We have already looked at Tommy Fleetwood but it is his countryman, Paul Casey who’s credentials we will be looking into today.
At 40 years of age, Casey has already faced some huge ups and downs in his game, but one thing is for sure – he is hugely talented and definitely has enough game to win a major.
Perhaps surprisingly, Paul Casey has made just ten starts at Augusta, but in that time he has posted five top-10’s, including three straight since 2015.
As you can see, in the last three years he has not finished outside the top-6 and the majority of the time, if he makes the weekend, he cracks the the top-10 which is no small feat in itself.
Whilst he clearly enjoys the course and knows how to score well there, he will be looking to find another gear, to really contend instead of just placing this time around.
Why he can win the 2018 Masters
Casey is simply a player in tremendous form, and has been for the past couple of years. His hard work and consistent play finally led to a 3rd PGA Tour title at the Valspar earlier this month and that will give him plenty of confidence in his quest to win his first major championship.
Whilst perhaps not winning as much as he should have done, such is his ability, Casey is still a man who has always known how to win (18 career wins) so it would be no real surprise to see him win at least one major when it’s all said and done.
Despite his best major finish being a T3 at the Open Championship in 2010, Casey’s best chance of a major may well be at The Masters, given his clear affinity with the course and this season especially looks like a good opportunity for him to do so, despite so many others being in great form.
A recent win fresh in the mind may just be what Casey needs to get over the line in this event, especially as the win in Tampa was just his third on the PGA Tour and first since 2009.
When you play so well at the same course multiple times, there has to be a belief that you can get in the winners’ circle there and Casey should definitely feel this way at Augusta.
Last year, Casey opened up his week with rounds of 72-75 but bounced back brilliantly over the weekend shooting 69-68 to finish in 6th place.
Ultimately his slow start last year gave him little chance to win going into Sunday, but in both 2015 and 2016 he opened with a round of 69 (-3) and if he can get a similar start this time around, he could be right in the mix come Sunday.
In 2016 he had a terrible spell over Friday and Saturday, shooting 77-74, but it again speaks volumes that he closed with a round of 67 to climb into a tie 4th place.
Over this last three-year period, Casey has posted/matched his best rounds on the Sunday but did so when not in contention. This has been typical of Casey, creeping into the top-10 after a huge final round and it has been criticised over the years, only doing it when without a chance of winning.
It was a familiar story at the Valspar, where he posted a number in the clubhouse and in the end could not be caught, but on that day he knew if he could get in with a good score, he could still win and he did just that.
There are not many weaknesses in his game at the moment, ranking; 1st in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, 7th in SG: Approach, 10th in SG: Around-the-Green and 26th in SG: Off-the-Tee, leaving his putting as the only area of struggle in his game.
He only needed 21 putts on Sunday at the Valspar, but ranks just 91st in SG: Putting and that will obviously need to improve for at least the week, if he is going to be wearing green come Masters Sunday.
All in all, there aren’t many, if any playing as consistently as Casey right now and he is striking the ball wonderfully, so just needs some putts to drop as they did in his recent win to really put his hat in the ring here.