• European Tour

Casey: I can still make Ryder Cup team

ESPN staff
June 20, 2012 « Ohuruogu not thinking beyond London 2012 | Chartbeat test »
Paul Casey is hoping for a strong performance at the Open © Getty Images
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Paul Casey is convinced he still has the time and ability to qualify for this year's European Ryder Cup team.

Casey, who has made three Ryder Cup appearances but was famously overlooked for a wildcard in 2010 by then-captain Colin Montgomerie, has seen his career hampered by a series of injuries in recent times - with turf toe knocking his swing out of kilter in 2011 and a snowboarding accident at the start of 2012 ruling him out of action for two months.

The Englishman currently sits well outside the automatic qualification spots for Jose Maria Olazabal's team to face the United States at Medinah later this year, but is adamant he has what it takes to force his way into the final 12-man selection.

"If I get going, I still firmly believe I can qualify; of course I can qualify for the team," Casey, who is playing at this week's BMW International in Germany, 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."

With so many Europeans playing so well this season, however, Casey may find he needs a captain's pick to make the team. But if Olazabal opts against giving him the nod, the 34-year-old acknowledged he would be happy to serve as a non-playing assistant captain - just as Sergio Garcia did two years ago.

"I've not been asked that, but I would," he said. "I want to be there. I want to be there as a player but yeah, I would. That's not my decision but I would throw it out there and I would talk to him about it."

A big performance in one of the two remaining majors of the year would go a long way to helping Casey onto the plane to Chicago. With this year's Open Championship taking place at Royal Lytham & St Annes, Casey - who finished tied for third in the event two years ago - is hoping for a big performance.

"As Opens should be, it's all about the weather," he noted. "If we get good weather, then it will be very enjoyable. If we get tough weather, I think it's one of the toughest courses we play in the Open rota."

Casey has good memories of the Blackpool layout, winning the English Amateur there in 2000, but believes it will be a very different beast when players tee it up next month.

"It has fond memories, but it was a make your number going out and hang onto it going home, if the prevailing wind is where it should be," he revealed. "Six should be a short par-five and seven should be a short par-five and you make your numbers there. But now six is a ridiculously long par-four, impossible, and seven is another 40 yards longer, with a new green.

"Then there's a new tee on 11 and various other holes - so it's not a sort of easy front nine, tough back nine [that asks you to] make a bunch of fours coming in as the greats have done to hang in.

"You can't do that anymore. You have to hang on all over the place. It looks very different. It will be interesting."

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