Clarity for Castano
Spaniard was thinking too much about earning Ryder spot, says Boxall
Last Updated: September 16, 2012 4:59pm
Fernandez-Castano: winner in Italy
Richard Boxall believes the end of the Ryder Cup race gave Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano the clarity he needed to triumph in Italy.
"He's pretty glad that's gone now. He can relax and get back to what he knows, which is knocking putts in."
Richard Boxall Quotes of the week
The Spaniard claimed the sixth European Tour victory of his career at Royal Park I Roveri, just weeks after he learned he would not be included in Jose Maria Olazabal's team to face the Americans at the end of the month.
Fernandez-Castano admitted that his form suffered as he battled in vain for a place in the European team because and he says he was too focused on trying to qualify.
And Sky Sports expert Boxall reckons his form has improved now that Medinah is out of his thoughts.
"The Ryder Cup is out of the way now with respect to the qualification," he said.
"He was thinking about if he had a chance to get in and whether or not he was going to be picked.
"He's pretty glad that's gone now. He can relax and get back to what he knows, which is knocking putts in.
"You take that huge section that's sitting on your shoulders and push it to one side and now he can get back to what he normally does, which is playing golf.
"I think that in his heart of hearts he probably thought it was unlikely he'd get a pick, but now he's back to normal, the brain is clear and he can carry on doing what he's good at."
Fernandez-Castano's 24-under was enough to see him triumph by two shots from Garth Mulroy at the Italian Open in a field that included Ryder Cup players Martin Kaymer, Nicolas Colsaerts and Francesco Molinari.
He closed with a final-round 64 and Boxall says a small tweak to his putting stroke, following a conversation with Ryder Cup captain Olazabal, may have contributed to his success.
"If you're in the last group off on the last day, then a 64 is very impressive," he said.
"He didn't have a bogey all the way round and it's thoroughly deserved. Five wins on the European Tour and I reckon a little bit more experience came in there possibly.
"He putted brilliantly. I did an interview with him earlier in the week and said: 'What is this little secret tip that Olazabal's given you?'
"He told me he was stood with his feet together, which has stopped him swaying a little bit on short putts.
"He would openly admit he had a bit of trouble with it. He was fine on the long ones, but the short ones were a bit of a problem.
"But after that 24-under-par I think he's sorted that out!"