PAUL CASEY today vowed to go on fighting after one of the worst experiences of his golfing life last week.
The former world No.3, still to rediscover form more than six months after dislocating his shoulder snowboarding, slumped to back-to-back rounds of 80 for the first time in his career at the French Open and finished joint last.
"That course beat me up," Casey admitted at Castle Stuart near Inverness, where the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open starts tomorrow.
"The shoulder's absolutely fine and I feel good physically and mentally, but I just wasn't hitting it the way I wanted to.
"In a way, though, this is an opportunity. For a long time I was just on auto-pilot, but now I'm doing a lot of learning about my swing.
"I'm also being incredibly thorough and not leaving any stone unturned.
"I'm addressing the mental side, the nutritional side, everything I do on and off the course.
"I'm just dedicating myself to it as much as I can – if I'm not going to do it now I'm never going to do it.
"Yes, the shoulder has damaged my golf, but I'm addressing all these other points now because I want to get to a whole new level."
Crashing out of Paris at halfway was not in the plan, of course, but it did allow him to see sport as it should be played on Sunday.
Casey received a late invitation to Wimbledon for the men's singles final and felt real sympathy for Andy Murray as he gave his all, but lost to Roger Federer and then showed the world what it meant to him.
"You saw the real Andy Murray," he said. "You base opinions on what you see, which isn't necessarily the correct thing to do, and I think my opinion of him has now changed."
Casey, now down at 72nd in the rankings, spent two months out following his accident in Colorado on Christmas Eve and decided to take more time off last month even though it meant missing the US Open.
The Ryder Cup star will be at Royal Lytham for The Open next week, however, and having already made a trip back to the course on which he won the English amateur title in 2000 he is warning what a tough week is in store there.
"To me it was a classic course – make your score going out and hang on for dear life coming in," he said.
"Now, with the changes they've made, we hang on for dear life out and back."
The sixth hole has changed from a par five to a par four and a total of 181 yards has been added since the 2001 Open.