Casey & Dougherty, the come back boys.

The Cadillac Championship was Paul Casey’s first tournament after dislocating his right shoulder snowboarding on Christmas Eve. It was most memorable for his hole in one on the par 3 15th. As Paul walked up to the 15th hole, he made a bet with his caddie, Craig Connelly, the portly Scot they call ‘Weeman.’ Paul bet Craig that if he made a hole-in-one on No. 15, he would split the prize, down the middle, with Connelly. Casey had just double bogeyed No. 12 and followed that with a bogey on No. 14, so the expectations were pretty low. They shook hands to seal the bet and Connelly handed Casey an 8-iron. Paul didn’t see the ball go in, but the exuberant celebration of his caddy let him know it was a hole-in-one. Paul said;

“I kinda turned away, thinking I hope that just misses, Craig went bananas. In a moment of disappointment I thought I’d have to give him some money.”

Paul’s disappointment suddenly transferred to Connelly a few seconds later. As Craig jumped around the tee box in glee, thinking he was good for half the value of a luxury car, a rules official came over and told Casey that there was no prize for an ace at No. 15, you’d have to ace No. 13 to win a car. Casey joked;

“I’ve never been so relieved in my life, I’ve never wanted to not make a hole in one when the ball is that good. I’ve never enjoyed not winning a car so much. With the money he’s made, he can buy his own car.”

Paul was satisfied with his performance, after his long self induced lay-off.

The other player returning to golf is Nick Dougherty, playing on the Challenge tour at Pacific Rubiales Colombia Classic. Nick was leading the tournament after three rounds, but faltered on the last round, finishing tied for ninth place. A good result on his first outing on his comeback trail.

Good luck to both boys, and I hope their improvement continues.


Nick Dougherty starts on his comeback campaign, on the Challenge Tour

Nick Dougherty makes his Challenge Tour debut in this week’s Pacific Rubiales Colombia Classic, the second event of the 2012 season. Nick missed the season opener six weeks ago, to prolong his break from the game, The 29 year old Dougherty is keen to return to competitive action and start what he hopes will be a journey back to the top of the game. Nick lost his card last year, making just one cut in 34 appearances, and then endured a frustrating time at the Qualifying School as he attempted to rediscover the form that gave him victories in the BMW International Open in 2009, the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in 2007 and the Caltex Masters, in Singapore 2005 at the Laguna National Golf & Country Club.

Nick Dougherty  (Getty Images) Getty Images

Nick is now ready to playing again, starting at Barranquilla Country Club on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, he commented;

“I’m really excited to get out there now. I’ve never played a regular Challenge Tour event  before so it’s a bit of an unknown quantity for me. I know the standard is high out there and I don’t expect to go out and win straight away by a few shots. But what I do know is that the atmosphere is supposed to be very friendly. I haven’t seen South America since going out to Argentina as an amateur, so I’m very much looking forward to it. I just need to get back to basics now and remember the reasons why I loved the game in the first place, and I’m getting there now. I feel like I’m more me again.I think with the fall that I’ve taken in the last two years, it’s an experience that can make your career and make you a lot stronger, and now I’m just looking forward to getting back out on the golf course.”

Good Luck Nick, hope your season on the Challenge Tour goes to plan, and you regain your self esteem.