Paul Casey’s majestic hole-in-one in the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship has been voted by fans as The European Tour Shot of the Month for March.
Having recovered from a shoulder injury which kept him out of action for three months, the Englishman marked his first appearance of the season with a 166-yard ace at the par three 15th at Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Florida.
Casey’s effort continues the rich run of par three accuracy following Sergio Garcia’s hole-in-one at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, which won the January Shot of the Month, and Martin Kaymer’s ace – the first of his life – in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, which was voted Shot of the Month for February.
The shot was particularly memorable for the banter which ensued between Casey and his caddie, Craig Connelly. As he stepped up to play his shot, Casey agreed with Connelly that if he made a hole-in-one, he would share the prize car on display behind the tee.
As the ball rolled in, Connelly leapt around joyously, but his celebrations were short-lived as he was quickly told that the car was only on offer for hole-in-ones on the 13th – much to Casey’s amusement.
More than 25 per cent of voters on My European Tour chose Casey’s perfect eight iron, which bounced twice and rolled into the cup, as The European Tour Shot of the Month for March, and one lucky fan won a customised pair of MyJoys.
It was an extremely close-run competition however, and Casey’s shot fended off strong competition from superb efforts by Welshman Jamie Donaldson and Frenchman Julien Quesne, in second and third place respectively.
Donaldson holed his second shot at the par four 18th in the last round of the Trophée Hassan II in Morocco, remarkably for his third eagle in a magnificent round of 61, while Quesne played the “shot of his life” into the daunting 18th green on the final day of the Open de Andalucía Costa del Sol. The 31 year old ripped a four iron to five feet and holed the putt for birdie – a fitting way to close out a stunning final round 64, which gave him a two stroke victory for his maiden European Tour title.
Casey’s ace will go forward to the Shot of the Year competition, a title held by Rory McIlroy for his brilliant tee shot on the par three tenth at last year’s US Open Championship, en route to his first Major triumph.