ATLANTA — Paul Casey will spend much of next week biking with friends through the Canadian wilderness, traversing huge stretches far from a newspaper or a TV or even a cell phone tower.
That's good. Nothing like a deep breath of the great outdoors to clear one's head. Find time to get away from your troubles. And for Casey, next week presents a good alternative.
Where he rather would be, of course, is Celtic Manor in Wales, battling alongside his European compatriots as they try to recapture the Ryder Cup. But the English pro didn't make the cut — the odd man off the roster even though he ranks among the sport's top 10 practitioners.
"I can't be upset at anybody," Casey said, disavowing any hard feelings against European captain Colin Montgomerie.
Then again, in a not-so-farfetched scenario presented at this week's Tour Championship, Casey could wind up having the last laugh.
At No. 5 in the FedEx Cup points standings, Casey needs to win at East Lake Golf Club to capture the PGA Tour's season title. He would zip off to Canada with two trophies and the $10 million annuity that goes to the FedEx champ.
Imagine the storm that would brew on the other side of the Atlantic.
"It's the nightmare scenario for Colin Montgomerie," opined the Irish Independent.
A little ironic, too. It was five years ago that Casey — who has made his home in Phoenix since coming to play collegiately at Arizona State — was savaged on these shores for saying the Euros "properly hate" their American rivals.
You know, much like Ohio State properly hates Michigan. Or Alabama properly hates Auburn. Rivalry. Some fans didn't get it, and Casey paid a price.
Casey admits it took him two days to get over the snub. But now he's simply focused on the FedEx Cup — and not that it's a consolation prize.
"There's not a hole to fill," he said. "This is now a whole separate thing."
Even so, there was no mistaking the way Casey responded when the whole win-the-FedEx-and-stay-home scenario was laid out this week.
Casey grinned, cocked his head slightly and offered a slight shrug of his shoulders. No words were spoken.
None were needed.