Casey set to miss semi-finals

Paul Casey lost twice on his return to golf on Thursday and is set to miss the semi-finals of the Volvo World Match Championship.

Paul Casey lost twice on his return to golf at the Volvo World Match Play Championship in Spain on Thursday and even with another round robin game still to come, the No 1 seed has no chance of making the semi-finals.
On a day of upsets at Finca Cortesin near Marbella, a very different test to the event’s previous home Wentworth, the title hopes of Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer were ended as well.
Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy each suffered a heavy defeat too – but because they played only once on the opening day and still have two more to play tomorrow, they could yet make it through to the last four.
Still troubled by the rib muscle injury which has kept him out of action since August 6, Casey lost to the tournament’s rank outsider Scott Strange and then to the aggressive American Ryder Cup player Anthony Kim.
“Not great – I can’t swing the way I want,” Casey admitted after his one-hole defeat to Strange, who at 168th in the world is 164 places below Casey, the 2006 winner.
“I’m coming out of a lot of the shots. Scott played well. But having said that, I gave him three holes on the front nine – and you can’t do that against anybody in this field.”
He was three down at the turn against Kim – and even when he chipped in at the 14th, it was only for a half.
Under the old format it would have ended at 3&2. But for the group stage all games continue to the 18th, and he went down by three holes.
However, Casey was a lot cheerier at the end of the day.
“This morning I was questioning whether I had come back too early,” he said.
“But I don’t now. That was much better – I hit a lot of good shots.”
(Par: 72, Seeded positions in brackets):
Group A – Round 1
(1) Paul Casey (Eng) lost to (16) Scott Strange (Aus) 1 hole
(8) Retief Goosen (RSA) lost to (9) Anthony Kim (USA) 4 holes
Group B – Round 1
(4) Sergio Garcia (Spa) lost to (13) Oliver Wilson (Eng) 1 hole
(5) Martin Kaymer (Ger) lost to (12) Robert Allenby (Aus) 1 hole
Group C – Round 1
(3) Henrik Stenson (Swe) lost to (14) Simon Dyson (Eng) 3 holes
(6) Rory McIlroy (NIrl) lost to (11) Angel Cabrera (Arg) 5 holes
Group D – Round 1
(2) Lee Westwood (Eng) lost to (15) Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind) 6 holes
(7) Camilo Villegas (Col) lost to (10) Ross Fisher (Eng) 2 holes
Group A – Round 2
(1) Paul Casey (Eng) lost to (9) Anthony Kim (USA) 3 holes
(8) Retief Goosen (RSA) bt (16) Scott Strange (Aus) 1 hole
Group B – Round 2
(4) Sergio Garcia (Spa) halved with (12) Robert Allenby (Aus)
(5) Martin Kaymer (Ger) lost to (13) Oliver Wilson (Eng) 1 hole
NOTE: Groups C and D will play their second rounds on Friday morning