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Page last updated at 11:51 GMT, Thursday, 17 June 2010 12:51 UK

Rhys Davies rejects Ryder Cup motive on eve of US Open

US Open
Venue: Pebble Beach, California Dates: 17-20 June
Coverage: Live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobile phones, with updates on BBC Radio 5 live and live coverage from 2200 BST on Sunday; also live on Sky Sports

Rhys Davies
Rhys Davies hits a tee shot during a practice round before his second US Open

Rhys Davies insists starring in his home Ryder Cup is not a motivation as the Welsh golfer prepares for his US Open assault at Pebble Beach.

Wales will stage its first Ryder Cup in October and the world number 45 admits while representing Europe will be a fairytale, the cup is not his focus.

"I know it's an attention and something that people may expect," said Davies.

"But at the start of the year it was so far out of reach that it was never a thought - and it remains that way."

The Welsh rookie, fifth in the European Tour Race to Dubai moneylist, has been catapulted into the world's top 50 after securing five top three finishes and celebrating a maiden win at the Hassan II trophy in Morocco.

Rhys Davies
You are going to hit a lot of good shots that are not going to make the putting surface so this weekend it will be a game of patience

Welsh golfer Rhys Davies

Davies tees-off for his second US Open - following his debut in 2007 at Oakmont - at 2114 BST on Thursday alongside Spaniard Pablo Martin and Aaron Baddeley of Australia.

And the Welshman, who has already qualified for next month's Open Championship at St Andrews, arrived in California's Pebble Beach resort in good form after back-to-back second-places at the Madrid Masters and the Wales Open.

Davies, hailed as 'one of the best putters in the world', is already pushing for an automatic place in Colin Montgomerie's European Ryder Cup team to face the Americans at the Celtic Manor on 1-3 October.

Two-time Ryder Cup winner and English star Luke Donald admits Davies achieving a cup debut in his home-land would be a "fairytale" while golfers have spoken in unison that having a Welshman on the team in Wales would boost the home crowd and atmosphere in Newport.

But for Davies, Ryder Cup qualification is not in his mind despite the romantic ideals of a Welshman playing in a Welsh Ryder Cup and facing top Americans such as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson at Pebble Beach.

"It is not a consideration simply because I have been very good on focusing each week and approaching my rookie season on week to week basis," the 2003 British Boys champion told BBC Sport.

"And I'll continue to do so. I'm at Pebble Beach this week so I'll just focus on this one and then the next tournament wherever that may be."

Europe's victorious 2006 Ryder Cup skipper Ian Woosnam is Wales' greatest living golfer and he certainly endorses Davies' 'wait and see' approach.

"He has to watch he doesn't put too much pressure on himself to get into the Ryder Cup team," master Woosnam warned protégé Davies.

"Rhys needs to just concentrate on his own golf, play as best he can, finish as high as he can every week and keep moving up the order of merit.

"He should just focus on winning another tournament and other stuff like Ryder Cups will come with automatically if all goes well.

"It would be huge if Rhys could make the Ryder Cup team as there is nothing like home support - and if Rhys keeps up his form, he'll be knocking on Colin's door to get one of his wildcard picks if he doesn't qualify automatically."

Woosnam is preparing to play the Wales Seniors Open at Davies' home course at Royal Porthcawl with one eye on Wales' young pup testing himself against the world's best on the United States' west coast in the Californian seaside resort of Monterey.

"Rhys is a member here and Pebble Beach plays a little bit similar as Royal Porthcawl," said former world number one Woosnam.

"And if he has his putting game on, he has got a chance."

Bumper Ryder Cup points are on offer at golf's majors so a good finish from Davies at Pebble Beach and at St Andrew's would certainly boost his chances of starring in Newport in October.


And Davies, who missed the cut at the 2007 US Open and finished tied 123, admits he will certainly have to live up to his billing as one of the great putters of world golf if he is to impress at the US Open following his Pebble Beach practice rounds.

"It is quite a spectacular course and I played 18 holes on Monday to get the sightseeing out of the way," said Davies, a graduate of the American renowned collegiate system.

"I don't care how well you hit the ball, players are going to miss a lot of greens because they are so small and the wind will probably remain.

"You are going to hit a lot of good shots that are not going to make the putting surface so this weekend it will be a game of patience - and it will certainly put my short game skills to the test.

"But I've played well the last couple of weeks and I'm looking forward to the US Open.

"I hope to keep my momentum going but this will be a very different test as the course is so severe and the environment is tougher."

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see also
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Davies prepared for US Open stage
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Davies' cup advice from McDowell
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Davies reveals top 50 excitement
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Davies can make Cup team - Donald
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Donald pips Davies to Madrid win
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Welshman Davies win US Open spot
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Davies and Dodd second in China
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Welshman Davies earns maiden win
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Davies can be 'the new Woosnam'
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BBC Sport Wales coverage
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