Ryder Cup 2021: Paul Casey aims to outlast Lee Westwood in age battle

Paul Casey feared his Ryder Cup career might be over but now has his sights set on challenging Lee Westwood to become Europe’s oldest player in the event.

Paul Casey speaks to the media prior to the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin. Picture: Warren Little/Getty Images.

Casey made his debut in the biennial contest on a winning team at Oakland Hills in Detroit in 2004 before also tasting victory at The K Club in Ireland two years later.

The Englishman then made it three appearances in a row at Valhalla in 2008 before having to wait 10 years to be involved again.

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Handed a pick by Thomas Bjorn for the match in Paris, Casey helped Europe win by seven points and he’s delighted to have qualified automatically to be part of the side defending the trophy this week at Whistling Straits.

“There was a time pre-Paris that I thought I might never play another Ryder Cup, having missed more than a couple,” he said. “I was quite emotional in Paris because of that gap.

“The form I had been through and to be part of that great team in Paris was just one of the most special moments of my career.

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“The fact it was a pick made me sort of nervous coming down the last few weeks. This one I felt much more comfortable.

“As much as I wanted to be on this team, I put it to the side, the thought of trying to qualify. It's just been a sort of organic process and a result of the good golf I've played.

“And now I'm even looking at Westy going, how many more can I play? I think Westy is maybe the oldest player to represent Europe at 48 or whatever he is now. I'm 44, thinking can I squeeze a couple more out?

“It's amazing how my view on it has changed going from maybe I'm done to what does the future hold?”

Casey heaped praise on compatriot Ian Poulter heading into the 43rd edition, saying of ‘The Postman’: “He is unique. He's a big majority of the glue for this team.

“I have no idea what makes him tick. All I know is it's very, very special. It's infectious. This morning he just rolled through and you can just see that bounce in the step.

“I wouldn't want to play him. Glad he's on my team.”

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