Casey enters the final regular-season event at No. 125 in the FedEx Cup standings, holding a tenuous grip on the final qualifying spot for the postseason. With a 5-under 65 in the opening round, the Englishman took a big step toward punching his ticket to The Barclays next week.
“Extremely happy with 5 under today,” said Casey, who hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation. “It’s a golf course I love. I haven’t necessarily played well around here, but I love this event, love coming out here, the people, and it’s great to get off to a good start like that.”
Casey is teeing it up this week with a little added peace of mind, knowing that his PGA Tour card for the 2014-15 season is already locked up. While he is No. 125 in the FedEx Cup race, he is also No. 114 on the season-long money list, which will secure his playing privileges for next year.
Despite that sense of security, he is eager to continue his season beyond Greensboro.
“I desperately want to be playing next week,” he said. “I’ve always been trying to play both tours, European and PGA, and it’s been very, very difficult. Although I’ve played some wonderful stuff this year, I’ve been stuck between the two.”
Casey knows he has less to play for than many in the field this week, which he views as an advantage.
“There’s a certain amount of pressure, but I do feel free and this isn’t an all-or-nothing situation for me,” he said. “I can kind of swing a little bit freer than maybe some of the other guys out there and really try to focus on winning the event.”