Paul Casey claimed the first European Tour Shot of the Month of 2011 for his outstanding five wood approach to the par five ninth hole in the opening round of the Royal Golf Club in the Kingdom of Bahrain en route to winning the inaugural Volvo Golf Champions.
Despite being protected by a well positioned greenside bunker, the Englishman took dead aim at the flag from 265 yards and produced a near-perfect stroke, sending his ball soaring over the bunker before landing it a mere eight feet from the cup.
The stroke was Casey at his best – a potent combination of power and finesse – and ensured the 33 year old would claim the Shot of the Month Award for January ahead of Charl Schwartzel and Martin Kaymer.
Casey said: “This is the third time I’ve won the Shot of the Month and it’s always great to win these awards – especially as this one was voted for by the public. I couldn’t have hit the shot much better – I knew right away that there was a fair chance it would finish close to the hole. But it was only a great shot because I rolled in the birdie putt – if I’d missed, it would’ve undone all my hard work.”
Schwartzel’s near-perfect bunker shot on the 13th hole of the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club during the final round of the Joburg Open helped the South African complete a successful title defence, while Kaymer matched that feat at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, thanks to shots like his approach from the desert sand to the 13th hole in round four.
Judged by users of www.europeantour.com, the Shot of the Month is awarded to the Tour Member for the stroke judged to be the best played each month on The European Tour International Schedule.
The winners of each Shot of the Month Award will then be put forward for The European Tour Shot of the Year, which was won last season by Graeme McDowell for the unforgettable birdie putt on the 16th green of The Celtic Manor Resort that effectively won The Ryder Cup for Europe.