Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Casey looks to emulate Rose

Paul Casey's Irish Open win was his first European tour victory since the start of 2011

Paul Casey has set his sights on following in the footsteps of US Open champion Justin Rose after putting years of injury woes behind him with a dramatic victory in the Irish Open.

A closing 67 - four shots better than anyone in the last 12 groups - gave the 35-year-old a total of 14 under par, three clear of playing partner Robert Rock (71) and overnight leader Joost Luiten, who had been looking for his second win in three events but could only manage a 74. "Psychologically this is huge," said Casey

Casey will now turn his attentions to trying to win the Scottish Open to qualify for the Open Championship at Muirfield, with Rose's recent US Open triumph a massive inspiration. "That really lit the fire," added Casey. "Justin's victory was phenomenal and I was so proud of what he did and how he handled himself."

He added: "It's well documented how he struggled at the beginning of his career and I have seen the work he has put in to become one of the best players in the world. I have been there before and I desperately want to be in control of my game and winning championships again.

"I was ready back in 2009 when I was playing some phenomenal golf and I'm really ready now for everything that happens after a major victory. That's the goal."

Casey was ranked third in the world in 2009 but began the week 169th after form and fitness problems, most notably after suffering a broken collarbone while snowboarding in late 2011.

He also went through a painful divorce around the same time and admitted he feared that he would never rediscover the form which brought him three consecutive Ryder Cup appearances - the first two of them record wins at Oakland Hills and the K Club - from 2004.

"It's difficult to pinpoint a moment but there was a period where I really struggled with getting the shoulder back where I wanted it and I probably came back too early because the swing changed trying to protect the shoulder," added Casey, whose win takes him back into the world's top 100.

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