17 September 2014

Ryder Cup quartet to tee up at ISPS HANDA Wales Open

Thomas Bjørn and Stephen Gallacher will complete a formidable quartet of Ryder Cup players teeing up at this week’s ISPS HANDA Wales Open. The duo join former World No 1 Lee Westwood and in-form Welshman Jamie Donaldson in a fitting final warm-up at Celtic Manor for the Ryder Cup which takes place next week.

Ryder Cup quartet to tee up at ISPS HANDA Wales Open

ISPS HANDA Wales Open at Celtic Manor

The ISPS HANDA Wales Open from Thursday to Sunday (18th-21st September) will be played on the course which staged the 2010 match against the Americans and it will be set up as closely as possible to the layout which will face this year’s team at Gleneagles.

A vice-captain for the European victories in 2004, 2010 and 2012, Bjørn tees up in Wales before making his first playing appearance at the Ryder Cup since 2002. A return to form in recent years was capped by wins at the 2013 Omega European Masters and this season’s Nedbank Golf Challenge which have propelled the Dane back into the top 30 of golf’s world rankings.

Rookie Gallacher secured a wildcard pick from European Captain Paul McGinley after coming within a whisker of qualifying automatically with third place in last month’s 71° Open d'Italia, the final counting event. The Scot retained his Omega Dubai Desert Classic in February among eight top-10 finishes this season.

Celtic Manor Resort Chief Executive Dylan Matthews said: "We’re really excited to add another chapter to our Ryder Cup history by being the final tournament before this year’s match in Scotland. This is the strongest field assembled at Celtic Manor since the 2010 Ryder Cup and the ISPS HANDA Wales Open is a fantastic opportunity for golf fans to cheer on the Ryder Cup players and all the other stars of the European Tour."

Paul Casey, Francesco Molinari, Joost Luiten, Ross Fisher, Nicolas Colsaerts and David Howell are also entered to contest the £300,000 first prize along with defending champion Grégory Bourdy and former winners Robert Karlsson, Paul Lawrie, Simon Khan and Thongchai Jaidee.

As well as top-class golfing action, the tournament always offers a great value day out for all the family with a tented village including bar, food outlets, shops selling golf merchandise and opportunities for youngsters to try their hand at golf.

The tournament will also showcase the work of ISPS which continues to expand and enhance its blind and disabled golf initiatives, showing that sport has the power to inspire, create hope and transform society.

MJ Abbott has worked with the Celtic Manor Resort for almost 20 years, and constructed the Twenty Ten Course ready for the Ryder Cup in 2010. To read about the project to construct the Twenty Ten Course, follow this link.

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