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PGA European - The Celtic Manor Wales Open Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, June 4th through Sunday, June 7th
SITE: The Celtic Manor Resort (Twenty Ten Course), Newport, Wales
COURSE ARCHITECT: Robert Trent Jones, Jr. (1999), Ross McMurray (2007)
PAR: 71
YARDAGE: 7,378
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 465 Yds10 - Par 3 210 Yds
2 - Par 5 610 Yds11 - Par 5 562 Yds
3 - Par 3 189 Yds12 - Par 4 458 Yds
4 - Par 4 461 Yds13 - Par 3 189 Yds
5 - Par 4 433 Yds14 - Par 4 485 Yds
6 - Par 4 422 Yds15 - Par 4 377 Yds
7 - Par 3 213 Yds16 - Par 4 499 Yds
8 - Par 4 439 Yds17 - Par 3 211 Yds
9 - Par 5 580 Yds18 - Par 5 575 Yds
--------------------------
36 3,812 Yds35 3,566 Yds
 
Annual:  10th
Television:  The Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (et),
  Saturday/Sunday -- 9 a.m.-12 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Scott Strange
Runner-Up:  Robert Karlsson
Tournament Record (Par 72):  267 (Simon Khan, Paul Casey, 2004)
Tournament Record (Par 71):  262 (Scott Strange, 2008)
Tournament Record (Par 69):  260 (Robert Karlsson, 2006)
54-Hole Record (Par 72):  197 (Paul Casey, 2004)
54-Hole Record (Par 71):  198 (Scott Strange, 2008)
54-Hole Record (Par 69):  189 (Robert Karlsson, 2006)
36-Hole Record (Par 72):  130 (Simon Khan, 2004)
36-Hole Record (Par 71):  129 (Scott Strange, 2008)
36-Hole Record (Par 69):  124 (Robert Karlsson, 2006)
18-Hole Record:  60 (Phillip Archer, 2006 - Roman Road Course)
Course Record:  61 (Simon Khan, 2004)
Total Purse:  $2,964,232
Share:  1st Place - $487,687; 2nd Place - $325,148; 3rd Place - $183,188
 
2008 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Scott Strange262Benn Barham271
Robert Karlsson266Francesco Molinari271
Raphael Jacquelin270Rafa Echenique271
Darren Clarke271Gonzalo Fdez-Castano272
Nick Dougherty271Five players at273
 
Past Celtic Manor Wales Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2008Scott Strange (262) -- Robert Karlsson
2007Richard Sterne (263) -- Mardan Mamat, Mads Vibe-Hastrup, Soren Kjeldsen,
Bradley Dredge
2006Robert Karlsson (260) -- Paul Broadhurst
2005Miguel Angel Jimenez (262) -- Martin Erlandsson, Jose Manuel Lara
2004*Simon Khan (267) -- Paul Casey
2003Ian Poulter (270) -- Darren Fichardt, Jarrod Moseley, Jonathan Lomas
2002Paul Lawrie (272) -- John Bickerton
2001#*Paul McGinley (138) -- Daren Lee, Paul Lawrie
2000Steen Tinning (273) -- David Howell

# - Rain Shortened

* - Won in Playoff

Top Contenders in the Field
Player200020012002200320042005200620072008
Scott Strange------------------------Won
Raphael Jacquelinmc------T-73---T-17---T-253rd
Nick Dougherty------T-45T-31mcT-12mcT-8T-4
Benn Barham---------79th------mcT-29T-4
Rafa Echenique---------------------T-43T-4
Francesco Molinari---------------wd---mcT-4
Ross Fisher---------------T-54mcmcT-10
Jeev Milkha Singh------------------------T-10
Mikko Ilonen------3rdmcT-34mc---T-6T-15
Gary OrrT-29T-8mcmcT-56T-12T-7T-8T-21
Christian Cevaer---mc---T-18T-41T-30mcT-49T-39
Thongchai Jaidee---------mc------T-42wdT-39
David LynnT-12T-33T-32mcT-56T-8T-56mcT-47
Colin Montgomerie---------mcT-15mc4thT-20T-58
Soren KjeldsenT-21T-20------72ndT-17---T-2T-61
Jose Manuel Lara------mcmcmcT-2mcT-52T-61
Niclas Fasth---------------T-44T-49---T-67
Bradley DredgemcT-65T-9T-10mcT-36T-7T-2mc
Mads Vibe-Hastrup------wdmcT-15------T-2mc
Paul Broadhurst---mcmcT-26mcT-172ndT-8mc
Martin Erlandsson------------T-31T-2T-42T-20mc
Peter Lawrie---------T-18T-41T-44T-28T-25mc
Paul Lawrie---T-2Won---mcT-17T-21T-29mc
Simon Khan------mcmcWonT-73mcT-35mc
Simon DysonT-55T-14wd------mcT-7mcmc
Steve Webster---T-8T-32T-26mcT-15mcmcmc
Richard Finch---------------T-30wdmcmc
Stephen DoddmcT-82T-45T-26T-9mcT-16---mc
Paul McGinleyT-69WonT-6mcT-41T-44mc---mc
Mark Brown------------------------mc
Miguel A. Jimenez---------------Wonmc---wd
Corey Pavin---------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Stephen Dodd
Darkhorse - Chris Wood
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Martin Kaymer) - Finished tied for 13th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Anthony Wall) - Finished tied for 18th
 
