Paul Casey out to join ‘elite company’ with hat-trick at Valspar Championship
Paul Casey believes the pressure is off as he attempts to achieve the “extremely cool” feat of a third consecutive victory in the Valspar Championship.
Over the last 40 years there have only been eight instances of a player winning a PGA Tour event three or more times in a row, with Tiger Woods doing so six times and Stuart Appleby and Steve Stricker also claiming a rare hat-trick.
Casey would therefore be the first European player to enjoy a ‘three-peat’ following his victories at Innisbrook’s Copperhead course in 2018 and 2019, with last year’s event cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It would just be extremely cool, flat out,” said Casey, who held off Woods and Patrick Reed to win in 2018. “I think even more so with the gap as well, with the one-year hiatus. I have done it but in amateur golf, three Pac-10s (US college championships).
“It’s elite company. I’ve been in the game long enough, but there’s numerous things that I still want to win and wish I had won, so just to add something to the fabric of everything would be very, very cool.
“This is for me one of the best tournaments on Tour. It’s a great golf course, great people. It’s exciting that we’re finally here and I feel like the pressure is not on me.
“We’ve got Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and guys like that playing this week, and the focus is going to be on them, so I feel like I’m kind of in a sweet spot and raring to go.”
Casey won the Dubai Desert Classic at the end of January and has also recorded four other top-10 finishes this season, but missed the cut on his last start in the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head.
“If you look at my results I have never played that golf course well for whatever reason,” the world number 20 said.
“I keep going back every few years to try and change that record, but it is what it is. There’s a lot of things I still did very well that week, and if anything it’s a nice sort of reset to look at the game, see what I need to work on.
“I feel very happy with the game so there’s nothing I’m worried about. We’re trying to peak every single week. This week is very important for me.
“I’ve got a lot of great golf left ahead of me, great championships I want to try and win, so I feel good. I’m still incredibly motivated, still working as hard as I was at the beginning of the year, so yeah, ignore the blip a couple of weeks ago.”
On this day in 2008: Ryder Cup misery in Louisville for Nick Faldo’s Europe
Faldo was heavily criticised for his tactics in the closing singles.
Lucas Glover edges past Patrick Cantlay to claim back-to-back Tour wins
Glover, 43, ultimately claimed victory with a par on the 18th hole playoff after Cantlay found water off the tee.
Lilia Vu wins second major as Charley Hull comes up short despite stunning eagle
American Vu added the Women’s Open title to her Chevron Championship.
Lucas Glover holds onto lead in Memphis with Tommy Fleetwood two strokes behind
Glover said it was a scrappy day but he got ‘a lot out of’ what he had.
Charley Hull shares lead with Lilia Vu heading into final day of Women’s Open
The pair are nine under for the tournament.
On This Day in 2007 – Tiger Woods claims 13th major with victory in Oklahoma
The world number one successfully defended his US PGA Championship title.
Ally Ewing out to emulate Brian Harman with Open win
The pair share their southern roots, passion for hunting and college teams named the Bulldogs.
Ally Ewing storms clear during second round of AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath
At 10 under par Ewing enjoyed a five-shot lead over compatriot Andrea Lee and Japan’s Minami Katsu.
Jordan Spieth leads by one after first round of FedEx St Jude Championship
England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Aaron Rai are the best of the British contingent, closing out Thursday on four under par.
Rory McIlroy delighted with Tiger Woods’ role on PGA Tour’s policy board
Woods, 47, has not played since withdrawing from April’s Masters and concedes his playing opportunities will be extremely limited going forward.