Mendoza: Mr. Casualty back as Mister Casas of Davao

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By Al S. Mendoza

All Write

Monday, February 10, 2014


CASSIUS Casas wins again and this is cause for joy to those ready to call it a day.
No, fellas, don’t lose hope.

No, fellas, never give up.

No, fellas, age is just in the mind.

After winning it the first time in its 2003 inaugurals, Casas said he was the happiest man on earth.

“This is the happiest moment of my life thus far, Pareng Al,” he said. “This tournament means a lot, not only because it offered a lot of money to the winner. All the big guns are here and I can’t believe I won it.”

Cassius is my compadre. I was godfather to his son, who now is likewise into golf.

The son might also rise one day as he hits long. But the boy needs more time to hone up his skills. Cassius is dutifully doing his job at that. I am doing my role as inspirer—the way I helped inspire Cassius’ game when he was barely starting in the ’90s after he was plucked out from his caddy chores at Davao’s Apo Golf Club.

He would shoot up fast like a meteor, even winning the coveted Philippine Open, the height of golf supremacy.

But after winning the rich The Country Club Invitational in 2003, he’d next transform bizarrely from winner to loser, from celebrity to obscurity. In short, he stopped winning. He turned from Mr. Casas to Mr. Casualty.

A casualty of the good life. Wine. Women. Wickedness.

Then he “won” in 2010, but it was because the entire championship flight got disqualified for a serious breach of rules.

That gave Cassius back the ecstatic feeling of being “a champ once more.” Elixir.

When he was up there again at the big stage, the heart of a champ pounded and pounded
and pounded.

The next morning after a night of celebration, Cassius embarked on a training only Spartans could endure. He threw away everything in the name of regaining his power off the tee, his focus and, yes, his sanity.

Hard work it would be for the next three years or so.

And, after winning on Sunday at The Country Club—even having the luxury of a last-hole bogey to defeat Tony Lascuna by a shot—Cassius said, “It’s been a long time, and it’s nice to win again.”

You can say that again, Pare.

(alsol47@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 11, 2014.

Sports

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