Casey contending once again at CIMB

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There may have been a recent break on the PGA Tour calendar, but you wouldn't know it from the play of Paul Casey.

The Englishman was red-hot through the FedEx Cup Playoffs and has seamlessly carried that momentum into the new season, where his latest feat is a 7-under 65 in the opening round of the CIMB Classic that left him one shot behind a trio of co-leaders.

Casey was a perennial bridesmaid during the postseason, with back-to-back runner-up finishes at the Deutsche Bank Championship and BMW Championship followed by a fourth-place showing at East Lake. After taking two weeks off, he returned to action last week at the Safeway Open where he promptly tied for third.

Casey gave up his European Tour membership at the start of the year and was ineligible to play for Europe at the Ryder Cup as a result. But Darren Clarke likely would've preferred to have the 39-year-old among his squad at Hazeltine, as Casey's recent run of form has moved him all the way to No. 12 in the latest world ranking, behind only Adam Scott and Patrick Reed among this week's 78-man field in Malaysia.

The one thing missing from Casey's stellar 2016 has been a trophy. He has only two starts left to change that - this week in Malaysia and next week's WGC-HSBC Champions in China - before putting the clubs up and spending time with his wife and son during a more traditional off-season.

In fact, despite racking up 13 wins on the European Tour, Casey's lone PGA Tour victory remains the 2009 Shell Houston Open. Since that win, he has racked up 25 top-10 finishes, including six runners-up, without another victory.