The world's seventh-ranked player talks to the PGA TOUR Network after his 64 on Thursday:
Paul Casey is interviewed by Bill Kratzert of the PGA TOUR Network on Thursday.
Paul Casey gets to 7 under with his tee shot on the eighth, his next-to-last hole of the day:
Paul Casey hits it stiff on the eighth hole at Copperhead.
Paul Casey hasn't played much in the United States this year -- the Transitions Championship is just his fourth Stateside start -- but his 64 will be tough to beat for the overnight lead at the Copperhead Course.
Casey, who hit 15 greens, saved par on the 403-yard ninth after driving into a fairway bunker. Casey finished with a seven-birdie, no bogey day. Even with wind at a minimum, it was quite an accomplishment at Copperhead, which is still averaging over par (71.128) in Round 1.
Stay tuned for Casey's post-round comments.
DORAL, Fla. -- Lee Westwood is the only player who could overtake Martin Kaymer as the world No. 1 this week at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship.
A win by Englishman put him back at No. 1 after a two-week absence -- even if Kaymer finishes second. A top-four finish actually could give Westwood the top spot but Kaymer's position in the tournament would obviously impact that scenario.
World No. 3 Luke Donald and Tiger Woods, who currently ranks fifth, could overtake Westwood at No. 2 if either won. Westwood, of course, would have to finish well down the field at TPC Blue Monster.
And if Paul Casey and Rory McIlroy finish third or higher, there is a chance that Europeans would own the top six spots in the world rankings. Again, this hinges on Woods and No. 6 Phil Mickelson finishing low in the tournament.
As E. Michael Johnson wrote in Golf World, TaylorMade officials had an interesting dilemma while watching the championship match of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
On one side was new world No. 1 Martin Kaymer, a TaylorMade staff player. On the other side was Luke Donald, a Mizuno guy but one wielding a white R11 driver – the most important club in TaylorMade’s arsenal today. Kaymer hasn’t put that club in play yet, sticking with the R9 SuperTri.
As it turned out, of course, Donald won. Good for him and good for TaylorMade in getting its first TOUR win for the white R11. So maybe there was no dilemma after all.
● David Dusek of Golf.com peeked into players’ bags at the Accenture and found that blended iron sets are becoming commonplace. Phil Mickelson plays a Callaway X-Forged 4-iron then uses RAZR Muscle Back blades for the 5-iron through pitching wedge.
In a blended set, pros can get the forgiveness of cavity-backed longer irons while keeping blade irons for accuracy on shorter shots.
Paul Casey uses Nike VR Pro Combo long irons and VR Pro Blade mid- and short irons. Ian Poulter carries Cobra Pro CB 4- through 7-irons and Pro MB irons from 8 through pitching wedge.
● The Yes! Sophia putter Jim Furyk used to win THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola was replaced at the Accenture by an Odyssey White Ice 3 blade. Adam Scott used a 49-inch Scotty Cameron by Titleist Kombi mallet for the first time. Both lost in the first round.
● If you like to peek behind the production curtain, check out how NikeGolf makes a prototype Method putter here.
MARANA, Ariz. – For the first time since 1992, the top four players in the Official World Golf Ranking are all from Europe.
Martin Kaymer officially took over No. 1 when the rankings were released on Sunday night. Luke Donald, who beat Kaymer to win the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, rose from ninth to third, the highest ranking of his career.
Lee Westwood, who was eliminated in the second round at Dove Mountain, fell to second. He had held the top spot for 17 weeks, after ending Tiger Woods’ reign at 281 straight weeks.
Graeme McDowell, who lost in the Accenture quarterfinals, remained at No. 4 but he is now ahead of Woods, who has dropped two spots to fifth. The last time Woods was ranked lower than third in the world was April 6, 1997 prior to his first Masters victory. A week later, Woods had climbed 10 spots to No. 3 behind Greg Norman and Tom Lehman.
The last time four Europeans led the way was on March 15, 1992 when Ian Woosnam of Wales was No. 1, England’s Nick Faldo was No. 2 and Spain’s Jose Maria Olazabal was No. 3 and Seve Ballesteros was No. 4.
Here is the new top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking:
|4.||Graeme McDowell||Northern Ireland|
|5.||Tiger Woods||United States|
|6.||Phil Mickelson||United States|
|8.||Rory McIlroy||Northern Ireland|
|9.||Steve Stricker||United States|
|10.||Matt Kuchar||United States|
So much for Paul Casey’s run in this event. Jason Day defeated Casey, 4 and 2, meaning that for the first time since 2008, Casey won’t be in the finals. Last year, he lost to Ian Poulter in the championship match and the year before it was his Scottsdale neighbor Geoff Ogilvy who beat him in the last match.
