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Paul Casey looks forward to the Ryder Cup

One year from now Paul Casey hopes to be part of Nick Faldo's European team battling to retain the Ryder Cup in Kentucky.

The 30-year-old Briton is taking nothing for granted, however, because he believes the strength of European golf means gaining a spot on the 12-man team will be tougher than ever.

Casey also expects a different kind of leadership from Faldo at the Valhalla Golf Club after Ian Woosnam's relaxed approach during Europe's romp at the K-Club last year.

Faldo ruffled a few feathers this year when he criticised British players for being too chummy on the Tour, but Casey believes the six times major champion is a good choice.

"It's going to be interesting. I'm excited about that. It's going to be tougher to qualify for that team than the two teams I've qualified for in the past," Casey told Reuters while taking a weekend off at the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday.

"European golf now is extremely strong and I think Faldo's going to be a good captain.

"If you look at how he approached his own game, he was a perfectionist and if that carries over into his captaincy he's going to... make sure everything is perfect for his players, from the golf course all the way to what the players need.

"He's a champion, England's most successful golfer and very demanding. He's going to expect us to play well for him and win.

"I think he has a healthy respect for the players, you need that, they are going to listen to him and draw from his advice and knowledge."

Casey, who has featured in the last two Ryder Cup matches and last year became the first person in the competition's history to win a foursomes match with a hole in one, said there was nothing wrong with the mentality of European players.

"He (Faldo) has mentioned that maybe the Europeans are a little bit too sort of chummy chummy and not as self-minded and individual as they should be," said Casey.

"Personally, I think all the Europeans are very self-minded but we also have the ability to get along very well together which is why we are so good at the Ryder Cup."

Casey has had a steady, if unspectacular year.

He won his eighth European PGA title in Abu Dhabi, made the cut at all four majors and is looking forward to defending his World Matchplay title in October.

"I'm excited about it. Last year the Matchplay turned around my season from an average one into a season where I had the opportunity to win the Order of Merit," he said.

"It's nice to be back in it obviously as defending champion. Anybody can beat anybody on any given day. But I feel good, the game's going in the right direction."

Casey said Irishman Padraig Harrington's win at the British Open this year was another shot in the arm for European golfers.

"I've been on tour seven years and in that time we have not had a European winner of a major," he said.

"I mean anybody who wins a major should inspire me, and that's what I want to be doing, and make me work harder but there's something different about Harrington.

"He's a guy I know very well and get along with very well. It does give me a boost.

"He deserves it and he's one of the hardest workers we have in golf and I know how my game stacks up against his and I feel comfortable that if I keep doing the things I'm doing that hopefully some day I'll win majors like him."

 

September 18, 2007




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