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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 September 2006, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Casey romps to Match Play victory
Paul Casey
Casey was playing in his first World Match Play tournament
Paul Casey produced a superb display to beat Shaun Micheel 10&8 and win the 1m World Match Play title at Wentworth.

Starting the second 18 three ahead, the Englishman fired two birdies in the first four holes to go five clear.

The American, who lost two of the final three holes in the morning, struggled off the tee and a bogey at the 24th made the deficit six with 12 to go.

Casey bagged three straight birdies from the 25th to seal the biggest-ever final win in the tournament's history.

The 29-year-old, the first debutant to win this event since Ernie Els in 1994, now tops the European Order of Merit and will move into the world's top 20 for the first time.

Casey said: "This is the biggest win of my career so far - not just financially, but also in terms of roll of honour and significance.

"It's a reflection of what I've been working on the last couple of years. I'm just very, very happy to be playing good golf."

Micheel said: "I just didn't play well. He played really well this afternoon.

"He made a couple of mistakes early in the day and I made a couple right on top of them.

"It was a frustrating day. He hit some great iron shots which is what you have go to do."

Ryder Cup star Casey made the first strike at the 4th with a two-putt birdie and rattled off three straight birdies from the 6th, but the advantage only increased by one as Micheel claimed two birdies of his own.

The American, winner of the USPGA at Oak Hill in 2003, reduced the deficit to one on two occasions but he lost the final three holes of the morning session.

Micheel's mess at 16, which saw him hit his approach way over the back of the green, led to some angry words with his caddie.

Shaun Micheel
Micheel struggled with his driving in the final at Wentworth

When play resumed, Casey maintained his dominance by winning the 20th after holing from 15 feet.

Micheel had a chance at the 21st when Casey fired his drive into the trees but the American put his tee shot in a bunker and the opportunity went.

Casey, who has defeated Retief Goosen, Mike Weir and Ryder Cup team-mate Colin Montgomerie to reach the final, then went five up at the next as Micheel fired his approach way over the green and struggled to get back.

Micheel's wayward driving continued when he found sand at the 24th on the way to a bogey while Casey tapped in to go six in front.

The American, who claimed the scalps of Tiger Woods, Luke Donald and Robert Karlsson this week, looked a beaten man and his approach at the 25th found the crowd surrounding the green as Casey's birdie sealed the hole.

Casey went for the kill and won his third straight hole at the 26th after firing his second shot to five feet.

He birdied again at the 27th to practically assure himself of the 1m first prize and after both players found the green at the 28th, Micheel failed to sink his birdie putt and offered his hand to concede the match.



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