Louis backs Casey to win a major
Louis Oosthuizen is backing Paul Casey to bounce back from his desperately disappointing finish to The Open.
Louis Oosthuizen is backing Paul Casey to bounce back from his desperately disappointing finish at The Open on Sunday.
While the 27-year-old South African celebrated his amazing seven-shot win at St Andrews, Casey had plenty to ponder after a back nine 40, including a triple bogey seven at the 12th, handed second place to Lee Westwood.
“Paul is a fantastic golfer and a great person,” said Oosthuizen.
“He’s definitely going to win a major, that’s for sure.”
By dropping to joint third with Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson on eight under par, eight behind, Casey did not even have the consolation of climbing into an automatic qualifying spot on the Ryder Cup table.
“Louis was in a different league,” Casey said. “That softens my disappointment slightly because it was a tremendous performance.
He didn’t flinch.
“I’m trying to take the positives out of this because six months ago I had no idea if I was going to get back to this sort of form again.
“I’m pain-free (he suffered a torn rib muscle last summer), I’m hitting it good and we’ve still got one major left this year.
“I know I’m going to win a major, it’s just a matter of time.
This week just wasn’t my week.”
Asked if so many Europeans on the leaderboard bode well for Celtic Manor in October the world number eight said: “Yeah. I need to get on that team, though, first.”
The points race ends in six weeks, but with European Tour earnings being Casey’s likeliest way in his cause is not helped by him playing in Canada rather than Sweden this week.
Captain Colin Montgomerie has three wild cards, but look at who else needs one at the moment – Stenson, Justin Rose, Padraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia, Alvaro Quiros, Ross Fisher, Robert Karlsson and Edoardo Molinari.
At least Westwood and McIlroy have no such worries. They are first and second in the standings.
But, like Casey, they do not yet have a major title..
Westwood, still nursing a ruptured calf muscle, has now come second in The Masters and Open this season – after finishing third in The Open and US PGA last year and the US Open in 2008.
“If you get close and you lose then there’s disappointment, but I didn’t even get within eight shots today,” said the world number three, who in America next month could well have a chance to overtake not only Phil Mickelson, but also Tiger Woods as well.
“I played okay all week without really doing anything too special.
I didn’t make enough of the opportunities that my long game presented really.
“I keep putting myself into contention in these major championships and keep finishing in the top three.
“It’s not really to be sniffed at and complained about. That’s all I’m going to try and do, just try and keep going as I am. Hopefully one of these chances will turn into a trophy.”
McIlroy, of course, led Oosthuizen by two after his major championship record-equalling 63 in the first round. But then came an 80 in Friday’s 40mph gusts.
“I couldn’t help but think about Friday going up the last hole,” said the 21-year-old Northern Irishman.
“If I had just sort of stuck in a little bit more and held it together more it could have been a different story.
“I’m still a bit disappointed to be honest because I know if I could have played anywhere decent on Friday I could have been a lot closer.”
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