Casey ends title drought
Englishman rediscovers winning touch in Abu Dhabi
By Graeme Mair. Last Updated: 18/01/09 3:13pm
Casey: ninth European Tour victory but first for two years
Paul Casey clinched his first victory in two years with a final round of 70 for a 21-under-par total at the Abu Dhabi Championship.
-21 P Casey (Eng)
-20 M Kaymer (Ger)
-20 L Oosthuizen (SA)
-18 A Wall (Eng)
-17 J Edfors (Swe)
-17 P Harrington (Ire)
-17 R McIlroy (NI)
-16 S Garcia (Spn)
-16 D Willett (Eng)
"I've practised very hard and my golf game now is better than it's ever been. I've played some great stuff in spurts but have never really put it together in the last two years."
Paul Casey Quotes of the week
The Englishman, whose last win came in the same event back in 2007, survived a wobble on the back nine to secure a one-shot success over Martin Kaymer and Louis Oosthuizen.
Starting the final day with a four-stroke advantage over Kaymer, Casey began with consecutive birdies and looked in total command after picking up further shots at the sixth and eighth to reach the turn in 32.
Another birdie followed at the 10th to open a six-shot lead but three bogeys in the next four meant he arrived on the 15th tee just one ahead of South African Oosthuizen, who had set the clubhouse target at 20-under-par after a bogey-free 64.
Casey, however, parred the final four holes to hold off Oosthuizen and defending champion Kaymer, who eagled the last for a round of 67.
"It feels great," Casey told Sky Sports. "It's been two years since I won, and it was here that the last victory came.
"It was a bit of a nervous one today. I started off great but it got a bit tricky coming in - the greens were exceptionally difficult to read and there were a couple of camera clicks that put me off.
"It feels very satisfying to get my hands on the trophy."
Asked if he thought he would have to wait two years for his next win when he triumphed here in 2007, the 31-year-old admitted: "No. I've practised very hard and my golf game now is better than it's ever been.
"I've played some great stuff in spurts but have never really put it together in the last two years.
"My focus has very much been on the majors, where I've played well but still haven't won one.
"That's still the main goal but maybe I neglected the other tournaments and now I'm trying to put equal amounts of effort in - it looks to be paying off."
Londoner Anthony Wall (67) finished fourth at 18-under, with Open and US PGA champion Padraig Harrington (66), Northern Ireland teenager Rory McIlroy (65) and Swede Johan Edfors (67) one further back in a tie for fifth.
World number two Sergio Garcia, meanwhile, matched Oosthuizen's best-of-the-day 64 to climb into a share of eighth with England's Danny Willett (67).