Paul Casey one shot off lead after day one of US Open
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Casey is among 12 golfers from Europe hoping to stun their USA counterparts and retain the Ryder Cup, a biennial golfing tournament, often noted as the greatest golfing spectacle. Europe reclaimed the title in Paris three years ago, but are under serious pressure following the first day of play in the coronavirus delayed 43rd edition. USA currently hold a six point to two lead over Europe, after securing points in the fourball and foursomes yesterday, claiming three to one wins in each session.
Casey endured a particularly tough day as he lost both his pairings, but will once again head out on the course today, this time partnering fellow Englishman Tyrrell Hatton.
This year’s tournament is being held at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, and will conclude with 12 singles matches played across Sunday.
Before the event kicked off, all 24 golfers and their partners took part in a stunning opening ceremony, which saw the wives and partners take centre stage.
All were dressed in fabulous outfits, and Casey’s ex-wife Jocelyn Hefner once lifted the lid on what it was like behind the scenes of the Ryder Cup.
She also noted the vast amounts of money the wives and girlfriends were given by the European Tour to ensure they looked as stunning as possible.
Writing in 2015’s Lost on the PGA and European Tours: A Memoir, Ms Hefner said: “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!”
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Golfing is often known as being a luxurious sport, with the game played at a relaxed place and enjoyed by millions across the globe.
And while supporting Casey on the tour, Jocelyn – who is a distant cousin of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner – noted how the most idyllic of all the courses around the globe was the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.
She added: “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. 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.
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“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 Jocelyn divorced in 2011, three years after their nuptials, 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.
Casey is back in action from 1pm today, with Europe hoping they can turn the tide of USA dominance.
Europe’s captain Padraig Harrington said his side’s “ball striking was good, we just didn’t hole the puts”.
He added: “No doubt it was a tough day. It isn’t a good start, but there’s still 20 points to play for.”
USA captain Steve Stricker told his side, however, they must not get complacent.
He said: “We’ve had some things that came up and bit us in the rear in other Ryder Cups.
“These guys know that, and they are focused on coming out strong again.
“My message to the guys before I left was to try to win that first session again and pretend [Friday] never happened,”
The Ryder Cup continues today and concludes on Sunday.
Highlights are available on the BBC, with full coverage on Sky Sports.
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