PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Paul Casey narrowly missed out on a PGA Tour victory for the second week in a row, but all was not lost for the Englishman.
Casey began Monday’s restart tied for the lead with Ian Poulter, having played the first nine holes of his final round in 4 under. Once play resumed, he played the back nine at PGA National in 2-over 37, and at 5 under he missed a playoff by one shot.
“As easy as I felt it yesterday out there, I felt it equally tough today,” Casey said. “I know how difficult this golf course is. I’m disappointed not to at least make one birdie out there this morning, but I gave it my best shot and I’m really happy with the way I played this week.”
Casey lost in a playoff the previous week at the Northern Trust Open, and his T-3 finish this week was good enough to move him up to No. 45 in the world rankings, netting him a spot in the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami.
Casey began the week at No. 65 in the OWGR, and having reached as high as No. 3 in the world earlier in his career he understands the importance of being ranked among golf’s upper echelon, a standing that brings with it berths into majors and WGC events.
“Once you’re out of that (top) 50, life is so difficult,” he said. “So I’m trying to get back in it.”
Casey abandoned his European Tour membership at the start of the year, focusing instead on a full slate of PGA Tour events. A solid spot inside the top 50 could allow him to create a schedule more conducive to dual membership, and Casey would earn a spot in the Masters if inside the top 50 on March 30.
He said he would consider the possibility of re-joining the European Tour at some point in the future in order to become eligible for the 2016 Ryder Cup.
“It seems slightly cheeky, doesn’t it? If you can get away with doing that?” Casey said. “I do think about (playing in the Ryder Cup), but it’s not at the forefront right now. Winning out here, winning anywhere is the primary concern.”