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PGA Tour
Casey gets first U.S. win over Holmes



Humble, TX (Sports Network) - Paul Casey bogeyed the first playoff Sunday, but it was enough to defeat J.B. Holmes and earn his first PGA Tour victory at the Houston Open.

"I hadn't done anything out here," said Casey, who pocketed $1,026,000 for the win. "This is the first win. This is fantastic."

Casey owns nine European Tour victories, but this was his first win in the United States. He lost in the final of this year's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

Casey held a one-shot lead over Holmes on the final hole in regulation, but made bogey at the very difficult 18th at Redstone Golf Club. That gave the Englishman an even-par 72 for the final round and matched Holmes, who posted a 69, at 11-under 277.

While Casey had made bogey minutes before the playoff, Holmes finished his round almost three hours earlier. The tournament experienced a wind suspension on Thursday and played catch-up, so the golfers were in the same threesomes for both the third and fourth rounds.

"That's part of it," said Holmes.

He saved a fantastic par on the 18th in regulation, but after the long wait, Holmes hammered his drive into the water in the playoff. Casey found a bunker, then Holmes, after a penalty stroke, split the fairway with his third shot.

Casey came up short of the putting surface and Holmes didn't hit a spectacular fourth. He gave himself 45 feet through a ridge for bogey. Casey's chip came up almost 25 feet short of the stick, then Holmes nearly made his bogey putt.

He missed and Casey cozied his par effort close. He tapped in the short putt for his first win and maybe some momentum.

Thursday morning brings the start of The Masters, a tournament where Casey has a decent record. He has three top-11 finishes and can now join Phil Mickelson and Sandy Lyle as the only players to win the Masters and the event the week before.

"I love The Masters. I feel it's my best opportunity at a major," said Casey. "Winning this week isn't [a] jinx like winning the Par-Three contest. It'd be nice to be a Brit to do that."

For Holmes, this tournament marked his one final chance at getting into The Masters. He needed a win to get into the field at Augusta next week.

"It's frustrating, but there will be more," said Holmes, a two-time winner on tour. "It adds to everything that's happened over the year."

Fred Couples was alone in first late on the back nine, but bogeyed his final three holes. He shot a two-over 74 in the final round and tied for third place with Henrik Stenson (70) and Nick O'Hern (70). The trio came in at nine-under 279.

"I am disappointed," admitted Couples, the 49-year-old U.S. Presidents Cup captain. "I'm happy with the way I played. I couldn't make birdies. I wish it wasn't that hard."

Casey was one of the six co-leaders after the third round was completed Sunday morning. He had two bogeys and a birdie through his first 11 holes, but a 10- foot birdie putt at 12 and a three-footer for birdie at 13 put him in a tie for the lead with Couples.

When Couples faltered down the stretch, Casey held tough. He hit a terrible tee shot into a greenside bunker at 14, then drained a tough 10-footer to save par.

He had a great look at birdie at 17, but his seven-footer stayed above ground. Casey's bogey at the last just prolonged the wait for his first title in America.

Two-time winner this year, Geoff Ogilvy, who like Casey and Couples was a third-round co-leader, only managed a three-over 75 and tied for sixth place at eight-under 280.

John Mallinger (70), Jason Bohn (74), Hunter Mahan (68) and Tommy Armour III (72) joined Ogilvy in sixth.

04/05 19:35:41 ET

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