Casey finds the ‘sweet spot’ to raise hopes of maiden ma­jor

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Golf - By James Cor­ri­gan

Fi­nally find­ing the “sweet spot” in your for­ties might seem un­likely to many golfers, but Paul Casey be­lieves that dur­ing his coura­geous run­ner-up fin­ish at the US PGA Cham­pi­onship on Sun­day he at last dis­cov­ered that myth­i­cal place.

Casey, the former world No 3, has al­ways known that his per­fect set­ting would be be­tween am­bi­tion and at­ti­tude and so, af­ter 20 years as a pro­fes­sional, it came to him on the tor­rid back nine at Hard­ing Park, San Fran­cisco.

Even­tu­ally, his at­tempt to break his ma­jor duck and so be­come the first English­man to lift the Wana­maker Tro­phy in 101 years was thwarted by the bril­liance of 23-year-old Collin Morikawa. But un­like pre­vi­ous at­tempts, he was cer­tain that this time, with a 66 in his fi­nal round, he ex­tracted the best out of him­self .

Asked why he looked so com­fort­able in post­ing his best ma­jor fin­ish in 64 at­tempts, Casey, 43, replied: “Prob­a­bly be­cause I’ve spent three months where I didn’t touch a golf club, hang­ing out with my kids, my

fam­ily at home. Then I started prac­tis­ing, but even those four-plus months I spent at home, I’m think­ing a lot you know, fig­ur­ing out what’s im­por­tant to me.

“This was just a cruise around the course and hav­ing a great time. I’m in a sweet spot. It’s taken me 43 years to get here, but yeah, pretty chilled out, know what I’m ca­pa­ble of and en­joy­ing my golf.”

Casey has risen to world No 19 and to 54th in the FedEx Cup stand­ings. He is play­ing at this week’s Wyn­d­ham Cham­pi­onship in Greens­boro, North Carolina, and then in­tends to take part in the first two FedEx Cup play-off events as he tries to qual­ify in the top 30 for the Tour Cham­pi­onship, with its first prize of $15 mil­lion (£11.5 mil­lion).

Then, from Sept 17-20, comes the US Open at Winged Foot in New York, where he fin­ished 15th in 2006.

“I’m a much more rounded golfer now,” Casey said, “and I know I’m a vet­eran, but I do be­lieve that I will have at least a few more op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

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