Casey healthy, happy after first-round 65


ATLANTA – Three weeks ago Paul Casey walked off the golf course at TPC Boston with an ailing back to add to an already lengthy list of health concerns.

On Thursday at the Tour Championship he walked off East Lake trying to calculate his chances of winning the FedEx Cup and the $10 million jackpot following a first-round 65 that left him alone in second place.

It has been a dramatic change of fortune after back spasms prompted him to withdraw from the Deutsche Bank Championship earlier this month.

“Apparently my lower abs decided to shut off. That’s either called getting old or lack of working out, one of the two,” smiled Casey, who said therapy and rest helped him bounce back and finish tied for 23rd at last week’s BMW Championship.

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The Englishman is enjoying a resurgent season after dropping to 169th in the world ranking just two years ago, beginning this week 22rd on the FedEx Cup points list and 26th in the world.

“It’s been a long road. Even starting out this season, committing to the PGA Tour, not knowing how that was going to pan out, not being in the top 50, it’s very satisfying to be here [at East Lake],” Casey said. “We haven’t won yet this year, but I’ve got time to fix that.”