Casey excited by Tiger threat
Paul Casey carded a second round 68 to hit the weekend just two shots back of the leader Corey Conners in the Valspar Championship, but Tiger Woods was the focus of his rapt attention.
After 36 holes the Englishman shares second place on 4-under 136 with Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Palmer, Kelly Kraft and, to Casey's undisguised delight, the former world number one Woods.
"It's great to see him back," said the 40-year-old. "I'm excited. It feels like the old days, one behind Tiger every day, then lose by four.
"I'm a fan of the game so I love watching it. When you're in the mix, playing with him and he pulls off the miraculous you just say damn, I can't do that.
"He's always had an ability to deal with the distractions and sometimes draw from it. I actually I want him to play brilliant golf and want these kids to see what we dealt with for a long, long time.
"I want to win this week. But if I don't win this week I want Tiger to win this week. And if not this week then soon."
Casey is ranked 17th in the world rankings and is a 13-time winner on the European Tour yet he has only one victory on the PGA Tour and that was back in 2009 at the Houston Open.
His form is strong, with seven top 20 finishes in his last ten starts, including four top tens. To be so near and yet so far is frustrating, especially as he believes he knows the missing ingredient.
"Putting is the thing that's held me back over the last couple of seasons," he said. "I'm not gaining any strokes on the weekend putting against the rest of the field.
"The guys who won last season typically had very good Strokes Gained stats over the weekend. Plain and simple. So my putting needs to be better and I've been working on it. Definitely happy the way I putted the last two days."
Casey is 1/33 to win the tournament outright, Woods is 12/1 and Conners is 1000/1.
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