Casey overcomes backlash on perfect day

Paul Casey admitted to a sleepless night on the eve of the World Cup before helping Luke Donald position England a stroke off the lead after the first day of fourballs. But golf being the humbling game it is, they were outscored by their unfancied playing partners, Austria, who tied Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley's betterball of 60 for Ireland.

Paul Casey admitted to a sleepless night on the eve of the World Cup before helping Luke Donald position England a stroke off the lead after the first day of fourballs. But golf being the humbling game it is, they were outscored by their unfancied playing partners, Austria, who tied Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley's betterball of 60 for Ireland.

Casey's ill-advised use of the verb "to hate" in the context of the Ryder Cup has spiralled far beyond his worst fears and has left the 27-year-old Englishman chastened by the experience. "I have had huge negative feedback," he said.

"There has been some nasty stuff in my email in-box. About 99.9 per cent of it has made me regret what I said. It has made people angry, which I fully understand. It's upset me. I struggled to get to sleep last night and I was quiet this morning.

"I wish I could take it back but the story has been run with. It's a horrible experience and it has been weighing on my mind. Maybe it was taken out of context but none the less I said it. I shouldn't have used that word. I don't hate Americans. I wouldn't live there if I did." But once he was on the course Casey's six birdies, along with Donald's five, left the pair at 11 under.

It was a perfect day of Iberian winter sun, no wind and a Real Sevilla course with hardly any rough. Scoring could not have been easier but it will be a different test today and on Sunday when the format reverts to foursomes.

"Today was ideal for making professional golfers look good," Harrington said, "but the key to this week will be the foursomes. Fourballs is a great way to play the game. I wish I could have a partner go first every day I have to play."

Ever since they won on their first outing together at Kiawah Island in 1997, McGinley has teed off first and Harrington has gone second. "We won then so we have never changed the routine," Harrington said.

McGinley's two holed bunker shots - at the second for birdie and at the 13th for eagle - were the highlights of the day for the Irish pair.

Austria's Markus Brier and Martin Wiegele failed to qualify in Mexico, missing out by three shots, but later got an exemption when more highly ranked players withdrew. Earlier in the week Wiegele, having lost his card after finishing 210th on the order of merit in his first season on the European Tour, failed to regain it and will return to the Challenge Tour next year. Yet his four birdies and Brier's eight gave them a day to remember.

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

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there