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Tag:paul casey
Posted on: March 7, 2012 11:54 am
Edited on: March 7, 2012 5:51 pm
 

Casey shoulders slow start in Ryder year


Paul Casey dislocated his shoulder on Christmas Eve which delayed the start of his 2012 season.
 


By Steve Elling

DORAL, Fla. -- Paul Casey knew the photo would induce oohs and ahs.

On the sideline since Christmas Eve with a dislocated shoulder, the first photograph the former world No. 3 revealed on his cellphone showed a large, red blob in the middle of the picture, prompting at least one cringe among the scribes within viewing distance.

Then again, actual injury X-rays he produced a moment later were even harder to eyeball.

Back from a lengthy layoff after sustaining a shoulder injury while snowboarding in Vail on Dec. 24, Casey is making his first start of the year this week at the Cadillac Championship at Doral Golf Resort & Spa.

Unlike the first photo he produced on his phone -- a funny photo of himself dressed in a large, red Teletubby costume -- the reality of his situation is pretty black-and-white, just like the X-rays he produced with a few more flicks of the thumb. He's missed about 20 percent of his traditional season, was unable to defend a title he won on the European Tour, and has played one full 18-hole round since the injury.

"I think my expectations are fairly low," Casey said, laughing.

Finally close to full strength, at around 90 percent in the affected right shoulder, he's got to catch up with the rest of his ever-evolving peers. For the first time, during the layoff, he's been watching golf on TV -- and it's been some of the most exciting stuff on the PGA Tour in years.

"It was inspiring to watch," said Casey, 34. "It lit something, to get back to where I was before or even better."

It's amazing how much can change in the blink of an eye. When Casey, wearing wrist protection and a helmet, slipped on some ice while taking a snowboarding lesson, Luke Donald was entrenched as No. 1. He's since been supplanted by Rory McIlroy, while Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods seems to be rounding back into top form, too.

"I've done it long enough to know that there's always new, fresh faces, and it's moving," Casey said. "You're right, it's moving very, very quickly. But ultimately it's myself against the golf course."

If not his ... doctor? While explaining his shoulder injury, Casey actually said, "I'm not an expert at injuries," with a straight face. In actuality, he's had lingering problems over the past three years with an intercostal injury to his ribcage and painful turf toe on his right foot. All three maladies have forced him to miss multiple starts in the prime of his career.

"I'm clearly the freshest guy out here," he cracked.

Casey hasn’t suffered much in the grand scheme, dropping to 26th in the world ranking, but there's another ledger out there where he's really behind the pack -- the race for the European Ryder Cup team later this year in Chicago. It's not much of stretch to characterize his points total as, "nothing," as Casey put it.

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It's not quite that dire. The European team is composed from two points lists, and Casey is ranked 19th and 41st, with plenty of time to move up if he can play his projected 25-tournament schedule. For starters, he's playing three of the next four weeks, including the Masters. He's also playing at Houston, where he picked up a victory two years ago.

He didn’t qualify for the team two years ago in Wales and was passed over as a captain's pick.

"I don't think it adds any urgency or any pressure," Casey said. "I would love to make that team. I want to make that team. I think I will make that team. I've just got to play the golf I know I'm capable of and start winning tournaments and that will take care of itself."

On the plus side, he hasn’t missed any majors, so there's plenty of points and cash up for grabs. Casey surely sounds like a gung-ho, motivated man, that's for sure. Now, if he can just chip away the rust.

"I've got an awful lot of work to do, but if the body -- if I just stay off the snowboard -- then there's no reason why I can't get that work done and get the golf game back to where I was in 2006 or better," he said.

As for the X-rays, the two shots are of Casey's shoulder before and after his right arm was popped back into place. When it was dislocated, it was actually handing several inches lower than his left arm.

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Posted on: February 16, 2012 1:56 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 4:48 pm
 

Casey shoulder injury forces match-play exit

By Steve Elling 

Even with easy money and scads of world ranking points on offer just for showing up, injured Paul Casey on Thursday elected to withdraw from the season’s first World Golf Championships event next week outside Tucson, Ariz.

Casey, who dislocated a shoulder in a holiday snowboarding accident, visited his doctor in Phoenix on Wednesday and the exam results were mixed, so Casey elected to withdraw Thursday from the Accenture Match Play to give replacement George Coetzee extra chance to get to the event site in timely fashion.

Casey, 34, has twice finished second in the Accenture event and is a past winner at the European Tour’s match-play tournament. Coetzee, ranked No. 66 in the world, is South African and will be making his first Accenture appearance. The field is limited to 64 players.

“He wanted to give Coetzee time to get there,” swing coach Peter Kostis said.

