Paul Casey one shot off lead after day one of US Open
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The 44-year-old was among the 12 golfers representing Team Europe at the Ryder Cup this year, who were brutally dethroned as reigning champions after a crushing defeat by Team USA. Team USA completed a stunning 19-9 victory over Team Europe at Whistling Straits, near Lake Michigan, with a team containing six players taking part in their first tournament. Their captain Steve Stricker described his side’s victory as the “greatest ever”, while Team Europe’s star Rory McIlroy acknowledged the “phenomenal talent” of the Americans.
Speaking after their loss, McIlroy said: “I think the most important thing for the US team is there are a lot of young guys that are great players but have bought into the Ryder Cup.
“I think that was probably missing in previous generations.
“Having guys like that on the team, they are going to be formidable opposition from now until I’m probably not playing Ryder Cups, whenever that is ‒ in hopefully 20 years’ time.”
Casey endured a miserable Ryder Cup, failing to claim a single point from his four matches, throwing into doubt whether this appearance could be his last for Europe.
With Casey now going back to the tour, his ex-wife Jocelyn Hefner once lifted the lid on what it was like behind the scenes of some of the world’s most incredible golf courses.
Hefner also detailed how both she and Casey were also blown away by the “decadence” at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.
Writing in 2015’s Lost on the PGA and European Tours: A Memoir, Hefner said: “A butler, dressed in a black-and-white tuxedo, assured us that if we needed anything, day or night, he would get it for us. The smell of fresh lavender was intoxicating and everywhere…
“Orchid petals adorned the gold bathtub. Extra-large, white, fluffy towels were stacked outside the enormous tiled shower.
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“Gorgeous soft sheets covered the bed, twice as big as a king-size American bed. He smiled when he saw the 90-inch television screen offering international stations.
“The living room was filled with magnificent hand-carved furniture and a fruit tray the size of a breakfast buffet. We were immersed in a level of decadence that neither of us had ever experienced.”
Casey and Hefner divorced in 2011, three years after their wedding, with the golfer’s career cited as having an impact on their marriage.
He is now married to Pollyanna Woodward, a British TV presenter, highly regarded for featuring on Channel 5’s The Gadget Show.
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But while she was still married to Casey, who was once ranked as high as third in the world rankings, Hefner ‒ a distant cousin of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner ‒ also laid bare how much the wives and girlfriends at the Ryder Cup were given by the European Tour.
She added: “Each of the wives and girlfriends was given a large sum of money by the tour to purchase the right clothes, shoes, and jewellery for every aspect of the event.
“In my wildest dreams, I would never have guessed I would purchase a gown for £3,000.
“That was over $5,000 at the time!”
Ryder Cup legend Ian Poulter discussed his side’s record loss, but said his captain Padraig Harrington should not be taking the blame for it.
He added: “The toughest bit about all of this is this is going to be hard because Paddy will be questioned and that is not fair.
“He has done a great job but we have been outplayed. To what he has given to his captaincy, he has done a really nice job.
“That room and group of players we had this week are special guys. It is not fair when you look at the score.”
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