ASU Men's Golfer Paul Casey To Turn Professional
Nov. 8, 2000
Three-time Pac-10 men's golf champion and three-time All-American Paul Casey has decided to forgo his final season of eligibility and begin his professional career, ASU men's golf coach Randy Lein announced Wednesday.
Casey, who successfully defended his English Amateur Championship this past summer, earned first-team All-America honors last spring and was a second-team selection in 1998 and 1999. His 2000 stroke average of 69.87 set the school record, formerly held by Phil Mickelson who posted a 69.95 average in his senior season 1991-92.
'Paul's decision is one that I understand and support,' says Lein, who is in his ninth-year at Arizona State. 'He has brought a lot of attention to Arizona State and has represented the university in a great manner. During this fall, Paul came to the realization that he wanted to begin his professional career. With opportunities that will be available the first of the year, he is excited about playing professionally. He has had the opportunity to play with many Sun Devils currently playing professionally like Phil Mickelson, Todd Demsey, Jim Carter and many others, and he wants to join that elite group.'
Casey won the 2000 English Amateur in August and then competed in the World Team Championships in early September.
'After winning the English Amateur late in the summer and playing in the World Team Championships in September, I came back to school intent on playing on the collegiate level but after evaluating my opportunities it seemed best for me to turn professional at this time,' said Casey. 'Arizona State has been a great teaching ground both academically and athletically, but at this time I feel its in my best interests to pursue a professional career. I appreciate all the opportunities that were afforded to me in college and it certainly was not an easy decision. I've had some great experiences with some great teammates, and that was the hardest part about my decision.'
Casey shot a 67 in the final round of the 41st annual Pac-10 Men's Golf Championship to break Tiger Woods conference par-72 mark and win his third straight Pac-10 title at The ASU Karsten Golf Course (par-72, 7027 yards) on April 26. Casey also led ASU to its sixth straight league title, as the Sun Devils shot 56-under 1,384 (339-351-342-352) to also set Pac-10 records for low score and best score under par. Casey finished at 23-under 265 (66-65-67-67) and broke Woods' 18-under 270 set in the 1996 Championships at Big Canyon Country Club in Newport Beach, Calif. (61-65-73-71). Casey shot a 15-under 265 at the Broadmoor Golf Club in Seattle on the par-70 course in 1999, including a NCAA-record 60 in the final round.
Casey ended his career with six championships, tied for third on the ASU wins list as he passed 1993 NCAA Champion Todd Demsey, who had five. Casey ends his career tied with Charlie Gibson, who won six titles from 1972-75, while four-time All-American Billy Mayfair won eight titles from 1985-88. Mickelson leads the list with an amazing 16 wins from 1989-92.