Jimenez Looks to Right the Ship


Coming off their flagship event at the BMW Championship, the European Tour rolls into Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam's home turf for the Celtic Manor Wales Open.
Woosnam, who will lead Europe's best against the Americans in this fall's 36th edition of the Ryder Cup, returns home to play in his country's event and will no doubt have one eye on his own ball and the other on some of the players vying to make the Ryder Cup team.
A player who is fighting for a spot on the squad is Miguel Angel Jimenez, who returns to defend the title he won last season. On the strength of a final-round 7-under 62, Jimenez was able to secure his 13th career European Tour victory. The Spaniard is coming off a solid third-place showing last week at Wentworth.
Woosie himself was tied with Jimenez for second place heading into the final round last year at Celtic Manor, but was passed by several players and finished tied for fifth, his best showing since a third place at the inaugural event in 2000.
Another player who is fighting to get his game back in gear in time for his title defense at the U.S. Open in June is New Zealand's Michael Campbell. Despite a recent fifth-place effort at the British Masters, Campbell has had an otherwise dismal 2006. He missed the cut at both the Masters and the Players Championship and was also ousted in the first round of the WGC-Match Play.
Also having a rough go at it this season is eight-time Order of Merit champion Colin Montgomerie. He, too, missed the cut at the Masters and the Players and recently didn't make into the weekend at the British Masters and the Irish Open. Last week, he finished near the bottom at the BMW Championship and currently ranks 18th on the money list.
Also in the mix in Wales is Paul Holtby, winner of The Golf Channel's The Big Break IV. Holtby will use the last of the two European Tour exemptions he won on the show. In his first exemption at the Algarve Open de Portugal, Holtby barely missed the cut in his European Tour debut, shooting 76-69 to finish one back of the cut line.
Having Monday qualified for a number of PGA TOUR and Nationwide Tour events over the past several seasons, Holtby lists experience as the main strength in his game.
'Im playing some of the best golf of my career, better at 38 than at 22, said Holtby. Lets just say Im an 18-year-old with 20 years of experience.
The Golf Channel will carry live coverage from Newport, Wales June 1 - 2 at 10 a.m. On June 3-4, coverage will begin at 9 a.m. ET. The first two rounds will also be replayed in prime time, with Thursdays competition airing at 9 p.m. ET and Fridays round at 10 p.m. ET.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Celtic Manor Wales Open
  • Golf Channel Airtimes