England’s Casey flirts with Augusta National records

Paul Casey's final bogey kept him from matching the best final round in Masters history, a 64 shot six times, most recently by Bo Van Pelt in 2012
AFP

Augusta (United States) (AFP) – Britain’s Paul Casey flirted with Augusta National 18-hole scoring records in Sunday’s final round of the Masters, but his charge at faded with a bogey-bogey finish.

Casey, who only made the cut on the number after starting 74-75, followed with a 69 in Saturday’s third round and made a stunning run up the leaderboard after starting the last round on 2-over 218.

The 40-year-old Englishman was 9-under after 16 holes but settled for a 7-under 65 — still his low round in any major — to finish 72 holes on 5-under 283.

Casey, whose best of 41 prior Masters rounds was a 67 on the last day in 2016, for a career-best fourth place, tapped in for birdie at the par-5 second.

He made a 5-footer to birdie the par-4 fifth then a 16-foot par putt at the par-3 sixth.

He rescued par at seven after a tee shot into the right trees thanks to a third-shot approach to four feet.

A 5-foot birdie at the par-5 eighth dropped him to 1-under heading to the back nine and he put together a run of four birdies and an eagle starting at the par-4 11th.

Casey holed out from 41 yards for birdie at the start of Amen Corner to begin the spurt, then dropped a 19-foot birdie putt at the par-3 12th and then landed his approach 15 feet from the cup at the par-5 13th before holing the eagle putt.

A 13-foot birdie at 14 and a 2-putt birdie from 35 feet at the par-5 15th left Casey on 7-under for the tournament and 9-under for the day, level with the course record.

No sooner did talk begin of matching South African Branden Grace’s 62 in the third round of last year’s British Open for the lowest round in major golf history than Casey stumbled, finding a bunker on his approach at 17 and missing a 13-foot par putt.

At 18, he needed three putts to get down from 68 feet after rolling 16 feet past the cup trying to match the course record.

The 18-hole Masters record remains 63, shot by Zimbabwe’s Nick Price in the 1986 third round and Australian Greg Norman in the first round in 1996.

The final bogey kept him from matching the best final round in Masters history, a 64 shot six times, most recently by Bo Van Pelt in 2012.

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