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Casey tipped for 2004 Ryder Cup by Torrance

European Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance expects England rookie Paul Casey to represent his continent for the first time at the 2004 Ryder Cup.

Casey was named the European Tour's Rookie of the Year for 2001 and, earlier in his debut season, Torrance revealed the Englishman had come desperately close to selection for last year's scheduled Ryder Cup.

"It was only bad luck that he didn't make my team scheduled to play at The Belfry last September," Torrance said on his official website bigfanof.com.

"But I have no doubts that Paul will be in the next Ryder Cup team for 2004 - and lots more after that.

"When I named my two wildcards for the match at The Belfry, I had to pick Sergio Garcia and Jesper Parnevik.

"But a young man called Paul Casey was very much in my thoughts too.

"Paul is one of the brightest stars we have. I didn't see any weaknesses in his game last year. He is very level-headed, has a good technique, is fairly long, has a good putting stroke and a good short game."

Casey turned professional in November 2000 and earned his European Tour card in only his fifth event when he tied for second in the Great North Open at Slaley Hall.

He then won his first title in the paid ranks after just 11 outings on the European Tour, triumphing in the Scottish PGA at Gleneagles by one shot over Germany's Alex Cejka to earn a two-year tour exemption.

That success was followed by an impressive seventh place at the BMW International Open in Munich, the final ranking event for automatic European Ryder Cup points.

Casey finished 26th in the points standings but Torrance, as was widely expected, chose Spaniard Garcia and Swede Parnevik as his two wildcards for The Belfry.

Last November, Casey represented England for the first time at any level when he partnered Ian Poulter at the World Cup of Golf in Gotemba, Japan.

The pair finished fifth, three shots behind winners South Africa.


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