Casey on road to Ryder return

Reigning Irish Open champion Paul Casey continues to stake his claim for a return to Ryder Cup action next year after another impressive display on day two of the Seve Trophy in France.

Casey on road to Ryder return

The Englishman played in three Ryder Cups from 2004 before being controversially overlooked by Colin Montgomerie as a ‘wildcard’ pick in favour of Pádraig Harrington for the 2010 Celtic Manor encounter.

Casey and Seve Trophy team partner Simon Khan are undefeated in this year’s event and after halving their first round match they easily accounted for the Scandinavian duo of Thorbjorn Olesen and Mikko Illonen 3&2 on day two.

It was the first of three victories for Sam Torrance’s GB & I side who now head into this morning’s foursomes trailing by just a point at 4½ to 5½.

Last year’s Irish Open champion Jamie Donaldson finished with an eagle and four birdies over his last five holes playing alongside Scot Marc Warren to score a 4&2 victory over the now winless pair of Thomas Bjorn and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

The biggest surprise on day two was the 6&5 drubbing handed out to the all-Scotland pair of Paul Lawrie and Stephen Gallacher by the unbeaten duo of Nicolas Colsaerts and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.

No sooner had Casey and Khan won their match than this year’s Carton House winning hero was back on course cheering on his GB & I team-mates.

“There is a lot of pride at stake this week. And while Sam [Torrance] is our captain, Paul’s [McGinley] been great as he is popping up all over the course and he just popped up on the 15th green, so he’s all over the place.”

But while Torrance and Olazabal, along with McGinley, have been singing Casey’s praises this week the current World No 107 is playing down the likelihood of teeing up at Gleneagles in less than a year’s time.

“I’m treating this week as a partial stepping stone to a possible Ryder Cup return next year,” said Casey.

“Paul [McGinley] was saying to everybody playing this week in France, if you get into a situation where you’ve not made the team and you’re up for a possible wildcard pick next year, then he will take into account how we stand up this week and how we play and the [playing] records and how we handle the pressure.”

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