Casey over the moon, Sullivan wins trip to space

Paul Casey claims KLM Open title while Andy Sullivan wins a trip into space for a hole-in-one on the 15th

Paul Casey: “The fact I threw in a few birdies early on was key, took the pressure off, and then it got tight at the end. It’s a very difficult stretch coming in and I am very, very happy the way I balanced having fun on the golf course but being focused and got the job done.”  Photo:  Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Paul Casey: “The fact I threw in a few birdies early on was key, took the pressure off, and then it got tight at the end. It’s a very difficult stretch coming in and I am very, very happy the way I balanced having fun on the golf course but being focused and got the job done.” Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

 

England’s Paul Casey celebrated the recent birth of his first child by claiming the KLM Open this afternoon.

Casey, whose fiance Pollyanna Woodward gave birth to a baby boy on September 1st, carded a closing 66 at Kennemer Golf Club to finish 14 under par, one ahead of three-time champion Simon Dyson.

Andy Sullivan was another stroke back in third but also won a trip into space worth $100,000 for a hole-in-one on the 15th, although he admitted he was not certain to become an amateur astronaut.

“I’m not sure yet,” said Sullivan, who holed out with a nine iron on the 163-yard hole on his way to a closing 67. “I’ll see what the missus says!”

Casey began the day four shots off the lead — just as he did before his last victory in the Irish Open in 2013 — but made the ideal start with four birdies in his first seven holes, and with overnight leader Romain Wattel dropping a shot on the seventh, Casey moved into a lead he was not about to relinquish.

A birdie on the 14th was followed by his only bogey of the day on the 15th and with Dyson making a birdie on the last to complete a flawless 65, Casey’s lead was down to a single shot.

However, the former world number three held his nerve to close with three pars and seal the victory.

“I’m absolutely over the moon,” Casey said after his win. “First tournament as a dad, first win as a dad. This tournament has so much history, it’s played in front of the best crowds we have in the world of golf, the turnout this week has been phenomenal.

“This is a very difficult golf course and my game plan was to have as much fun as we could. Gary (Tilston) was on the bag this week, we tried to entertain ourselves, really concentrate on every single shot but try and be relaxed and be aggressive if we could.

“The fact I threw in a few birdies early on was key, took the pressure off, and then it got tight at the end. It’s a very difficult stretch coming in and I am very, very happy the way I balanced having fun on the golf course but being focused and got the job done.”

Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry were the top Irish players in the field, both finishing on five under for a share of 28th place and cheque of €15,232.

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