From the Rough

Golf without discretion

Paul Casey still has an outside shot to make European Ryder Cup team

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You could see the pain in Paul Casey’s eyes during the post-round press conference at The Barclays last month. Just minutes removed from his final round, Casey tried his level-best to take the Ryder Cup snub in stride as he approached the podium.

But the emotions he was feeling at the time made it near impossible to hide the frustration on his face. To make matters worse, his playing partner, Padraig Harrington, had already been told that he was going to Wales as one of Colin Montgomerie’s captain’s picks. That turned an already difficult final round into one of most awkward of his life.

When he was asked if it was difficult playing the “last hour or so” with Harrington, Casey didn’t hide his feelings. “Hour or so? It was about two-and-a-half hours,” Casey said. “It was difficult,”

Since then, Casey has tried his best to put the snub in the rear-view. But it hasn’t been easy. Seeing Ryder Cupper Luke Donald on weekly basis hasn’t eased the pain.

But could that pain be erased with only a couple of weeks to go before the Ryder Cup? While Casey isn’t on the team, there’s still an outside shot he could wind up playing in Wales in a couple weeks’ time.

As The Guardian’s Lawrence Donegan reports, Casey could be on Monty’s shortlist, should Lee Westwood’s current injury not allow him to participate in the event.

Inevitably, the spotlight would fall on Casey, who has risen to seventh in the world rankings, and Justin Rose – both of whom were controversially omitted.

McGinley admitted that concerns about Westwood’s fitness have boosted America’s chances of retaining the Ryder Cup early next month. McGinley, who argued earlier in the summer that Europe were a far stronger team than America, revealed that there are still real anxieties about Westwood’s readiness to play.

At No. 7 in the World Rankings, Casey would be the obvious choice to fill in for Westwood. He’s currently playing his best golf of the season at just the right time, making Monty’s decision to leave him off even more baffling.

While there’s still a couple of weeks to go before Westwood has to make a decision, you have to believe Casey is mentally preparing himself for the phone call that could be coming from Captain Montgomerie.


Written by Jonathan Wall

09/15/2010 at 10:24 am

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