Paul Casey returned to form in sensational style with a brilliant closing round in tough conditions at Carton House to win The Irish Open in 2013.
The Englishman, who had problems with form and fitness since winning his last European Tour title two and a half years previously, finished with a five under par 67 in strong wind, heavy rain and finally sunshine to finish 14 under for the week.
That was three better than overnight leader Joost Luiten, who went round in 74, and England’s Robert Rock – whose 71 saw him finish as a runner-up for the second time in this event after he was beaten in a play-off by Shane Lowry in 2009.
Casey started the day four behind Luiten and when he reeled off seven consecutive pars at the start of his round there was little indication of what was to come.
But five birdies in six holes followed to give him a three shot lead, which was reduced to one with bogeys at the 15th and 16th.
The 35 year old’s advantage looked precarious coming down the par five last, but he found the green in two and signed off in style with a spectacular 45 foot eagle putt for a 12th European Tour title.
“It’s incredibly sweet,” said Casey, who finished second to Thomas Björn the last time the event was staged at Carton House in 2006. “It’s been a while and when that putt went in half of it was relief and half of it was satisfaction.
“What a grandstand finish – winning an Irish open is an absolute dream.
“I was feeling wet when it rained. It was a shaky start, I didn’t hit the ball particularly close going out but when the putts did start to go in I got on a bit of a roll.
“I love playing in Ireland, I always have. The Irish Open has great history – just looking at Seve’s name on the trophy. We’ve had some interesting weather but they’ve turned out as Irish fans always do and I love playing in front of Irish crowds, I’m looking forward to coming back.”
Casey was ranked third in the Official World Golf Ranking in 2009 but began that week 169th after a string of fitness problems, most notably in 2012 after suffering a broken collarbone while snowboarding. He hasn’t been outside the top-100 since this famous victory.