Paul Casey takes a two stroke lead at the opening round of the Transitions Championship

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Paul Casey takes a two stroke lead at the opening round of the Transitions Championship
The first round of the Transitions Championship concluded today, with Englishman Paul Casey taking a two stroke lead. Following him and tied for 2nd
place are Scotsman Martin Laird, Americans Scott Stallings, Garret Willis and Nick Watney.
The first round was scheduled to end on Thursday but the start of play was delayed when fog and low light caused visibility problems and made it hard to spot the ball. This meant that a few golfers had yet to finish their rounds play was called off. The
rest of the day was perfect golfing conditions though, with almost no wind and plenty of sunshine.
This was in stark contrast to the conditions at the Honda Classic and the WGC Cadillac Championship at the Doral Resorts. The two tournaments were characterized by strong winds, and while Copperhead golf course is also considered part of the ‘Florida Swing’
the conditions could not have been more different.
Casey meanwhile took advantage of the weather to shoot a flawless round that included 7 birdies and only 28 putts over 18 holes. Casey described his seven under par performance as the best in a year. In his first nine holes he managed four birdies but was
still behind Nick Watney who made seven birdies in his first twelve holes.
The WGC Cadillac Championship winner displayed again the form that won him the WGC at Doral Resorts but fell behind after a missing a few greens in his last 6 holes to finish with a score of 66. Casey, on the other hand, made three more birdies in his last
three holes to take the two stroke lead.
Casey was especially pleased with his performance since he had initially not planned to play at the tournament at all. He attributed this to his fear of losing his form at the Masters after a possible victory. A similar thing happened back in 2009, when
he won the Shell Houston Open just one week before the Masters, but could only finish tied for 20th place in the major tournament.
The World No. 1 Martin Kaymer also featured in the tournament, his first appearance here. The 26-year-old German is not part of the PGA Tour but received an invitation from the organizers of the Transitions Championship because of his World Ranking.
It would seem the organizers made the right move as the group featuring Kaymer, Bubba Watson and Nick Watney drew the largest crowds of the day. Kaymer is currently tied for 16th place after shooting an eagle, three birdies and two bogeys on his
opening round.
Marking his return to the Tour after a seven month hiatus was Spaniard Sergio Garcia. Garcia also had a flawless bogey free round but could only manage three birdies to finish with a score of 68. And just one stroke above him is the defending champion Jim
Casey played with supreme confidence and relative ease on the first round of the tournament. Whether he continues his performance in the days to come, with so many other great players hot on his heels, remains to be seen.



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