Irish Open: Dream day for Paul Casey as former world No 3 ends victory drought
Paul Casey was delighted to end a victory drought of more than two years in the Irish Open at Carton House.
Last Updated: 01/07/13 9:15am
Casey had not won since the Volvo Golf Champions in January 2011, going through injury problems and a slump in form that dropped him to 169th in the world going into this week's event.
But, motivated by playing in front of a crowd he loves to entertain, the former world No 3 held off the combined challenge of Robert Rock and Joost Luiten, capping the tournament in style when he canned a lengthy eagle putt at the last to win by three strokes.
"I love playing in Ireland, I always have, and the Irish Open has great history," Casey said. "The trophy I am holding right here, just looking at Seve's name on there, couple of times actually, right next to my thumb and Christy O'Connor as well.
"Playing in Ireland is an absolute dream. The fans that have turned out this week, a difficult week as we've had some interesting weather and other sporting events around the world, they have turned out as they always do and I love playing in front of Irish crowds - I'm looking forward to coming back.
"(This victory) means I can plan my year a little bit better. It's been very much up in the air what I have been getting in, not knowing what I'm going to be playing in, even at the end of the year.
"I'll be getting into the HSBC, I'll be in Dubai, the BMW and other tournaments at the end of the year so this is fantastic. I can kind of relax a little bit more, still focus on the game, put the pedal down and try to collect a few more trophies.
"It's incredibly sweet. It's been a while and when that putt went in half of it was relief and half of it was satisfaction. What a grandstand finish - winning an Irish open is an absolute dream.
"I was feeling wet when it rained. It was a shaky start, I didn't hit the ball particularly close going out but when the putts did start to go in I got on a bit of a roll."