LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Paul Casey has a new member of his family to play for this week at Conway Farms.
Casey’s wife, Pollyanna, gave birth to the couple’s second child on Monday. Their first daughter together, Astaria, was born back home in Arizona, and weighed six pounds, 12 ounces.
“All’s good, everybody’s healthy, and that’s the most important thing,” said Casey, who opened the BMW Championship with a 2-under 69 on Thursday.
“I’m a bit tired, but not as tired as momma, so I’m not complaining.”
No complaints at all. Casey has loved being a dad since Pollyanna gave birth to the couple’s first child, son Lex, on Sept. 1, 2014.
In fact, fatherhood has given the 40-year-old Englishman more focus.
“Golf is not the most important thing that I do,” Casey said. “Looking after my family and making sure that they’re healthy and happy is the most important thing. You’ll see a trend where guys have played really well after becoming fathers, and that’s likely because they have something to play for. … I’ve maybe not practiced as hard the last couple of years as I would normally have worked through my career. But I guess I prioritize better than I maybe have done in the past.
“If anything, it’s a joy because when I get home I’ve got something to focus on. And in the past maybe I would’ve focused on more golf. So maybe the extra work is detrimental.”
Casey’s play this year has certainly backed that theory up. He enters the BMW ranked eighth in FedEx Cup points. And since the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, Casey hasn’t finished worse than 26th in 12 starts. He’s gone fifth (Northern Trust) and T-4 (Dell) in the first two playoff events, as well.
And with Astaria now born, Casey will be able to play in the final two playoff contests, including the lucrative season-ending Tour Championship. That extra $10 million a player gets by winning the FedEx Cup would surely buy a lot of diapers.
“The fact I could go win-win and pip everybody is kind of cool, and slightly wrong,” Casey said. “Because when you compare the seasons that guys like Justin Thomas, Hideki, Dustin and Jordan have had this year, it’s wrong, but I like the opportunity. And that’s what it’s all about; it brings excitement. … I like the volatility, I always have.”
Thirteen days after Lex was born in 2014, Casey won the KLM Open on the European Tour. Could Astaria bring her daddy similar fortune this week?