Casey and Donald bring the world to heel for England

After the week he might want to forget, it was entirely appropriate that Paul Casey should hole the clinching putt as England won the World Cup for only the second time. Controversy has raged around Casey following his comments about hating the Americans at the Ryder Cup, but a second team victory went some way to compensating for failing to win individually during the season.

After the week he might want to forget, it was entirely appropriate that Paul Casey should hole the clinching putt as England won the World Cup for only the second time. Controversy has raged around Casey following his comments about hating the Americans at the Ryder Cup, but a second team victory went some way to compensating for failing to win individually during the season.

Casey had finished fifth, third and second in the last three World Cups but with a new partner in Luke Donald, the progression reached a happy conclusion as England beat the hosts Spain, in the form of Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez, by a stroke after a thrilling afternoon's golf at the Real Sevilla club.

Only the pairing of Nick Faldo and David Carter in 1998 had previously claimed the World Cup for England since it began in 1953. To win, Casey and Donald had to produce the lowest final-round score since the event came under its present format in 2000. "I got a text from a friend saying it was the same weekend a year ago that 15 Englishmen came back with the Rugby World Cup from Australia and that inspired us to go and start strong," said Donald.

A poor day on Saturday had allowed the Spaniards to take over at the top of the leaderboard but the format switched back to foursomes and, as on Friday, Casey and Donald produced a 64. Remarkably, they were 16 under at foursomes and only 15 under at fourballs.

It is not as if they have similar styles, Donald being surgically precise, Casey inspired but occasionally erratic, but there is no bar to well-attuned opposites succeeding at this ticklish format. "I can't explain it," said Casey. "We just seem to click. We know each other's game and how we think and we never apologise. We trust each other. But I still can't believe we scored lower in foursomes than fourballs." Donald said: "This course allowed us to play to our strengths, with my iron play and Paul's putting. It was a different pressure to the Ryder Cup but our experience there helped us handle this."

Donald holed at the first to bring them level with the hosts, who dropped a shot at the short third to fall behind despite the encouragement of a large gallery.

Due to the sequence of par-threes, fours and fives on this course, it falls to one player to face most of the birdie-putts and, as on Friday, Casey was at it again. He rolled in putt after putt as England birdied seven holes between the fourth and the 12th to go four ahead.

Ireland's Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley eagled the 13th and birdied the 14th to draw within two but finished third after a 65. Spain also eagled the 13th, after a wonderful long approach from Jimenez, and birdied the 15th to pull within one.

But at the par-five 16th, Garcia went for an aggressive shot from a poor lie and finished in the water. Jimenez's fourth shot gave them a chance of a par but Garcia missed from eight feet as England's ninth birdie put them three ahead. That was the margin at the last but Casey drove into the rough on the bank of a bunker and Donald had to lay up.

Casey's pitch came up on the lower tier and then Donald's long putt ran three feet past. Garcia had hit a brilliant second and Jimenez holed the four footer for the birdie to put the pressure on Casey's bogey putt.

"At least we made them win it," Garcia said. "It was gutsy for Paul to hole that putt. You have to give them all the credit. They were unbelievable. I thought our 66 was a flipping good score but it was not enough.

"It's disappointing but you feel worse for the people. They were amazing, there was so much atmosphere." Casey returns to his base in Arizona this week and will open the season in the States next year. He admits to wondering what he will be in for after the furore last week. "I'm looking forward to it but I'm also a bit worried," he said.

"I am proud of the way I handled myself this week. I was upset with what happened earlier in the week and it has been a distraction but I put all my focus into the golf. I'll be more thick-skinned from now on. All I'm going to worry about is working on my golf game but if I can repair any of the damage I will."

* Tiger Woods shot a three-under par 67 yesterday to win the Dunlop Phoenix for his first title since February and first victory in Japan. Woods, who entered the final round with a 10-stroke lead, hit five birdies and a pair of bogeys at the Phoenix Country Club to finish at 16-under 264, eight-strokes ahead of Japan's Ryoken Kawagishi, who shot a final-round 65. South Korea's KJ Choi also shot a 65 to finish third at six-under par, 274. "I feel great," Woods said. "To have won on this course and at this event with all the great past champions is a great feeling."

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas