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Disappointing U.S. Open week for Paul Casey finally ends

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- As the third-ranked player in the world, and winner of three events this year, Paul Casey was a fashionable pick here at Bethpage Black. But after posting a pair of 75s, he's heading to the airport and back home to Scottsdale, Ariz."I didn't score a single birdie here this week," he said as he walked to his car. "I can't remember the last time that happened."Casey made eight bogeys in two rounds, and a double-bogey that took two days to card on the par-4 15th hole. In a hard rain on Thursday morning, Casey's tee shot went left into the fescue. Casey declared the ball unplayable but had to drop in the knee-high grass. From there, he could only hack out sideways into the fairway. Then the horn blew and play was suspended. On Friday morning, from his marked position in the fairway, he knocked his ball on the green and two putted for a six.Casey said he is mentally fatigued and likely won't touch a club for at least a few days. He doesn't enjoy playing in wet conditions, but quickly pointed out that he finished seventh at Royal Birkdale in last year's British Open."And that was a hell of a lot worse [weather-wise] than it's been here this week," he said.His advice to players who remain in the field is simple. "You've just got to limit the damage." Bogeys are going to happen, but the players who contend will avoid the big, card-wrecking numbers."I'm just going to head home and chill," Casey said. "I mean, I'll ride the bike, but if you aren't looking forward to going to the course and working, that's the last place where you should be."Casey came to New York with a bicycle that folds up and fits into a suitcase. The wet weather, and some potholed roads, kept it in the suitcase all week."Maybe that was the problem," he said with a laugh.

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by Kevin Cunningham