x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Casey triumphs at Wentworth

Britain now has the world No 3 in golf after Paul Casey grabbed his third win of the year at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Paul Casey, right, celebrates winning with his caddie Craig Connelly on the 18th green on the final day of the PGA Championship on the West Course at Wentworth.
Paul Casey, right, celebrates winning with his caddie Craig Connelly on the 18th green on the final day of the PGA Championship on the West Course at Wentworth.

Britain now has the world No 3 in golf after Paul Casey grabbed his third win of the year at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. He needed three birdies in the last four holes, however, for the 31-year-old Ryder Cup star to hold off the challenge of his fellow Englishman Ross Fisher, whose best-of-the-week 64 was only one outside the West Course record. The outcome was far from certain when Casey, 41st in the world at the start of 2009 and seventh entering the tournament, found a greenside bunker with his approach to the par five last. But he splashed out to five feet and made no mistake to claim the massive £667,093 (Dh3.9m) first prize at the European Tour's flagship event. "It was not an easy putt, but any putt to win is something I would like to have," said Casey. "There are great names on this trophy and it feels great. A lot of people have put in a lot of work, but I have to thank Peter Kostis, my coach in the States. "He's more than a coach and we set some lofty goals at the start of the year." Casey has not disclosed what they were, but a world No 3 ranking would certainly have been stretching things. Certainly before the end of May. The last time Britain had a player in the world's top three was Colin Montgomerie nine years ago - and since the rankings began in 1986 Nick Faldo, Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam are the only others to make it as high. As a youngster growing up in Surrey, Casey used to "sneak in" to watch the action on the famous West Course. But now he has won the venue's two biggest titles. Three years ago he won the £1 million (Dh5.8m) first prize at the World Match Play. Two years ago Fisher was the one who led with a round to play and on that occasion he crashed to 39th spot with an horrendous 84. This time the final day saw something very different from him. Five behind at the start of the day, he actually led on his own when he notched his sixth birdie of the day on the long 12th. He also picked up shots on the 17th and 18th, but it was not enough and by just missing an 18-foot eagle chance at the last he had to settle for the £444,729 runners-up cheque. Casey had not looked at leader boards on the front nine, but when he did glance up and see that Fisher was on a charge he reacted brilliantly. After drawing level by matching Fisher's two-putt birdie at the 531-yard 12th he converted a 15-foot chance three holes later - Fisher had missed from half that distance. He then scrambled a par on the 16th after pulling his tee shot into sand, made a nine-footer at the next and after "only" parring the 538-yard 18th in the first three rounds made it fourth time lucky. The birdie was for a 68 and, with four sub-70 rounds, he finished with a 17 under par aggregate of 271. *PA Sport