By Nick Mulvenney
SYDNEY (Reuters) – The definition of insanity might be doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result but England’s Paul Casey defied it with a sparkling six-under-par 65 to take the early lead in the second round of the Australian Open on Friday.
The world number 14 invoked the old maxim after his first-round 68 at The Australian Golf Club on Thursday, saying he would be sticking to his guns in the second round.
The 42-year-old was rewarded with seven birdies — including four in a row to finish — against a single bogey as some stunning approach shots and cool putting took to him to the top of the leaderboard at nine-under.
“Yes, insanity won today, because I didn’t really change anything,” he told reporters.
“The strategy stayed the same, continued to hit very similar tee shots to the tee shots I hit yesterday.
“Still stuck in the bunker on the right on five – it always seems the same, but the outcome was different. But that could be something as simple … as pin positions, and that was the case a little bit today.
“Hopefully the outcome won’t change from today. It’s mad, isn’t it? It’s madness.”
Casey has won twice this year — the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship in March and the European Open in September — and has made no secret of the fact that he has made the long trip to Australia to lift the Stonehaven Cup.
“If I continue to play the way I did today, then I’ll be very happy and I’ll give myself a great chance of winning this thing,” he added.
“I didn’t come down here for a jolly. The weather’s perfect in Arizona right now where I live, so it would be very easy to be back home. I’ve never played an Aussie Open before and I’d love to win it.
“I’m not here to make up the numbers, I’m here to try and win.”
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)