x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Paul Casey warns Monty of unhappy players

The inaugural Volvo Golf Champions starts today in Bahrain on the Colin Montgomerie designed Royal Club, with its challenging greens a notable talking point.

RIFFA, BAHRAIN // Paul Casey has given Colin Montgomerie a warning that some unhappy players might be looking to have words with the former European Ryder Cup captain in Bahrain this week.

The inaugural Volvo Golf Champions starts today on the Montgomerie-designed Royal Club and its greens, which Ian Poulter described as “unique”, have been a big talking point.

“I think everybody knows Monty’s going to get it in the neck this week,” said Casey, the highest-ranked player in the field at No 9 in the world. “We’ve got a very good course from tee to green. It’s in wonderful condition and requires great ball-striking.

“The greens are very, very severe and you’re going to hear a lot from the pros maybe complaining about it.

“But ultimately we’ve got to figure a way round. I think the people who are going to be on the leaderboard will be those who put that to one side and don’t worry about bickering about the course.

“Strange things will happen, but somebody will win and I want my 11th European tour victory. You have to have a sense of humour. It’s good to have one when you play golf anyway, no matter where it is.

“You just have to roll with the punches - you will hit good shots and the next thing you know it’s rolling off the green.

“It’s going to happen, but there are no windmills out there!”

Casey opened 2011 with an 18th-placed finish at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on Sunday.

“I’m playing okay, but I’m a bit rusty still,” he added. “I don’t quite have the control I would like.

“I know it’s early in the season, but I worked hard in the off-season and I expected a bit more from myself last week. It’s a work in progress right now.”