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Rhys Davies reveals world top 50 'excitement'

7 June 10 15:06 GMT

Rhys Davies admits his 'excitement' at moving into the world's top 50 for the first time after the Welshman achieved successive European Tour second places.

The 25-year-old followed up his second at the Madrid Masters by securing the runner-up spot at his home event the Wales Open at the Celtic Manor.

Davies now automatically qualifies for golf's major championships - starting at next week's US Open at Pebble Beach.

"Now I'm checking I'm exempt for these big tournaments," said Davies.

Davies, hailed as "the best putter in the world", moved up to 45th in the world after his course-record 62 final round at the Celtic Manor on the weekend moved fired him to second behind Greame McDowell.

The Northern Ireland and 2008 Ryder Cup star held off Davies' charge to win the 11th Wales Open by three shots - but it is Davies' fifth top three finish of a rookie season.

The Bridgend golfer's £200,000 runners-up prize at the Celtic Manor - the host course of the 2010 Ryder Cup - moves him fifth in the European Tour's Race to Dubai and 11th behind new Wales Open champion McDowell in the European Ryder Cup points list.

Davies' chances of qualifying for the Ryder Cup in his home-land of Wales would be dramatically boosted with a good performance at next week's US Open in California, starting on Thursday, 17 June.

He has also qualified for the 139th Open at St Andrews - and bumper Ryder Cup points are on offer at the majors.

"I wanted to become exempt for the big tournaments as soon as possible to give myself the most experience I can," said Davies.

"I think the remainder of the season I can now pretty much plan and prepare to play the biggest tournaments and that's really exciting for me."

Davies, the 2003 British Boys Championships, made his major debut at the 2007 US Open after qualifying during his successful collegiate career at East Tennessee State University.

Davies missed the cut and was tied 123rd in the 2007 tournament won by Angel Cabrera of Argentina.

Should Davies remain in the top 50, he will automatically qualify for August's US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

But he said: "I think there is a lot of focus on the US Open - and all I am focusing on is Pebble Beach.

"Major championships events and big World Golf Championships are always tournaments I've set my mind to and wanted to play."

Davies, who won the Hassan II trophy in Morocco in March, was hailed as the best putter in the world by fellow Welshman Phil Price and Ryder Cup star Luke Donald.

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