Ryder Cup 2010: Rhys Davies bids for Ryder inspiration
38th Ryder Cup Venue: Celtic Manor, Newport Date: 1-3 October Starts: 0745 BST on Friday Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live & online, live text commentary online & daily highlights on BBC TWO. Live on Sky Sports 1
By Peter Shuttleworth
At The Celtic Manor
Rhys Davies will be the only Welshman in Wales' first Ryder Cup
Rhys Davies hopes aiding Europe captain Colin Montgomerie at the Celtic Manor will inspire him to make the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah in the United States.
Montgomerie rewarded the 25-year-old, who missed out on a playing place, with a backroom role as Monty thinks Davies is a 'Ryder Cup player of the future.'
Davies hopes watching at first-hand - and not playing - will push him to qualify for the next European team.
"I think it will perhaps inspire me to play at a Ryder Cup," said Davies.
The Welshman is the course record holder on the Celtic Manor's Twenty Ten after firing 62 as he finished second to Europe Ryder Cup player Graeme McDowell at this year's Wales Open.
Davies is the only Welshman in the European team as Wales stages the Ryder Cup for the first time as victorious 2006 skipper Ian Woosnam ruled out being in Monty's backroom team while 2002 cup hero Phil Price was overlooked.
Davies was the closest Welsh player to qualify for the 2010 Ryder Cup, finishing 15th in the qualifying places, in his rookie season but insists he "is not the token Welshman" as Montgomerie wants him at Celtic Manor to "gain the experience of what it is like at a Ryder Cup."
McDowell missed out on the 2006 Ryder Cup at the K Club.
Buggy-man Davies ready for Ryder
But Northern Ireland's US Open champion admitted being a pundit when Woosnam's men beat the Americans hurt so much, it fuelled his charge to making his Ryder Cup debut in 2008.
Martin Kaymer felt similar pain when he missed out on qualifying for the 2008 European team and undertook a similar role at Valhalla as Davies is at Celtic Manor.
The German has insisted being a frustrated observer in 2008 inspired him to qualify for Celtic Manor - and Kaymer will make his Ryder Cup debut in Montgomerie's team after winning the US PGA Championship and moving to sixth in golf's world rankings.
So Davies hopes to follow McDowell and Kaymer's lead into the European side.
"Hopefully this week will be a glimpse into the future for me," said the world number 57.
"I've always dreamt of playing in a Ryder Cup and being here and not playing could, I'm sure, get quite frustrating as I'd to get out there.
"But I'm here to gain experience which is great and it is such an honour that someone of Colin Montgomerie's stature in Ryder Cups thinks you could be a Ryder Cup player of the future."
The Scot has played in eight European Ryder Cup teams - winning five - and has never lost in a singles match and his points scored tally of 23.5 is only 1.5 points behind all-time record-holder Nick Faldo.
Montgomerie, who hailed Davies as "the guy with the $1m putting stroke," joked that Davies will be his "personal buggy driver" at Celtic Manor - but the unofficial role is more about gaining experience rather than buggy driving.
"Ryder Cups are so huge and such an emotional rollercoaster, Colin wants me to gain a bit of experience so I know what to expect if I qualify to play in future years," said Davies.
"I don't really know what to expect but I'll soon find out. I was honoured to be invited by the captain and be Europe's 13th man as well as gain experience.
"I don't mind if people think I'm just a buggy driver, those that know the reasoning behind my role are the ones that might count. But I'd like to think I earned my role on this team and it is a reward for some of my good play this season."
Davies secured a maiden win in his first season on the European Tour at the Hassan II Championship in Morocco in March and enjoyed five other top six finishes - including his second at June's Wales Open where he lowered the course record.
"I am the course holder and I'd give advice if needed but the players at a Ryder know what they're doing because they are the best in the world.
"And it'll be great to hang around with them this week and take it all in."
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