European Tour

Casey triumphs at Irish Open

Paul Casey (AP Photo)
Paul Casey (AP Photo)

Maynooth - Former world number three Paul Casey mastered difficult conditions to hit a five-under par 67 to claim the Irish Open by three shots on Sunday, his first European Tour victory in over two years.

Casey, who has fought back from poor form and injury problems in recent times, started the final round at Carton House, County Kildare, four shots behind Dutch leader Joost Luiten.

The Englishman made his move on the eighth hole, hitting the first of five birdies in six holes in blustery and occasionally wet conditions, as Luiten, who won the Austrian Open earlier in the month, faltered with bogies on the fifth, 12th and 16th holes.

Casey, now with a world ranking of 169, began to struggle in the trying conditions, bogeying both the 15th and 16th holes to narrow his lead to just one shot, but an eagle on the par-five 18th after hitting the rough from the tee meant he could celebrate his first title since the Volvo Golf Champions in January 2011.

"It's incredibly sweet," Casey told the European Tour website (www.europeantour.com).

"It's been a while and when that putt went in half of it was relief and half of it was satisfaction.

"What a grandstand finish - winning an Irish open is an absolute dream.

"It was a shaky start, I didn't hit the ball particularly close going out but when the putts did start to go in I got on a bit of a roll."

Luiten's two-over round of 74 saw him finish on 11-under par, tied for second with England's Robert Rock who shot a final round 71 to take the runners-up spot for the second time.

Spain's two-time major winner Jose Maria Olazabal briefly held the lead during the final round but the 47-year-old, now ranked 425 and who captained the European Ryder Cup team to victory over the United States last year, faded to par 72 and a tie for fifth.

FINAL SCORES:

274 - Paul Casey (Britain) 68 72 67 67

277 - Robert Rock (Britain) 69 66 71 71, Joost Luiten (Netherlands) 67 70 66 74

279 - Pablo Larrazabal (Spain) 69 69 66 75

280 - Shane Lowry (Ireland) 67 70 74 69, Gareth Shaw (Britain) 73 68 70 69, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spain) 69 70 70 71, Jose Maria Olazabal (Spain) 68 69 71 72, Alvaro Quiros (Spain) 72 68 68 72

281 - Danny Willett (Britain) 73 68 71 69, Peter Lawrie (Ireland) 72 71 67 71, Jamie Donaldson (Britain) 69 71 69 72, Alejandro Canizares (Spain) 71 69 69 72, Peter Whiteford (Britain) 71 68 69 73

282 - Gregory Havret (France) 74 70 68 70, Jose Manuel Lara (Spain) 71 70 70 71, Ricardo Santos (Portugal) 71 66 71 74

283 - Soren Kjeldsen (Denmark) 71 70 72 70, Simon Thornton (Ireland) 69 73 70 71, Marc Warren (Britain) 69 75 67 72, Thomas Bjorn (Denmark) 68 71 70 74

284 - Eddie Pepperell (Britain) 71 69 74 70, Ross Fisher (Britain) 73 70 70 71, Brett Rumford (Australia) 72 71 69 72, Andy Sullivan (Britain) 72 72 67 73, Anders Hansen (Denmark) 69 70 71 74, Richard Sterne (South Africa) 73 70 67 74, Raphael Jacquelin (France) 69 69 70 76, Scott Henry (Britain) 74 64 69 77

285 - Richard Bland (Britain) 71 72 70 72, Oscar Floren (Sweden) 66 71 71 77

286 - Eduardo De La Riva (Spain) 73 71 74 68, Graeme Storm (Britain) 69 73 74 70, Francesco Molinari (Italy) 73 67 76 70, Michael Hoey (Britain) 67 76 72 71, Mikko Ilonen (Finland) 70 73 70 73, Jorge Campillo (Spain) 72 68 72 74, Daniel Gaunt (Australia) 71 68 72 75, Alan Dunbar (Britain) 70 72 69 75, Peter Uihlein (U.S.) 67 68 74 77, Fredrik Andersson Hed (Sweden) 70 71 68 77

287 - James Morrison (Britain) 73 70 73 71, Seve Benson (Britain) 73 71 70 73, Anthony Snobeck (France) 71 71 71 74, Garth Mulroy (South Africa) 69 75 69 74, Alexandre Kaleka (France) 72 68 71 76

288 - Stephen Gallacher (Britain) 72 70 73 73, David Drysdale (Britain) 72 71 72 73, Patrik Sjoeland (Sweden) 73 70 72 73, Oliver Fisher (Britain) 71 70 73 74, Paul Lawrie (Britain) 71 70 73 74, Andrew Dodt (Australia) 68 74 69 77

289 - Richard Finch (Britain) 71 71 78 69, Callum Macaulay (Britain) 73 71 76 69, Andreas Harto (Denmark) 70 72 73 74, Emiliano Grillo (Argentina) 73 67 74 75, Justin Walters (South Africa) 72 69 70 78

290 - Sam Little (Britain) 71 72 74 73, Lasse Jensen (Denmark) 72 71 72 75, Stephen Dodd (Britain) 71 70 73 76

291 - Carlos Del Moral (Spain) 72 72 75 72, Robert-Jan Derksen (Netherlands) 73 71 73 74

292 - Romain Wattel (France) 74 70 74 74, Seamus Power (Ireland) 69 75 71 77

293 - Matthew Baldwin (Britain) 71 73 75 74, Huang Wenyi (China) 77 67 74 75, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (France) 67 75 75 76, Chris Paisley (Britain) 69 72 74 78

294 - Chris Lloyd (Britain) 72 71 76 75

295 - Damian Mooney (Britain) 74 68 76 77

297 - David Howell (Britain) 70 72 77 78, Maximilian Kieffer (Germany) 70 73 75 79

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