Donald the favourite again in Wales
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2010 The Celtic Manor Resort Wales Open | Preview | 02 Jun 2010
The Celtic Manor Wales Open is played this week at the Twenty Ten layout at the Celtic Manor Resort, this same layout to be used at the Ryder Cup in early October.
The tournament has brought together what is virtually a replica of the field that played last week in Madrid with the winner there, Luke Donald, the favourite to repeat his success. Donald is in fine form of late not only winning the Madrid Masters but finishing runner up at Wentworth the week before and a few weeks earlier finishing third at the Verizon Heritage event on the PGA Tour.
Donald’s victory last week saw him move inside the top ten and he now appears to be in the best form of his career. He has not played this event or this venue previously but it should not stop him having a good week. Just how good remains to be seen.
Welshman Rhys Davies has developed into one of the European Tour’s emerging stars. He won a Challenge Tour event in Wales last year so playing at home and in front of friends should be no issue and after his runner up finish last week he arrives in great from to challenge Donald and others once again. If he was to win then he becomes a genuine chance to earn a Ryder Cup berth in his rookie season.
Chris Wood is yet another of the European Tour’s emerging young stars. Wood finished 10th in this event last year and over the past few weeks has displayed the sort of form he was in at this stage last year.
Francesco Molinari has been in outstandingly consistent form in recent months including a very impressive top ten finish at the Players Championship and a 3rd place in Madrid last week. He is on the verge of securing a berth in the Ryder Cup and another good week in this event would almost cement it.
Alvaro Quiros is one of the higher ranked players in the field and continues to put forward some very impressive finishes in 2010. He is a genuine chance this week as is Robert Karlsson who appears to be back to the form that saw him as such a good player two years ago. His win in Qatar has been followed by several other good tournaments and he is close to winning again.
Australasians in the field include Michael Campbell, Marcus Fraser, Andrew Dodt, Danny Lee, Scott Strange, Mark Brown, Richard Green, Peter O’Malley, Brett Rumford, Scott Hend and Andrew Tampion.