CASARES, Spain – Paul Casey lost twice on Thursday and won’t advance in the group stage of the World Match Play Championship.
Casey, the highest ranked player in the tournament at No. 4, lost by a hole to Scott Strange of Australia and 3 and 2 to American Ryder Cup player Anthony Kim.
The Englishman, who just returned after tearing a rib muscle on Aug. 6, lost to the 168th-ranked Strange when he missed a 7-foot birdie chance at the last.
Casey said the injury bothered him.
“I can’t swing the way I want. I’m coming out of a lot of the shots,” he said. “Scott played well but, having said that, I gave him three holes on the front and you can’t do that against anybody in this field.”
Kim tops Group A with four points after beating two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen of South Africa 3 and 2 in the tournament’s new round-robin group format.
“This is the first round where I really played solid golf in over a year,” Kim said. “I’ve been scoring pretty sporadically … but this was a consistent round with some great ball striking. It’s important to get a huge lead because if there is a tiebreaker, then that counts. We’re just trying to keep our foot on the gas.”
Sergio Garcia of Spain lost to Oliver Wilson of England, but salvaged a point after halving with Robert Allenby of Australia.