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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 March, 2005, 11:07 GMT
Casey claims China play-off win
Paul Casey
-22 P Casey (Eng), P McGinley (Ire)
-21 T Bjorn (Den), W Kang (S Korea), C Plaphol (Thai)
-20 C Montgomerie (Scot)
Paul Casey beat Paul McGinley in a sudden-death play-off to win the TCL Classic at the Yalong Bay Golf Club.

The 27-year-old Casey carded a final-round 66, while McGinley shot a 63 to force the tie-breaker.

Cheltenham-born Casey defeated his Irish rival on the second hole to claim his fourth title on the European Tour.

The two men finished on 22 under par while Scot Colin Montgomerie, who had shared the lead with Casey overnight, dropped to sixth, two shots behind.

Montgomerie needed to finish in the top two to break into the world's top 50 to qualify for The Players Championship next week.

The world number 54 also needs to be in the top 50 by 28 March to qualify for next month's Augusta Masters, the first of the year' s four majors.

I've been hitting the ball a long way, it's going silly distances
Paul Casey

Ryder Cup star Casey had a putt from 15 feet to win outright on the 72nd green but left his effort short.

He had another chance from 12 feet at the first play-off hole but the putt slipped past the left edge of the hole.

But at the next, Casey holed a monster 25-foot birdie putt from the back of the green to take the title.

"It is very satisfying to have won again," said Casey, whose last victory came at the 2003 Benson & Hedges International Open.

"I feel like I put in a lot of work in the off-season and it is also nice after having a back injury earlier in the year to come out play some decent golf. In fact, I played some very good golf.

"It was great to cap it off the way I did, especially after having a chance on 18 and leaving it short. To finish it off on the second play-off hole was very, very nice."

Casey, who moves to 20th place on the European Tour Order of Merit, one place behind McGinley, added that a new driver had been crucial.

"I've been hitting the ball a long way, it's going silly distances and my short game has been good," he said.

"I felt that I played good golf all week and I think the reason for that was that I felt quite at home here. I love this course."

Thailand's Chawalit Plaphol, Korea's Kang Wook-soon and Thomas Bjorn of Denmark shared third place on 21-under-par.


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