Donald and Casey spring clear of world - Golf - Sport - The Independent

Donald and Casey spring clear of world

Before Nick Faldo had turned to golf and was hoping to peddle his way to glory, his cycling coach told him to "hate the other guy's guts". Faldo thought it was one of the best bits of advice he has ever been given but realised early in his golfing career, that the wording was inappropriate when he told the story to a journalist and ended up reading that he "hated Sandy Lyle's guts".

Before Nick Faldo had turned to golf and was hoping to peddle his way to glory, his cycling coach told him to "hate the other guy's guts". Faldo thought it was one of the best bits of advice he has ever been given but realised early in his golfing career, that the wording was inappropriate when he told the story to a journalist and ended up reading that he "hated Sandy Lyle's guts".

Paul Casey has lived through a similar experience this week but would far rather reprise Faldo's victory at the World Cup in 1998. Faldo was joined by David Carter in New Zealand for England's only ever victory in golf's multi-team competition.

Casey has played three times in the event, never finishing lower than fifth, but may have found a winning partner in Luke Donald. The reliable firm of Donald the iron and Casey the putt, were at it again with the second round switching to foursomes. It was under that format the Englishmen, both educated at college in the States, first came together to win two matches out of two in the 1999 Walker Cup.

Yesterday a round of 64 took the pair to 19-under-par and five strokes ahead of surprise challengers Austria. Ireland's Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley took a double bogey at the 16th to fall into a six-way tie for third place.

Having scrutinised the Real Sevilla course, the Englishmen knew it was to their advantage for Donald to drive off at the odds and Casey at the evens. The result was nine birdies, all of them converted on the green by Casey, but set up by Donald in an outstanding display of shot-making with his iron clubs.

Donald hardly ever left his partner more than 15 feet away, and frequently closer. Between the third and the 14th, only three holes escaped their birdie-fest. "I got on a roll on the greens and made all the birdie putts but Luke holed three vital putts for par to keep the momentum going," Casey said. "Luke played the better golf."

Their only bogey came at the last but the white-shirted pair still have a comfortable advantage. "This is a win I would rate highly," said Casey, "and not just because it would be my only win of the year."

* Tiger Woods criticised the PGA of America yesterday for its decision to pass over close friend Mark O'Meara as captain of the 2006 Ryder Cup team. "[Tom Lehman] is a good choice," said Woods, who has a three-stroke lead after two rounds at the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan. "But he would have been a good choice for America four years from now. Timing wise, I just thought this was Mark's only chance."

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