Paul Casey issued a warning to his rivals as he bids for a 14th European Tour victory at the Porsche European Open.
The 42-year-old has not been in the winner’s circle on the European Tour since claiming the KLM Open in 2014 but the Englishman believes he is “dangerous” as he sits one shot adrift at Green Eagle Golf Courses.
Casey, who led after the first round in Hamburg, started the day six shots behind overnight leader Robert MacIntyre but came into the clubhouse as co-leader alongside the star rookie and home favourite Bernd Ritthammer at eight under.
The final pair birdied the last to nudge ahead of the European Ryder Cup star but Casey has not ruled out becoming the third successive Englishman to taste victory in Germany, following in footsteps of 2017 winner Jordan Smith and defending champion Richard McEvoy.
“Solid stuff, probably my best ball-striking day this week – until 18 when I knocked it in the rough,” Casey said. “I was cruising around, having a good time. The sun’s out with no wind, my kind of style of golf.
“I saw the leaderboard, but there’s a long way to go. Usually the guys who struggle on Saturdays play well on Sundays. There’s a lot of guys out here where this is a very big week for them. It’s big for me too, but I’m in a different position because I’ve been there and done that.
“There’s very little pressure on me. I’m the guy to beat, I’m the highest in the World Rankings of the guys on the leaderboard, but still I’ll go out, do what I did today and have a lot of fun, enjoying the golf course.
“I’m at the stage where I’m pretty content. As [Lee] Westwood says, ‘if you don’t care as much, you’re dangerous.’ I’m kind of falling into that category, so that makes me dangerous tomorrow.”
The World Number 17 has spoken at length about his affinity with this event.
Casey worked as a 14-year-old volunteer at the 1991 GA European Open, which was won by Mike Harwood at Walton Heath - an experience which further enhanced his interest in the sport.
And the 13 time European Tour winner is desperate to add his name to the trophy, which includes Greg Norman, Sir Nick Faldo and good friend Westwood as former winners of the tournament.
“It would be very cool,” Casey added. “It’s a great trophy, it’s a great championship. That would mean an awful lot.
“There’s one thing about the tournaments I’ve been fortunate to win – it sounds sad, but I was polishing trophies the other day and they were tarnished.
“You look at some of them that I’ve won – you look at the Irish Open, Wentworth in a couple of weeks – the BMW Championship – you look at people like Seve’s name on there, my heroes, that’s very, very cool.
“The year I was at Walton Heath, working there, Mike Harwood won, and there’s some great names on there. I would love to win a Porsche European Open.”