COLOGNE, Germany: After injury forced him out of the U.S. Open last week, Paul Casey returns to play in the BMW International Open determined to qualify for the European Ryder Cup team.
The Englishman couldn't compete in San Francisco because of continuing problems since dislocating his right shoulder in a snow-boarding mishap in January.
It was only the third major Casey has missed since playing his first at the British Open in 2002.
"It was tough having to sit at home watching the U.S. Open on TV when you really want to be playing," said Casey. "But doctors said my shoulder needed another week's rest. I've been having the shoulder massaged but it's meant also having to cut down my practice sessions."
Casey is 60th in the world rankings and 30th on the European Ryder Cup points table. He was a member of the winning teams in 2004 and 2006, but lost in 2008 and missed out in 2010 with Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald preferred as wild cards.
And with his right shoulder now back to near full fitness, Casey is determined to make the most of the remaining 10 weeks of qualifying.
"This week will only be my sixth Tour event this year, so in many ways this week really now is the start of my season," said Casey. "The shoulder injury has meant a lot of time away from the game but I'm coming back firmly believing that if I can get going I can still qualify and make the European Team.
"It's going to be a case of winning golf tournaments and that's all I will focus on, and I refuse to focus on the alternative.
Casey will join 18 players in Cologne who contested last week's U.S. Open including local favorite Martin Kaymer, who finished with a share of 15th place in San Francisco.