Rhys Davies might have lost out on winning the Madrid Masters, but the young Welshman will no doubt have given Europe’s Ryder Cup skipper Colin Montgomerie some food for thought following his performance in pushing eventual winner Luke Donald all the way.
Donald’s one-shot victory over the European Tour rookie moved the Englishman into the world’s top 10 and an automatic qualifying berth for the match against the United States at The Celtic Manor resort, Wales. But, in finishing as runner-up, Davies pocketed a cheque for £142,000 to take his 2010 earnings to a whopping £650,000 – his first full season on the full European Tour.
Davies still has some way to go before he can lay claim to an automatic berth, while Montgomerie might not enjoy the idea of introducing a Tour rookie to the pressures of the Ryder Cup so soon and may look elsewhere for his wild-card picks. But with several likely contenders struggling with injury and loss of form, Davies could yet force his way into the reckoning should he continue to play well and improve his game.
Davies’ performances in 2010 have been remarkable. Already a winner on Tour after collecting the Trophee Hassan II, the Welshman has also finished in a tie for second in the Volvo China Open. He has qualified for both the US Open at Pebble Beach and the Open Championship at St Andrews, and with huge prize funds on offer, a strong showing could give Davies a real hope of making Montgomerie’s team.
Davies now heads to The Celtic Manor for this week’s Wales Open and he will once again lock horns with his Madrid conqueror, Luke Donald. Davies will no doubt be looking to improve upon and build on that Madrid performance, and with the added incentive of playing in front of a home crowd will be eager to do well and further rubber-stamp his credentials.
But, when the dust finally settles and Colin Montgomerie names his team for the Ryder Cup clash, will Rhys Davies be one of those names on Monty’s list?
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