Ryder Cup course 'definitely an advantage' for Europe - Casey

Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (France) (AFP) –


Paul Casey said Thursday that the course at Le Golf National gives Europe a "definite advantage" against the United States on the eve of the 42nd Ryder Cup.

The Englishman, who is playing the event for the first time in 10 years, says the hosts' familiarity with the Albatros layout and the nature of the course could prove decisive.

"It's a definite advantage for us, I think," said Casey.

"Our team certainly knows the course better than the Americans, and I think it suits my game very, very well.

"It's probably been documented, you've seen the rough out there. The fairway is not overly generous, and the rough is very penal. The greens are large, and positioning the ball on the correct side of the hole is going to be paramount."

All 12 of the home players have played the course before as it annually holds the French Open on the European Tour, while many of the Americans will be teeing it up at Le Golf National for the first time in competition.

The visitors will also have to deal with the tens of thousands of fans, which European captain Thomas Bjorn says will spur his players on.

"I think when you're a player and you step on that first tee, especially the first morning, it's great," said the Dane.

"It gives you a buzz and you know the people are with you."

That is something that the 41-year-old Casey will be experiencing for only the second time, and he excelled on home soil back in 2006 at the K Club when he became one of only six players to make a hole-in-one in Ryder Cup history.

Poor form and injuries saw Casey slip outside the top 100 in the world rankings at the end of 2012, having missed out on a wildcard pick two years before despite being the world number seven.

But he battled his way back into the upper echelons of the game, and was persuaded by Bjorn to rejoin the European Tour after being ineligible for the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine.

And Casey admits that the spectacle of the match-play showdown is now totally different to his previous appearances.

"I think (it's) just bigger scale. You know, the passion is still as intense. It's just grander. It's just bigger. It's just been amped up."