Rejuvenated Paul Casey all set to challenge again at TPC River Highlands

The veteran Englishman is absolutely flying as he prepares to tee it up in this week’s Travelers Championship.

Best bet

Paul Casey to win 16/1

Life is pretty good for Paul Casey at the moment.

He's missed one cut all year, finished top 30 in his other 12 starts, eight of them were top 10s, two of those came in Major Championships, he won the Dubai Desert Classic in January, and this week his qualification for Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics was confirmed.

Little wonder he's looking so chipper and it's worth recalling his words after that start-of-the-year success in the Middle East. We didn't know then that his form would prove so long-lasting and yet there were plenty of hints that Casey had hit a career sweet-spot.

"I'm incredibly happy at home," he said. "I've got a great wife, great kids, and I guess I kind of understand where golf kind of sits in my life and its level of importance. I'm acutely aware, certainly, after the last ten months or so, of how fortunate I am.

"But even before the pandemic I got that. I know some guys will say I've not achieved what I should have. I've had other guys saying I've overachieved.

"Whatever, opinions are opinions.

"But I feel, I don't want to say content, that's the wrong word, but I'm in a really good place. I'm fine with where I'm at and it doesn't mean I'm soft.

"It actually means I'm kind of pushing on and I'm at peace with whatever happens in terms of my golf career from here on.

"I've actually worked incredibly hard the last few months, literally gone foot down and giving it 100%."

There's also a little secret, he revealed. He had promised much in the back end of 2020, but in the end had only one top 10 to show for it. So something must have prompted the avalanche of top finishes since New Year?

"I switched drivers," he said in Dubai. "I don't often talk about equipment, but I put a Titleist driver in the bag. Don't ask me the exact specs, Tsi3 or something like that.

"Now I feel like I'm driving the golf ball like I did when I was playing my best golf, when I was No. 3 in the world or whatever.

"I feel like this rejuvenation."

Fresh from finishing tied seventh last week in the US Open Casey now makes his way to TPC River Highlands for the Travelers Championship.

Let's take a closer look at his form and his record there.

Current form

He opened the year with six straight top 12 finishes, including that win in Dubai, fifth at the AT&T Pebble Beach and fifth again in THE PLAYERS Championship.

In recent weeks he's been tied seventh at the PGA Championship, tied sixth at the European Open, and then tied seventh last week at Torrey Pines.

He's ranked top seven for Strokes Gained Tee to Green in his last four starts - it's a key stat anywhere, but especially so at TPC River Highlands.

Course form

He's made six starts on the Pete Dye design and last year's T32nd was his worst effort, but even then he broke 70 in every lap.

On debut in 2015 he thrashed rounds of 64-65 at the weekend to land a playoff, which he ultimately lost to Bubba Watson.

In 2018 he carded a sensational Saturday 62 to open up a four shot 54 hole lead, but couldn't convert, adding another second place.

Either side of that effort he finished tied fifth.

Casey on the course and the tournament

Be prepared for lots of love ...

"I instantly fell in love with it. I just love this place. Love the trees, love the golf course."

"It's a tournament I love. What a great event. So glad I added it. It just really suits my game."

"The people who run this tournament, it filters all the way through. Factors like that that make this championship so great. Brilliant stuff."

"This championship has been voted best event on Tour outside of the Majors. It's not just a cool golf course, it's the whole tournament, it's something very, very special. The players absolutely love it."

"It tests every club in the bag. But really, great crowds and great energy around this championship."

"I'd love to win this."

Conclusion? He sort of likes it.

READ MORE: Sergio Garcia: New clubs, a first Major top 20 since Masters glory and he loves playing in Europe

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