BBC Sport golf

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 17:27 GMT, Thursday, 3 June 2010 18:27 UK

Chris Wood leads the Wales Open after the first round

First-round leaderboard (Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 71):
-6 C Wood -5 A Dodt (Aus), B Dredge -4 R McEvoy, R Davies, R Jacquelin (Fra), E Molinari (Ita) -3 R Ramsay, S Hansen (Den), F Delamontagne (Fra), D Lee (NZ), R Rock, E Tage Johansen (Nor), S Thornton, G Fdez-Castano (Spa) -2 D McGrane, G Maybin, M Siem (Ger), D Clarke, P Larrazabal (Spa), J Manuel Lara (Spa), T Bjorn (Den), N Fasth (Swe)

By Peter Shuttleworth
BBC Sport at the Celtic Manor

Chris Wood hit six birdies in his first round on the Twenty Ten course
Chris Wood hit six birdies in his first round on the Twenty Ten course

Bradley Dredge and Rhys Davies are chasing first-round leader Chris Wood as the Welsh duo bid to be the first home winner of the Wales Open.

Englishman Wood, from nearby Bristol, shot an unblemished six under par 65 to lead and give the top of Celtic Manor's leaderboard a local feel.

Australian Andrew Dodt joined Dredge in second place on five under.

Davies shares fourth on four under with Raphael Jacquelin of France, Italy's Edoardo Molinari and Richard McEvoy.

Welsh number one Davies, like Wood, did not drop a shot in the first round in Newport.

The pair continued their good form hoping to force their way into Colin Montgomerie's European Ryder Cup team to play the United States on this course in October.

Wood is bidding to recover from his Wentworth disappointment of two weeks ago when the 6ft 5in player squandered the PGA Championship lead on the final day with a last-round 77.

The 22-year-old, fifth and third in the last two Open Championships, hit three birdies in his first eight holes before picking up further strokes at the fourth, seventh and eighth.

"It is a real purple patch for me," said Wood. "I'm just looking to win now. Obviously I've started to get myself in contention more often, so the more I do it the more likely it's going to happen.

"The final day at Wentworth was really disappointing.

"I led by two shots in the pretty much the biggest event on the European Tour all season against one of the best fields all season, having to deal with the pressure of leading, certainly going into the last day, I've never had that.

"So going through that experience, even though it didn't work out well, is certainly going to help me the next time that happens."

Both Wood and local boy Dredge, from the Gwent Valleys town of Tredegar, took just half-an-hour to get to the Celtic Manor.

And 2007 Wales Open runner-up Dredge - who has managed just one top-10 finish this year - was four under after nine holes but dropped a shot at the 386-yard par-four sixth.

Wales' 2005 World Cup-winner, however, birdied his final two holes as he finally found some form, joining Queenslander Dodt on five under.

"I have been showing signs at the odd tournament and I've got off to a good start like this week, but it is being able to come back and playing well again," Dredge said.

Dodt who won his maiden European Tour title earlier this season at the Avantha Masters in India, made seven birdies.

However, the 24-year-old Australian dropped shots at the 173-yard par three third and 443-yard par four 14th to go joint second overnight.

But the focus is on whether Dredge or sensation Davies, second at last week's Madrid Masters, can break the Wales Open hoodoo and become the first home winner in the £1.8m tournament's 11-year history.

Davies' emergence in his rookie season has heaped expectation on the 25-year-old ahead of the 2010 Wales Open, but this year's Hassan II trophy winner insists he is revelling under the pressure.

"I had a very busy day on Wednesday because I was in Wales and I was aware of the extra pressure," said Davies.

"But I went to bed last night and forgot about everything. I was able to rest this morning and I managed my time and managing how my body feels is important this week.

"The support of your home crowd is fantastic but expectation comes with it and sometimes the crowds are not as patient as I am. But they were outstanding today.

"I fed off them, I was comfortable in the environment and I feel pleased."

Davies' four under was the best score of the afternoon round and his fellow Welshman Phil Price, who notably did not drop a shot, insisted his total would have "been doubled" if he had gone off in the morning.

European captain Montgomerie shot a one under to show his potential team he can still play, while two-time Ryder Cup hero Luke Donald, one of the biggest names at the Celtic Manor this week, shot four over and will struggle to make the cut.

And Monty did watch Spaniard Alvaro Quiros hit the only hole-in-one of the day as the Ryder Cup hopeful fired in from 200 yards at the par three third.



Print Sponsor


see also
Davies can make Cup team - Donald
02 Jun 10 |  Golf
Montgomerie could turn to Price
03 Jun 10 |  Golf
Donaldson back to his best
02 Jun 10 |  Golf
Wales hopes to end golf hoodoo
01 Jun 10 |  Golf
Wales warned of Ryder Cup one-off
01 Jun 10 |  Golf
Monty dealt Wales Ryder Cup blow
28 May 10 |  Golf
Twenty Ten course in photos
03 Jun 09 |  Golf
Work starts on 2010 Ryder Cup
29 Sep 01 |  Golf
Wales Open - former winners
01 Jun 06 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.