Very special to beat Tiger, says Casey

Mar 12, 2018, 06:02
Very special to beat Tiger, says Casey

Unfortunately, for the headline writers and fans who packed the fairways at the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, the fairytale finish was not quite to be, with Woods unable to back up with the birdie on 18 that was required to force a playoff with leader Paul Casey of England.

"I won a few times in Europe (13) but to get my second victory on the PGA Tour, it's emotional". While he took his first tentative shots with his long irons and woods, Justin Rose, who finished tied for fifth Sunday, was winning back-to-back tournaments in China and Turkey.

Woods' odds to win the Masters, as adjusted by Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, dropped twice on Friday on the strength of his performance, first from 16-1 to 12-1 and then to 10-1 - behind only world number one Dustin Johnson and PGA Championship victor Justin Thomas, both priced at 8-1.

It was Casey's first PGA Tour victory in nine years.

"I can confirm he's back", Snedeker, Woods' playing partner on Saturday, said. And that was with that 44-foot birdie putt on the 71st hole. It might not have been the outcome most people watching and attending were hoping to see, but Casey was certainly emotional and delighted by the victory.

Casey, who had played alongside Woods on day three and ended four shots adrift of Woods, snatched seven birdies in a closing 65 to win by a shot with a 10-under par tally on the Copperhead course. I hit some good shots.

"My life has been a roller-coaster since I last won on the PGA Tour as I've been divorced, remarried and have kids, and I could not be happier today standing here as the victor of the Valspar", he said.

Very special to beat Tiger, says Casey

He closed with a 70 - the first time since The Barclays in 2013 that he posted all four rounds under par on the PGA Tour - and tied for second. I didn't feel like I missed any opportunities last season for wins because I purely didn't putt good enough, no strokes gained on the weekend. Those little mistakes will get you. "Ready to go. I'm excited to play".

"I loved his putt on 17". Still, as I said yesterday, win or 15th, this was a great week for him.

But over 54 remarkable holes at Valspar, with expectations starting low and swelling higher, Woods has proven he can still play. It was the closest Woods has come to winning in almost five years.

Casey rallied from five shots behind. I know that was a long putt but I was trying to leave it below the hole.

Two shots behind going to the back nine, with Casey running out of birdie chances, Woods failed to birdie both par 5s. "I was kind of getting a little frustrated, seeing the scores were decent". Next week: Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

His health is a far cry from this time a year ago, when he says he could barely climb out of bed.

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