NOTES:
Australian Scott Strange will try to become the first back-to-back winner of this event, as he defends his title this week at the 10th installment of The Celtic Manor Wales Open. Four of the top-40 players in the world are in the field this week - Ross Fisher (23), Jeev Milkha Singh (34), Soren Kjeldsen (36) and 2005 champion Miguel Angel Jimenez (38).

The Twenty Ten Course at The Celtic Manor Resort is the site of this week's event. The course will also host the 2010 Ryder Cup. Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin, the captains of the 2010 European and United States teams, are playing this week.

Last year, Strange fired a flawless, seven-under 64 in the final round to earn his first European Tour victory at the Wales Open at Celtic Manor Resort. The Australian finished the tournament at 22-under 262 and won by four shots over Robert Karlsson. Strange led wire-to-wire, as he started the tournament with a brilliant 63, then fought off a mild challenge from Karlsson on the final day to get that first win.

In 2007, Richard Sterne got off to a tough start in the final round, but four birdies over the final five holes propelled him to victory. Sterne closed with a four-under 65, but wasn't assured the victory until third-round leader and local favorite Bradley Dredge lipped out a par putt on the final hole. Sterne finished the event at 13-under-par 263. Sterne became the youngest winner in event history in 2007 at 25 years and 280 days. Jimenez was the oldest winner of this tournament when he won in 2005 at 41 years and 151 days.

Nine players were tied for the lead following the first round at The Celtic Manor Wales Open in 2007. That set a new European Tour record for most players tied for the lead after any first round in history. The old record was eight set at the 1995 European Masters.

In 2006, Karlsson started the final round in search of several European Tour records. Instead, he stumbled to a two-over 71, which was still good enough for a three-stroke win over Paul Broadhurst. The Swede ended the tournament at 16-under-par 260. That was good enough for the tournament record. Miguel Angel Jimenez had set the old mark of 262 in 2005. Karlsson only needed to shoot even-par in the final round to tie the European Tour record for lowest 72-hole score (258), but a balky putter was his undoing in the final round, as he carded 32 putts. He had established a tour record for lowest 54-hole score with a three-round total of 189. That total also bettered the tournament's 54- hole record by eight strokes. He also established a new 36-hole mark for the European Tour of 124.

Welsh players have played a prominent role in the first nine tournaments. Ian Woosnam tied for third in 2000, after leading going into the final round, and Phillip Price tied for fifth. The following year, two new Welsh players came to the forefront, Mark Pilkington and Jamie Donaldson, as both finished tied for fourth. In 2002, Dredge was the best home player, tying for ninth. In 2003, Price was the low Welshman as he tied for seventh. In 2004, Stephen Dodd finished tied for ninth to lead the Welsh contingent. In 2005, Woosnam tied for fifth. Dredge finished tied for seventh in 2006 and tied for second in 2007. Last year, Jamie Donaldson was the top Welshman as he finished tied for 15th.

The European Tour moves to France in two weeks for the SAINT-OMER OPEN, where David Dixon captured the 2008 title. The best players on the European Tour, however, will be in New York for the U.S. Open Championship, where Tiger Woods will defend his title at Bethpage Black.

06/02 15:36:01 ET

As of June 2, 2009, at 03:36 PM ET

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