The Open 2011: Paul Casey says Sandwich crowd 'were heroes'

By Ged ScottBBC Sport at Royal St George's
Paul Casey and caddy Craig Connelly (left)
Fighting the elements: Casey (right) and caddy Craig Connelly

Paul Casey suffered his worst round at an Open since Birkdale in 2008 as he got battered by the wind and rain at Royal St George's.

Casey ran up an eight-over 78, the same score he shot in the first round on a similarly rain-lashed day on the Lancashire coast four years ago.

"It was horrible," he told BBC Sport. "The sort when you just look forward to a warm drink and a piece of cake.

"But it was an unbelievable crowd. They were heroes."

Casey added: "When I saw the weather I thought it would be one man and his dog out there.

"But there were a couple of thousand on the first hole.

"I even saw one bloke in shorts."

Having started the day three over, only making the cut thanks to a second round 69, Casey resumed promisingly with three straight pars before suffering a run of four bogeys in six holes to go out in 39.

Four more pars followed at the start of the back nine until he drove out of bounds to run up a seven at the long, par five 14th.

"The ball just slipped off the club-face and went right," he said.

That was followed by another dropped shot at 15, and a final bogey at 18 as Casey, who enjoyed his best Open finish when he tied for third at St Andrews last year, prepared for another early morning start on Sunday.

"It was really tough out there," he said. "But it's the same for everyone. You just have to try and grin and bear it."