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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 June 2007, 19:39 GMT 20:39 UK
Davies eyes Tiger's US Open trail
Rhys Davies
Davies is one of the leading players on the US amateur circuit
Welsh amateur Rhys Davies says he will not be overawed at next week's US Open after his shock qualifying win.

"It's a big step up, but previous college boys like Tiger Woods have had success at the big tournaments, maybe I'll follow them," he told BBC Sport.

The 22-year-old from Bridgend topped a field of 65 in Maryland who were vying for five spots to compete at Oakmont.

Davies is just finishing at East Tennessee University, where he combined his golf with a business degree.

Local media called him "the best player to ever play" at the college.

I was a member of the Glamorgan Academy at 16 and had to choose cricket or golf

Rhys Davies

He extended his own ETSU record for career individual titles to 10 and became the first UK player to reach number one in America since Graeme McDowell achieved the feat in 2002 while at Alabama State.

But Davies, who is expected to turn professional after this September's Walker Cup in Northern Ireland, still stunned many with this week's performance at the Woodmont Golf Club in Rockville.

Rounds of 72 and 65 gave the former British Boys champion a seven-under-par total, one better than US Tour winner Joey Sindelar and two ahead of Fred Funk, who won the Players Championship only two years ago.

That will leave the former Brynteg Comprehensive student as Wales' sole competitor at the US Open when he makes his debut in one of golf's four major tournaments.

"It's been a long season and this is a great way to top off my college career," the Royal Porthcawl member told BBC Sport Wales.

"It will be a totally new experience, I'll lap up the whole atmosphere, the big crowds and the hype."

Davies turned down the chance to play professional cricket for Glamorgan in order to pursue his golfing goals.

"I was a member of the Glamorgan Academy at 16 and had to choose cricket or golf," said Davies.

Few will contend that he made the wrong choice.

SEE ALSO
BBC Sport Wales coverage
21 May 07 |  Wales


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