Casey makes huge jump in qualification
Paul Casey won his 15th European Tour event at the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic and in doing so moved into the second automatic qualifying spot on the World Points List.
The four-time Team Europe player cruised to a four-stroke victory in the Middle East after rounds of 67-70-64-70 at Emirates Golf Club.
The victory propels the three-time Ryder Cup winner up 20 places on the World Points List and into the automatic positions with 111.39 points, as well as up an impressive 37 places on the European Points List into 14th position with 1,562.50 points.
"I'd love to be part of Pádraig's team in any capacity” said Casey. “I'd obviously love to be on the golf course first because I think that's where I'm most useful and if I'm not on the golf course, I'd still love to be part of his team and do my bit for Europe.
"Paris was the greatest experience I've had and I think Whistling Straits is going to be a battle. It's always difficult on their turf."
The Englishman was also full of praise for 24-year-old Robert MacIntyre, who started the final day one shot behind eventual winner Casey.
Unfortunately for the young Scot, four consecutive bogeys around the turn meant MacIntyre would finish in solo third.
However, this result did see MacIntyre move up in both Points Lists for a second consecutive week as he currently sits 10th on the European Points List with 1,894.28 points and on the bubble in 11th on the World Points List with 81.98 points.
Consistent form from the 2019 Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year hasn’t gone unnoticed with Casey adding: "He's got a good demeanour, very good demeanour.
"I couldn't really see a weakness there. Great attitude. He's a good ball striker, a lot of good attributes, good player. He's got a good brain.
"He might be part of that Ryder Cup Team for Pádraig - he's that good, he really is.
"I'd feel very comfortable standing next to him on a first tee at Whistling Straits. You know, and he's only going to get better and better and better, and pretty fearless.
"He was great to play with and you can't always say that about guys."
There was another potential Ryder Cup rookie making a move over on the PGA TOUR in Viktor Hovland.
The Norwegian finished in a five-way tie for second at the Farmers Insurance Open to earn valuable World Points.
This moves the two-time PGA TOUR winner up six places on the World Points List into 13th with 76.30 points.
There was also another positive week for 2018 Ryder Cup rookie Jon Rahm who finished in a tie for seventh.
As it stands, Tommy Fleetwood (4,301.55 points), Tyrrell Hatton (4,194.72 points), Rahm (7,747.50 points) and Rory McIlroy (3,429.44 points) sit in the four automatic places on the European Points List.
Victor Perez (114.79 points), Casey (111.39 points), Danny Willett (99.92 points), Matthew Fitzpatrick (96.87 points) and Bernd Wiesberger (90.06 points) occupy the five automatic places on the World Points List.
More points are on offer next week as the European Tour heads to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers. Meanwhile, the PGA TOUR heads to TPC Scottsdale for the Waste Management Phoenix Open.