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Ryder Cup is of no concern to Paul Casey, who's focused on winning

September 02, 2016

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NORTON, Mass. -- Paul Casey didn’t need to wake up early on Tuesday to see who Darren Clarke was choosing with his three captain’s picks for this year’s Ryder Cup. Currently not a member of the European Tour by choice, the 39-year-old Brit isn’t eligible to play in the biennial competition.   So he slept in instead.   “It’s really weird actually,” a relaxed Casey said Friday from TPC Boston, where he is one behind leaders James Hahn and Ryan Moore at five under after a 66 in the opening round of the Deutsche Bank Championship. “It’s going to be an interesting one, sitting, being on the outside. I’ve been on the outside before, but for different reasons.”   In 2010, Casey, No. 8 in the Official World Golf Rankings at the time, was famously passed over by Colin Montgomerie for Padraig Harrington for the final spot. In a scene that can only be described as awkward, Casey noticed Harrington’s wife giving the thumbs-up to the Irishman’s caddie as the two played alongside one another during the final round of the Barclays. Afterward, Casey fought back tears.   He has no such concerns this year, though he has six top 10s and is 30th in the World Ranking.   Based in Arizona and re-married with a young son at home, the three-time Ryder Cupper chose family life and focusing on the PGA Tour over the juggling act of travel between two tours and two continents. He was also put off by the European Tour’s eligibility rules when it came to the number of tournaments he’d have to play on that tour.   His only worry this week? Trying to win for the first time since 2014, or at least advancing in the FedEx Cup Playoffs and reaching the finale at East Lake in two weeks.   Casey came into this week 59th in the standings. Only the top 70 will move on to next week’s event at Crooked Stick with the top 30 qualifying for the Tour Championship.   So far he’s off to a good start. Friday, he made eight birdies and three bogeys and closed in 30.   And when it comes to this year’s Ryder Cup? He’ll be on a bike in France, the trip part of a 50th birthday celebration for his caddie John McLaren. He’ll watch at some point, but he has other things on his mind.   “Not being a factor, not being part of whether I make the team or not this time around, you lose that churning in the stomach because I’ll tell you right now, you wake up in the morning and if this week was counting toward qualifying and you’re in but not solid or you’re just on the outside trying to make it or you’ve got no chance but you might be a pic, whatever the scenario, there’s always a little churning in the stomach, some butterflies in there,” Casey said. “Very similar to when you’re leading a tournament.”