Casey would be 'fantastic asset' at Ryder Cup - Bjorn

Jed Court
Paul Casey of England, ranked 14th in the world, missed the 2016 Ryder Cup as he is not a member of the European Tour

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn said Tuesday that Paul Casey would be a "fantastic asset" if he were to make himself available for next year's matches in Paris.

Englishman Casey, ranked 14th in the world, missed the 2016 Ryder Cup as he is not a member of the European Tour.

The 40-year-old has an impressive record in the biennial event, but has decided to base himself solely on the PGA Tour after rebuilding his career in the United States.

"I've said all along I have an open conversation with Paul," Bjorn told reporters in Paris.

"With the way he's been playing for the last while... I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't have those conversations with him.

"Paul has said for a long time that he's made his life in America with his family and that he's extremely happy.

"He has to make that decision, he's promised me that he will make that decision and that I'll be the first one to know when he makes that decision.

"He wants to be a part of it, but he really has for a while tried to prioritise his family and any man has to respect that some people make those priorities, but having him in the Ryder Cup team would be a fantastic asset if he plays the way he is at the moment."

Former world number three Casey won five points in three Ryder Cups from 2004-2008 before sliding down the rankings as he struggled with form and fitness.

But he has been a model of consistency over the last three seasons, with 27 top-10 finishes since 2015.

European Tour rules mean that players have to play five regular Tour events to qualify for the Ryder Cup points lists.

"I can only say that, as a Tour, and having him available to the Ryder Cup team, would be great for us, but then also he has to make that team," said Denmark's Bjorn.

"But we really have had some open and honest conversations that have been great and I actually wish him luck in making a decision, because I know that it's not a decision he's taking lightly one way or the other."

When asked if he would give a potential captain's pick to a home French player, Bjorn insisted he would choose the strongest 12 players available, and as it stands, Casey is among them without doubt.

But even if he cannot give Casey a call, Bjorn is confident he will have a side capable of beating a formidable American outfit at Le Golf National next September.

Although the top two players in the world rankings are Americans -- Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth -- Europe boast 10 of the top 20.

"You tell me a time where there's been 11 Europeans in the top 21 in the world," added Bjorn.

"It might have happened but it's not something that you see very often.

"So that's a very strong European team."