Former Sun Devil Paul Casey Wins European Tour's BMW PGA Championship
May 24, 2009
Former Arizona State University golfer Paul Casey birdied three of the last four holes on Sunday to win the BMW PGA Championship, the European Tour's flagship event.
Casey will move to No. 3 in the Official World Golf Rankings because of the victory, meaning two of the top three golfers in the world rankings are former ASU golfers (Phil Mickelson is ranked second).
After consecutive 67's in the second and third rounds, Casey entered Sunday's final round with a three-shot lead. However, Ross Fisher made five birdies in the first 10 holes on Sunday to catch Casey on the leaderboard, setting up a back-nine duel between the two Englishmen.
Casey took a one-stroke lead with a birdie on the par-4 15th hole. Fisher, playing a group in front, birdied both the 17th and 18th holes, but Casey matched him with birdies on the two par-5 closing holes. On the 18th, Casey hit his second shot into a greenside bunker, but he hit his bunker shot to within five feet and made the left-to-right putt to clinch the championship.
The final-round 68 gave Casey a four-round total of 17-under par 271. It was his third worldwide win this season, after winning the European Tour's Abu Dhabi Championship in January and then capturing his first career PGA Tour victory at the Shell Houston Open in April. It also moves Casey into the lead in the Race to Dubai, the European Tour's season-long competition.
Casey played at ASU from 1997-2000, winning six times including three straight Pac-10 Championships and the 1998 NCAA West Regional. He now has 10 career European Tour victories and has been a member of the last three European Ryder Cup teams.