WGC-Accenture runner-up Paul Casey's kind gesture in Houston
Fresh off of playing 34 holes Sunday in the final of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain near Tucson, Paul Casey drove home to Scottsdale, Ariz., only to catch an early morning flight to Houston today.
Scheduled for a 10:30 a.m. press conference at Redstone Golf Club in Humble, Casey, who is sixth in the latest World Golf Rankings, arrived early. He wasn’t about to miss coming back to the place where he secured his first and only U.S. PGA Tour victory.
Maybe it’s because he’s still young, or in tip-top shape, but the 32-year-old Casey didn’t seem the worse for wear. After conducting a press conference, he did interview after interview with the Houston media, always polite, friendly, patient and seemingly proud to be the defending champion of the Shell Houston Open, which will be played April 1-4 right before the Masters.
Perhaps more impressively, he made good on a promise he made last year when he hoisted the crystal winner’s trophy here last year. Last year, he vowed to make a significant donation to Houston charities, and Monday, he and his wife did just that, to the tune of $100,000.
“This is something Jocelyn and I feel very strongly about,” Casey told media members at the Dick Harmon Learning Center, which doubles as the Media Center during the Shell Houston Open.
The specific recipients of the money are still to be determined. Steve Timms, president and CEO of the Houston Golf Association indicated an announcement is scheduled for March 30 before the tournament starts. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Casey, who finished as the runner-up for the second year in a row (this time to Ian Poulter) at the WGC-Accenture, just bagged $850,000. But still, this is a kind gesture from the Caseys, who have been generous with their time and money in England, but felt they wanted to give back here in the United States as well. (Casey splits time between the United States and England.)
Speaking of contributions, the Houston Golf Association has generated more than $53.7 million for local charity since 1974, and $48.7 million of that has come since Shell Oil Company became title sponsor in 1992. I think that’s a part of golf that often gets lost among those who criticize it as an elitist sport.
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