Very special to beat Tiger, says Casey
- Author: Sylvester Abbott Mar 12, 2018,
Mar 12, 2018, 6:55
Hundreds of people are expected to attend the final round on Sunday.
Casey a year ago rejoined the European Tour so he would be eligible. "Loud as I've heard it in a long time". To be fair, he's won plenty of tournaments since the 2009 Shell Houston Open, his only other PGA TOUR title. Woods won events there in 2000-03, 2008-09 and 2012-13.
The 40-year-old Englishman has proven his talents against the best of the best in recent years. So, nice to go back to Orlando.
Woods played conservatively with an iron off the 442-yard, uphill closing hole on the Copperhead course. The 7-iron he hit came up a little short, leaving an unlikely birdie putt that also finished short.
Unlike the days when Woods, 42, expected to win from such a position, he is keenly aware of what he has overcome in a short time.
Despite some of the low scores we saw throughout this week, Innisbrook is no pushover.
"It was a very hard week, tough conditions on a tough golf course, very demanding, and I thought I held up really well".
That was good enough for a share of the early clubhouse lead, but eventually two strokes behind Canadian rookie Conners, the overnight leader who fired a 69 for 136. From the get-go, it was clear that we would have a come from behind champion, the only question left was who it would be. It was just inconsistent, it was tough to get a bead on which way it was coming from.
Woods struggled to make inroads during the final round but set up a grandstand finish by draining a stunning 44-foot birdie on the penultimate hole, but was unable to replicate it at the last.
Not that Tiger will allow himself to think that far ahead. While the scoring came smoothly, it was the wait that got to him.
"It feels good to be up here", Woods said. "Rubbish. Can't stand it".
And while so much attention was understandably thrown to Woods, don't let that take away from what Casey accomplished. Casey ranked seventh in SG: Approach-to-the-green, had the third best scrambling percentage at 82.1, and ranked 15th in SG: Putting. It will be his first appearance since 2013.
That could mean win No. 9 at Bay Hill in a week or, gasp, win No. 5 at Augusta National four weeks from Sunday.
Everyone had to turn their clocks an hour forward for Daylight Saving Time, but Woods made a decision to turn things back a few years instead, giving everyone a reason to tune into a golf tournament before the Masters get going next month. I wanted to play one last time before he moved on and unfortunately I just couldn't play.