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Paul Casey aims to be English winner at Masters

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'Prime' Casey hopes for Masters win

Paul Casey says the time has come for an English player to win a golf major ahead of the Masters starting Thursday.

No Englishman has won a major since Nick Faldo was victorious in 1996, but Casey believes the current crop of players can end the 14-year wait.

"We've got to produce results now," said world number six Casey, one of eight Englishmen in action at Augusta.

"I want to do it because otherwise (Ian) Poulter and (Lee) Westwood or the others are going to beat me to it."

Casey has four top-10 finishes to his name this season and was runner-up to Ian Poulter in the World Golf Championship Match Play event in February.

The 32-year-old believes his game has progressed significantly in the past few years and now possesses the all-round physical and mental abilities to lift his first major.

It did catch me by surprise

Paul Casey on his brief chat with Tiger Woods on the practice range

"I'm coming into the prime of my career, I'm more mature than I have ever been with everything in my golf game," said Casey, who is now based in Phoenix, Arizona.

"It's a case of eliminating mistakes, taking bits of how I have matured and apply that. If you manage your emotions and energy levels, that can be the difference to carry a guy over the line," he told BBC Sport.

Casey insisted he was back to full fitness after withdrawing from the defence of his Houston Open title last week after hurting his shoulder and neck in practice.

He opted against competing in Texas to allow his body sufficient time to recover for the first of golf's four majors this year.

Casey, who missed six months of 2009 with a torn rib muscle, said: "It was nothing to do with what I did last year.

"I slept awkward on Tuesday night, I think something simple as lack of hydration, it (shoulder and neck) cramped up and spasmed.

"I certainly couldn't swing the golf club so there was no point trying to grind it around.

606: DEBATE

"Even though I was defending champion and I was desperate to play, the ramifications if I did more damage was something I had to make a call on. It's still a little tender, but I'll be fighting fit ready to start on Thursday."

Casey was one of the first golfers to talk to Tiger Woods on the practice range since the four-time Masters winner's arrival at the Augusta National.

The world number one took a five-month hiatus from golf following revelations about his private life.

"He made a beeline for me, I'm not sure why," added Casey.

"It was fairly brief, very business-like from Tiger. He said hello. Smiled. He asked about the shoulder and health - and that was it. We chatted a little more but we got down to business and hit some golf balls.

"It was good to see him out there, it has been a while. We all have thoughts about his situation but personally, it's none of my business. I have a golf event to prepare for - but it did catch me by surprise."



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see also
'Hurt' Woods targets Masters win
05 Apr 10 |  Golf
Fans happy as Woods makes return
06 Apr 10 |  Golf
Injured Casey faces Masters race
01 Apr 10 |  Golf
Casey forced to quit in Shanghai
08 Nov 09 |  Golf
Casey clinches maiden PGA victory
05 Apr 09 |  Golf


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