Until the moment he received the updated physician’s report on Thursday, Kostis was optimistic that his top pupil would be green-lighted by doctors this week, but it now appears that Casey will remain in rehab mode until the next WGC event, at Doral, in three weeks.

Casey, a former world No. 3 who has battled a series of injuries over the past three seasons, fell while snowboarding over Christmas break in Vail, Colo.

Posted on: January 6, 2012 2:32 pm
 

Cursed Casey heads to doctor yet again

ORLANDO, Fla. – Paul Casey is utterly uncertain how long he’ll be on the shelf, but if it’s a couple of months, he might want to spend the time dreaming up a more entertaining story on how he injured himself this time around.

Casey on Friday announced that because of a dislocated right shoulder sustained in a snowboarding fall on Dec. 24 in Vail, Colo., he will be out for roughly two months, though that’s admittedly just a guess.

For those envisioning a spectacular crash with a blaze of glory, flash and panache, Casey actually hurt himself while wearing all of his precautionary gear, including a helmet and wrist protection … while taking a lesson.

With snowfall levels down in Colorado this winter, the Englishman fell when he hit an icy patch of snow.

“I wish I could say I did it while perfecting my double backflip on the halfpipe,” Casey cracked Friday via phone, after finishing a rehab session near his home in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Perhaps the laughter keeps him from weeping. Casey has had a miserable run of luck over the last three years, sustaining an intercostal rib injury when he was ranked a career-best No. 3 in the world, followed by nagging foot and thumb injuries in 2011. The foot issue forced him to play with a rigid insert in his spikes, cost him to miss several planned starts and he skidded to No. 136 on the PGA Tour in earnings.

In actually, as far as his four major appendages, the only body part he hasn’t banged up recently is his left foot.

“I have MRIs of most all of my body parts,” he said.

The timing of the fall was awful, since he was seemingly primed for a nice comeback season after enduring both physical and personal setbacks in 2011, which included a divorce from his wife of 2 1/2 years last fall. Casey was set to defend his title in the European Tour’s relocated Volvo Golf Champions on Jan. 19 in South Africa, but now will stay home and work on regaining strength in his shoulder.

When Casey fell, it didn’t take long to realize that something was very amiss.

“Within five minutes, I couldn’t move it,” he said. “The lesson was obviously over.”

He’s got some heavy hitters on his medical team, including three guys with ties to Phoenix’s NFL, MLB and NHL teams.

“They did say that if you are going to dislocate your shoulder, I did it with the least amount of damage you could possibly do, which is good, I guess,” Casey said.

Casey said he won’t be able to hit balls for at least two weeks and has no idea when he will be cleared for actual play.

“I honestly can’t give you a time frame,” said Casey, who is ranked No. 20 in the world this week.

Missing starts in a Ryder Cup year – he didn’t play in the event in 2010 – will certainly have him pushing to return as soon as possible. At 34, he is the same age as countryman Luke Donald, who had a career year in 2011 and was named player of the year on two major tours.

“It can still be a great season,” Casey said optimistically, “but now it’s going to start a few weeks later than I intended. At least I won’t miss any of the majors.”

He might want to avoid coaches, too. The rib injury of two years ago came while he was working on a drill with his swing coach.

Posted on: August 7, 2011 1:36 pm
Edited on: August 7, 2011 1:39 pm
 

Casey needs at-bats -- U.S. card at stake

AKRON, Ohio -- Paul Casey, by his own words and admission, is "between a rock and a hard place."

That's not a reference to the immobilization plate he uses as an insert in his right shoe, either.

Casey, a former world No. 3 who has struggled since winning a European Tour event six months ago, has fallen to No. 149 in FedEx Cup points entering the Bridgestone Invitational and is looking at a full-on assault to try to get into the four playoff events.

Or at least a few of them. Because, failing that, he's looking at a trek through the Fall Series, tournaments where players of his ilk are not often spotted.

The former Ryder Cupper, now No. 15 in the world ranking, is the breathing personification of the risks associated with joint membership on both the PGA and European tours, and what can happen when schedules are plotted and assumptions are made -- even with the best intentions.

Casey, 34, planned on playing in at least two FedEx series events, but needs a monumental rally in order to crack the top 125 to become eligible. After playing in the PGA Championship next week, he has already has added the next tour stop, the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C., to his revamped itinerary.

That will give him 13 starts in the States -- two shy of what he needs to retain his PGA Tour membership. If he can't crack the FedEx series, he has to sit out four weeks of U.S. competition.

"It's so great to be playing both tours when you are playing good golf and you're [entered and eligible] in everything," he said.

When you're not, players can end up in his predicament. Casey admitted that he assumed he'd be playing in at least a couple of FedEx starts to satisfy his U.S. requirements.

"You've got to plan for them," he laughed. "D'oh!"

