Paul Casey plays it cool after triple bogey at US Open

Paul Casey refused to collapse after a knee-trembling triple-bogey eight and recovered with a stunning run of five birdies in a row to grab the clubhouse lead in the US Open.

Paul Casey refused to collapse after a knee-trembling triple-bogey eight and recovered with a stunning run of five birdies in a row to grab the clubhouse lead in the US Open.

The 39-year-old Englishman is determined to add a major to his tally of 17 worldwide wins.

After racing into the early lead with a birdie at the 11th, his second hole, he looked like the last man who would be leading at lunchtime when he ran up a triple-bogey eight at the 14th and a bogey at the 15th to two-under par.

Then after his lay-up at the 14th squirted right into deep rough, he went through the green into more deep rough, moved his fourth shot only a few feet, and couldn’t even go for the green with his fifth.

He eventually chipped to 7ft but missed for a seven and pencilled in a dreaded snowman.

When he bogeyed the 15th to boot, he didn’t panic. But if he was flustered, he wasn’t letting on.

Asked if his caddie, Johnny McLaren, had said anything after the triple bogey, Casey joked: “No, I asked him if he was all right because he was incredibly quiet. And he was like, ‘Oh, fine, I’m good.’

“Then he says, ‘Are you all right?’ And I said, Yeah.”

Casey proved it too with a stunning run of red figures.

After rolling in a 12-footer at the 17th, he pitched stone dead from just short at the par-five 18th to get back to four-under, then hit a 120-yard wedge to 2ft at the first.

He followed that by making a 12-footer at the tricky second before rounding off his five-in-a-row birdie run with a stunning 240-yard approach to 10ft at the third.

After closing with six straight pars, he walked in to find himself leading by two shots in the clubhouse on seven-under from Players Championship winner Si Woo Kim (71) of Korea, unheralded qualifier Xander Schauffele (73), and 22-year-old amateur Cameron Champ (69), another qualifier.

Asked if his position would change his mindset, Casey said: “It doesn’t. I want to be near the top. It doesn’t affect the game plan one bit, and it doesn’t really affect the mindset.

“There will probably be more nerves, more excitement, but there is a lot of golf to be played here.

“I’ve shown what can happen with one bad swing. So you’ve got to be very, very patient and stay in the moment.

“I know it’s cliché, but the last thing you need to be doing is thinking ahead, especially on this golf course.”

Asked how he might have responded to a triple bogey eight earlier in his career, he admitted that his years of experience stood to him.

“I was upset with the score I had made, but it had, in no way, any effect on my attitude or how I was going to then approach the rest of the round or the next shot,” said Casey.


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