October 30, 2017 / 2:23 PM / a month ago

Europe boost as Casey makes himself available for Ryder Cup

LONDON (Reuters) - Englishman Paul Casey is to rejoin the European Tour next season in a bid to qualify for the 2018 Ryder Cup team having effectively ruled himself out of the last match.

FILE PHOTO: Golf - The 146th Open Championship - Royal Birkdale - Southport, Britain - July 22, 2017 England’s Paul Casey hits his tee shot on the fifth hole during the third round. REUTERS/Phil Noble

The 40-year-old’s decision to play solely on the U.S. PGA Tour meant he could not qualify for the 2016 Ryder Cup and he has not played in the prestigious team event since 2008.

“I want to play another Ryder Cup. That’s why I need to do this. But it’s not just the Ryder Cup,” Arizona-based Casey, who has won 13 times on the European Tour, said.

“What excites me more is the role I can play supporting the young guys. I have missed my contribution to England golf, British golf; my contribution to Europe.”

Casey appeared in two triumphant European teams, in 2004 and 2006, but failed to get a captain’s pick at Celtic Manor in 2010 and was injured for the 2012 edition.

With his form on the upswing after a barren spell, world number 15 Casey’s commitment to qualifying for the team to play in France next year is a big boost for captain Thomas Bjorn.

“My Ryder Cup experiences in the past have been the highlight of my career,” Casey said.

“I feel like obviously the golf I’ve played the last few years, I feel I can be a massive contribution on the golf course. But I think what excites me more is the role I feel I can play supporting the young guys.”

Europe have won six of the last eight Ryder Cups but were crushed 17-11 by the Americans at Hazeltine, Minnesota last year.

Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond

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