Paul Casey not only won for the first time in over two years, but he did it in style, holing a fifty-footer for eagle on the 72nd hole to capture the Irish Open by three shots over Robert Rock and Joost Luiten.
Casey, who started the final round four shots out of the lead, fire a final-round five-under 67 that included a stretch of five birdies in six holes between no. 8 and no. 13. He wavered for a moment coming down the stretch, giving two back on nos. 15 and 16.
The 35-year-old Englishman had been sidelined by various injuries in the past few years, including a broken collar bone in 2011. His last win was at the Volvo Golf Champions in January 2011. He also had outside distractions, like getting divorced.
His game plummeted so far that he lost his PGA Tour card. Needless to say, he’s thrilled to be back in form. Via Sky Sports:
“I love playing in Ireland, I always have, and the Irish Open has great history,” Casey said. “The trophy I am holding right here, just looking at Seve’s name on there, couple of times actually, right next to my thumb and Christy O’Connor as well.
“Playing in Ireland is an absolute dream. The fans that have turned out this week, a difficult week as we’ve had some interesting weather and other sporting events around the world, they have turned out as they always do and I love playing in front of Irish crowds – I’m looking forward to coming back.
“(This victory) means I can plan my year a little bit better. It’s been very much up in the air what I have been getting in, not knowing what I’m going to be playing in, even at the end of the year.
“I’ll be getting into the HSBC, I’ll be in Dubai, the BMW and other tournaments at the end of the year so this is fantastic. I can kind of relax a little bit more, still focus on the game, put the pedal down and try to collect a few more trophies.
“It’s incredibly sweet. 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.
“I was feeling wet when it rained. 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.”