LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Count Paul Casey among the British golfers who think Vijay Singh was off base earlier this week for asserting that their lack of success in major championships can be attributed to lack of hard work.
Speaking to The Telegraph of London, Singh said, "Lots of them start out with the right intentions, and the opportunities are there for them to become great. Once they're on tour, though, they find themselves having a fine time and wondering, 'Why should I bother to work hard?' Their way of life is so comfortable that it doesn't matter if they have a bad tournament. The disappointment is not as big anymore. There's another event the following week, and they just move on."
Singh added: "Real winners are a different kettle of fish to the rest. They have one-track minds, whether they're playing golf or any other sport. Nothing, simply nothing, interferes with what they're doing. They don't worry about their hotel room, they don't worry about what they're going to eat for dinner. Instead they think, play and live their sport all the time."
Casey responded to the comments after both players shot five-over-par 76 in the third round of the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, putting them in the same pairing for Sunday's final round.
"My work rate is absolutely fine," Casey said. "Vijay's clearly is more than most other people's. But look at Monty [Colin Montgomerie]. You rarely saw him on the range, but he is absolutely brilliant. That's just his style. It's horses for courses. I think overall the British guys are working very hard."
Englishman Lee Westwood, who'll play in the final pairing Sunday, has an opportunity break through, entering the final round just one stroke behind leader Tiger Woods. The last Brit to win a major title was Nick Faldo in the 1996 Masters, and the last to win the U.S. Open was Tony Jacklin in 1970 at Hazeltine. What has held them back?
"I think we have the desire and the hunger," said Casey. "I think what we need is for guys to break through, and the belief is the thing. I think we need to get that going a little bit stronger."
Casey says he has the talent to win a major but has sometimes been his own worst enemy.
"I feel like I've put too much pressure on myself and felt like I had to do something extra special coming in when all it really takes in a major is good, solid golf and eliminating mistakes rather than actually going out and trying to hit miraculous golf shots," he said. "You don't need to do that, you just need to be patient and put the ball in play and manage yourself and your golf ball. I'm learning that."