Casey confident after resurgent rally

DUBAI - Paul Casey is confident of challenging for the Dubai World Championship after a resurgent rally up the leaderboard renewed his flagging belief in landing top spot.

By Alex Leach

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Published: Sat 27 Nov 2010, 11:39 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:17 AM

The Englishman began the tournament tentatively and paid the price for it over the first nine holes on Thursday.

However, a swift change of approach thereafter has reaped rewards, with Casey nicely positioned fourth on seven-under going into the final two days.

“The first 12 holes yesterday (Thursday) were not very good,” Casey said following the completion of his second round on Friday.

“I’ve been working on some stuff already for next year and maybe was a little bit cautious – and not aggressive enough – going out there.

“With this golf course, you’ve got to fire at the flags. It’s very difficult to get close. If you do miss it, you put yourself in some impossible positions.

“I was just a little bit cautious out of the blocks and corrected it fairly well on the back nine yesterday (Thursday) and continued that today (Friday).”

That quick shift in outlook has left Casey with a shot at success and he is keen to get back among the elite of the European Tour.

“I didn’t have a whole lot of confidence when I teed off yesterday, but it’s a golf course,” the 33-year-old admitted. “I’m not sure I liked it the first time I saw it, but I seem to have played it pretty well in the first two rounds and my game suits it, so why not?

“The leaderboard is stacked with Europe’s finest. It’s going to be a very tough battle this weekend. I’d like to put my name in the mix and see what happens.”

Victory here would be a timely reminder of Casey’s capabilities too in the wake of his omission from Colin Montgomery’s European team for the Ryder Cup earlier this year. “I got over that disappointment straightaway,” he explained. “I went and played some golf with some friends at Pine Valley, enjoyed myself and tried not to think about it.

“I didn’t qualify – it’s as simple as that. The blame can only be put on myself.

“It was tough watching it. The lads played so well. Sunday was exciting and I desperately wanted to be a part of that. It certainly stoked the fire and that’s something I don’t want to be on the outside of every again. It is what it is and I got over it. It might have taken me a few weeks, but I’m over it now.”

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