At least he can laugh, which isn't exactly easy, since he's been fighting a turf-toe issue for two months and is playing with a stiff, carbon-fiber insert in his right shoe. His foot is taped up, he's been taking anti-inflammatories and icing the foot after each round.

The only remedy? Rest, as was the case two years ago when he missed several months with a ribcage injury when he was ranked third in the world.

"I seem to get the injuries that require rest," he cracked. "Surgery would be so much easier."

Casey said he will definitelly fulfill his 15 Stateside starts, even if it means playing in the Fall schedule at Las Vegas, San Jose, Sea Island or the season finale at Disney World to reach the total. He might need to play all four -- he's also buried at No. 140 on the money list and needs to move up 15 spots to remain fully exempt in 2012.

He should have no such hurdles reaching the 13 starts required to keep his European card. He'll hit No. 12 next week at the co-sanctioned PGA Championship in Atlanta.

Category: Golf
Posted on: March 17, 2011 3:57 pm
 

Casey swaps victory for vacation at Houston

PALM HARBOR, Fla. -- Paul Casey understands that, from the outside, it's a head-scratcher that he's intentionally skipping the one tournament he's won on the PGA Tour as part of his run-up to the Masters.

Think how much his fans will be pulling their hair out of he doesn't play well at Augusta National.

Casey, the second-highest-ranked player in the field this week at the Transitions Championship at world No. 7, is taking a two-week break before heading to Augusta. It's all part of a plan to improve his performance at the first major of the year, where he has had solid, though hardly spectacular, results.

He won in Houston in 2009, his first win in the States, then missed the cut the following week at the Masters. It's been something of a trend and it happened again earlier this year on the European Tour's desert swing -- a win followed by an MC. When he and swing coach Peter Kostis mapped out his schedule this year, they decided to take the week off before the Masters as a change of pace.
 
"If you look at my history in terms of how I've played, sometimes after victories, I've struggled," he said. "I don't know why. Fatigued, whatever it is, but I've performed poorly. So we want to go back to sort of being nice and fresh going into majors and it was a very difficult decision to tell [tournament director] Steve Timms that I would not be at Houston.

"So, yeah, it's not something that's going to be permanent. It's just, we wanted to try it this year and see how it went."

He hasn't exactly been taking it easy otherwise. This is the seventh time in nine weeks that he's played, spanning two tours.
 
"Yeah, seven in nine weeks has been a lot and I must admit, I'm looking forward to two weeks off," he said.

Casey knows he's going to hear about it if he doesn't sparkle at the Masters, where he has all the tools to contend.

"If I don't play well at Augusta, then I'll be calling up Steve Timms saying, "'I'm really sorry,'" he laughed.

Some players like to tee it up before majors, like Phil Mickelson. Some generally don't, like Tiger Woods. Casey is still experimenting.

"Seems to be a common thread," he said of the week-after hangover.

Category: Golf
Posted on: March 16, 2011 4:28 pm
 

Casey won't mess up Masters chances by winning

PALM HARBOR, Fla. -- This is what you'd call a calculated risk.

World No. 7 Paul Casey won his lone PGA Tour title two years ago in Houston, then trekked the next week to the Masters full of momentum, mojo and brimming with confidence. He left Augusta National two days later after missing the cut.

This year, the pre-game plan has changed completely. In a move that probably won't make many Texas fans happy, Casey is skipping Houston and taking two weeks off before the Masters, which means his final tuneup is this week at the Transitions Championship outside Tampa.

The reasoning is fairly simple. It's partly an experiment based on past data.

Casey has a history of winning tournaments, then falling flat the next week in instances when he has played. It happened again this year when he won in Bahrain on the European Tour's desert swing, then missed the cut the following week in Qatar. Casey has noticed the trend and doesn't deny it.

So why not embrace it?

"We're trying something different," Casey said.

This way, he can't mess up his Masters chances by screwing up and winning in Houston. Yeah, it sounds sorta crazy, but it will be interesting to monitor his results at Augusta, for sure.

Casey has an odd record at Augusta National, where he finished T6 in his first appearance in 2004, which still represents his career best result. Ever since, he has two top-10s, a top-20 and has missed the cut twice.
Category: Golf
Posted on: March 8, 2011 3:13 pm
 

Casey's match-play funk all about himself

DORAL, Fla. -- Just to set the record straight, world No. 7 Paul Casey was not hopping mad at Aussie Jason Day for the latter's perceived gamesmanship two weeks ago at the Accenture Match Play Championship.

Despite at least one online report that flatly suggested as much.

"I was honestly laughing out loud at what was written," Casey said Tuesday at the Cadillac Championship.

In an admitted attempt to make his opponents cringe, Day was making his foes finish even the shortest putts in their matches. Day dispatched Casey in the second round, a notable upset.

