felt that it was an opportunity today, and I’m annoyed at myself that I let it slip.”
Casey has one more week to wait before Faldo makes his decision next Sunday at the end of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in Scotland.
Having decided to stay in the USA and play the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston, he realistically has just two rounds left to impress the captain before he makes his choices from an increasingly crowded field which has been further complicated by Darren Clarke’s victory at the KLM Open in Holland.
“The Ryder Cup is at the back of my mind right now,” Casey said. “I was trying to go out and win a golf tournament today.
“You know, I’d love to be on that team. Darren has put the cats amongst the pigeons today by winning. That was a great win – went out there from the front, extended the lead. It was impressive stuff.
“We’ve got (Ian) Poulter as well, who is just outside. It’s going to be tough.”
The Barclays marked a continuation of the Englishman’s great current form, which started with a tie for seventh at The Open, a tie for eighth at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, tied 15th at the US PGA and a tie for 26th at last week’s Wyndham Championship in North Carolina.
Casey insisted he had been dealt some hard luck in New Jersey although he did rue one wayward shot.
“I didn’t really do anything wrong today. It’s such a tough golf course, and I’ve said that all week – that you don’t have to do much wrong to get into trouble,” he said.
“And I played a nice, conservative round of golf for nine holes, which was sort of the plan and maybe look at the leaderboard and see what I had to do.
“I’m annoyed at myself because the one error I made was the third shot into the par five. I had a lob-wedge in my hand and I just quit on it, didn’t hit it hard enough, tried to get cute with it.
“That was pretty much what killed it right there, because if I had knocked that one close and made birdie, I would have had a good chance of winning.”
Casey nevertheless finished with a flourish.
With Faldo watching events unfold from the CBS Television commentary tower overlooking the 18th green, he birdied the last thanks to a 22-foot putt.
Before he hit it, Faldo had said on-air: “If he makes this, he’s in the team.”
Once it found the hole, Faldo backtracked, saying: “Okay, I can’t quite make my mind up yet.”
Casey took that in good spirits.
“Oh, we’ve got that on tape,” he joked. “Lawyers would have a field day with that one.
“I have spoken to Nick. I won’t repeat what he said, but he hasn’t told me what he’s doing yet.
“He’s keeping his cards close to his chest, and I’ve just got to continue to focus on my game and play good golf.”
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