Casey Named European Player of the Year


Englands Paul Casey has been named the 2006 European Tour Golfer of the Year following a season in which he won three times, played a key role in Europes record third successive Ryder Cup victory over the United States and came within 35,252 (23,616) of capturing the Harry Vardon Trophy for the first time.
The 29 year old receives the accolade for the first time in his short professional career after earning the vote of a panel comprising the Association of Golf Writers (AGW), Television, Radio and The European Tour. Among those also considered for the prestigious award were Darren Clarke, Luke Donald, Johan Edfors, Padraig Harrington, David Howell, Robert Karlsson, Jeev Milkha Singh, Henrik Stenson and 2006 Ryder Cup Captain, Ian Woosnam.
Paul Casey
Paul Casey was named Europe's No. 1 based on his individual and team performance.
Casey won the Volvo China Open, the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles and a check for 1 million after capturing the HSBC World Match Play Championship at Wentworth Club in the week prior to The Ryder Cup.
At The K Club, Casey was undefeated in four matches, winning twice and halving twice as Europe equaled their 18 - 9 margin of victory from 2004, when the Englishman also played a leading role as a rookie.
One of the highlights of the week in Ireland came in the Saturday afternoon foursomes with David Howell, when Casey became the first player in Ryder Cup history to close out a match with a hole in one. His 213 yard four iron secured a 5 and 4 win over Stewart Cink and Zach Johnson.
In the season-ending Volvo Masters, Casey was laid low by a virus which threatened his participation at Valderrama. However he showed great fortitude in playing on before missing out on the Order of Merit to Irelands Padraig Harrington.
Ultimately, Harrington ended the season with 2,489,336 (1,667,618) with Casey on 2,454,084 (1,644,002), Howell on 2,321,166 (1,554,959) and Robert Karlsson 2,044,935 (1,369,911).
It is a tremendous honor to be named European Tour Golfer of the Year, Casey said. The race for the No. 1 position with Padraig, David Howell and Robert Karlsson was truly exceptional and, I believe, fired the imagination of the golfing public in Europe. It didnt help that I was ill during the Volvo Masters but these things happen in sport. It was a tremendous tussle with my three Ryder Cup team mates and their determination to succeed also helped spur me on at the end of the season.
Many great golfers have won The European Tour Golfer of the Year Accolade and it gives me a great feeling of pride to join that illustrious roll of honor.
Europes 2008 Ryder Cup Captain, Nick Faldo said: It was a very gutsy turnaround by Paul this season after a disappointing 2005 by his own high standards. He was outstanding in The Ryder Cup and his hole-in-one at The K Club was the shot of the year in my book.
His performances during the season will set him up nicely for the big challenges ahead in 2007.
The Golfer of the Month Award is presented to a European Tour Member each month from January to November for his performance on The European Tour International Schedule and in worldwide competition.
Award winners in 2006 were Henrik Stenson of Sweden (January), South African Charl Schwartzel (February), Jean Van de Velde of France (March), Spains Gonzalo Fernandez-Castao (April), Englands David Howell (May), John Bickerton of England (June), Robert Karlsson of Sweden (July), Alejandro Caizares of Spain (August), Paul Casey of England (September), Padraig Harrington of Ireland (October) and Jeev Milkha Singh of India (November).