After Luke Donald’s win at the Madrid Masters last week, he is looking towards keeping up his form at this week’s Wales Open at Celtic Manor.
The 32 year old Englishmen fended off up and coming Welshmen, Rhys Davies, to win by a single stroke on 21 under par.
Even though Donald is considered to be one of England’s biggest talents, this was his first win since 2006 when he won the Honda Classic.
The Wales Open offers an opportunity for Donald to see the course that will be used for October’s Ryder Cup, which he can very realistically qualify for.
Donald’s last Ryder Cup appearance also came back in 2006 when the tournament was held at The K Club in Ireland Europe’s last victory.
When Donald was asked about why he decided to compete in this week’s championship, it was not just due to the course and the tournament in October.
“I felt that I needed to play a run of events in Europe rather than just coming over for Wentworth. Sometimes it’s hard to travel and play one event and go back and play one in the US.
“I (also) wanted to check out the course and hopefully with the hope that I will be here in October.”
With Luke being based in the US as well as in Europe, he has a wealth of experience playing on US style courses.
Recently, the new course at Celtic Manor has been described as having a very American feel to it.
However, Donald disagrees and said, “I’ve not played the The Belfry, but my caddie, John, says it has a similar feel to The Belfry and we’ve done alright round there”.
Donald also agreed with experts that The K Club also had an American feel to it. However, Europe still prevailed in historic fashion.
When Donald was questioned about what he would change to the course to frustrate the Americans and benefit Europe he said that players were nowadays used to all types of courses.
“We all play all over the world. The game has become very similar for most people. I don’t think there is a style of Golf that’s different for Europeans than there is for Americans.”
However, he did concede that Ryder Cup captain, Colin Montgomerie, could thicken the rough around the greens and slow the greens down themselves.
“Slower greens. You could certainly do slower greens. That does tend to frustrate the Americans occasionally because they are used to faster greens. That could be the only thing that I could really think about.”
The course may suit players used to American courses but Donald believes that there will be a few surprises come October.
“I think the last five holes are going to be interesting for a match-play event like the Ryder Cup, a mixture of tough holes and risk/reward holes.”
“Obviously a great amphitheatre for the crowd, as well, with those holes there will be quite an atmosphere here for the Ryder Cup”.