LONDON: English golfer Paul Casey returns to the PGA Tour this week after undergoing counselling to deal with the fallout of his derogatory comments about Americans.
Casey was quoted in English papers in November as saying he “hated'' Americans and criticised the choice of Tom Lehman as United States Ryder Cup captain for the 2006 matches in Ireland.
He issued an apology in November, but the remarks resurfaced when he played at the Sony Open in January. Casey missed the cut with a 9-over 149 and withdrew from the Buick Invitational the following week.
He will play in the Nissan Open in Los Angeles this week, his first PGA event since.
“The players I spoke to about everything that had gone on showed understanding. But it was all the people to whom I couldn't give an explanation that concerned me and prompted me to get professional help,'' Casey told the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday.
“This whole mess is entirely of my own making, but as everyone will understand, I have to be able to put it behind me at some point.''
He said the interpretation of his remarks – which he said were used to sharpen his competitive edge going into the Ryder Cup – had upset many of his American friends and colleagues.
“I don't think anyone has been more affected and upset than I have,'' Casey said. “The hurt I've caused will live with me as a huge source of regret for the rest of my life.''
The 27-year-old, who attended Arizona State University and lives with his family in Scottsdale, Arizona, said he misrepresented his feelings about America. “I've always cared deeply about the country and will continue to do so,'' he said. – AP