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Paul Casey keen to improve ranking

Briton Paul Casey says missing last week's U.S. Masters will act as his motivation to climb back up the world rankings, starting at this week's China Open.

This week, the 28-year-old Englishman is defending the title he won in Shenzen only five months ago at the Nick Faldo-designed Honghua course in Beijing and he will be looking to add to his two tour victories in China.

Casey finished tied for sixth on his debut at the Masters in 2004 but with his ranking down to 60th in the world, he watched last weekend's events from Augusta on television on the orders of his coach.

"Peter Kostis made a point of telling me to watch as much of the Masters as possible and to use it as motivation," Casey told reporters on Wednesday.

"I really missed not being there and I know I can play that golf course after a good result in 2004.

"Of the majors that's probably the one that suits my game best especially as they've lengthened it again.

"I really want to be back there again next year and it was really good motivation watching that this year."

China has been a happy hunting ground for Casey after victories at the TCL Classic in Hainan island and the China Open last year.

"I don't know what it is," he said. "I have liked the courses we have played, they have suited my eye. Maybe they have been courses where length is beneficial."

"I feel comfortable here, people are friendly and I enjoy coming back."

"But it is just a stepping stone.

"I need to get better and hopefully those wins can give me the confidence to win bigger events throughout the year."

Both of Casey's wins in China came after playoffs and if that happens this weekend, he will probably prefer not to go head-to-head with his former Seve Trophy team mate Henrik Stenson, the highest-ranked player in the field at 13th in the world.

Swede Stenson did play at Augusta last weekend but missed the cut and makes his debut at the co-sanctioned China Open looking to rebuild the form that won him rave reviews earlier in the year.

"I haven't felt that I've been playing great over the last six or seven weeks I guess, and obviously last week I would have liked to do a bit better, mainly to get the experience," the big-hitting 30-year-old said.

"But it feels like it is coming together a bit better now and it is just a case of getting it back to where we had it."

Beijing had sand storms, then snow and high winds on Tuesday night and while Stenson said it had been "freezing" out on the course on Wednesday, Casey thought the weather would not be a problem.

"It is alright," he said. "As long as we can see the flag, we're alright."



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