EUROPEAN Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley believes the Celtic Manor will provide the perfect preparation for next week’s Ryder Cup shootout with the USA at Gleneagles.

Golf’s most famous team event is just seven days away and a third of McGinley’s side – Welshman Jamie Donaldson, Lee Westwood, Thomas Bjorn and Steven Gallagher – are teeing it up at this week’s Wales Open on the Twenty Ten course, the venue for the 2010 Ryder Cup.

“I have dinner tonight with the four players that are here along with the four caddies, just a little chitchat, going through a number of things,” he explained.

Nothing too difficult for them to comprehend and to take on board because I'm aware that they are playing The Wales Open this week and it's important they play and prepare well for this tournament and hopefully play well in it and show some form they can carry into Gleneagles.

“When I got the job quite a while ago now, I was aware of when the schedule would come out, I was keeping on top of the schedule on what the week would be before it's very important the week before “In terms of the guys that are playing this week, as I said before so many times before the examination paper that Gleneagles is going to pose, and I wanted to align the setup of this golf course very similar to that, for that reason, preparing for the examination paper that's going to be next week, but doing it in a competitive environment and in a very good, strong tournament like the Welsh Open, at a tournament where we've obviously had a Ryder Cup in the past.”

McGinley also revealed that former Wales Open winner Graeme McDowell was disappointed to have to miss one of his favourite events, the former US Open winner previously indicating he would play in Newport.

“I spoke to Graeme about that and to be honest it's something he should talk about. Obviously there's reasons what he did. He was keen on doing it and obviously his wife just had a baby and that came into it and all that kind of thing and things change as you know when you have a baby. He's disappointed he's not playing here. He like it is here and he knows Terry Matthews well, and he feels like would he have loved to play a tournament. He just felt the family issue and all that kind of thing. He'll enlighten you more about that.”

McGinley also gave his backing to Welshman Jamie Donaldson who will follow in the footsteps of Ian Woosnam and Phil Price in representing Wales in the grand team event.

“When it comes to Jamie Donaldson I think here is a guy who, again, I can sense where he's at because I went through a similar experience of having played well to make the team and to burst through the line like he did, winning the Czech Open to make his first Ryder Cup Team. He's playing his first event since this week, and it must be an incredible exciting time in his life; and it will be an incredible, exciting time, not only for him, but his family, too, and people that are close to him. It doesn't get much better. It doesn't get much better, anticipation of your first Ryder Cup.

“And I'm sure he's in a very excited state of mind at the moment looking forward to playing the Welsh Open this week and then going up to Gleneagles this week and playing his first Ryder Cup. He must be incredibly excited. I know he is and I've obviously spoken to him quite a bit. He's had a few weeks off and a bit of fun and he's looking forward to getting back and competing and playing this week.”