Golf: Casey ready for Masters finale
AUGUSTA (Georgia) - PAUL Casey was left as the sole European with a realistic chance of winning the Masters on Sunday, and he believes he has the game to win his first major over Augusta National.
The 30-year-old Englishman produced a second straight 69 in Saturday's third round to stand just four strokes off the leader Trevor Immelman and alone in fourth place putting him into the penultimate pairing on Sunday.
'No doubt the golf course suits me down to the ground,' the Ryder Cup hero said after a colourful round that included six birdies, four coming on the front nine, and three bogeys.
'I have the necessary shots. I have the high ball flight, the right-to-left, left-to-right if you need it.'
'There is something about this occasion. It's a place that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and the only other place that does that to me is St Andrews.'
Casey started the day as one of five Englishmen in contention to become just the second Masters champion from that country after three-times winner Nick Faldo.
But by the end of the day he was the only one left still flying the flag as Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose and Nick Dougherty all fell by the wayside.
It was testimony, he said, to all the hard work he had put in with coach Peter Kostis after a disappointing start to the year.
'I spent a lot of time with Pete the last two weeks hitting different shots that I think are required for this golf course and a lot of time on the fitness, a lot of time on the mental side of things.'
'I haven't played good golf coming into this tournament. So far this year it's been a little lackluster. But I really feel the season begins here.'
Whatever happens, Casey says he is determined to enjoy the moment, admitting that he had been over-excited the last time he played in the penultimate pairing on the final day of the Masters with Bernhard Langer in 2004.
'You know I'm very excited about tomorrow. I can't wait to get started,' he said. 'But I'm going to worry about my own game and not worry about what anybody else is doing and continue to play good golf, simple as that.'
Casey also said that he had no concerns over the weather forecast for cool, windy conditions for the final round.
'I think I have a good record in bad weather. I've played in enough of it over the years in Europe,' he said. -- AFP
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