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

DATES: Thursday, June 3rd through Sunday, June 6th
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:  11th
Television:  The Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (et),
  - Saturday -- 9 a.m.-12 p.m. (et),
  - Sunday -- 4-6 p.m. (et) - taped
Defending Champion:  Jeppe Huldahl
Runner-Up:  Niclas Fasth
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:  $2,616,676
Share:  1st Place - $431,717; 2nd Place - $287,830; 3rd Place - $162,163
2009 Finish
Jeppe Huldahl275Richard Green279
Niclas Fasth276Jeev Milkha Singh279
Ignacio Garrido277Oliver Fisher279
Gary Lockerbie278Simon Dyson279
Danny Willett278Five players at280
Past Celtic Manor Wales Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2009Jeppe Huldahl (275) -- Niclas Fasth
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
Jeppe Huldahl------------mc------------Won
Niclas Fasth---------------T-44T-49---T-672nd
Ignacio Garrido---T-20---------T-36T-56T-49---3rd
Simon DysonT-55T-14wd------mcT-7mcmcT-6
Paul McGinleyT-69WonT-6mcT-41T-44mc---mcT-15
Rhys Davies------------------------mcT-17
Miguel A. Jimenez---------------Wonmc---wdT-17
David LynnT-12T-33T-32mcT-56T-8T-56mcT-47T-21
Simon Khan------mcmcWonT-73mcT-35mcT-21
Peter Lawrie---------T-18T-41T-44T-28T-25mcT-24
Ross Fisher---------------T-54mcmcT-10T-31
Gary OrrT-29T-8mcmcT-56T-12T-7T-8T-21T-31
Jose Manuel Lara------mcmcmcT-2mcT-52T-61T-31
Nick Dougherty------T-45T-31mcT-12mcT-8T-4T-37
Colin Montgomerie---------mcT-15mc4thT-20T-58T-37
Richard Finch---------------T-30wdmcmcT-43
Stephen DoddmcT-82T-45T-26T-9mcT-16---mcT-49
Benn Barham---------79th------mcT-29T-4T-53
Bradley DredgemcT-65T-9T-10mcT-36T-7T-2mcT-53
Scott Strange------------------------WonT-59
Mark Brown------------------------mcT-73
Francesco Molinari---------------wd---mcT-4mc
Louis Oosthuizen------------T-74wd---------mc
Paul Lawrie---T-2Won---mcT-17T-21T-29mcwd
Martin Kaymer---------------------T-14T-21---
Edoardo Molinari------------------------T-31---
Graeme McDowell------T-16T-21T-61---T-16mcT-39---
Soren KjeldsenT-21T-20------72ndT-17---T-2T-61---
Alvaro Quiros------------------------mc---
Luke Donald------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Francesco Molinari
Darkhorse - Chris Wood
Last Week's Pick to Win (Fredrik Andersson Hed) - Missed the cut
Last Week's Darkhorse (James Kingston) - Finished 67th
Denmark's Jeppe Huldahl will try to become the first back-to-back winner of this event, as he defends his title this week at the 11th installment of The Celtic Manor Wales Open. Nine of the top-50 players in the world are in the field this week. The highest-ranked player in the field is Luke Donald at No. 9. Donald moved into the top-10 after winning the Madrid Masters last week.

The Twenty Ten Course at The Celtic Manor Resort is the site of this week's event. The course will also host the Ryder Cup in October. European captain Colin Montgomerie is in the field this week.

Last year, Huldahl strung together seven straight pars at the end of his final round to shoot a four-under 67 and win this event. Huldahl earned his first European Tour victory at nine-under-par 275, hanging on for a one-stroke victory over Sweden's Niclas Fasth. It was an astonishing rise to the top for Huldahl, who had never cracked the top 10 in any of his previous 44 starts on the European Tour.

Fasth eagled the par-five 11th to tie Huldahl for the lead at seven-under par, but Huldahl came right back with a tap-in birdie at the 10th to move in front again. Huldahl made his second consecutive birdie at the 11th, but birdies by Fasth at the 13th and 15th had him in a tie for the lead once again. Fasth then bogeyed the 16th and 17th holes, falling two behind. He rolled in a tough putt for birdie at the 18th, but it wasn't enough. Huldahl continued making pars until the title was his.

In 2008, Scott Strange fired a flawless, seven-under 64 in the final round to earn his first European Tour victory at this event. 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. Miguel Angel 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 this event 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, Robert 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. Jimenez 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 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 10 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. In 2008, Donaldson was the top Welshman as he finished tied for 15th. Last year, Rhys Davies tied for 17th.

The European Tour moves to Portugal next week for the Estoril Open de Portugal, where Michael Hoey captured the 2009 title.

06/01 14:50:41 ET

As of June 1, 2010, at 02:50 PM ET