Meanwhile, Bubba Watson is adding to the parade of blowouts with a 5-up lead on Mark Wilson through 12 holes. Watson has yet to trail in either of his two matches this week, leading for all 30 holes he’s played.
Likewise, Miguel Angel Jimenez is 3 up on Ryan Palmer through 14 holes. Matt Kuchar is also closing in on a win, leading Bo Van Pelt 2 up with three holes to play.
There’s no question that the biggest “upset” of the day was Ben Crane’s stunning 8 and 7 win over Rory McIlroy. But that’s what happens when one player plays “exceptional,” as Crane put it and the other doesn’t.
“Rory didn’t have his best stuff today,” Crane, who had seven birdies (two of which were conceded) in 11 holes, told Golf Channel after his victory. “I got up and down from some crazy spots. I played exceptional today -- it was one of the best rounds I’ve ever played.”
That wasn’t the only upset, though, as Y.E. Yang easily defeated Stewart Cink, a quarterfinalist and semifinalist the last two years, 4 and 3. Yang took the lead on the opening hole when Cink bogeyed and never looked back. Cink squared the match briefly on the third hole, but Yang took the lead again on No. 4 and never gave it up.
Speaking of leads, Graeme McDowell has trailed for all of two holes this week, and both times it’s been on No. 1. Other than that, he’s been near flawless. Thursday, McDowell had seven birdies in a 4 and 2 win over Ross Fisher.
Last but not least, the latest upset appears to be on the way courtesy of Jason Day, who lead’s last year’s runner-up, Paul Casey, 4 up with four to play.
Accenture Match Play points breakdown
|550 points – Win||101 points – T5 (loss in the round of eight)|
|315 points – Runner-up||68.25 points – T9 (loss in the round of 16)|
|200 points – Third place||46.56 points – T17 (second round loss)|
|140 points – Fourth place||22.50 points – T33 (loss in the first round)|
MARANA, Ariz. -- Paul Casey just found out who he was playing in the first round of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship on Monday morning. In fact, he doesn't even know what bracket he's in this year.
For the record, Casey's opponent is Australian Richard Green. And he's playing in the Sam Snead bracket where Tiger Woods is the top seed.
But Casey refuses to indulge in the what-ifs as he plays in the popular World Golf Championships event. And with appearances in the championship match each of the last two years, his strategy appears to work well.
"I don't get sucked into it," Casey said. "I find it fairly easy to not worry about it. ... I'll expend energy thinking about it hopefully when I get there."
Casey has a 15-8 record at the Accenture Match Play Championship, a resume that improves considerably when you consider he lost in the first round in his first four appearances, all at La Costa Resort & Spa. Once the tournament moved to Dove Mountain in the Arizona desert, though, the Scottsdale resident has prospered.
Casey reached the title tilt in 2009 only to be beaten by his good friend Geoff Ogilvy 4 and 3. A year ago, Casey's Ryder Cup teammate Ian Poulter handed him the 4 and 2 defeat. So will the third time be the charm?
Casey has played on three European Ryder Cup teams and was inexplicably left off last year's squad -- the highest-ranked eligible player to ever be overlooked. He thinks his aggressive nature on the golf course serves him well in the format because one mistake isn't as costly as it might be in stroke play.
"I did that even last week (at the Northern Trust Open)," Casey said. "I made a triple bogey on No. 10 on Saturday, got it stuck in a palm tree. You cannot get away with that. You take off 3 shots off my score, last week, it puts me in the top 5.
"In match play that's not quite as penal. You maybe lose the hole, but it doesn't kill your chance of maybe winning the tournament. So I think I can get away with the mistakes I can occasionally make on the golf course more in match play.
“I also think I've had a very good approach mentally to playing match play. I always feel if you keep the ball in play, and you're very consistent and you put a lot of pressure on the other guy that's very difficult to play against. I tend to play the golf course not the player. But by doing that and making lots of birdies and being aggressive and knowing what you've got to do on putts, I seem to make a lot of putts.
"And it's actually an attitude that I've been trying to carry over to a lot of stroke play, the attitude I've had in match play."
The former Arizona State standout returns to Dove Mountain this week on the heels of a victory at the Volvo Golf Championship on the European Tour, the 11th of his career and his first in two years interrupted by a nagging rib injury. Casey also tied for 12th on Sunday at Riviera in his 2011 PGA TOUR debut.
"I'm not sure if it removes a burden, I think it probably just gives me a little boost in confidence," Casey said. "... Maybe it's just sort of a momentum thing. (His instructor Peter) Kostis has always said winning is a habit, ... it's a good habit to be into. It's just nice that the hard work I've put in in the off season is already paying off."