Johnson edges luckless Casey

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First the Ryder Cup, now the BMW Championship in Chicago – Paul Casey just keeps missing out at the moment.

First the Ryder Cup, now the BMW Championship in Chicago – Paul Casey just keeps missing out at the moment.
Two weeks after failing to earn a wild card from Colin Montgomerie despite being ninth in the world at the time, Casey was pipped for the third of the FedEx Cup play-off events by American Dustin Johnson last night.
It has to go down as a tournament the 33-year-old let slip, though. He was three clear after a fabulous first 12 holes, but then bogeyed the next three.
Johnson, suddenly given a lifeline, pounced by pitching to two feet on the 17th and then parred the last for his first win since his two traumatic majors this summer.
At the US Open in June he led by three with a round to go and crashed to an 82.
Then in last month’s USPGA he was one in front with one to play, bogeyed and was controversially denied a play-off when given a two-stroke penalty for grounding his club in what he thought was “a piece of dirt”, but was deemed a bunker.
“I’ve had some unfortunate situations on Sundays this year, so this feels great,” said Johnson, one of Corey Pavin’s five debutants at Celtic Manor in two weeks.
“I really hung in there all day and it paid off. I’m starting to swing really well and hopefully it will carry over to Atlanta.”
The Tour Championship starts there a week on Thursday and both he and Casey – now second and fifth respectively in the play-off points race – could scoop the £6.5million bonus if they win the final leg.
Casey, back up to seventh in the world, commented: “I played great golf. I had a little stiff neck when I woke up and maybe that was a good thing – kind of ‘beware of the injured golfer.’
“I stumbled a little bit on the back nine so that was disappointing, but congratulations to Dustin Johnson – he’s gone through a lot.
“It was myself against the golf course and I played it one shot worse than Dustin Johnson. That’s the way I look at it – makes me sleep at night.”
Asked to reflect on his Ryder Cup exclusion, however, Casey replied: “No. I can’t go there unfortunately.”
Earlier in the week he described the issue as “done and dusted” and coach Peter Kostis has apparently told him just to “show them how good you are.”
Luke Donald will be the only member of Europe’s side competing in Atlanta.
Padraig Harrington fell out of the play-offs a week ago and last night Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter failed to make it into the top 30 as well.
McIlroy managed only 37th place at Cog Hill and so dropped from 29th to 36th in the points race, while Poulter – paired with Casey the last two days – was in contention until going out of bounds and taking a triple bogey eight on the 11th.
He fell from 25th to 39th on the standings in that one hole and stayed there.
Donald, meanwhile, played his last nine holes in a shocking 42 to drop alongside McIlroy on three over. He has slipped to seventh on the table, while Scot Martin Laird is ninth and Justin Rose 13th.
The first three legs of the play-offs have brought three Americans winners in Matt Kuchar, Charley Hoffman and now Johnson – and three British runners-up in Laird, Donald and Casey.
All three Brits held the lead on the final day and were not able to stay there.

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