17 Jan 2018

Casey shocked with response to European Tour return

Englishman Paul Casey was full of praise for the reception he has received from fellow players after he took up European Tour membership for the first time in four years in a bid to compete for Thomas Bjørn’s European Team in this year’s Ryder Cup.

“It’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced,” said Casey who was formerly a European Tour member for 14 seasons until relinquishing his membership in 2014 due to family reasons. “My efficiency of work was rubbish yesterday (Tuesday) because I was too busy saying hello to everybody. You don’t realise what you’ve been away from until you’ve been away. The great response has been cool and quite sort of humbling in a way. I didn’t know what to expect and whether it be very quiet and it would go kind of unnoticed. It hasn’t been that way. I didn’t do it to be satisfied, but it has been incredibly satisfying and very cool.”

The 40-year-old was a consistent scorer last season with nine top ten finishes in 24 PGA Tour events and held an impressive record of making the cut in 23 of those tournaments. Casey will be hoping to bring that form into his European Tour schedule as he aims to impress Bjørn and book his place on the plane to France come September after missing out the 2016 event in Hazeltine.

“The only feeling I felt was when watching The Ryder Cup at Hazeltine was frustration that I couldn’t contribute. The results were a hard one to watch knowing that you’ve got no impact whatsoever,” said the Englishman.

If he makes the Ryder Cup team, Casey would find himself being one of the older players which is something that he has recently experienced during Europe’s 14-10 win in the EurAsia Cup, which was held at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.

“The role that I feel I can now play and the assets I have to contribute to a team are great when maybe in the beginning, I couldn’t play those other roles because I wasn’t the experienced guy. But you know, teaming up with a Tyrrell Hatton or a Tommy Fleetwood and being almost double their age, is a cool role, and one that hopefully I can play in Paris. I would love to play that role, it felt very fulfilling last week to be able to do that on and off the golf course to sort of lead. Yeah, it’s just another reason for doing this, it really is. It’s very satisfying from my position,” said the America-based Casey.

Having Casey back on the European Tour can only be a plus for Europe’s chances of reclaiming the Ryder Cup from an American Team that is full of young and exciting golfing talent. Casey will be hoping for a quick start towards qualifying for the team this week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA as he sets out to vindicate his decision of playing a busy schedule on both tours in 2018.

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