Paul Casey is hoping to finally draw a line under his injury-plagued season and get down to the serious business of winning golf tournaments – starting at the BMW International Open as he bids to make a last dash for José María Olazábal’s Ryder Cup team.
The Englishman pulled out of last week’s US Open following a recurrence of the shoulder injury that has wreaked havoc on his 2012 season and allowed the 34 year old just eight appearances this season on either side of the Atlantic.
A series of dysfunctional ribs, toes and shoulders have all played their part in keeping Casey on the sidelines over the past year or so, but it is the right shoulder that he dislocated during the Christmas break that has ravaged his season so far.
“I think I'm done with the recovery. I just need to get the golf game back now - I just need to play,” said Casey.
“I have certain goals for the rest of the season. The first one is not going easy on myself on the golf course. I want to go out and make a bunch of birdies and enjoy it on the golf course and from there, I can start cranking up the intensity and focus.”
If Casey can recapture the intensity and focus that brought him 13 professional victories and elevated him to a career high of Number Three in the Official World Golf Ranking, he believes he can still qualify for The Ryder Cup team to defend the trophy against the USA in September.
“If I get going, I still firmly believe I can qualify; of course I can qualify for the team,” he said. “It's a case of winning golf events and that's all I can focus on. I'm not going to focus on the alternative, which is not making the team.
“Ollie is going to be a great Captain, and I love being around him. He's so positive. He's one guy that's made everybody cry in Ryder Cup team rooms with some inspirational speeches. Whenever he did that, at Valhalla and the K Club, the words were very powerful. I would love to play in what is going to be a very strong team under him.”
Where better for Casey to launch his bid to get back to Ryder Cup business than at the Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof in Cologne?
“This is a great event,” he continued. “BMW put on great events. They are probably the best in the business and their continued support of the Tour and worldwide golf, is second to none. They have got four events worldwide. And they are all staged brilliantly.
“I know the players enjoy it and I hope the crowds enjoy it. I think that's shown by the number of people that turn up. I hear ticket sales are huge already this week and with it being near Kaymer’s hometown I hope we have a great atmosphere.”