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Casey not looking forward to playing in USA

Paul Casey's next golf tournament begins in two months in Hawaii. The Englishman already has reason to worry.

In a bittersweet week, he teamed with Luke Donald to win the World Cup on Sunday, combining for a 31-under 257 to split US$1.4 million in the final World Golf Championships' event of the year.

The victory came two days after he lost his sponsorship deal with the Acushnet Co. after he was quoted in English newspapers saying he "hated'' Americans and criticized the choice of Tom Lehman as U.S. Ryder Cup captain for the 2006 matches in Ireland.

He apologized and said he used the word "hate'' to describe his competitive edge going into the Ryder Cup. He said he was besieged with nasty e-mails, much of them centered on a headline in the Mirror newspaper which read: "Americans are Stupid. I hate them.''

Casey never used the word "stupid'' he said. But the damage was done.

His next tournament is the Sony Open, beginning Jan. 13 in Hawaii.

"I'm looking forward to it, although there is a little something in me that is worried about it,'' said Casey, wearing a black Titleist cap and holding his thumb and index finger just an inch apart.

Casey, 27, begins playing full time next season on the U.S. PGA Tour. He lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, attended Arizona State, and he knows Americans may not forget quickly.

"I hope they will be very receptive,'' he said. "But I don't know if they will be. I don't know. I'll try to repair any damage I can.''

"I'm very happy with the way I've handled myself this week,'' he added. "I have been very professional. I have not enjoyed what happened earlier in the week and this is a nice way to finish it.''

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