Captain Colin Montgomerie dealt Wales Ryder Cup blow
CELTIC MANOR RESORT WALES OPEN Venue: Celtic Manor Resort, Newport Date: 3 June - 6 June Starts: 0700 BST Coverage: Score updates on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio 5 Live and online. Saturday highlights at 2345 BST on BBC TWO Wales and Sunday highlights at 2230 BST on BBC TWO Wales. Live on Sky Sports 3
Karlsson's Wales Open win helped him qualify for the 2006 Ryder Cup
European skipper Colin Montgomerie has been dealt a blow after another Ryder Cup possible has chosen to miss next week's Wales Open at Celtic Manor.
Robert Karlsson has followed Padraig Harrington and withdrawn from the event over the 2010 course which will stage the Ryder Cup in October.
Karlsson is to work on his game, while Harrington has undergone knee surgery.
Europe's top four Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey and Rory McIlroy will also be absent at the Wales Open.
Spaniard Sergio Garcia is another who will miss the Newport showpiece next week, despite Montgomerie's wish for contenders to learn more about the course where the United States will defend the Ryder Cup between 1-3 October.
But Montgomerie will play at Celtic Manor, where he can run the rule over 12 potential candidates for his European team when they try to reclaim the trophy in the first Ryder Cup to be played in Wales.
"Ideally, I'd like all 30 candidates to play but that is impossible," Montgomerie acknowledged to BBC Sport.
"I managed that all, bar Sergio at the PGA Championship at Wentworth last week and, if the Wales Open was the week after the PGA, I think more people would have stayed on.
"But because it is two weeks after, the players tend to disperse to wherever they are from in the world and some of the potential team live in Florida.
Tough choices ahead - Montgomerie
"But I'm quite happy that some of them have changed their schedule to accommodate the Wales Open and that is a very positive thing for the European Tour and the team."
Ireland's three-times major winner Harrington and Swede Karlsson are 14th and 30th in the world respectively and their withdrawals are a blow to both Montgomerie and Wales Open chiefs.
But two of the world's top 15 players will grace the Celtic Manor as German Martin Kaymer, the world number 11 who is bidding for his Ryder Cup bow, and England's Luke Donald, the world number 13 who hopes to star in his third Ryder Cup, will play.
Spaniard Alvaro Quiros, Englishman Ross Fisher, Italian brothers Edoardo and Francesco Molinari, Spain's Miguel Angel Jiminez, Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland and England's Oliver Wilson are the other of the world's top 50 in the Welsh field.
The Celtic Manor event still boasts four of the players currently in qualifying positions, as English pair Ross McGowan and Simon Dyson, Quiros and Kaymer are flying high in the European points list and pushing to make their Ryder Cup debut.
New PGA champion Simon Khan, the 2004 Wales Open winner, is also an outsider to represent Europe in the 2010 Ryder Cup and will play next week.
Fans favourite Jimenez, Wales Open winner in 2005, is also just outside Ryder Cup qualification but a 17th European Tour title would catapult his push for a fourth Ryder Cup appearance.
American Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin made his Wales Open debut in 2009 but will not play in this year's event.
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