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The Players: Paul Casey frustrated as he misses out at TPC Sawgrass with Anirban Lahiri content with second

Frustration for Paul Casey as he misses out at The Players after misfortune at the 16th in the final round at TPC Sawgrass; Anirban Lahiri content with runners-up spot behind Cameron Smith; Dustin Johnson equals course record in closing round with a 63

Last Updated: 14/03/22 11:58pm



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Paul Casey says his big moment is still to come after missing out at The Players Championship by two shots

Paul Casey says his big moment is still to come after missing out at The Players Championship by two shots

There was a sense of frustration for Paul Casey after he missed out on victory at The Players Championship after finishing two shots behind Cameron Smith.

The 44-year-old Englishman kept tabs on his Australian playing partner for much of the day, but suffered some bad luck on the par-five 16th at a crucial stage of the final round at TPC Sawgrass.

After Smith hooked his drive into the trees, Casey hit a booming drive and was hoping to put pressure on his rival, only to see his ball sitting down in a ball mark and denying him the chance to go for an eagle.

“I wanted to go for the green, even out of that lie. I know how strong I can be out of the rough. There were just too many variables, too much risk, and from there it just gets difficult.”

Paul Casey on the 16th

Both players eventually made pars, with Smith (66) going on to triumph by one stroke – a worthy winner according to Casey – from India’s Anirban Lahiri (69), with Casey (69) a further shot back in third.

“I wish my ball hadn’t finished in a ball mark on the 16th fairway, I know that!” Casey told Sky Sports. “You need a little bit of luck.

“It’s the best shot I’ve hit all week on this hole. I’ve struggled with the drive a little bit this week, a lot actually, and to find this fairway with Cam in the trees, I thought the door was open. Now I see it, it doesn’t make me feel any better!

Casey rued his bad luck on the 16th at TPC Sawgrass

Casey rued his bad luck on the 16th at TPC Sawgrass

“I wanted to go for the green, even out of that lie. I know how strong I can be out of the rough. There were just too many variables, too much risk, and from there it just gets difficult.”

Casey finished the week in third spot and two strokes behind his playing partner, who mixed 10 birdies with four bogeys in a rollercoaster final day to secure his second victory of the year, with the Englishman paying tribute to Smith for the victory.

When asked if he felt he will get further opportunities to win the biggest events in the sport, Casey added: “Yes, with that quality of golf. You have to acknowledge how well Cam played today.

“I mean to start off with all the birdies, it was a remarkable round of golf. There was no losing it today, he flat-out won it and you have to respect it. If I keep playing that level of golf, though, then why not?!”

All the best shots from an extended final day of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass

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All the best shots from an extended final day of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass

All the best shots from an extended final day of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass

Lahiri: I gave it a good go

World No 322 Lahiri was seeking his maiden PGA Tour victory after rediscovering his form this week and was content with his performance after he went close to forcing a play-off when Smith found the water en route to bogeying the 18th, where the Indian’s chip for birdie was just a couple of feet from dropping.

“Of course, I want to win, I’ve been here seven years and haven’t gotten over the line yet,” Lahiri said. “That’s definitely a monkey I want to get off my back. Today was as good an opportunity as any.

Anirban Lahiri could only par the last as he tried to move level with Cameron Smith

Anirban Lahiri could only par the last as he tried to move level with Cameron Smith

“I guess at one point on 16 I thought it was kind of out of reach, but then again, birdieing 17, Cam kind of opened the door. I gave it a good go.

“I made some mistakes today that I could have avoided, but that’s golf. I picked up a few shots, too, so I’m happy. This is a really positive week for me going forward.”

DJ ends ‘tough week’ on a high

Former world No 1 Dustin Johnson charged up the leaderboard during the final day, with a chip-in eagle on the par-five ninth – his final hole – seeing him close a round-of-the-day 63 and equal the course record.

Dustin Johnson finshed off his final round with a superb eagle on the ninth to finish on 63 to equal the course record

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Dustin Johnson finshed off his final round with a superb eagle on the ninth to finish on 63 to equal the course record

Dustin Johnson finshed off his final round with a superb eagle on the ninth to finish on 63 to equal the course record

“Obviously to pitch it in on the last was definitely a bonus,” said Johnson, who finished tied for ninth on seven under. “It was a tough week. I just made too many mistakes, from the fairway, too. It wasn’t even when I got out of position.

“I hit too many bad iron shots from the fairway and I’ve got a little work to do still on the game, but obviously it’s in there. Just need to get it a little more consistent.”

The PGA Tour season continues this week with the Valspar Championship. Live Featured Group coverage begins on Thursday from 11.30am via the red button and 3.30pm on Sky Sports Golf, ahead of full coverage from 6pm.



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