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Paul Casey wins Irish Open by three strokes

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MAYNOOTH, Ireland (AP) - Paul Casey made a 50-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole Sunday and won the Irish Open by three strokes.

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The 35-year-old Englishman trailed by four shots entering the final round. He closed with a 5-under 67 that featured a stretch of five birdies in six holes from No. 8 to No. 13. He finished at 14-under 274 in winning his 14th career title.

``I've never holed a putt like that to win a tournament,'' Casey said. ``I've always felt so at home here, so winning today is like a home victory.''

England's Robert Rock (71) and third-round leader Dutchman Joost Luiten (74) shared second at 277.

Casey was sidelined at the start of the 2012 season with a shoulder injury from a snowboarding accident. This is his first win since the 2011 season-opening Volvo Champions in Bahrain.

Casey won the 2009 Shell Houston Open and once was ranked as high as No. 3. But he dropped to near No. 200 and lost his PGA Tour card. He arrived in Ireland ranked 169th, intent on rejoining the top 50 and the PGA Tour.

``This almost feels like a first win again,'' Casey said. ``This is a huge relief, knowing that I'm moving in the right direction, that I've got great golf left in me for another 10 plus years.''

The victory will move Casey back inside the top 100 and assure him a place in the Aug. 8-11 PGA Championship at Oak Hill.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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