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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 June 2006, 20:57 GMT 21:57 UK
Casey & Howell finish on a high
David Howell
Few players carded as many birdies, or bogeys, as Howell this week
England's Paul Casey and David Howell saved the best till last at the 106th US Open by carding their first sub-par rounds at Winged Foot on Sunday.

The duo, who combined for a crucial point at the 2004 Ryder Cup, posted 69s at the testing New York course.

Casey, 28, recovered from an opening 77 to finish at 10 over, making the cut for the first time in four attempts.

While Howell, 30, fought back well from a 78 on Friday that effectively ended his title bid to finish on 11 over.

"I'm going to look at that as a success," said Casey, who was three under for his round after 10 but dropped shots at 16 and 18.

"It's a round under par in a US Open and I'm very happy with that.

It has been very hot but I have managed myself and stayed focused

Paul Casey
"I dropped a couple of shots coming in but the greens are tremendously quick and burning and they are borderline right now.

"I thought eight or nine over might be close to a top-10 and that was the goal before I went out there. I'm very proud of what I did.

"It would have been very easy after a 77 on Thursday to push and make things happen. It has been very hot but I have managed myself and stayed focused."

That was one area of his game which Howell felt let him down, the world number nine having led by three shots after 14 holes of his opening round only to completely drop out of contention when he dropped seven shots in seven holes on Friday.

"I lost my patience a bit on Friday, try as I did not to," admitted the European Order of Merit leader.

It is still a pretty positive week for me all in all

David Howell
"I was trying my best on every shot but in hindsight I made so many classic errors and that is the learning experience I can take from this week.

"I will probably be in the top 20 (he eventually finished tied for 16th) and I let things drift in the second round quite badly. You cannot afford to do that, you have to steady the ship somehow.

"To finish in the top 20 is no mean feat. Ten years ago if you saw a British player finishing in the top 20 it would be seen as a really strong finish and I am stood here slightly disappointed.

"That is the way things are changing and the way this tournament is changing with a more international field. It is still a pretty positive week for me all in all."

A third English member of that Ryder Cup team, however, will feel less pleased with his performance on Sunday.

Luke Donald
Donald had it going only for a double at nine to end his charge
Having climbed his way back into contention after a terrible first round, Luke Donald will be disappointed that he could not have maintained his forward momentum on Sunday.

The 28-year-old birdied the tough 2nd to get himself to six over, just four off the lead.

Six pars followed and with the leaders coming back to him an unlikely victory - given his 78 on Thursday - for the world number 11 looked possible.

But disaster struck on the 9th when he double-bogeyed to fall back to eight over. One more shot went coming home but he did hole a tricky 12-footer for par at the last to give himself a share of seventh place.

But another Englishman who should take plenty of positives away from New York with him is Philip Archer.

The 34-year-old Englishman was making his debut at a major championship having reached Winged Foot via a qualifier at Walton Heath.

Having carded back-to-back 72s on the first two days, the European Tour journeyman made the cut comfortably. He found the going a little tougher at the weekend, posting a 75 and a 78 for a 17-over-par total, but should be delighted with his efforts.



SEE ALSO
US Open photos
18 Jun 06 |  Golf


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