Irish Open triumph is so sweet for Paul Casey
Sunday 30 June 2013
Paul Casey mastered difficult conditions to hit a five-under-par 67 and claim the Irish Open by three shots yesterday, securing his first European Tour victory in over two years.
The former world No 3, who has fought back from poor form and injury problems in recent times, started the final round at Carton House, County Kildare, four shots behind Dutch leader Joost Luiten.
The Englishman made his move on the eighth hole, hitting the first of five birdies in six holes in blustery and occasionally wet conditions, as Luiten, who won the Austrian Open earlier in the month, faltered with bogies on the fifth, 12th and 16th holes.
Casey, now with a world ranking of 169, began to struggle in the trying conditions, bogeying both the 15th and 16th holes to narrow his lead to just one shot, but an eagle on the par-five 18th after hitting the rough from the tee meant he could celebrate his first title since the Volvo Golf Champions in January 2011.
"It's incredibly sweet," Casey said. "It's been a while and when that putt went in half of it was relief and half of it was satisfaction. What a grandstand finish – winning an Irish Open is an absolute dream.
"It was a shaky start. I didn't hit the ball particularly close going out but when the putts did start to go in I got on a bit of a roll."
Luiten's two-over round of 74 saw him finish on 11 under par, tied for second with England's Robert Rock, who shot a final-round 71 to take the runners-up spot for the second time.
Spain's two-time major winner Jose Maria Olazabal briefly held the lead during the final round but the 47-year-old, now ranked 425 and who captained the European Ryder Cup team to victory over the United States last year, faded to par 72 and a tie for fifth.
Latest in Sport
Jose Mourinho-Arsene Wenger feud is not sporting, but keeps alive raw spirit of competition - Sam Wallace
Cristiano Ronaldo buys agent Jorge Mendes a whole Greek island as a wedding present
Premier League 2015/16 preview: Club-by-club guide to the new season
Pedro to Manchester United: Louis van Gaal says £22m winger can turn Manchester United into champions
Can Arsenal win the Premier League? Is Raheem Sterling the answer to Man City's problems? Can anything stop Chelsea?
- 2 Tom Cruise: Reporters banned from asking actor about Scientology
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Giant Minion terrorises drivers in Ireland as 40ft inflatable blocks traffic on Dublin road
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality