Strange ending to Casey's challenge

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Paul Casey, the highest ranked player in the tournament at No 4, cannot progress out of the group stage of the World Match Play Championship after losing twice yesterday.

The Englishman lost by a hole to Scott Strange of Australia and 3 and 2 to American Ryder Cup player Anthony Kim. Casey, who just returned after tearing a rib muscle on 6 August, lost to the 168th-ranked Strange when he missed a seven-foot birdie chance at the last. Asked how the rib felt, Casey said: "Not great. I can't swing the way I want. I'm coming out of a lot of the shots. Scott played well but, having said that, I gave him three holes on the front and you can't do that against anybody in this field."

Kim tops Group A with four points after also beating two-time US Open champion Retief Goosen of South Africa 3 and 2 in the tournament's new round-robin group format.

"This is the first round where I really played solid in over a year," Kim said. "I've been scoring pretty sporadically... but this was a consistent round with some great ball-striking. It's important to get a huge lead because if there is a tiebreaker, then that counts. We're just trying to keep our foot on the gas."

Sergio Garcia of Spain lost to Oliver Wilson of England, but salvaged a point after halving with Robert Allenby of Australia.

*Ian Poulter's five-under 66 gave him a one shot clubhouse lead at the end of the first day of the rain-interrupted Singapore Open. Half of the field have still to complete their opening rounds.

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