Black day for Welsh hopes
HISTORY was made for all the wrong reasons yesterday at the Celtic Manor as the entire Welsh contingent at the ISPS Wales Open failed to make the cut.
Since its inception in 2000 we have waited without joy for a Welsh victor at this event but never before has the prospect been an impossibility heading into the weekend.
However, the low turnout of players to begin with – only nine from the Principality – and poor form has combined to shred every home player from the field.
Blackwood’s Bradley Dredge was the best hope after his decent round of 72 on Thursday, but he shot a disastrous 81 yesterday including a double AND triple bogey seven.
He followed Newport’s Phillip Price to the exit door after Price’s round of 74 left him on seven over par. It could’ve been different for Price but for a rotten outward nine of 40.
Also heading home early is course record holder Rhys Davies whose travails continued, carding a 77 to leave him at ten over.
Richard Johnson was never in contention; neither was amateur Jason Shufflebotham and rising stars Rhys Pugh and Rhys Enoch, both faded after promising opening rounds on Thursday.
Dredge insists it’s just a trough for Welsh golf and not something more serious but admits it’s been a torrid week for him and his compatriots.
“I felt I was playing alright but bad things happened and I didn’t react well, ultimately if you miss the cut it doesn’t matter how many shots you miss it by,” he said.
“I gave myself some good chances but I’m not putting well, I didn’t capitalise on my chances and it’s very difficult when that’s the case, as the scores reflect.
“I don’t know why things aren’t going well for the Welsh players, Jamie Donaldson has been playing great, and I don’t know what has happened to him this week.
“We don’t talk about it on tour; the last thing you want to do is sit down and hear someone moaning about their golf game!”
Newport’s Price was more disconsolate after finishing seven over. But for some missed putts, he’d have comfortably made it through.
“It’s just a couple too many for me, it is disappointing because it’s my home venue and I felt I was playing ok but it didn’t happen for me.
“All I can do now is get myself ready for Sweden next week.”
Dredge was philosophical after struggling at an event he enjoys.
“At least here when I’m not playing well I have people I can chat with on the way round,” he joked.
“I had a lot of friends and family here and I’m not too downbeat, you get to a point when you know you won’t make the cut and I can’t dwell on it.”