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Augusta key to my bid for first Major: Casey

 

Optimistic: Paul Casey
Optimistic: Paul Casey

By Phil Casey

Paul Casey believes the tests posed by Augusta National "play into his hands" as he seeks a first major title at the Masters.

Casey has finished no worse than 15th on his last four appearances in the season's first Major and looked set to equal the course record in last year's final round after playing 15 holes in nine under.

After going to the turn in 33, Casey birdied the 11th and 12th, eagled the 13th and also birdied the 14th and 15th, but the 41-year-old was unable to save par from a greenside bunker on the 17th and three-putted the last for a 65.

Despite that disappointing finish, Casey makes no secret of his love for Augusta National and comes into the event after a successful title defence in the Valspar Championship last month.

"I love this place, I play it well and I always believe this is the best chance I have to win a major," Casey said.

"The others I need a little bit of luck, maybe the right weather, the right tee time but not at Augusta.

"I drive it well, I've got great iron control, especially distances with the long irons.

"I'm one of the best mid-to-long iron players in the world, which is key round here as this golf course gets longer and longer.

"My putting stats are not necessarily the greatest but you need to be a good touch putter here which is what I am.

"Certain guys make more 10, 15-footers but you need to be a good touch putter, dropping it in the hole, which is what I naturally do so it actually plays into my hands a little.

"Last year I struggled a bit, didn't play very well but that final round I had it going.

"Every hole I can see a way of making birdie, where maybe other guys don't."

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