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Page last updated at 07:19 GMT, Monday, 7 September 2009 08:19 UK

Dredge kick-starts Ryder Cup bid

Bradley Dredge
Bradley Dredge is a three-time winner on The European Tour

Bradley Dredge hopes his best European Tour display for more than two years is the ideal start for his Ryder Cup qualification crusade.

The Welsh golfer is determined to make European captain Colin Montgomerie's team and qualify for his 'home' Ryder Cup next year at the Celtic Manor.

Dredge finished second at the European Masters which doubled as the first qualifying event for the Ryder Cup.

"I'm sure Colin will be interested in who got off to a flier," said Dredge.

Dredge finished the tournament at Crans-sur-Sierre two shots behind Sweden's Alex Noren who fired a final-round 66 to secure his first European Tour title.

The 36-year-old enjoyed his best finish since being runner-up at the Wales Open at Celtic Manor in June 2007 - and Dredge is determined to ensure this second-place in Switzerland will kick-start his charge to star at the Celtic Manor in October next year.

Dredge is desperate to make a Ryder Cup debut on his home soil next year and his performance at the European Masters would have reminded Montgomerie of his ability after the Welshman slipped from 46th to 256th in the world rankings.

The Ryder Cup
There is a season within the next two seasons as such and that is Ryder Cup points

Welsh golfer Bradley Dredge

The Tredegar-born golfer shone between 2005 and 2007 and he broke the one million Euros mark in those three successive years but in his last two seasons he has failed to reach the half-a-million Euro barrier.

So Dredge was clearly delighted at the return of his form at such a crucial time as he hopes to star in Newport when the Ryder Cup is staged half-an-hour from his South Wales home.

"It is nice to be finally be up there," said Dredge.

"It has been a while that I've been in contention for a tournament so it is nice to get myself back in the mix.

"I performed well. I can always think I could have done this better and that better but I'm quite pleased. But second is better than third as I've been saying.

"There is a season within the next two seasons as such and that is Ryder Cup points. Everybody was aware that it was starting this week and obviously Alex, myself and Ross McGowan have had a really good start.

"I'm sure Alex has his eye on Ryder Cup. I can now pretty much draw a line under this season as it seems my form is returning."

Dredge, who partnered countryman Stephen Dodd to World Cup success in 2005, is the best placed Welshman to play at the first Ryder Cup in Wales.

Phil Price was the last Welshman to play in a Ryder Cup - when he helped Europe beat the United States at The Belfry in 2002 - and he followed in the footsteps of fellow Welshmen Ian Woosnam, Brian Huggett, Dai Rees and Dave Thomas to play in the biennial showpiece.

Dredge finished seventh at last month's KLM Open in the Netherlands while his joint tenth place at the Abu Dhabi Championship in January was the only other European Tour top ten finish this season.

Noren went into the final round with a two-shot lead and holed from a bunker for an eagle at 15 to inspire his maiden victory in golf's top-flight.


Dredge emerged as his main challenger when he pitched in from 63 yards to eagle the par-five 9th on the way to going out in 32.

He then picked up birdies at 10 and 11 to move to 18 under par before his first bogey of the day on the following hole.

A birdie at the 15th piled the pressure on Noren but, having birdied the 14th, the 27-year-old Swede saw his shot from a greenside bunker at the 15th drop to move him to 20 under.

Dredge, who pocketed £194,531 (222,220 Euros) for finishing second at Crans-sur-Sierre, clearly enjoys playing there as he won one of his three European Tour victories at the Swiss course in 2006.

"I've always enjoyed playing here," Dredge said afterwards.

"But unfortunately it wasn't quite enough today.

"It was a fun battle and Alex produced a great shot on the 15th - so congratulations to him," said Dredge.

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see also
Noren edges Dredge to Masters win
06 Sep 09 |  Golf
Dredge maintains European hopes
05 Sep 09 |  Golf
Dredge one shot off European lead
04 Sep 09 |  Golf
Rumford hits back to seize lead
03 Sep 09 |  Golf
Montgomerie 'put off' by Lyle row
17 Jul 09 |  Golf
Wales confident of 2010 Ryder Cup
13 May 09 |  Golf
Europe raise Ryder wildcard quota
12 May 09 |  Golf
US secure emphatic Ryder Cup win
21 Sep 08 |  Golf
Wales plans Ryder charm campaign
20 Sep 08 |  Golf
Ryder Cup course in the swing
30 May 08 |  South east
Dredge bemoans missed opportunity
10 Sep 07 |  Golf
Dredge pipped to Wales Open title
03 Jun 07 |  Golf
Dredge claims Madeira title
23 Mar 03 |  Golf
Woosnam and Dredge end in style
21 Jul 02 |  Wales
Dredge claims second in Italy
04 Nov 01 |  Wales
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf

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