Casey said that any outward manifestation of frustration had nothing to do with any of Day's ploys.

"I have played in a lot of matches," said Casey, who won the World Match Play in Europe and is a two-time finaliest at the Accenture. "I have pretty much seen it all. I was mad at myself. I played like crap."

As for the Day ploy, Casey shrugged.

"We putt 'em all out every week," he said.

Casey left the property after the match and hadn't been asked about the match since.
Category: Golf
Posted on: August 30, 2010 5:40 pm
Edited on: August 30, 2010 5:46 pm
 

Casey coach predicts Ryder points dismantling

On the morning after one of the most shocking, sobering and painful days of his professional career, Paul Casey played golf with friends.

The morning after that, he is scheduled to tee it up yet again, this time at fabled Pine Valley with a group including a player who actually made the Ryder Cup roster.

Unlike Casey himself.

Shell-shocked or not, the world's ninth-ranked player tried to move forward Monday after he was skipped over for a spot on the European Ryder Cup team by captain Colin Montgomerie.

Which isn’t to say it was easy.

"Obviously, he's extremely disappointed," said Peter Kostis, Casey's swing coach, who played alongside his pupil in a friendly round Monday at a course in New Jersey. "He wanted to play very badly. But it is what it is, and it's out of his control."

It is what it isn’t, too, a phrase that described the whole confusing Sunday scenario, which resulted in Casey and world No. 22 Justin Rose being bypassed for one of three available captain's picks doled out by Monty after the European Tour event concluded in Scotland night.

Casey took the news hard and was struggling to maintain his composure when offered condolences were offered by a parade of onlookers who felt he had been, as they might say in that particular area of New Jersey, royally hosed. Casey at one point was unable even to croak out a response and kept his dark sunglasses in place to mask his watery eyes.

Kostis, also an analyst for CBS Sports, came out counterpunching Monday and defended Casey against those who felt he should have played more often in Europe to help secure an automatic spot based on merit. Casey, who played in the final group at the British Open six weeks ago, was bounced out of the top nine eight days ago.

"When they say he didn’t play enough or isn’t committed enough, look at the numbers," Kostis said.

Fair enough. Of the two PGA Tour members who were picked ahead of him Sunday, Padraig Harrington, who hasn’t won a tournament in two years and hasn’t won a match in the past two Ryder Cups, played in two European Tour events in 2010. Luke Donald, ranked No. 10 in the world last week, one slot below Casey, played in four European events this year. Casey has played in five.

Kostis said Casey was seriously taken aback by overseas reports characterizing him as a less-than-cohesive figure in the Ryder team room, but in other media quarters, his snub by Monty was fiercely criticized.

"Trust me, he has been heartened by the outpouring of commentary along the lines of, 'I can’t believe what happened,'" Kostis said.

Adding more salt to the wound -- Casey personally attended Monty's wedding two years ago and they share the same agent.

Considering that players who already secured positions on the European team were critical of a selection system that could leave out Casey and Rose, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour this year, Kostis predicted that an overhaul will be forthcoming. Casey, a member of both tours, is on the European committee that overseas the Ryder system, ironically.

"In my opinion, the real bad thing here is the system," Kostis said. "It sucks when you can’t manage to get a player with two big PGA Tour wins or a guy ranked No. 9 in the world on the team. Their system is even more convoluted than FedEx Cup points.

"The net result of this whole debacle is that their points system is going to change."

The timing of the announcement could stand a good enema, too. The Barclays results were largely irrelevant because Monty had to announce his picks when the final round in the States was still being played. In the U.S. process, the wildcards picks are announced a day after the final qualifying tournament in the evaluation period has ended.

"I think the way he found out was even more devastating than the news itself, and that's something else that needs to be rectified," Kostis said.

In a particularly brusque slap, Casey learned he hadn’t been picked when Harrington's wife, Caroline, gave her husband a cheery thumb's up as the two pairings partners played the sixth hole Sunday. When Casey didn’t receive a similar gesture from her, he knew he was toast.

Casey and Kostis are set to play Pine Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday with a handful of fellow members from the Whisper Rock Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., including PGA Championship winner and Ryder member Martin Kaymer. Kostis said Casey was bruised but moving forward.

"He is doing as well as can be expected, and I am going to use Dustin Johnson as an example," Kostis said of the player who lost a shot at the PGA title because of a last-hole rules infraction. "He has made a giant step toward putting it behind him, or at least as much as he can in one day.

"He's going to try to continue toward that end like Dustin had to after what happened at the PGA."

Good luck there. The difference is, Johnson was zapped in a cut-and-dried, black-and-white, depersonalized ruling. It'll be impossible for Casey not to take his subjective snubbing far more personally.

 

 
 
 
 
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