Casey eyes more glory in Abu Dhabi

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Casey eyes more glory in Abu Dhabi
Despite challenging past seasons, Casey is ready to tee-off with a bang this year.

Abu Dhabi - Even though Ryder Cup is his prime focus, Casey is mindful how a positive result in Abu Dhabi will help his season

By Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Wed 17 Jan 2018, 8:41 PM

Last updated: Wed 17 Jan 2018, 10:50 PM

Paul Casey had a good 2017 except for a trophy in his cabinet. And he is trying hard to end the drought at his favourite Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. In fact, the Englishman is looking to reinvent himself in the UAE Capital.
"I feel like I played some great golf (in 2017). I put myself in some good positions and I played the whole season healthy. That's the positives for me. Ultimately, a season without wins is a bit disappointing as I have high expectations for myself but I am happy with my game at the moment, working hard, ranked within the top 15 in the world and excited for 2018," he said.
The World No. 14 is confident about adding trophies in the new season. "I feel like all the work I have done this year and over the winter break will pay off - I need to be patient, stay healthy and keep putting myself in a good position on the leaderboard and I believe the wins will come. I am also very focused on getting into the European Ryder Cup team and I am really pleased to have the opportunity to make the team this year."
Even though Ryder Cup is his prime focus, Casey is mindful how a positive result in Abu Dhabi will help his season. In 2009, he won in Abu Dhabi and went onto rise to third in rankings in the year.
"Abu Dhabi is a very special place for me for sure - it is one of my favourite tournaments to play and destinations to visit. I think my two wins on the National Course stand out as my favourite memories but attending the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is definitely up there among my most memorable experiences."
And after two championships, Casey is hungry for more. He is eager to equal Martin Kaymer's record at the course of three titles. "I would love to although I am sure Martin will also be aiming to add to his record this year. It would be the absolute ideal way to kick off my year - A win at one of my favourite events and a healthy boost towards my campaign to qualify for the 2018 Ryder Cup. I love the course and the event."
Despite challenging past seasons, Casey is ready to tee-off with a bang this year.
"I don't have a problem being motivated. I have so much to achieve in golf and I enjoy striving to achieve more in my career. I feel healthy, well prepared and very excited about what 2018 holds for me on course. Meanwhile, off course, life is idyllic with my wife and two children."
Apart from Casey and Kaymer, other big names in the fray are defending champion Tommy Fleetwood, World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy, Olympic Gold medallist Justin Rose, 2016 Open Champion and Olympic Silver Medallist Henrik Stenson and Olympic Bronze Medallist Matt Kuchar. The four-day Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship starts from Thursday. - ashwani@khaleejtimes.com



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