July 6, 2009

Paul Casey

This emerging star appreciates life on two tours, but home is where he can take long bike rides

With the British Open pending, one favorite will be native son Paul Casey, who has made a quantum leap in the World Ranking. He'd love to win the most venerable major, but he knows where to find good weather.

Grillroom:__ After Arizona State, you settled in the Phoenix area, where your longtime coach is CBS analyst Peter Kostis, a big wheel. __

Casey: Yes, Peter teaches me, and we bike together. Road and mountain. He's in better shape than you might think.

He says he has a six-pack. It's just covered up. What about Gary McCord? He also lives there and is also a member at Whisper Rock.

No, Gary is fairly useless. He doesn't bike, to my knowledge. That would mess up his mustache.

Was it a culture shock to leave home for the States?

Actually, I didn't have many alternatives, other than maybe another American college. I worked two jobs in Weybridge, England, where I grew up. One as a barman.

Barman?

Yeah, a bartender. At a wine bar called Sullivans. It's still there. I poured drinks. Worked in the evenings or winter, played golf in the summer. But universities there were pretty restrictive. Only two or three where you could attend and play golf, and I wanted to be a golfer.

You fit right in on an American campus.

A great adventure, young people. Great weather. Distractions were there, but I didn't go there to party. I do like wine, though. Just not as much as Kostis. The golf environment was terrific. Everything was there. At home you shag your own balls.

Did you find American college kids spoiled?

I wouldn't say spoiled. I would say fortunate to live in this country where there are so many opportunities. Met my wife, Jocelyn, here. Introduced by Fuzzy Zoeller.

Ever imagine being ranked No. 3 in the world?

Not in college. I was concerned about making it on tour and making a living. When I got to No. 3, I didn't get too wrapped up in it.

You're an athlete. You played rugby, cricket. Having reached No. 3, are you any bigger back home?

No. I'm still 5-foot-10