The wispy rough caused Paul Casey a bit if trouble on Friday. (Getty Images)
Casey feeling positive about his position, despite wreck on Road Hole
Paul Casey had a great round going, until he ran off the road on the Road Hole and limped to the 18th tee with a triple bogey. Even so, he's happy to have gotten to the clubhouse at 6 under.
By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Paul Casey warmed up in the wind and pouring rain Friday morning. So he was pretty pleased finding himself in the clubhouse at 6-under-par 138 going into the weekend.
He wasn’t even that frustrated with a triple-bogey hiccup at the Road Hole.
"If you had told me I’d be in the clubhouse on ‑‑ what am I, 6 under? Six under, I would have bitten your arm off, especially the conditions we were warming up in,” Casey said.
The world No. 10 turned in 31 and was still at 8 under for the tournament heading into 17 when he found the mushy-underneath-wispy left rough.
"It’s difficult to hug that right side today with the wind, pretty intimidating,” he said. "And when I got down there, I was just trying to go sideways. I felt that with the rough so thick, and it’s the thickest rough on the golf course, there was no way of going forward. I wanted to go straight sideways but couldn’t go at it too hard because if I went at it too hard and it came out, I could end up in Room 312 (of the Old Course Hotel).
"So the club just went straight underneath it,” he explained. “For my third shot, I had to go backwards down the fairway and then from there up to the green, and a few whacks, and a 7. So pretty easy, easy 7.”
He followed it with a closing birdie for his second 69 of the week. Casey started his round with three quick birdies -- three 3s -- to get moving. He’s not sure any of the afternoon players will have the same chance since the wind gusts have picked up.
"The flags were limp when we teed off, and I took advantage of it,” he said. "You get close to those flags -- these guys now, I think it’s much tougher this afternoon than it was this morning. I’d much rather have the rain and fairly calm conditions. You know, as long as you don’t get too much water on the golf course -- with some of these drivers nowadays, guys who are going low spin and lots of distance can suffer a little bit, instead of spinning the ball and sliding it off the face. I actually went to more loft, 10.5 (degrees) today to try to spin the ball in the air when it got wet, and it worked. I’d much rather have that than a 30‑mile-an-hour wind as it’s predicted this afternoon.”