Paul's Rise Is An Open And Shut Casey
The rise of Paul Casey in the world rankings has been meteoric, but largely unheralded which is surprising considering his talent and class.
To move from 104th at the start of the season to a current standing of 19th represents a magnificent achievement for the Englishman and I am sure he will go onwards and upwards for a long time to come.
This personable young man does not shout about his achievements, but goes about his business in a very professional and efficient manner. He will be a very welcome addition to the European Ryder Cup team next year particularly because he already has plenty of experience of American courses and conditions thanks to his collegiate days there.
Unfortunately, the learning curve of two of our experienced players is taking them back to school this year. Simon Dyson, the former Asian No.1, and Ian Garbutt, another Yorkshireman, finished outside the top 115 and must earn next year’s playing rights at the dreaded Tour School.
Dyson’s season was not helped when he trapped his hand in a car door. We are hoping to get a medical exemption for part of next season, but first he must tee up with about 150 others in southern Spain in a bid to earn exempt status. Garby’s Achilles heel has always been his putting and after being in something of a comfort zone for the last three or four years, this jolt to the system might be just what he needed to get his career back on track.
While they are heading somewhere they would rather not be, several of our players have much to gain by doing well at Valderrama in this week’s Volvo Masters.
The Tour’s flagship event offers another opportunity for Lee Westwood to force his way back into the world’s top 50 again and be exempt for all next year’s major events while David Howell can ensure he returns to the US Open again if he finishes inside the top 15 in the money list.
Darren Clarke can help achieve his season-long goal of a place in the world’s top 10 while both Paul McGinley and Andrew Coltart will be hoping to turn good seasons into very good ones by claiming one of the game’s top prizes.
Whoever wins this week will need a lot of patience and that’s why I will not be surprised to see Lee John Westwood claim a third victory in two months to add further icing to a rapidly growing cake.