A Day at Celtic Manor - Ryder Cup 2010 Print
Written by BRUNO   

MK (UK version) at Celtic Manor


LinksNation Uk correspondent Micky Kenz spent Tuesday in Wales, here are a few of his observations from Celtic Manor, the site of the 2010 Ryder Cup:


I awoke on the 1st day of practice rounds to find lots of mist in the air.We entered into Newport

station approx 20 minutes after leaving Bristol in England, and caught the bus to the course.Upon going through security we noticed that the new course was down in the valley below the original course and club house.As we walked down the hill you could see the mist still hovering below, we trudged down the man made walkway which had to be 1000ft above the course.It was noticeable that not many people were in attendance this early in the morning.

Jim Furyk tees off as teammates look on


We inspected the 18th green which is directly at the bottom of the path and in front of the new

impressive 2010 pavilion.It was already noticeable how thick the rough was around the green, and that any wayward shots into the green could prove almost impossible to recover, especially as it was only Tuesday and that more rain was due which would only make it worse.

 We wandered then down towards the 1st fairway, where the USA was just teeing off.We found an

advantageous position  across from the landing area of their tee shots.Tiger bombed his tee shot deep and right, into the center of the fairway past the bunkers on the left, and over the trouble of the the dog leg.Stricker split the fairway but approx 30 yards behind Tiger, Mahan with Zach were down the left in the light stuff.

All 4 peppered the flag to within 15 feet, and we all thought . . . the boys are in town.It was noticeable that the USA team spent at least 10 minutes on each green putting to possible pin positions.



211 yd Par 3- 17th


The 2nd group was a little indifferent.

Cink, Overton and Kucher all finding the long stuff, with only Furyk (a little shorter than the others) finding the short stuff.Furyk found the middle of the dance floor, whilst Kucher bunkered.Cink scowled as he saw the nasty stuff that is the heavy rough in Wales. So rough, you could lose a sheep in there if it wasn’t woolly enough.He chunked out short and gestured like he had broken his arm, since the grass was so thick.Overton duly followed him.

The following group consisted of a new starlet called Ricky Fowler, little known on this side of the pond, and looked young enough to be my son, although I would make him cut his hair.

He found the bunker down the left side, Big Bubba found the “Cink” rough, as did Johnson, whilst big Phil split the lot with a bomb. What seemed like an enormous ease of a man that can really play the game in his sleep.Bubba chunked into the bunker right side of the green, whilst Fowler caught the lip and fell well short.Phil Mickleson was the man however, with the easiest swing a man make, he lifted the ball to within 5 feet of the stick for a 3.

We followed for 3 holes and what was noticeable was that Tiger always walked off in front on his own. The younger guys talked discretly amongst themselves. Cink and especially Mickelson being the daddies of their respective groups.Mickelson especially having a great repartee with his group and with the crowd.

As the Americans played through 3, we trudged back through what was now turning to mud. We went to the 18th fairway and picked a spot on the landing area again, to see the Europeans

complete their first 9 holes on the homeward straight.

A long slight dog leg left par 5 reachable in 2 for the big boys if they hit the fairway, narrowed in just the right place and with bunkers down the left to try and catch the biggest boys.

Rory "the kid", came down over the bunkers just off the fairway but in the deep stuff, 5 yards from

us but couldn’t see his ball. Even Columbo might have struggled.

Westwood and Sergio


Team USA approaches green


McDowell found the fairway, but about 20 yards behind Rory. The Molinari brothers found the lighter down rough on the right. The brothers both had to lay up as no choice was offered, the fairway snaking down to the lake in front of the green.Rory had no choice either, but McDowell got out the 3 dog, Sploosh! Water hazard. Followed that with another one. Rory then dropped one to let rip. It had the legs but not the direction.McDowell dropped by the lake and fizzed a shot to the flag at the front, which then came back down the slope and into the water.This hole will prove massively interesting and as impressive and 18th as you will see.Very Valderrama esque.

18th at Celtic Manor


We watched as Westy carried his approach, but he ended up in the bunker, which if your going to carry this is where you will stay dry.Woods hit the green front left, the most impressive of the day.

It was now time for a pint (which turned into 4), as we had corporate hospitality overlooking the dangerous par 3 17th.Go to the right at your peril, a very steep hill with more sand than the

Sahara awaits.By this time most of the people in the exclusive club were saying how easy the hole was. (Beer talk we think)

We wandered then around the course picking holes where we could.Another striking factor was the narrowing of fairways and growing up of rough, where the balls would land.

Apart from 18, the hole that could have a massive deciding factor in this competition is 14.Water to the right comes into play off the tee, followed water left up to and around the green. I think this is the big hole.Par could win you the hole here and if the wind blows like it could this time of year, it could mean curtains in a tight game.

 An overview: considering the weather that we Brits have had here, the course is in tip top condition, and allegedly drains very quickly. It will need to be if the forecast is correct for Friday.I think that this could be very tight, but I think that the Europeans team spirit will pull them through.Strangely, it seems like they have all been best friends for years and with all the joking around and banter that they have, you could well believe it.

The example was with Westy and Sergio, taking the mickey out of Jiminez on the 8th tee whist he

was playing.

Highlight of the day though, had to be a member of the gallery asking “Woosie” whilst playing a

game with Sam Torrance, how many clubs he had in his bag.

What followed later in the day nearly killed us.The walk back up the hill.More annoyingly after

cardiac hill we were told that there were no buses at the top.

 May the best team win! From a wet and windy Wales.            

-Micky Kenz

Celtic Manor