Englands Casey Defends US Criticism

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SEVILLE, Spain -- Englands Paul Casey could get a rough welcome when he starts playing full-time next year on the PGA Tour.
 
Casey spent Wednesday defending comments he made in English newspapers criticizing the choice of Tom Lehman as the 2006 U.S. Ryder Cup captain and suggesting Americans were generally annoying.
 
Paul CaseyA headline quoting Casey in Wednesdays The Mirror newspaper read: Americans are stupid. I hate them.
 
Casey said he used the word hate to describe the attitude the European Ryder team had as it prepared to face the Americans in Michigan two months ago.
 
Oh, we properly hate them, he told the Times of London. We wanted to beat them as badly as possible.
 
Casey stood by his words Wednesday.
 
Americans do have a tendency to wind people up, he said.
 
When they are chanting U-S-A and there are lots of them, it just makes you want to beat them even more. Thats the point I am trying to get across.
 
But I dont hate Americans. I have an American coach, an American girlfriend. I live in America, and I play many events in the U.S.
 
Casey played college golf at Arizona State, lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., and just earned his U.S. tour card.
 
Lehman was one of the first players to rush on to the green in 1999 Ryder Cup at Brookline to celebrate the American Ryder Cup victory over Europe. He later apologized for his premature celebration.
 
People are just afraid it might bring up a Brookline-type situation, said Casey, who was part of the Ryder Cup team that easily beat the United States this year at Oakland Hills. I think thats what everybody has in the back of their mind.
 
If Lehman wins the Ryder Cup back, it will be the best captaincy, the best appointment they have ever made, he added. However, I dont think his appointment will be universally accepted on the other side of the Atlantic. Some people really didnt want to see him as captain.
 
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