Celtic Manor, iconic stage for Wales Open
May 31 to June 3:
This week’s ISPS Handa Wales Open is attracting huge crowds and a great number of prize-winning European Tour players to the City of Newport, Wales. The Twenty Ten course at Celtic Manor is the prestigious venue for the € 2.2 million tournament, from May 31 to June 3.
Miguel Angel Jiménez, the 2005 Wales Open champion, will have particularly sweet memories of Celtic Manor, as he was one of the European Ryder Cup team members that beat America at this same course in 2010. Thomas Bjorn, another Ryder Cup veteran, will also start in Wales this week. As a player he was on the winning side in two Ryder Cups in 1999 and 2002. Bjorn is in good shape, after a successful 2011 season. After winning the Estoril Open de Portugal in 2010, he won three tournaments in 2011, including back-to-back titles at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles and the Omega European Masters.
Winners teeing off
Another 2011 winner teeing off at the Wales Open
is Simon Dyson, who recorded two victories, at the Irish and KLM Opens. Dyson is playing for his chance for a Ryder Cup debut this summer. More golf icons at Celtic Manor: Colin Montgomerie, the victorious Ryder Cup captain (in his 10th consecutive Wales Open), Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts (winner of Volvo Match play Championship 2012), Ross Fisher, Edoardo and Francesco Molinari (winner of the Reale Seguros Open de Espana a month ago), Paul Lawrie, Robert Rock, Pablo Larrazábal and defending champion Alexander Noren, with Volvo World Match Play semi-finalist Rafael Cabrera-Bello. Ryder Cup Captain José Maria Olazábal will make his debut in the ISPS Handa Wales Open.
Twenty Ten course
The Wales Open is played on Celtic Manors Twenty Ten course, a par 71 of 7,493 yards. This course was designed with The 2010 Ryder Cup team match play in mind. This week, the course will provide a fantastic stage for traditional tournament stroke play. The course is known and feared for the water hazards that players will come across at more than half of the holes.
The course features nine spectacular and brand new holes that have been mixed with nine upgraded and remodeled holes from the former Wentwood Hills Championship Course. The course’s signature hole is the par four 14th, which is an excellent hole for players with strong nerves; the hole has lakes on both sides of the fairway. The tournament´s website describes the options: “Long hitters will be tempted to carry the entire length of the lake to the right to leave a straightforward short iron or wedge into the heart of the green. More conservative players may opt for the safety-first approach of laying up in the middle of an unguarded fairway before attacking the narrow green from a more awkward angle across the second stretch of water to the left.”
Would you like to comment on this article? Please log in on the right hand side of this page or: