Paul Casey to Rejoin European Tour in Ryder Cup Boost
It's been a decade since Paul Casey last represented Europe in the Ryder Cup, but the Englishman looks set to end that long-standing hiatus after confirming that he will take up membership on the European Tour in 2018, opening the door to become part of Thomas Bjorn's team for the showpiece at Le Golf National next year.
Based in Arizona, Casey has chosen to maintain his career solely in the United States in recent times, which has prohibited his ability to play for Europe, with the qualifying requirements specifying that a player has to be a member of the circuit to be eligible for the team. Having passed up on that opportunity for the 2016 edition at Hazeltine, the world number 15 is rejoining the fold and appears destined to be a vital member of the squad as they hope to wrestle the Cup back from Jim Furyk's America.
“I want to play another Ryder Cup,” Casey was quoted as saying by Ewan Murray of The Guardian. “That’s why I need to do this. It was really important to me. I have missed it too much. I have missed my contribution to England golf, British golf; my contribution to Europe. Watching a Ryder Cup, not being a part of that.
“My Ryder Cup experiences in the past have been the highlight of my career. I just want to be and need to be a part of the European Tour, and then obviously that puts me in line to hopefully, possibly, play another Ryder Cup, which I would dearly love to do.
“I genuinely can’t tell you how excited I am and how cool it is to think about that and the possibility of that next September, for multiple reasons.
“I feel like obviously the golf I’ve played the last few years, I feel I can be a massive contribution on the golf course. But I think what excites me more is the role I feel I can play supporting the young guys.”
The 40-year-old was part of the dominant victories of 2004 and 2006 - when he made a hole-in-one at the K Club - and was present for Nick Faldo's defeat at Valhalla in 2008. That was his most recent appearance, with his contributions in those Ryder Cups amounting to five points. His match play credentials have also been underlined by his World Cup success with Luke Donald in 2004, and twice being a runner-up in the WGC World Match Play.
Casey is currently the sixth highest placed European in the Official World Golf Ranking, and will unquestionably strengthen Bjorn's pool of players. Fulfilling his status as a tour member shouldn't be an issue, with only four events outwith the majors and World Golf Championships being required to meet the criteria.
It's been an ongoing and uncertain saga, but Paul Casey's decision to move back into the Ryder Cup-sphere is a welcome boost for the captain as we edge towards the biennial event.
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