Paul Casey (Getty Images)
Paul Casey’s return to form continued to gather pace as the Englishman recorded his best European Tour finish of the year at the ISPS HANDA Perth International.
The 35 year old has had a difficult year after dislocating his shoulder in a snowboarding accident last winter, and the former World Number Three dropped to 133rd before finishing third in Korea last week.
That improvement continued in Australia, as the former Ryder Cup star had his first top-five finish on The European Tour since coming fourth at the 2011 WGC-HSBC Champions.
A five under par final round 67 left Casey eight under at Lake Karrinyup, and it might have been even better but for missed putts from inside five feet at the 16th and 18th.
However, a share of fifth place on eight under was still a good result for Casey, who had not finished better than tied for 25th on The European Tour in 2012.
“I'm happy with that,” said the 11-time European Tour winner. “I got it going today which was nice. I had it going at moments this week - the first day I played nicely and moments in between where I struggled.
“Karrinyup is a fabulous golf course, and if you stay the right side of the hole, you can really take advantage of it. As soon as you get the wrong side it can bite you a little bit, but it's wonderful to be down playing in front of these crowds, avoiding the kangaroos. It was a lot of fun this week.
“It's really enjoyable, I love playing in Oz. I've had success down here and won tournaments in New South Wales. There is something about being down here; I love the warm weather, and great crowds. They are having a few tinnies up on the balcony this afternoon, but they provide a lot of support and encouragement and I've really enjoyed that this week.
“This is the best I've felt in probably a few years, and the form is coming around really nicely. The golf I played this week, there are moments of very much the golf I'm capable of.
“With the form I'm starting to show, it's a case of wanting to be out there, play as much as I can and I feel it's not going to be long before I'm back in the winner's circle.”
Winning again is now Casey’s primary focus for the remainder of the season, although he still has plenty of work to do to try and get into the DP World Tour Championship.
“I'm still not in Dubai but the goal is to win before the end of the year - simple as that,” he added. “If I win next week, I don't know if that gets me in HSBC, it might, I don't know. A win before the end of the year, because the three I'm playing, BMW, Singapore and Hong Kong, they are all great events, and certainly BMW and Singapore are big money, as well.
“So I think ignore trying to get into Dubai; just try and win. That solves every problem.”