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07 December 2023

Casey ends barren run on European Tour

Paul Casey of England holds the trophy after the final round of the Volvo Championship held at the Royal Golf Club in Bahrain on Sunday. (GETTY)

By Reuters

World number nine Paul Casey claimed his first European Tour title since 2009 by winning the inaugural Volvo Golf Champions event in Bahrain on Sunday.

The 33-year-old Briton carded a closing 68 for a 20-under-par total of 268 to finish a stroke ahead of Swede Peter Hanson (69) and Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez (67) at the Royal Golf Club in Riffa.
Briton Stephen Gallacher (67) was fourth on 270, with Dubai World Championship winner Robert Karlsson (66) of Sweden in fifth spot on 271.
Casey said he now wants to win again before competing in the season’s first major, the US Masters in April.
“My goal now is major championships, starting with Augusta, and it would be nice to crack on and get another win before the Masters,” he told reporters.
“That would really set me up and then maybe I can accomplish those goals I’ve set. Augusta is a great opportunity for me with the way the golf course sets up.”
Casey and playing partner Hanson were tied on the 72nd tee and both players missed the green to the right with their approach shots.
Hanson splashed out to 10 feet after finding a greenside bunker and failed to sink his putt for a par four while the Englishman chipped to five feet from deep rough and holed out.
Casey’s 11th victory was his first on the tour since he won the flagship PGA Championship in England in May 2009.
He will also climb to number five in the world rankings unless Phil Mickelson finishes first or outright second at the San Diego Open later on Sunday.
Hanson said his bunker shot at the 18th was extremely difficult.
“From the lie I had there was not much I could do apart from just hack it out on to the green,” said the Swede, a member of last year’s triumphant Ryder Cup team.
“Paul made a great up-and-down there so all the best to him.” 
Earlier, Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen and Briton Richard Finch broke the course record at the Royal Golf Club.
The duo shot matching nine-under 63s to better by one stroke the 64 achieved by three players earlier this week.
Kjeldsen birdied his opening three holes and also the first three of his inward half to finish on 11-under 277.
“It was great as the last three days my golf had got worse and worse,” he told reporters. “I had a big session on the range yesterday and sort of figured it out after about an hour and a half.
“Today was just one of those days when I hit a good drive on the first hole, the driver had been my big problem, and I just felt happy after that.”
Englishman Finch raced to the turn in 29 thanks to an eagle and five birdies as he wound up on 276.
“I’m delighted with that score,” said Finch.